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Shuttle XPC Prima SX38P2 Pro

Shuttle XPC Prima SX38P2 Pro
By , Don Woligroski

Shuttle has been making small PCs for some time, and can virtually be credited with starting the small form factor (SFF) market. The company creates products as complete units or in a barebones format; the latter means only the case, motherboard and some accessories are included. Critical components like the CPU and memory are not supplied in the barebones price, but can be added as options, of course.

While the small form factor size has obvious space and transportation advantages, SFF PCs face several obstacles that are not seen in larger systems: some notable issues are ensuring effective cooling, finding a good power supply, and dealing with a lack of internal space for components. These obstacles commonly get in the way of high performance computing, and are particularly unfortunate for gamers, since SFF PCs are an ideal size for transporting to LAN parties.

Shuttle has created the SX38P2 in an effort to unite the SFF PC with high performance, and show how powerful an XPC system can truly be.

shuttle xpc pro

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  • 0 Hide
    dragonsprayer , May 1, 2008 8:31 PM
    Shuttles are great computers if you want something very small they can not be beat. I use both micro atx systems and sff (shuttles). I have a few now, my rock solid old P4 (nw 3.0c running 3.6ghz) lasted 4 years while running 24/7 and logging close to 12 hours a day of usage. The major disadvantage is lack of non oem parts, i.e. a mobo replacement is expensive. The advantage is the initial cost is low. The psu's are much stronger then their rating compared to similar rated standard psu's. Since you get a cool, cpu cooler with the deal they are very reasonably priced and easy to build! Put some foam on the inside vents and you got a filtered system you can have up and running in a few hours. This new crossfire unit should rock with the new 700 series ati cards. Bios upgrades can be a pain, or lacking, so make sure the initial bios works for your set up. I love shuttles! If you fill your system will lots of drives and dual video cards you can tweak the cooling by adding second fan in the back of the shuttle dual, fan out.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 2, 2008 2:03 AM
    One thing about this and the 35 model... DO NOT PLAN on RAID if you BUY a SATA DVD/CD UNIT. For what ever reason.. You can't get the RAID setup screen with all three items on SATA. You'll need to buy IDE DVD/CD Unit then you can utilized the built in RAID CONTROLLER. Live and learn.. I did on both the 35 and 38 unit.
  • 0 Hide
    BillLake , May 2, 2008 3:07 AM
    Great tip about the raid controller, another tip is if you pick ACHI for the SATA controller for the newest features of SATA 2 then a SATA optical drive is not seen in windows. there is no alternative SATA controller so you have to use IDE to have an optical drive.
  • 0 Hide
    rgsaunders , May 2, 2008 4:38 AM
    Note: your comment about max crossfix config is incorrect, there are a few single slot HD3870 cards, I am currently running the Sapphire HD 3870 Toxic, an excellent single slot solution which runs very cool and quiet.
  • 1 Hide
    alphastryk , May 2, 2008 7:26 PM
    yay shuttle... got my SX38P@ running a Q6600, 8gb ram, 9800gx2... not that loud really... and the power supplies are far above standard quality and power...
  • 0 Hide
    mbaroud , May 2, 2008 9:51 PM
    So alpha...i was actually planing to purchase this. The 9800GX2 fits in this SFF????
  • 0 Hide
    BillLake , May 2, 2008 11:48 PM
    Yeah got one and unless you are running 100 % load it is pretty quiet. If a 8800 GTX fits you should be able to get a 9800GX2 in, just compare it to the XFX card I used in the review.
  • 0 Hide
    mbaroud , May 3, 2008 3:53 PM
    My concern is the power, will the PSU handle the load of a Q6700 the 9800GX2 and 2 hard-drives in RAID-0???
    I move alot for my work, wanted something compact and SUPER POWERFULL!!
  • 0 Hide
    Mathos , May 4, 2008 4:01 AM
    They should add another video card option. The Sapphire Toxic/Atomic edition 3870 could easily fit in there. Mines runs pretty cool even under load, which is great for single slot. Would also give them a higher end dual card solution for those systems.
  • 0 Hide
    BillLake , May 4, 2008 3:26 PM
    mbaroud, I checked and the 9800GX2 only pulls about 10-15 more than the 8800GTX used in the testing PC. The 9650 should be a very big draw when overclocked and so I would think you could be OK with your config.

    Mathos, I wish they did offer more selection but you can get any video card you want if you build up a barebones unit.
  • 0 Hide
    mbaroud , May 6, 2008 11:41 AM
    Thanks for the great effort Bill!
    I appreciate your help on this, i think i am going forward with the purchase!!

  • 0 Hide
    BillLake , May 8, 2008 8:06 PM
    Great, just remember SFF do have their +/- but I think this one has great performance.
  • 0 Hide
    waynejoneser , May 9, 2008 5:35 PM
    Hey, just built one of these using 9800gtx, q9300, 8gb ram and the 10k raptor. It works great! Had to remove small piece of plastic from the gtx to get it to fit around the motherboard power connector. Also, had to download the 64bit drivers from shuttle because either they weren't on the disk or the install routine didn't detect it was a 64bit os.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 10, 2011 8:45 PM
    come posso far riconoscere 16gb di ram?