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13 Barebones Reviewed Are Anything But Square

Pros And Cons

Pros:

  • Small case;
  • Quiet operation;
  • Unusual design;
  • Reset button for the BIOS;
  • S-Video out;
  • Easy installation of hardware;
  • Edges ground down;
  • Space-saving cable routing.

Cons:

  • No serial ATA;
  • No FireWire connector on the front cover;
  • No AGP slot.

Temperature Measurements

Brief Conclusion

The small unit from Shuttle is truly easy on your ears because even when the CPU is fully loaded, the XPC ZEN ST62K remains very quiet. The heatpipe fan system in the interior works very effectively without jacking up the noise level too much. Even with a 3.2 GHz Intel CPU, the ZEN ran for many days under a high CPU load, always in the same decibel range of approximately 47 dB(A). The external power supply also contributes a great deal to this quietness. Therefore, it is a barebone that is ideal for the living room, where each decibel less means more video enjoyment. The white design of the ZEN is reminiscent of a doctor's office. The XPC ZEN is also available in black.

Optional: W-LAN module