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13 Barebones Reviewed Are Anything But Square

Shuttle XPC SB83G5: VW Meets Barebone

Another barebone with PCI Express and Socket 775 also comes from Shuttle. However, unlike the XPC SB81P, the SB83G5 only has a normal cooling system based on heatpipe technology. With the heatpipe cooling, the SB83G5 is a little louder than the SB81P. Another difference to the noise level is the increasing temperature values in and on the barebone. They are clearly above those of the XPC SP81P, but still in acceptable ranges. Some corners were also cut on functions like 7.1 sound: the SB83G5 only has one sound chip for 5.1 sound. With regard to serial ATA interfaces, the gray XPC must be content with only 50% of its big brother's allotment. Only two connectors are on the motherboard instead of four. However, that should still be enough for a barebone. This is because more than two disks and one DVD drive won't fit in the small case anyway. The motherboard runs the new Intel i915G/Grantsdale chipset for Socket 775 processors and PCI Express graphics cards. The onboard graphics from the chipset are just enough for 2D and Office applications. If you want more, you will have to move to a PCI Express graphics card. AGP cards can no longer be used.

Silver is the word of the day for the XPC SP85G3

All slots and front connectors are behind covers.