PC Size Means Everything

CPU And Multimedia: SiSoft Sandra 2003

Summary: First Bare-bones System For Athlon 64 / Soltek With Plenty Of Room

All four bare-bones systems provide a well-designed appearance that conventional desktop alternatives cannot offer. The workmanship, especially in the case of the mini-PCs from Shuttle, is very good. The first mini-system for the new Athlon 64 is the XPC SN85G4, which is based on the NForce 3/150 chipset. The well-known features of the other Shuttle models were combined with the AMD platform. That has made this system good enough to be a powerful 3D gaming platform. Performance-wise, the XPC easily keeps pace with a normal board in ATX format. Of the other three PCs for the P4 platform, Soltek's QBIC offers the most room for additional components - up to two S-ATA or P-ATA-RAID hard drives and two CD/DVD drives. That will ensure that even less minimalist users will turn to a mini-system.

A highlight of the Shuttle XPC SB65G2 is the integrated WLAN function, which allows the PC to be integrated effortlessly into a wireless network. Biostar's firstborn in this class provides an interesting alternative to the mini-systems available on the market. Still, two 7200 hard drives in the S-ATA-RAID setup are able to work and make for high I/O performance.

All four systems offer variable-speed fans, with the result that the background noise depends on the system capacity and hardware configuration.