PC Size Means Everything

Shuttle XPC SN85G4: First Mini For Athlon 64

Packaging of the XPC SN85G4 for Athlon 64

Shuttle XPC SN85G4: felicitous visuals

Orderly: ports and buttons

A glance at package contents

While other manufacturers are still working on the finishing touches of their mainboards for the Athlon 64, Shuttle already has comparable mini-bare-bones on offer. As far as workmanship and material appearance are concerned, the system is absolutely identical with that of the XPC for the P4 platform. The bare-bones device is based on the NForce 3/150 chipset from Nvidia and, with the Socket 754 platform, provides the basis for all Athlon-64-processors (not Athlon 64 FX for Socket 940!). The single-channel memory interface can address DDR400 modules and can be upgraded with a maximum of 1 GB. Instead of the 3.5" slot, Shuttle comes factory-installed with a multi-card reader that processed the various media without any problem in testing. Unlike the other bare-bones devices in the XPC series, a heftier power supply with an output power of 240 watts was installed. This allows the system to be upgraded with the most powerful components. A 3-phase voltage converter ensures constant power supply on the board. At maximum expansion level, two hard drives can deliver high data transfer performance with the help of the onboard serial RAID controller (Silicon Image). A GeForce FX 5900 can be added, a DVD burner - and the mini-rocket is done! The tangle of cables (FireWire and USB) inside the case looks like it could do with improvement.