Shuttle's XPCs: Two Power SFF PCs for Intel and AMD Sockets


Both of the new XPC machines make a solid and conservative impression. While the P-chassis design of the SFF PCs is elegant, it is nothing exceptional. The fronts consist of several plastic covers that seem, well, pretty flimsy. Installed drives can therefore be different colors without negatively affecting the mini PC's overall appearance.

We were already familiar with the cooling system, which we tested thoroughly in the previous XPC SB981P and judged to be quiet. The overclocking potential of the i925XE will mean that the XPC SB95P V2 will soon have many aficionados, even if it's not cheap by any stretch. But for the price, it can be expanded into a truly powerful machine that can hold its own against anything else going. DDR2 memory modules clocked at 533 MHz work optimally with a Front Side Bus of modern, 1066 MHz Pentium 4s. Users will have to be careful in choosing a PCI Express graphics card to install, however, as the space available is limited. This is mainly due to the XPC design - cards with bulky fans will just not fit inside the power system.

The AMD version is based on the nForce4 Ultra chipset, which is designed for Athlon64, Sempron or Athlon FX processors with Socket 939. The Ultra version of the nForce4 chipset supports S-ATA2 with 300Gb/s datatransfer and HyperTransport link works with a 1000 MHz. The nForce4 Ultra Chipset does not support DDR2 memory. These small criticism aside, the SN25P is a good bet for AMD users looking for PCI Express in a SFF barebone.

Our upcoming SFF-PC comparison test will show how the two XPCs perform in real life.

Shuttle definitely seeks to prove its market leadership with these two models.

Siggy Moersch