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


A simple question of making up your mind: Power XPCs for both AMD and Intel CPUs.

Shuttle obviously seeks to lock in its position as the leading small form factor (SFF) PC vendor. The vendor's two latest SFF barebone models are fully loaded with the latest CPU, chipset and motherboard technologies for high-end users who want to put together either an AMD or Intel power computer.

Appearance-wise, however, the new models are hardly distinguishable. The AMD version has a bluish front, whereas the Intel version's is gray. Not until you check out the packaging and the user's manuals do you begin to have an idea about the power under the hood of these two dynamos.

The XPC SB95P2 is based on the i925XE chipset , for example, which supports PCI Express and DDR2 RAM. The XPC SN25P works with the nForce4 chipset from nVIDIA. While it does feature PCI Express, it offers no support for DDR2 memory. The only thing you can do here is to install SDRAM DDR modules.

Shuttle took the easy route with the uniform chassis construction. The different front panels are the only clear indicators of which PC you're dealing with. Indeed, the design is simple - and lacks a certain je ne sais quoi. We miss the unconventional barebones from way back when on which Shuttle made a name for itself in the beginning.

The standard concept is carried over into the insides, too. Both XPCs are identical, except for the motherboard of course. Thus, both the SN25P and the SB95P V2 feature easy-to-remove drive mounting brackets. Drives can be installed in the rack mount using pins and compression clips. The CPU cooling design is likewise based on a uniform airflow system. It's no breakthrough - the predecessor model XPC SB981P featured the same "Integrated Cooling Engine" airflow mechanics. Two additional, small 60 mm fans take care of removing the rest of the waste heat. The 350 W power supply also comes with its own fan.

Siggy Moersch