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Shuttle SN85G4 XPC Review

Former staff writer    -   February 26, 2004


In-Depth Look


For the back panel Shuttle took advantage of the small real estate they had to work with. Right above the power cable connector is the intake for the PSU more on that later. You will also see the exhaust for the Single fan solution. To the right of that you have your AGP, and PCI slots. The back I/O panel is located on the bottom with connections for Parallel, Com, LAN, USB2.0, PS/2 and 1394 ports. You also have SPDIF in/out connections, and six channel analog inputs. Shuttle also offers an optional wireless 802.11b WLAN, and remote control if you choose to make the SN85G4 a HTPC.

 

Shuttle did a great job on the internal layout considering there’s not much room to begin with. The picture above shows the internal layout from a birds eye view. On the right, you have the 6-in-1 card reader. Directly behind the 6-in-1 PCB is a 3.5” drive bay, and above the 3.5” bay is a 5.25” bay. The only down side to this design is to access the 3.5” bay, the 5.25” bay has to be empty.

From the side we can see the PCI, and AGP slots on the left. Over to the right we have the primary and secondary IDE connectors. Located beside the IDE connector is the CMOS jumper, once the AGP card is installed there is very little room to reach the jumper. This makes accessing the jumper a real pain when you overclock too far and the system won’t post requiring you to reset the CMOS.



The SATA ports are camouflaged by the plastic housing for the CPU cooler. If you look above the PCI slot right next to the plastic heat sink housing, you’ll see the two SATA ports. In this picture, you can also see the Silicon Image SATA RAID controller.

 

One of the most interesting features of Shuttle’s XPC line is its I.C.E (Integrated Cooling Engine) CPU cooler. The base of the heat sink is connected to four heat pipes that carry the heat from the CPU up to the aluminum radiator. The housing holds a single Sunon fan. The I.C.E cooling system does a decent job of keeping the CPU cool with the fan speed set to smart fan. At 59°c the CPU temps were a little high, but I found that there was no system instabilities.



The SN85G4 gets its power from an Enhance 240W PSU. Now a lot of you are probably thinking a 240-watt PSU will not be able to handle much. Well in this case, you're dead wrong. This little PSU handled everything I threw at it with out a hiccup. I had no stability problems at all during my testing. One gripe I do have is that the PSU exhaust fan is blowing all the warm air into the case to be taken away with the systems single exhaust fan. This is unavoidable to keep the small footprint of the system.






  1. Installation & Specifications
  2. Closer Look
  3. Closer Look (Continued)
  4. BIOS
  5. Installation & Setup
  6. System & Memory Benchmarks
  7. Gaming Benchmarks
  8. Overclocking & Conclusion
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