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Shuttle SN45G XPC - SFF Evolution (Page 4)

By Cameron Johnson | Sep 16, 2003 11:00 pm CDT
Rating: 95%Manufacturer: Shuttle

Features of the SN45G XPC Continued

Next you get a standard serial port for connection of external modems and other serial devices like mice. LAN and USB ports line up next to the Firewire ports. Again the nForce2 Southbridge comes with USB 2.0 ports and 10/100 network controller. Shuttle has not spared any expense in adding all that comes from the nForce2.

Two PS/2 Ports come next. Color coded for the Keyboard and Mouse operations helps you located which port is which. While the push is to remove legacy ports from motherboards of the future, it is good to see that PS/2 is still holding its ground. Finally three Stereo Audio ports and two SPDIF ports are provided for up to 6 channel speaker systems via the Soundstorm utility provided by nVidia.

Here we see the Shuttle SN45G with the lid removed. Three thumb screws hold the lid to the case, which means this part of the installation, is tool free. When removed we get our first look inside, it all looks very cramped, but actually, everything is placed very well and for great ventilation.

While it took a bit of time to remove, we finally got the Motherboard out of the case. Shuttle uses a propriety motherboard design, so VIA MiniITX boards will not fit into this case if those out there who might want to build an EPIA system within the case.

The board features many of the standard features that a desktop board would feature. First off we the chipset where the nForce2 Ultra Northbridge has been utilized to give Dual Channel DDR-400 memory support with two DIMM slots. This gives a maximum of 2GB of DDR SDRAM in a 128bit memory array. 400MHz FSB CPU support has been added with the Ultra version of the nForce2, so the lasted Barton CPU cores can be used with ease. The Northbridge is cooled by a passive cooling solution, this keeps the Northbridge cool when overclocking without adding to extra case noise.

Paired up with the MCP-T Southbridge along the 800MB/s Hypertransport bus, three Firewire ports are supported, six USB 2.0 ports and the most important feature, the AC-3 Dolby Digital APU engine that produces some of the best onboard audio quality sound we have ever seen. Shuttle has learnt from the mistakes of others by adding a passive cooling heatsink to the Southbridge to keep this baby cool, as under even normal conditions, she gets quite hot.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Cameron Johnson

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