- First Glance
Taking the cover off the Zen exposes us to an almost extremely familiar look inside. One of the first things you notice is that you are now actually able to look straight through the unit, something that wasn't possible in the past due to the power supply taking up most of the real estate of the other side of the XPC.
Looking around you notice the lack of AGP which is why we only have the one expansion port slot. This is quite disappointing but we can't really consider it as a major pitiful as Shuttle has never marketed the Zen as a performance PC - it is simply designed to be a quite.
We have our normal two Dual Channel DDR memory slots and a sideways mounted HDD caddy to again make a bit more use of the smaller work space. The HDD caddie can be completely removed and is simply held in by one thumb screw; with this undone we can slide the caddie out and install the HDD with much more ease then normal.
Squashed under the HDD caddie is a passive heatsink on the Northbridge to prevent it form over heating.
Looking closer, we were disappointed to find that there are no Serial ATA ports included on the motherboard. Considering this unit is smaller then other XPC's, you would have thought that Shuttle would have preferred to make use of the thin Serial ATA cables instead of their larger modified Parallel ATA cables.
As usual, Shuttle utilizes their patented I.C.E Technology to help keep your processor as cool as possible. The cooling technology works by using heat pipes to transfer the heat to the top where the 80mm fan then cools them down.
This has been working for Shuttle for a long time now and there is really no reason why they should change it. You can tell that a lot of R&D time went into this idea originally and we can see that it has paid off quite well for Shuttle. The whole heatsink is attached with a giant clip over the top of the cooler to keep it on as tight as possible.
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