Chyang Fun CFS868 Small Form Factor PC - HotHardware

Chyang Fun CFS868 Small Form Factor PC

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The CF-S868 Small Form Factor PC
Shuttle's Got Some Competition...

By, Marco Chiappetta
August 28, 2002

After laying your eyes on any of Shuttle's initial small form factor mini systems, you can't help but want one.  Their compact, aluminum design and high level of integration make them suitable for a multitude of tasks.  They're also just plain cool to look at!  There was one notable feature missing from their first few SFF systems though, an AGP slot.  Well, the product we'll be looking at today solves that problem.  The CF-868 "e-cube", also sold under the name "Thunderbolt", is a small form factor PC for the Pentium 4 with an AGP slot!  This CF-868 '"e-cube" came to us by way of Tecnacom Europe BV, who distribute Chyang Fun Industry Co. products throughout Europe.  Like some competing products, this system is also packed full of features like USB 2.0 and 10/100 Ethernet, and unlike the SiS powered Shuttle SFF PCs, the Thunderbolt is using a DDR chipset from VIA, the P4M266.  We were very interested in seeing how this new player in the SFF game performed, so we slapped a 2.2GHz P4 into the socket and took her for a spin...

   
CLICK ANY IMAGE FOR AN ENLARGED VIEW

Specifications / Features of the CF-S868 SFF Barebones System
Little, But Bad!

Mini Barebones System (P4) CF-S868

CPU Support:

  • Intel Socket 478 Pentium 4 processor

Chipset:

  • VIA P4M266 chipsets

  • Winbond W83627HF LPC controller

  • Realtek RTL8100B Ethernet controller

  • NEC uPD720100AGM USB 2.0 controller

Architecture:

  • IBM PC and PCI 2.1/2.2 compatible

  • 400MHz Quad-pumped Front Side Bus

Main Memory:

  • Two 184-pin DIMM sockets

  • Support DDR200/266 SDRAM up to 2GB

VGA:

  • Integrated S3 ProSavage8 Graphics controller in North Bridge

  • Support 3D/2D enhancements

  • Support AGP8X bandwidth. Max. Bandwidth 2.1GB/sec

  • VT1621 TV Encoder, TV-out supported

Audio:

  • AC-Link with AC'97 2.2 compliant

  • Software audio with AD1981A 6-channel AC'97 codec, S/PDIF output supported

USB 2.0:

  • NEC uPD720100AGM USB 2.0 controller

  • Compliant with USB 2.0 specification

  • Support Hi-speed, Full-speed and Low-speed data transfer rate.

  • Max. Bandwidth 480Mbits/s

  • The USB 2.0 driver supported

Ethernet:

  • Realtek RTL8100B 10/100Base-T Ethernet controller

  • Full-Duplex supported

  • WFM 2.0 compliant

Back Panel I/O Output:

  • PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors

  • 2 Type A USB connectors

  • 1 RJ-45 LAN port

  • 1 S connector

  • 1 Composite connector

  • 2 fast serial ports

  • 1 D-type 15-pin VGA connector

  • Line-in

  • MIC-in

  • Speaker-out

Front Panel I/O Output Board:

  • 1 IR port, IrDA 1.0/FIR supported

  • 2 Type A USB connectors

  • 1 PS/2 mouse connector

  • Line-in

  • MIC-in

  • Speaker-out

  • Game port

  • Volume control

  • Board size @ 30 mm (L) x 180 mm (W)

I/O Interface:

  • Winbond W83627HF LPC controller

  • Two enhanced PCI IDE channels which support up to 4 IDE devices
    with ATA-133 transfers up to 133MB/sec

  • Build in FDC supports 1.2M/1.44M/2.88M FDD

Form Factor:

  • Flex-ATX @ 262 mm (L) × 180 mm (W)

  • 6 Layers

System BIOS:

  • Award BIOS with 2MB/4MB EEPROM

  • Built-in Trend ChipAway Anti-Virus Program

  • ACPI/PnP supported

Expansion Slots:

  • 1 PCI slot

  • 1 AGP4X slot

Key Features:

  • Blue LED for POWER LED

  • Orange for HDD LED

  • Easy to carry Acrylic Handle

Quick Specs:

  • VIA P4M266 chipset (400MHz FSB only)

  • Winbond W83627HF LPC controller

  • Supports Intel Socket 478

  • Pentium 4 processors: (1.4GHz ~ 2.4GHz)

  • Support 2x 184-pin DDR200/266 SDRAM up to 2GB

  • Onboard S3 ProSavage8 DDR 2D/3D graphics

  • 4 to 32MB frame buffer using system memory

  • VT1621 TV Encoder

  • TV-out supported

  • Video port

  • Composite TV-out

  • Onboard IR port

  • Onboard Realtek 10/100 Fast Ethernet (support PXE and RPL Protocol)

  • Onboard USB 2.0 interface (4 ports)

  • Onboard AC'97 v2.2 audio ports

  • Supports ATA/133 ATA-6 IDE interface

Dimensions:

  • 9.5"(H) x 8.3"(W) x 12"(D)

Drive Bays:

  • Open 5.25"

  • Open 3.5"

  • Hidden 3.5"

Power Supply:

  • 150W (115v ~ 240v)

  • Aluminum Construction

PCI Slot:

  • 1 (PCI 2.2)

AGP Slot:

  • 1 (4XAGP)


   

   

Bundled with the system, we found a User's Manual for the motherboard, a User's Manual for the system itself and a CD containing all of the necessary drivers needed to properly configure the system.  The same slim-line, copper cored CPU cooler that ships with the Shuttle SS50 was also included with the Thunderbolt.  This cooler has a hinged clip that makes it very easy to install or remove.  For its size, this cooler works very well.  Our 2.2GHz CPU never got hotter than 40° C, even after hours of benchmarking.  A power cable, some thermal grease and a small bag of screws were also in the box.  Two "semi-rounded" 80-Wire IDE cables and a floppy cable also ship with the Thunderbolt.
 

The BIOS & Setup
Nothing Crazy Here...

     

     

The Thunderbolt's BIOS is based on an Award / Phoenix derivative similar to most of the motherboards currently on the market. If you look closely at the screenshots above, you'll probably be familiar with most of the items listed. We did not find anything out of the ordinary in the Thunderbolt's BIOS, but there was a full compliment of options to manipulate and tweak all of the on-board components and other features. In the "Frequency / Voltage Control" section is where we found all of the overclocking options...

 

Looking at the "Frequency / Voltage Control" section of the BIOS, it's obvious that overclocking wasn't a top priority when designing this system. User's do not have the ability to adjust the CPU core, DDR or I/O voltages.  You can, however, choose from seven different Front Side Bus frequencies ranging from 100MHz to 120MHz., in 3MHz or 4MHz increments. (Look at the second to last screenshot for the exact FSBs available).  Having a few FSBs available in the BIOS is better than nothing, but we would have liked to have seen them adjustable in 1MHz increments. While overclocking with the Thunderbolt we had some success.  We were able to seta maximum FSB of 108MHz with our 2.2GHz Pentium 4, brining our top overclocked speed to 2.38GHz.

The Thunderbolt is based on a Chyang Fun motherboard that is powered by a VIA P4M266 chipset with an integrated S3 ProSavage DDR graphics core.  Unfortunately, we found the on-board graphics to be painfully inadequate.  2D quality was sub par.  At any resolution above 800x600, images seemed washed out and out of focus, and as you'll see later 3D gaming performance wasn't much better.  Luckily, the Thunderbolt has an AGP slot!
 

The Internals and Initial Benchmarking

 

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