Shuttle SB61G2 XPC Review - HotHardware

Shuttle SB61G2 XPC Review

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The Shuttle XPC SB61G2
Pint-Sized P4 Powerhouse!

"Burned in" by Robert Maloney
June 8th, 2003

A major trend in the technology industry is miniaturization.  It's no longer good enough to be the fastest or more technologically advanced anymore.  These days everything from cell phones to MP3 players to digital cameras, are showing up on retail shelves in increasingly smaller packages.  So, it should come as no real surprise that PC manufacturers would also follow suit.  That's where Shuttle comes in.  Sure, other companies such as IWILL and Soyo have produced small cube-like PCs, but no other company has capitalized on this trend like Shuttle.  In fact, where we historically mostly covered Shuttle Motherboard products for you here at HotHardware, we are now almost exclusively being sent their latest XPC Mini PC products in their place.

The XPC line of systems has become a major showpiece for Shuttle, yet they always seemed to be slightly behind the curve when it came to the motherboard technology.  It's hard enough to design such a compact unit and even harder to stay on top off all of the changes that have been taking place on the chipset side of things.  With the SB61G2, Shuttle has created a unit that is both small and features one of the most anticipated chipsets available for the Pentium 4, the Intel 865G, formerly known as the Springdale.  The i865G variant is somewhat of a necessity in that it is the only motherboard version, Springdale or Canterwood, that features on-board graphics by way of its integrated Intel Extreme Graphics 2 engine.  While previous Intel graphics solutions have not been known to knock anyone's socks off, Dual DDR channels on the i865G should provide much needed bandwidth to pick up its performance.  With a new graphics core, Dual DDR, not to mention SATA and 200MHz FSB P4 support, the Springdale chipset should bring some major improvements to the Shuttle XPC line.  Will it be enough to sway over the masses towards this tiny format?  Let's check on the specifications of the SB61G2 for an in-depth look.

Specifications & Features of the Shuttle SB61G2
A box filled with goodies!

CLICK ANY IMAGE FOR AN ENLARGED VIEW
     

Chassis

  • Shuttle G2 type

Dimensions

  • 300(L)x200(W)x185(H)mm

Form Factor

  • Shuttle Form Factor (Flex ATX)

  • 254mm x 185mm

Material

  • Aluminum

Extension Bays

  • 2 x 3.5" bays 1 x 5.25" bay

Front Panel

  • 2 x USB 2.0 ports

  • 1 x Mini Firewire port

  • 1 x Mic-In port

  • 1 x Line-In port

  • 1 x Headphones port

  • 1 x Power-On button

  • 1 x Reset button

Back Panel

  • 2 x PS/2 ports

  • 1 x VGA port

  • 1 x Serial Port

  • 4 x USB 2.0 ports

  • 1 x Firewire (IEEE 1394a) port

  • 1 x RJ45 LAN jack

  • 1 x Front-out port

  • 1 x Rear-out port

  • 1 x Bass/Center-out port

  • 2 x S/PDIF audio ports

Power

  • Dimension: 82(W) x 43(H) x 190(D) mm (Max)

  • Input: 110 / 230V AC

  • Output: 200W(PFC)

  • EMI Certified: FCC, CE, BSMI

  • Safety Certified: UL, TUV, CB

  • Power Cord: Depends on specific region demand

Accessories

  • 1 x FB61 Mainboard User manual

  • 1 x XPC Installation Guide

  • 1 x Manual/Utilities/Drivers CD-ROM

  • 1 x I.C.E Technology thermal module

  • 1 x FDD Cable

  • 1 x HDD Cable

  • 1 x SATA Cable

  • 1 x CD-ROM Cable (rounded)

  • 1 x 7pin Mini DIN to RCA Cable

  • 1 x Power cord

  • 1 x Serial ATA Power Cable

  • 2 x Flexible Front Feet

  • Silicon-based Thermal Grease

  • Twin Adhesive

  • 2 x Cable ties

  • Screws

CPU Support

  • All 400/533/800MHz FSB Intel Pentium 4 (478-pin) CPUs with HyperThreading Support

Chipsets

  • Intel 865G North Bridge

  • ICH5 South Bridge

Memory

  • 2 x 184 pin Socket support DDR200/266/333/400 unbuffered DDR SDRAM up to 2GB

  • Supports Dual Channel DDR

On-board VGA

  • Intel Extreme Graphics 2, incorporated in I865G N.B.

On-board Audio

  • Realtek ALC650 supports 5.1 channel audio

  • Support AC-3 Digital SPDIF Output

IDE interface

  • 2 x UltraDMA/100 IDE channels supporting up to four devices

  • Supports data transfer speeds up to 100/66/33 MB/s

Serial ATA interface

  • Incorporated into ICH5 South Bridge

  • 2 Serial ATA ports supporting up to two devices

IEEE 1394a (Firewire)

  • VIA VT6307, supports 400Mb/s, 200Mb/s, or 100Mb/s data transfer rate

Ethernet

  • Realtek RTL8100B LAN controller

  • Supports Wake-On-LAN function

Expansion Slots

  • 1 x 8x mode AGP slot (1.5V)

  • 1 x 32-bit PCI slot

On board connectors and headers

  • 3 x fan connectors

  • 1 x ATX main power connector

  • 1 x ATX 12V power connector

  • 1 x 5-pin USB2.0 header

  • 1 x Parallel Port header

  • 1 x CD-In header

  • 1 x SPDIF_Out/In header

  • 1 x IR header

  • 1 x Wireless Keyboard and mouse headers

  • 1 x Front Panel connector

Extra Feature

  • Bluetooth USB Dongle


The Bundle:

  

     

  

The bundle was as complete a set as we have seen.  After removing the chassis and rummaging through the box, we found two manuals, one for the chassis and one for the motherboard.  The drivers and utilities are all found on one CD.  Both IDE and SATA cables are included since both types of drives are natively supported.  The hard drive and floppy cables are shorter than what is typically included, which prevents excessive cabling from cluttering up the interior of the case.  The CD-ROM IDE cable shown in the picture above is "rounded" to further reduce clutter along with the optimal routing instructions found in the manual.  An optional piece that was provided for our review was the Bluetooth USB Module.  In this box, there were three relatively small pieces: a key to unlock the front plate of the XPC, a daughterboard, and the Bluetooth dongle.  Also included were an instruction sheet and driver CD.  The installation of the daughterboard and dongle were a snap, as shown in the last two pictures.  Specifically made for the SB61G2 chassis, the daughterboard screws into two openings in the interior of the case near the power cables, while the dongle simply clips onto the front of the unit, once the faceplate is removed.  Once a cable is installed from the daughterboard to a USB header on the motherboard,  the unit is assembled back together and the drivers are installed, all you need to do is start beaming information from a PDA or Bluetooth-compatible cell-phone and you are in business.
 

From board to BIOS and beyond

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