Shuttle SD31P Small Form Factor XPC - HotHardware

Shuttle SD31P Small Form Factor XPC

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When we last checked in with Shuttle back in April, we took a look at their current entry for the Intel platform, which was based on the latest chipset at the time, the i925XE.  Our introduction for that piece went something along the lines of how the SFF market typically lags behind the full-sized board market, but how Shuttle was right on the cutting edge.  Well, it's been no more than 12 weeks since we wrote that article, and Shuttle is right back in the mix with the SD31P.  The SD31P utilizes the "P" chassis, so visually speaking it should look the same on the outside as their last few entries.  The FD31 motherboard, however, is based on the brand-new i945G chipset, which, along with a few other improvements, supports dual-core processors.

Now, let's take a step back.  We're looking at a system no larger than the average monitor or kitchen appliance that can run a dual-core CPU and supports high-end PCI-e graphics.  And it's only the third 945-based product we have received in the labs for testing.  So, Shuttle is not just keeping up with the other manufacturers - they are actually seem ahead of the game now.  A quick run-down of the other features of the SD31P include 24-bit on-board audio from none other than Creative Labs, dual channel DDR2 support at speeds up to 667MHz, as well as Extended Memory 64 Technology (EM64T) support for running 64-bit operating systems.  All signs point to the SD31P perhaps being the pinnacle of Shuttle's XPC line so far, so let's get right down to our review.

        
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Specifications of the Shuttle SD31P
Nothing lacking here...




















Processor
·
_Intel LGA775 Pentium D

Memory
·
_Dual-channel DDR2 667/533
·
_2x DIMM slots (2GB max)

Motherboard
·
FD31 (proprietary)

Intel 945G + ICH7-R chipset
· 1066/800/533 MHz FSB
· 1 x1 PCI Express slot

· 1 x16 PCI Express slot
· Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 950

Audio
·
_8 channel audio
·
_Digital (SPDIF) audio ports
·
_Analog audio ports

Network
·
_Gigabit LAN

Storage
·
_4 Serial ATA 300 headers
·_RAID (0,1, 5, 10) with Intel Matrix Storage Technology
·
_(1) IDE header
·_(1) FDD header
·
_(1) 5.25" storage bay
·
_(3) 3.5" storage bays














Front-panel I/O
· 8-in-1 card reader

·_2x USB 2.0 ports
·
_FireWire 400 port
·
_Microphone port
·
_Headphone port
·
_Power button
·
_Reset button

Rear-panel I/O
·
_PS/2 Keyboard socket
·
_PS/2 Mouse socket
·
_4x USB 2.0 ports
·
_FireWire 400 port
· SATA hot plug port
·
_Gigabit LAN (RJ-45)
·
_8 channel audio out
·
_SPDIF I/O ports
·
_Coaxial Audio port
·_Clear CMOS button
·
_Serial port
·
_Optional Parallel port

Silent X (system cooling)
·
_Integrated Cooling Engine (ICE)
·
_Intelligently-engineered airflow mechanics

Power Supply
·
_Silent X 350W

Dimensions (L x W x H, mm)
·
_325 x 220 x 210

Weight (net / gross; kg, lbs)
·
_4.25 (9.35) / 6.05 (13.31)








The Bundle:

Shuttle, like many other chassis manufacturers, has turned away from the "tighten screw here" mindset that most DIY builders are familiar with.  Most, if not all, installation options in their 'P' Chassis line consist of toolless techniques, such as snap-on rails
.  This allows for quicker and easier system setup (and breakdown for that matter).  A single IDE hard drive, or floppy drive, can be added to a vacant bay by popping on two rail edges alongside the drive, and then sliding the rails until they click into the frame.  The same technique is used to mount an optical drive into the 5 1/4 inch bay.  Adding SATA drives is an even easier task; simply place the drive(s) between mounting brackets along the top of the unit, and click down on the edges. 

Most of the cables are pre-routed to the most efficient areas for installation.  As such, the bundle appears light since only a few extras are needed.  These consist of a floppy cable with power cable splitter, and a short extra SATA cable.  We noticed that the drive shields from the SB95P have been done away with, a move we applaud since these shields had a knack for coming loose and bouncing about the chassis.  Final inclusions to the bundle were a small tube of thermal paste for the CPU/ICE heatsink and two feet to prop up the unit.  There were also the various user's manuals and driver media that one needs in order to install or troubleshoot their setup, including drivers for both 32-bit and 64-bit OSes.

 

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