Shuttle SN25P XPC (nForce 4 Ultra) - HotHardware

Shuttle SN25P XPC (nForce 4 Ultra)

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It seems that Shuttle consistently expands their line of XPC small form factor systems as new core logic chipsets are released. A quick trip to their product page reveals a current line-up of XPCs based on chipsets from Intel, NVIDIA, ATI, SiS and VIA. There are no less than six different chassis designs available as well, with each one designed to cater to a specific audience, and prices range from the mid-$200 mark to about $400 U.S. Looking at their current line-up, it clear that there certainly is no shortage of options available.

Today, we're going to take a look at one of Shuttle's high-end offerings, namely the SN25P. This XPC is based on NVIDIA's nForce 4 Ultra chipset for AMD's socket 939 platform, and incorporates some value-adding features like an Envy24 audio codec and a 6-in-1 card reader. We found the SN25P XPC to be a very capable SFF PC.  Read on and check it out...

  

Specifications of the Shuttle SN25P XPC
A mini nForce 4 Ultra

Processor
·_AMD Athlon 64/FX (Socket 939) Processors

Memory
·_Dual-channel DDR 400/333
·_(2) DIMM slots (2GB max)

Motherboard

·_FN25 (proprietary)
·_NVIDIA nForce4 MCP
·_1GHz (2000MT/s) HyperTransport enhanced System Bus
·_(1) x1 PCI-E slot

Graphics
·_x16 PCI-E Slot

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

Network
·_Gigabit LAN

8-in-1 Memory Card Reader
·_CF I/II, MS, MSP, SD, MMC, SM, MD

Storage
·_(1) ATA133 headers
·_(4) Serial ATA 300 headers
·_NVIDIA RAID (0, 1, JBOD)
·_(1) FDD header
·_(1) 5.25" storage bay
·_(3) 3.5" storage bays

Front-panel I/O
·_(2) USB 2.0 ports
·_(1) FireWire port
·_(1) Microphone port
·_(1) Headphone port
·_8-in-1 card reader
·_Power button
·_Reset button

Rear-panel I/O
·_(1) PS/2 Keyboard socket
·_(1) PS/2 Mouse socket
·_(4) USB 2.0 ports
·_(1) FireWire 400 port
·_(1) Gigabit LAN (RJ-45)
·_8-channel audio out
·_SPDIF I/O ports
·_Coaxial Audio port
·_Line-in
·_Serial port
·_CMOS Reset button

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

Power Supply
·_Silent X 350W

Dimensions (L x W x H, mm)
·_320 x 210 x 220

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


      

    

Shuttle bundles a relatively unique assortment of accessories with the SN25P. Included with the XPC itself, we found three separate user's manuals detailing the installation, features, and capabilities of the SN25P and the FN25 motherboard that powers the system, along with a driver CD, a utility CD, an XPC accessory catalog, a power cable, two small silver feet, a Molex splitter, a small package of thermal paste, and short floppy and SATA cables. The traditional long ribbon cables and assortment of mounting screws that came with most older XPCs are no longer necessary, thanks to the newly re-designed mounting rails for all of the drives, that require no tools to install and use. These new rails simply snap onto the drives and lock into place. We found the rails to work very well, and hope that other manufacturers of small form factor systems come up with similar solutions.

Shuttle's custom heat-pipe aluminum / copper hybrid I.C.E. CPU cooler is also included with the SN25P, along with a couple of new additions. On top of the traditional "P-series" chassis bundle outlined above, the SN25P also shipped with four foam insulators, that are designed to minimize hard drive noise by dampening vibrations, and a pair of silver EMI shields.  The hard drive insulators are simple adhesive stickers, so they worked as planned, but the EMI shields need to be re-engineered.  Friction is supposed to hold them in place, but the slightest bump will jar them loose.  A couple pieces of tape remedied the situation, but Shuttle should rethink their EMI shield implementation.

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