Shuttle's SV24 Mini Barebones System

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Shuttle's SV24 Mini Barebones System!
Taking "Coolness" To a New Level!

By, Jeff Bouton
December 30, 2001

The Setup:

The setup of the SV-24 Mini Barebones system was pretty easy, although it was imperative that we followed the assembly instructions to the "T".  Since the unit is so small, the assembly of key components needs to be done in a particular order, otherwise we found ourselves removing and reinstalling items unnecessarily.  Once everything was installed, however, the system ran beautifully.  The on-board audio was adequate for quality CD and MP3 playback and the TV-Out worked quite well, maxing out at 800x600 resolution.  We do have several things to point out though.  If you are looking to play games with the SV-24, it will be very important to factor in an additional PCI video card into the budget, the on-board S3 ProSavage graphics are best suited for workstations not gaming.  The other thing to be aware of is that if you are planning to utilize the TV-Out feature on a regular basis, be aware that your Television set is not showing any signs that it is having problems displaying the picture.  On my set, I found that certain parts of the screen would change colors slightly, which would remain for several minutes after switching back to regular TV viewing.  Be aware that most televisions do not have any protection against burn in, so I recommend that you be sure to set up a blank screensaver with the shortest possible time you can work with to protect your screen from possible damage.  Aside from that, the TV-Out worked flawlessly, allowing this reviewer to recline in his living room and write this review from the comfort of his easy chair, thanks in-part to his wireless keyboard and mouse :)

The Hot Hardware Test Systems
Smaller Than Usual...

 

Intel Pentium III @ 750MHz.

Shuttle SV24 Mini Barebones System

256MB Mushkin Rev3+(CAS2)@133MHz.

ATI TV WONDER VE

IBM 7200RPM 15GB HD

Creative 32X CD-ROM

Standard Floppy Drive

Windows XP

DirectX 8.1

VIA 4-in-1 version 4.36

A brief word on the benchmarking of the SV-24:  As you all probably know, normally we like to compare the performance of a particular piece of hardware to a similar competitors product.  In this instance though, this is the first mini-system that we have had the pleasure of reviewing in the HH labs.  Taking that into account and the fact that this is a unit geared toward reliable functionality rather than breaking any speed records, we've opted to let the benchmarks stand alone in this review.  We've provided them as a reference but don't expect anything special here, this system is workstation/server material, not a high-octane performance rig.

 

Performance With Sisoft Sandra 2002
Time for Some Numbers...

To show the overall system performance capability of the SV-24, we ran a few of the more popular benchmarking programs.  To start off, we ran the latest version of the popular synthetic benchmarking program, SiSoft Sandra 2002.

CPU Performance

Multi-Media Performance

As you may have expected, the CPU based results were rather ordinary, however, it is important to note that they were on par with the PIII 750MHz. reference system.  Now let us take a look at memory and hard drive performance...

Memory Performance

Hard Drive Performance

Here we found that the memory and hard drive benchmarks were consistent with what you would expect with this type of system although hard drive performance could've been a little better.

Next we'll move on to more "real-world" based performance benchmarks with Business and Content Creation Winstone...

More Performance with the Winstones and Quake 3
A Little Work, A Little Play!

Business Winstone and Content Creation Winstone are two applications that do an excellent job at showing a systems capabilities and weaknesses.  The first stresses a systems ability to run some of today's more common business applications such as the Microsoft Office family of programs and Lotus Notes to name a few.  Content Creation stresses a systems ability to run CPU intensive multimedia applications such as Photoshop and Sound Forge.

Again, these are not astounding scores, but they do demonstrate that the SV-24 Mini Barebones System is more than capable of running today's more demanding media and business based applications.

Next we performed a quick run at the Quake 3 Time demo 001 with the "fastest" setting to demonstrate the CPU limit of the system.

What these results show once again is that this is a workstation/server type computer system capable of running 2D applications.  As we've mentioned earlier, this system is not designed to be a high performance gaming rig, and the results clearly demonstrate that fact.
 

Final Thoughts:

At the end of testing out the SV-24 Mini Barebones System, we couldn't help but be fascinated at how the folks at Shuttle managed to get so much into such a small system.  Creating a system that is no larger than a shoe box without sacrificing too much in performance is nothing short of an engineering wonder.  Through out the testing of this product we found that the SV-24 offered an awful lot in such a small package.  With the integration of such key features like Fire wire, LAN and TV-Out, this system truly offers the enthusiast a system that will be useful for some time to come.  At an MSRP of $250, the SV-24 is a steal.  If you were to build a simple workstation/server rig with similar features, you could easily exceed that cost by $100 or more.  In the near future Shuttle will be offering newer versions of the mini barebones system with both Athlon and Pentium 4 support.  With that in mind, it may be worth waiting for those units to come out before taking the plunge since it can be a fair assumption that their performance should be quite better than the Pentium III based model.  Not to take away form the current available model though, we feel that the new SV-24 Mini Barebones System is an excellent product.  With an innovative design that doesn't skimp on quality and features, the SV-24 offers the user a lot of flexibility to customize this system in a way that will suite their needs. 

With that said, we'll give the Shuttle SV-24 Mini Barebones System a Hot Hardware Heat Meter Rating of a...

Think you know about this hardware stuff?  Then get into the New H.H. Forum and Strut your Stuff!

 

 

 

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