There's a of ground to
cover, in these XPCs. It is a true mechanical
wonder, to see how much Shuttle can pack so much
technology into a chassis this size.
Things certainly are tight in there however, and good
cable layout is essential for proper airflow and
Setup & Quality
There is a "card cage" of sorts,
to help retain the PCI and AGP cards in their
respective slots. The back-plate of the system has
color coded connectors, with Dual Firewire, Dual USB,
Ethernet and the appropriate sound, keyboard and mouse
ports. There are additional Firewire, USB and sound
jacks, on the front of the case as well. In actuality,
this little system has more connectivity options than some
full sized motherboard setups we've seen. The power
supply is an adequate 200 WATT model that is Pentium 4
compatible with the standard ATX12V power plugs.
Then of course there is
Shuttle's Heat Pipe solution for cooling the power hungry
and heat radiant Pentium 4 processor. Our test system
was configured with a 2.26GHz Northwood CPU, so you can
imagine there was a fair amount of heat to expel from the
case. There are 4 pipes rising up from the core of the
copper based aluminum hybrid heat sink. They connect
up to a radiator section with dozens of fins that spread the
heat out over a large surface area. Then a fairly
quiet 80mm fan, blows cool air through the radiator fins and
pushes all that heat out the back side of the case.
All told, the system works very well and kept our CPU at a
comfortable temperature, as you'll see in the following BIOS
screenshots. Finally, as you can see, a somewhat stout GeForce 4 Ti 4400 AGP card fits comfortably
sitting in the AGP slot
along the side of the chassis.
in the SB51G is somewhat light duty but that is to be
expected in a system of this type. There are FSB
speed adjustments (in 1MHz increments) in the BIOS but you certainly aren't
going to be doing a lot of oveclocking with a rig this
size. Overclocking means heat and any additional
heat inside a small setup like this is not good.
There are no voltage adjustments in the BIOS, so your
results would be limited regardless. We were
somewhat impressed however, that the SB51G was able to
overclock our 2.26GHz P4 to 2.45GHz with an FSB of
with a 2.26GHz Northwood under the hood, even at stock
clock speeds, you should
have plenty of horsepower and even keep a few pennies
in your pocket, since prices for a Pentium 4 chip in
this range are becoming significantly more attractive.
We should note, that although the system is capable of
supporting an HT enabled Pentium 4, that CPU wasn't
available at the time of testing for this article.
Keep in mind however, that the i845GE chipset that
powers the motherboard in this unit, does in fact work
this great new feature for the 3GHz Pentium 4.
Now all we need is HT enabled mainstream CPUs like a
of the BIOS is fairly straight forward. There is
a DDR266/333 setting, various memory timing
adjustments and integrated peripheral settings that
can also be enabled of disabled. As you can see
in the Health Monitoring screenshot, our 2.26GHz
Pentium 4 was running at a fairly tepid 34C.
This was with the case closed and at idle.
The Hot Hardware Test Systems
It's got it
Shuttle SB51G XPC Mini Barebones System
Intel Pentium 4 "Northwood" 2.26GHz. (533MHz.
256MB Corsair XMS PC2700 DDR RAM CAS 2.5
Western Digital 30GB UDMA/100 7200 RPM Hard Drive
Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP1
Intel Chipset Drivers Version 4.07
NVIDIA 40.72 WHQL Drivers
Performance With SiSoft Sandra 2002
A quick take
of the numbers
SiSoftware's SANDRA (the System ANalyzer,
Diagnostic and Reporting Assistant)
is a very popular benchmarking, information and
diagnostic utility. We began our testing with
four of the built-in sub-system tests that are part of
SiSoftware's Sandra 2003 benchmarking suite:
CPU, Multimedia, Memory and File System.
Mem DDR333 CAS2
Hard Disk ATA100
as you can see in the above tests, has the performance
metrics of it's full sized counterparts, clock for
clock. Our 2.26GHz setup had no problem keeping
time with the Athlon 2200+ reference system in the CPU
test and handily beat out the 2GHz Pentium 4. In
Memory Bandwidth, the SB51G is neck and neck with
other PC2700 scores in the chart. Finally, we
were able to realize a respectable hard disk score in
the somewhat nebulous Sandra Hard Disk test.
Let's look at more strenuous benchmarks and take it