Shuttle SB61G2 XPC Review

The Shuttle SB61G2 XPC Review - Page 3

The Shuttle XPC SB61G2
Pint-Sized P4 Powerhouse!

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

Gaming Benchmarks With The SB61G2
First the synthetics...

For our next test, we chose Futuremark's 3DMark 2001 SE (Build 330).  It generates an overall score after rendering scenes and measuring performance using the MaxFX game engine, found in Remedy's popular game Max Payne.  We ran the tests on each configuration at 1024x768x32, what we would consider a "gamers" minimum configuration, with all other program settings left at their defaults. 

The Intel Extreme Graphics 2 engine doesn't hold a candle to the Radeon 9500, but we really didn't expect it to.  While it does provide users with an easy alternative for those who do not need a performance card, most if not all gamers, should probably look elsewhere.  The two scores that we obtained when a Radeon 9500 Pro was installed were just about equal.

Even with all of the controversy that seems to follow it, we ran FutureMark's follow-up to 3DMark 2001, 3DMark03, using the latest build which also happens to be 330.  3DMark03 is similar to its older cousin, but it uses a mixture of DX9 and DX8 pixel and vertex shaders to assess a video card's performance.  This test is meant to be run only on "DX9 Class" hardware, but we were able to complete at least one part of it using the on-board graphics.

We won't even mention the score we got with the Intel Extreme Graphics; this was more for us to see what would happen rather than a true reference point.  As for the rest of the test metrics, the Shuttle SB61G2 and Abit IS7 were again neck and neck, and no real winner can be called.  Early indications show the Shuttle to be a good gaming system when paired with a powerful video card.

More gaming benchmarks
...and then some real-world performance

Perhaps no other gaming benchmark is as CPU dependant as Novalogic's combat helicopter simulation, Comanche 4. We ran Comanche 4's built-in time demo at a resolution of 800x600x32 with audio disabled.  With these minimal settings, CPU performance and memory bandwidth have the largest impact on performance. 

Without T&L support, the test could not be run using the Intel Extreme Graphics 2 engine.  Continuing the trend we have seen so far, the SBG162 and IS7 are matched frame for frame in DirectX testing.  50+ frames in this benchmark is actually quite good, so don't be put off if these seem low.

To get some OpenGL benchmarks in place, we updated Quake 3 Arena with the most recent v1.32 Point Release, and ran timedemo "Four".  While it can be said that Quake 3 is past its prime as a benchmark, we find it is still useful for demonstrating the relative performance of one product versus another.  We set the game to its "High Quality" mode, enabled Trilinear filtering and maxed out the texture quality and geometry sliders before running any tests

Hey, we at least managed to get a score in this older benchmark with the Intel Extreme Graphics 2 engine, pushing out an almost playable 42.7 frames per second.  Drop off some of the texture settings or lower the resolution and you should be able to play at a respectable frame rate.  Installing a Radeon 9500 Pro (or better) and you've got yourself a perfect LAN party rig.  We got 218.4 frames per second with the Shuttle XPC, almost four more frames faster, than when using the Abit IS7.

Final benchmarks and our rating

Tags:  Shuttle, PC, XPC, XP, g2, review, view, IE

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