Shuttle SN25P XPC (nForce 4 Ultra)
Performance Summary & Conclusion
Performance Summary: Shuttle's SN25P XPC performed very well throughout our entire battery of benchmarks. When compared to two other Athlon 64 powered nForce 4 based reference systems, we found that the SN25P performed on-par with its full-sized counterparts in every test. The fact that the SN25P traded the top spot with its "full-sized" competition proves that users don't have to sacrifice performance should they opt for a small form factor system.
The SN25P is yet another winner in Shuttle's highly regarded line of XPC systems. The P-Series chassis, on which the SN25P is based, is definitely a step in the right direction, with its intelligently designed cooling scheme and almost completely tool-less installation (a philips head screwdriver is needed to install the CPU cooler). And the SN25P's well appointed BIOS, good looks, no compromise performance, and near silent operation are also definite pluses. The only issue we had with the SN25P had to do with the unstable nature of the included EMI shields, but a piece of tape easily solved the problem and quite frankly they don't have to be installed in the first place. This is only the second XPC we have reviewed that came them.
At roughly $400 the Shuttle SN25P isn't cheap, but considering that you get a case, a card reader, a motherboard, cooling fans, pre-routed data cables, and a custom CPU cooler in a 12" x 9" x 9" package, the $400 price tag is easily justified. The SN25P XPC is one of, if not, the best small form factor systems to come through the HotHardware labs in a while. Based on its performance, feature set, good looks, and intelligent design, we're giving the Shuttle SN25P XPC a solid 9 on the Heat Meter.