Feeds
70%
Shuttle_SN21G5_tn

Shuttle XPC SN21G5 small form-factor PC

An affordable barebones box with Nvidia graphics

High performance access to file storage

Internally things are quite cramped, as you'd expetc from an SFF system this size. There's space for two 3.5in drives, one accessible through the front panel and the other a purely internal device. There's a 5.25in drive bay for your optical drive, which is hidden behind a flap on the front of the machine. There's also a single PCI slot and a x16 PCI Express slot for further expansion.

Shuttle_SN21G5_rear

That said, there's no dedicated power connector from the 250W PSU for a PCI Express graphics card, although you could use an adaptor. However, I would go with a slightly different model from Shuttle if I was to use a dedicated graphics card, but it is at least an upgrade option at a later stage.

The SN21G5 is fairly quiet in operation, although this does to some degree depend on your choice of hard drive. There are only two fans: a small one in the PSU and a 92mm fan at the rear that cools the CPU heatpipes as well as the system as it sucks air out through the back of the case.

Building a Shuttle box is quite easy and the SN21G5 doesn't have any particularly unusual features, although a few more pre-routed cables would help. As I used a SATA optical drive I also noticed that there's only two SATA connectors, so if you're using two SATA hard drives, you'll have to use an IDE optical drive with the SN21G5.

Performance-wise the SN21G5 isn't a scorcher, but it performed well for a machine with integrated graphics. It's definitely not a gaming machine, but it didn't have any problems with general office tasks. I tested it with an AMD Athlon 64 FX-60 processor, 1GB of Crucial Ballistix memory and a Western Digital Caviar SE16 hard drive. That's unlikely to be a typical configuration for the SN21G5, but it does show that there won't be any heat issues using slower Athlon 64 processors.

Shuttle_SN21G5_open

Verdict

The SN21G5 is a rather basic small form-factor PC with integrated graphics, but it should appeal to anyone that isn't out to build a gaming rig. Or, for that matter, a budget system - you're likely to be able to get a µATX/mATX motherboard and a small case for less than the £220 or so that you can get the SN21G5 for. It's quite a pricey box considering what you get for your money.

Still, a Shuttle box would take up less space and it also looks better than most µATX cases - but add a processor, memory, hard drive and an optical drive and you're close to be able to get a Mac Mini or AOpen MiniPC for the same amount of cash. It's a matter of what you want to spend your money on, although the Shuttle has the advantage of being upgradeable. ®

High performance access to file storage

70%
Shuttle_SN21G5_tn

Shuttle XPC SN21G5 small form-factor PC

A decent enough product but there are smaller, cheaper alternatives on the market...
Price: £220 inc. VAT RRP

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.