Feeds
75%
shuttle_sn27p2_tn

Shuttle XPC SN27P2 small form-factor PC

Build-your-own AMD Socket AM2 box

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration

We spent a few seconds in the BIOS but there are very few options to distract you and certainly very little to attract the overclocker. Once Windows was installed I was unimpressed by the rather basic Shuttle driver CD as it doesn't have a 'one click' installer and neither does it include the AMD dual-core CPU driver or a Windows-based BIOS updating utility. Other motherboard companies such as Gigabyte and MSI do a far better job in this respect.

shuttle_sn27p2_rear

Performance was good without being astounding. We got 5,692 in PCMark05. Swapping the graphics card for a double-slot ATI Radeon X1900 XTX bumped the score to 6,014 marks and then it increased further to 6,153 marks when we installed a single-slot Asus EN 7950GT card. More to the point, the Shuttle handled the swaps without any trouble and was cool and fairly quiet throughout our testing.

There's no doubt that the Shuttle would handle LAN party duties with aplomb as it's a fully featured PC that is easy to transport. However, it's also perfectly suited to replace a regular tower PC. Clearly this is a style statement as you're paying a hefty premium for the smaller, more stylish box, but it has the (small) bonus that you'll be able to reach the ports on the back of the Shuttle almost as easily as you can reach the ones behind the drop-down flap on the front. In total you get eight USB 2.0, two Firewire and an eSATA, which is better than almost any PC on the market. The only downside is that there are no PS/2 ports so you'll need both a USB mouse and a USB keyboard.

While a small, stylish PC may seem like the ideal candidate for a media centre PC that sits in your living room, I feel that such a PC ought to be completely silent and in that respect the Shuttle doesn't quite fit the bill. Ah yes, the bill. We mentioned that the SN27P2 is expensive but in truth it is very, very expensive. A penny under £320 is a great deal of money for a case, power supply and motherboard, so by my reckoning you're paying about £200 for the hardware and £100 for some very tidy styling.

Verdict

I like the Shuttle SN27P2, really I do, but it has a fundamental flaw which is that the Athlon 64 X2 has for now been surpassed by Intel's Core 2 Duo. In the event that you want to go down the AMD route you have to deal with a fair amount of heat, and while Shuttle deals with the problem admirably the result is a PC that's a little noisier than I'd like. And although it's superbly constructed, the Shuttle is too expensive. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

75%
shuttle_sn27p2_tn

Shuttle XPC SN27P2 small form-factor PC

A stylish system for AMD's latest processors, but too expensive for what you get...
Price: £320 inc VAT RRP

More from The Register

next story
Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays
Bad computers might ask if you are Sarah Connor
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away
Brit buyers still not falling for Windows' charms
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?