Shuttle SN95G5 XPC

Article Index
Shuttle SN95G5 XPC
Inside The Beast
Test Setup, Overclocking and BIOS
Testing and Setup Info
Conclusion and Final Wrapup

Product: Shuttle SN95G5 Barebones
Provided By: Dallmann Computers
Price: ~$422.62CDN NCIX

Introduction:

Every now and then you get to look at a product that exceeds your expectations.  Such is the case with the Shuttle SN95G5 barebones that I received from Dallmann Computers the other day.  This unit is not only quiet, but it packs the performance of a huge machine, and it's all packed up in a little box that weighs less that 20lbs when fully loaded up with drives!  If you are looking for a nice little upgrade, and don't want a massive tower, you'll want to read on and find out if the SN95G5 is more than just a pretty face to the SFF market.

First Looks:

The SN95G5 comes in quite a tidy little box with a handle for easy carrying.  One thing I noticed right away is the weight of this unit.  It's not very heavy.  And it really shouldn't be.  Front to back is just over 12", and it sits under 8" wide, and less than 7.5" high.  Very tidy indeed.

The finish of the unit is brushed aluminum with a plastic bezel/aluminum bezel hybrid.  It is done very tastefully and looks quite impressive.  Your choice of optical drive can sit behind a hidden door at the top.  The button on the very top right allows you to eject or close the drive tray.  The ejection mechanism is very smooth, but when the tray slids back in, it can often catch a little on the door and makes a bit of a clicking sound.  It doesn't catch so bad as to impede performance, it's just enough to make you wish it was better.

The bottom front of the case hides some goodies.  Here you've got a pair of USB2.0 connectors, audio out, mic, and a mini firewire connector.  This door can be opened by pressing on the designated area marked by 3 dots.  Pushing elsewhere will not make the door open.

Also on the front of the unit are the power and reset buttons as well as the power LED and HDD LED.  These are very slick and done quite tastefully across the center front of the unit.  The LED's are not too overpowering, and can actually be dimmed by a setting in the BIOS, more on that later.

Moving around to the back reveals some interesting stuff.  The little mesh area on the left above the power connector is the PSU exhaust.  The fan is internal and off to the side, and the hot air is exhaused here.  Also notice the main fan exhause/HSF grill.  The HSF is a heatpipe design that uses a 92mm fan to cool the "rad".

Shuttle has decided to waste some space on the back with a 9-pin serial connector.  They try to make up for this with an optical input, firewire, PS/2 Keyboard & Mouse connectors, as well as Gigabit Ethernet, 2x USB2.0, as well as SPIDF out and auto-sensing audio jacks.  There is also an optical input located at the top right of the back as well.  All of this connectivity should help you get started for sure.  Notice there is not VGA connector as this unit doesn't support onboard graphics.  That is a huge plus in my book, because with the horsepower this system has, it would be a shame to waste it on integrated video.

Before we go any further, we really should take a look at the specs according to Shuttle:

Processor

AMD Athlon 64 (Socket 939) Processors

Memory

Dual-channel DDR 400/333
(2) DIMM slots (2GB max)

Motherboard

FN95 (proprietary)
NVIDIA nForce ultra chipset
1GHz HyperTransport enhanced System Bus (2000MT/s)
1 x 32-bit PCI slot

Graphics

8X AGP Slot

Audio

6-channel audio
Digital (SPDIF) audio ports
Analog audio ports

Network

Gigabit LAN

Storage

2 x ATA133 headers
2 x Serial ATA 150 headers
1 x FDD header
1 x 5.25" storage bay
2 x 3.5" storage bays

Front-panel I/O

2 x USB 2.0 ports
1 x FireWire mini port
1 x Microphone port
1 x Headphone port
Power button
Reset button

Rear-panel I/O

1 x PS/2 Keyboard socket
1 x PS/2 Mouse socket
2 x USB 2.0 ports
1 x FireWire 400 port
1 x Gigabit LAN (RJ-45)
6-channel audio out
SPDIF I/O ports
Coaxial Audio port
Line-in
Serial port
CMOS Reset button
Optional Parallel port

Silent X (system cooling)

Integrated Cooling Engine (ICE)
Intelligently-engineered airflow mechanics

Power Supply

Silent X 240W

Dimensions (L x W x H, mm)

310 x 200 x 185

Weight (net / gross; kg, lbs)

3.6 (7.92) / 5.2 (11.44)

Now that we've got the outside covered, lets take a look at the inside on the next page.