SHUTTLE GOT THE small form factor barebones party started way back in 2001 with the SV24. In the years that followed, the company rode the bleeding edge, integrating the latest sockets and chipsets into its evolving breadbox-sized chassis. Shuttle has slowed the pace recently, though, becoming more of system integrator than a barebones chassis provider. The breadbox remains, but Shuttle would seemingly prefer to sell complete systems to mainstream consumers than barebones units to PC enthusiasts. That's left a gaping void in the small form factor world, and we've yet to see the competition really step up to fill it.
Fortunately, Shuttle hasn't completely forgotten about do-it-yourself PC builders. In fact, the company has just launched a new addition to its small form factor barebones lineup. The XPC SN21G5 packs NVIDIA's GeForce 6100 integrated graphics chipset, a carefully massaged ICE cooler, and room for a GeForce 7800 GTX into Shuttle's proven G5 chassis.
Can the diminutive SN21G5 keep up with the latest full-sized ATX motherboards? Perhaps more importantly, how does it compare with Shuttle's last cube with integrated graphics for the Athlon 64? Keep reading to find out.