Intel's P35 Express has reigned as the enthusiast chipset of choice for Core 2 processors since its introduction last May, and for good reason. The P35 delivers a fantastic combination of performance, features, and overclocking potential with a low enough price tag to allow for a wide range of affordable motherboards. But what if you desire a system smaller than your average mid tower or even Micro ATX enclosure?
Then you'll probably be eyeing something like Shuttle's XPC SP35P2 Pro. Built on a small form factor P2 chassis that Shuttle has been tweaking for years, the SP35P2 packs a P35 chipset, four DIMM slots, two hard drive bays, and support for double-wide graphics cards into an enclosure not much larger than a shoebox. There's even an integrated fingerprint reader, and in defiance of the system's proportions, ample options for overclocking.
On features and specifications alone, the SP35P2 is easily the most interesting small form factor system for PC enthusiasts-not that there are many to choose from these days. The question, then, is how the SP35P2 stacks up against its full-sized ATX counterparts. Read on to see what, if anything, Shuttle has compromised to bring the P35 Express to market in a small form factor system.