Shuttle’s SN41G2 & SK41G: Two Athlon Small Form Factor PCsby Anand Lal Shimpi on January 6, 2003 2:24 PM EST
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Shuttle has done astoundingly well with their XPC line of small form factor PCs; comprising well over half of their revenue, XPC sales have been strong and continue to grow. Whats truly impressive is that Shuttle has been able to maintain such incredible sales while producing primarily Intel-only solutions.
When it comes to XPCs outfitted with an AGP slot, the only two entries have been the SS51G and SB51G both Pentium 4 based solutions. If you ask any XPC vendor however, one of their biggest requests is for an Athlon XP based small form factor (SFF) PC with an AGP slot.
Companies like MSI are already working on SFF designs based around AMDs Athlon 64, which should boast a noticeably cooler operating temperature. But keeping in mind that 2003 will still be the year of the Athlon XP for AMD, theres focus and demand for SFF Athlon XP solutions. Waiting a handful of months for Athlon 64 to hit isnt an appropriate answer, so the market once again turns to Shuttle to do what theyve done so well lately build a capable XPC.
Weve already established that theres demand out there for Athlon XP based SFF PCs, and weve made the point that waiting for Athlon 64 (Hammer) isnt really an option but one question remains why does the demand exist?
The biggest factor driving demand for Athlon XP SFF PCs is the idea of delivering a lower cost platform. Athlon XPs are still more cost effective than Pentium 4s, while still able to offer competitive performance. Keeping that in mind, its not a surprise that Shuttles first AMD based XPC with an AGP slot was based around VIAs KM266 chipset; a very affordable solution, the SK41G made many happy but Shuttle would not stop there.
NVIDIAs nForce2 would make a perfect candidate for a Shuttle XPC; a highly integrated chipset, with a powerful integrated GPU and the fastest overall platform for the Athlon XP. Shuttle hasnt kept their nForce2 based XPC a big secret as weve reported on the SN41G2 countless times since the chipsets official launch. Delays in the shipment of the IGP version of nForce2 put a wrench in Shuttles plans but today the SN41G2 is finally ready for public consumption, and were here to bring you a look at the most highly anticipated additions to Shuttles XPC line since the first AGP enabled XPC.
Because of the close proximity of the two AMD based XPC releases, were covering both solutions in this review the KM266 based SK41G and the new nForce2 based SN41G2.