NVIDIA just launched the nForce4 chipset towards the end of last year, and only now are we beginning to see a large number of motherboards in the retail channel that use the chipset. The SFF market often lags even further behind in terms of supporting the latest and greatest chipsets, except for the market leader Shuttle. February 22 marks the launch of their latest offering, and we figured that many of our readers would love to find out more about it.

Amazingly, socket 939 SFF systems are not at all plentiful – in fact, Athlon 64 in general is not as well represented as Pentium 4 in the SFF arena. Considering the better thermal characteristics of the latest AMD processors relative to their Intel counterparts, we would have thought that more companies would be supporting them. The Intel name still carries a lot of weight, particularly in the world of chipsets, so perhaps that's part of the story. The lack of chipsets with integrated graphics could be playing a role as well, as only the outdated VIA K8M800 is currently shipping. Whatever the cause, the fact remains that there are few socket 939 SFFs on the market.

In our future SFF reviews and roundups, we'll include the benchmark results for the SN25P. For now, the latest addition really doesn't fit in with any of the other categories, at least in terms of features. Let's get on to the details. If you haven't checked out our last roundup, you should at least read our SFF Reviewing Guidelines to understand our approach. We'll be talking more about where the latest XPC fits in with those criteria in a bit.

Note: This is really an extensive review of the Shuttle P series chassis as well as the SN25P in particular. The SB81P and SB95P use the same basic setup, only with different motherboards and chipsets. We will be referring back to this article when we look at those two SFFs in the future.

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  • CrystalBay - Wednesday, March 9, 2005 - link

    Nice review, 375.00 is that Shuttle's retail price ?

    I like the PSU is there any rating on the 12v line.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, March 9, 2005 - link

    8 - I didn't have any difficulty installing a DVD drive into the SN25P. The "button" has a fairly large range of movement, which allows it to work well. Also, the screw-less design of the CD worked well for me.

    As far as the graphs go, my intention is to actually go back and add in figures for the SN95G5 and Soltek 3901-300 Pro when I finish testing them, so in the future the charts will hopefully become more meaningful. Having only run one set of benchmarks for this particular configuration made the benchmarks somewhat superfluous for the time being. :|
  • Gioron - Wednesday, March 9, 2005 - link

    One thing that I noticed was that all the noise and heat graphs were on their own seperate scale. This might not be as big a deal when there are multiple cases on the chart, but when there is only one it makes it impossible to just run your eye down the chart and see what the range is. I'd really recommend picking the largest scale and sticking with it for all the charts (and preferably, do the same when there is more than one case on those graphs).

    Other than that minor layout glitch, a fairly good review. One thing I was wondering, however, was how well the cover over the CD drive works. I know my G5 series case takes a lot of tweaking to get the CD drive positioned just right so that the button will actually open the drive, have they improved that in the P series chasis?
  • OrSin - Wednesday, March 9, 2005 - link

    Not impressed at all.
    Case too big, and no PCI slot is huge turn off for me.
    I think alot SSF users use thier system as HTPC and this system just will not work. I would perfer a wider case, than a taller one. And no PCI slot means no TV tuner or FTA cards.

    Maybe I will wait for the one with the ATI motherboard, or the Biostar or just get a HTPC case and get a real motherboard in it.

    Oh yeah $400 is little steap even for SFF cases.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, March 9, 2005 - link

    #5 - blame my camera. It's definitely NOT a high-end model. Most of the external shots were provided by Shuttle, so I used those as a better quality image. The front panel *does* have a speckled look to it. Maybe I'll see about upgrading to a better camera in the future. Right now, the originals are taken at 2048x1536 (the max of my 3 MP Fuji camera), but after cropping and misc. cleanup I resized them to a more manageable format.
  • IceWindius - Wednesday, March 9, 2005 - link

    Ok, why do alot of these picture in their large format look very grainy like it was done in 640x480 mode?
  • IceWindius - Wednesday, March 9, 2005 - link

    Well see how well this machine does in the reliable department as many people complained about the SN95g's issues.

    That and I want to see Creative make a PCI-E soundcard as well as onboard sucks period.
  • deathwalker - Tuesday, March 8, 2005 - link

    #1...for the most part i agree that overclocking wont be a issue with a lot of SFF buyers. One point of concern for me would be the absence of a PCI slot for standard PCI periphrials..such as a TV tuner card..which i have in my system and use frequently.
    This does look like an attractive device though with a little extra room than most SFF's and a Power Supply with some performance margin in it.
  • pbrain - Tuesday, March 8, 2005 - link

    Fantastic review. Now, where and when are they going be available?!
  • segagenesis - Tuesday, March 8, 2005 - link

    And I thought my SN41G2 was expensive at $300 when it was new. Ouch!

    Good review, however. I dont think overclocking is a major selling point for a SFF when most people want one for noise/size/convenience.

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