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Shuttle SN27P2

I have to admit that I have been a fan of the Shuttle small form factor bare bones systems for the last few years. So it should come as no surprise that I feel they have a winner on their hands with the SN27P2. ExtremeTech did a full review on the case, including a full look at the entire process of putting all the pieces in it to make it fully functional.

One of the obvious problems with small form factor cases is the noise associated with trying to keep all those components cool in such a small space. Shuttle did offer a quieter solution that had an external power supply, but that is not ideal for most users. This newer system seems to successfully straddle the fine line between keeping the components cool and keeping the noise down.

Supporting some of the highest performing technologies such as it’s nForce chipset, AMD’s AM2 socket, 4-DDR2 memory slots, a PCIe slot and a 32 bit PCI slot, this system is geared for power, such as it will be in a small form factor. You can use a dual slot PCIe video card, though if you want a 32 bit card, single slot is all that will fit. All legacy ports are gone, so if your favorite mouse/keyboard is not USB, you won’t be able to use it. They loaded the system up and compared it to a similarly equipped full size PC, and the results were excellent. The performance difference between the two systems were negligible.

Their final analysis was boiled down to the following remarks in awarding it a 9 out of 10:

Pros: Compact; both PCIe x16 and 32-bit PCI slots; quiet operation; good performance.
Cons: Fairly pricey; limited expandability.
Summary: If you’re craving a high-performance, small-form-factor gaming PC that looks good and doesn’t make much noise, then Shuttle’s new Nforce 570-based system is about as good as it gets.

I would take the limited expandability negative with a grain of salt, if expandability were a key concern, you wouldn’t be looking at any small form factor case, most likely. But if what you are looking for is a solid system with top notch performance, this could be exactly what you need. Could be worth a look for any HTPC enthusiasts as well. I think any reviewer would be hard pressed to give this thing a look and not give it one of their highest levels of approval.

Additonal information available at: PCSTATS who has a full build up and review, and Shuttle’s SN27P2 page.

Posted by Jeff

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