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Shuttle's XPC SB95P V2 mini-barebones system


XE meets XPC
— 12:00 AM on February 14, 2005

Manufacturer Shuttle
Model SB95P V2
Price
Availability Now

SHUTTLE'S P-SERIES CHASSIS is easily the best small form factor enclosure on the market. In fact, the chassis' meaty power supply, multiple cooling zones, support for up to three hard drives, and largely tool-free internal layout rival mid-tower systems more than triple its size. Not bad for a bread box.

The latest addition to the P-Series family is the 925XE-based SB95P V2. Although the 925XE chipset was designed as a companion for pricey "Extreme Edition" Pentium 4 processors, it's found favor among enthusiasts frustrated by the overclocking limitations of Intel's other 900-series chipsets. The 925XE has no such limitations, making it an ideal overclocking platform for more affordable Pentium 4 processors and a surprisingly complementary companion for the enthusiast-friendly P-Series chassis.

With a P-Series chassis wrapped around a 925XE chipset, the SB95P V2 could be the ultimate Pentium 4 small form factor system. Read on to see if it measures up.


The specs
As always, let's kick things off with a quick look at the SB95P V2's spec sheet.

CPU support LGA775 Intel Pentium 4 processors with 800/533/1066MHz front-side bus
Chipset Intel 925XE
North bridge Intel 925XE MCH
South bridge Intel ICH6R
Interconnect DMI (2GB/s)
Expansion slots 1 PCI Express x16
1 PCI Express x1
Memory 2 240-pin DIMM slots
Maximum 2GB of DDR2 533/400 SDRAM with ECC
Storage I/O Floppy disk
1 channels ATA/100
4 ports Serial ATA 150 via ICH6R south bridge with RAID 0, 1, 0+1, and Matrix RAID support
Audio 8-channel audio via ICH6R integrated audio and ALC880 codec
Ports 1 PS/2 keyboard
1 PS/2 mouse
1 serial
4 USB 2.0
2 Firewire via VT6307
1 RJ45 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet via Broadcom BCM5751

1 analog front out
1 analog bass/center out
1 analog surround out
1 analog rear out
1 analog headphone out
1 analog line in
1 analog headphone out (front)
1 analog mic in (front)
2 digital S/PDIF outputs (front, TOS-Link and RCA)
1 digital S/PDIF input (TOS-Link)
BIOS AwardBIOS
Bus speeds CPU: 100-355MHz in 1MHz increments
DRAM: auto, 400, 533MHz
Bus dividers None
Voltages CPU: 0.8250-1.5875V in 0.0025V increments
DRAM: auto, 1.8-1.9V in 0.05V increments
Chipset: auto, 1.55,1 .66, 1.7V
Monitoring Voltage, fan status, and temperature monitoring
Fan speed control CPU and system

Apart from the 925XE chipset's support for a 1066MHz front-side bus—including all the bus dividers needed to keep memory, PCI, and PCI Express running in spec at those speeds—the SB95P V2's spec sheet is typical for a 900-series platform. The SB95P V2 is equipped with an ICH6R south bridge serving up High Definition Audio and loads of Serial ATA RAID.

Shuttle bolsters the 925XE chipset's capabilities with the usual mix of third-party codec, Gigabit Ethernet, and Firewire chips. The Broadcom GigE chip is a PCI Express device, which would nicely free up the PCI bus for other devices, if the SB95P V2 actually had a PCI slot. It doesn't, which makes the SB95P V2 one of the first PCI slot-free platforms we've seen.

The SB95P V2's lack of a PCI slot is an interesting twist that's both forward-looking and inconvenient. On one hand, the cube comes equipped with a PCI Express x1 slot for next-generation peripherals. Unfortunately, the dearth of PCI-E x1 cards severely limits upgrade options, at least for now. Until PCI Express audio and TV tuner cards become available, you might find yourself wishing that the SB95P V2 were a little less cutting edge.