The prioritization of power efficiency in CPU design has led to an era where machines displacing as little as two liters can deliver an enjoyable gaming experience at a resolution of 1920x1080. Typically, shoehorning gaming chops into a small chassis requires trade-offs like non-upgradeable components and limited CPU support. Shuttle's XH110G barebones system takes a different route. This little beastie offers support for desktop LGA 1151 CPUs along with a PCIe x16 slot ready to take in an expansion card.
As experienced model number decoders might guess, the XH110G is based on Intel's somewhat-aged H110 chipset, introduced with the sixth-generation Core Skylake chips back in September of 2015. Intel didn't release a 200-series equivalent, a fact that matters little since H110 is compatible with current Kaby Lake chips anyway. Shuttle positions the XH110G as a high-resolution digital signage player thanks to its ability to output 3840x2160 video over the HDMI port when equipped with a Kaby Lake processor, plus the presence of a PCIe slot for adding graphics cards with additional display outputs.
System builders should pick CPUs with TDPs at or below 65 W. That works out to a wide selection of options, though the mighty Core i7-7700K is out. Shuttle includes a compatible CPU cooler in the package. The whole system is powered by a 180 W power brick, so whatever graphics card goes in the box should be chosen carefully. The fastest video card on Shuttle's compatibility list is an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti model, a fine pairing as these things go. As far as we can tell, cards with dual-slot coolers or PCIe power connectors are off the table, though.
The system can swallow up to 32 GB of 2400 MT/s DDR4 memory in the pair of SODIMM slots. Storage devices can fit into the M.2-2280 slot on the board or the single 2.5" drive bay. An M.2-2230 slot is provided for smaller add-ons like a Wi-Fi card.
The Shuttle XH110G is available now on Newegg for $280 as a barebones system, meaning builders must add at least a CPU, memory and storage. We imagine most interested buyers will also add a compact graphics card. Shuttle backs its barebones PCs with a three-year warranty.