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Shuttle's XPC SN85G4 small form factor system

Athlon 64³

Manufacturer Shuttle
Model SN85G4
Availability Soon

AMAZINGLY, SHUTTLE has managed to keep its XPC line of small form factor systems on the bleeding edge of PC technology. When Intel launched its Springdale chipset back in May, Shuttle was there with the SB61G2. Some motherboard manufacturers took weeks to release Springdale-based boards, but Shuttle managed to have a cube ready for launch—no small feat considering that XPC systems are much more than bare motherboards.

In the wake of today's Athlon 64 launch, you probably know where I'm going with this.

To celebrate AMD's Athlon 64 launch, Shuttle is serving up a new cube to help ease small form factor enthusiasts into the 64-bit world. The SN85G4 is the world's first 64-bit small form factor system, but there's more to it than that; the SN85G4 is also the first cube to use Shuttle's new "G4" faceplate, and the first in Shuttle's XPC line to integrate a memory card reader.

Is Shuttle's SN85G4 the perfect pint-sized platform for AMD's new Athlon 64? Read on to find out.

The specs
Before I overwhelm you with pictures of the SN85G4 from every conceivable angle, let's have a quick peek at this new cube's spec sheet.

CPU support Socket 754-based Athlon 64 processors
Form factor Flex ATX (Shuttle form factor)
Chipset NVIDIA nForce3 150
Interconnect HyperTransport (800MB/s)
PCI slots 1 32-bit/33MHz
AGP slots 1, 4X/8X AGP 8X (1.5V only)
AMR/CNR slots None
Memory 2 184-pin DIMM sockets
Maximum of 2GB of DDR400/333/266 SDRAM
Storage I/O Floppy disk
2 channels ATA/133
Serial ATA 2 channels Serial ATA 150 via Sil 3512A Serial ATA controller
RAID Serial ATA RAID 0, 1 support via Sil 3512A Serial ATA controller
Legacy ports 1 PS/2 keyboard, 1 PS/2 mouse, Serial and Parallel ports
USB 4 USB 2.0/1.1 ports
2 additional USB 2.0/1.1 used by integrated card reader
Firewire 2 IEEE 1394 Firewire ports via VT6307 Firewire controller
Audio 6-channel audio via nForce3 integrated audio and ALC650 DAC
rear-mounted analog front, rear, surround, and center outputs
shared rear-mounted rear analog line in and microphone inputs
front-mounted analog line in and mic inputs, front output
digital S/PDIF input and output ports (Tos-Link)
Video None
Ethernet 10/100 Fast Ethernet via nForce3 150
BIOS Phoenix AwardBIOS
Bus speeds FSB: 200-250MHz in 1MHz increments
AGP/PCI: 66-100 in 1MHz increments
Memory: 100, 133, 166, 200MHz
Bus dividers None
Voltages CPU: default, 0.8-1.7V in 0.05V increments
DRAM: default, 2.7-2.9V in 0.1V increments
AGP: default, 1.6-1.8V in 0.1V increments
: default, 1.7-1.8V in 0.1V increments
: default, 1.3-1.5V in 0.1V increments
Monitoring Voltage, fan status, and temperature monitoring

I'll be going over each of the SN85G4's features and specifications in detail over the course of this review, so you don't need to remember the spec sheet's details.

To get the next few pages of pictures rolling, here's a glamour shot of the SN85G4.

Oooooh. Aaaaaah.