To cater to small form factor enthusiasts looking to build systems in something other than one of its XPC cubes, Shuttle has rolled out a tiny Flex ATX board called the FB54. Just two centimeters wider than VIA's diminutive EPIA Mini ITX boards, the FB54 should be compatible with a good number of Mini ITX cases. However, rather than relying on VIA's cool-but-slow C3 processor, the FB54 can accommodate a Pentium 4 processor on a 533MHz front-side bus.
With support for processors as fast as the P4 3.06GHzHyper-Threading includedthe FB54 could unlock all sorts of possibilities for home-theater PCs and other small form factor systems. Is the FB54 worth its extra girth over VIA's Mini ITX EPIA M10000? Read on to find out.
What has Shuttle managed to squeeze onto the 19cm x 17cm Flex ATX form factor?
|CPU support||Socket 478-based Intel Pentium 4 processors|
|Form factor||Flex ATX|
|North bridge||Intel 82845GE|
|South bridge||Intel 82801DB|
|Interconnect||Intel Accelerated Hub (266MB/sec)|
|PCI slots||1 32-bit/33MHz|
|Memory||2 184-pin DIMM sockets|
Maximum of 2GB of DDR333/266/200 SDRAM
|Storage I/O||Floppy disk|
2 channels ATA/100
|Legacy ports||1 PS/2 keyboard, 1 PS/2 mouse, and 1 Serial port|
|USB||2 USB 2.0/1.1 ports|
Internal header for an additional 2 USB ports
|Firewire||1 IEEE 1394 Firewire ports via VT6306 Firewire controller|
|Audio||6-channel audio via ICH integrated audio and ALC650 codec|
analog front, rear, surround, and center outputs
shared analog line and microphone inputs
|Video||Integrated Intel Extreme Graphics|
VGA, S-Video, and Composite video outputs
|Ethernet||10/100 Fast Ethernet via Realtek RTL8100B|
|Bus speeds||FSB: 100-165MHz in 1MHz increments|
|Monitoring||Voltage, fan status, and temperature monitoring|
Quite a bit, though the board lacks an AGP slot, which largely disqualifies it as a gaming platform. We'll be looking at the FB54's integrated peripherals and features in detail, but first, let's have a look at the board's layout.