Shuttle HTPC – The XPC SB83G5M
May 14, 2005
As much as I love small form factor (SFF) boxes (at last count, I’ve got 4 of them around the house, three Shuttles and a Biostar), they’ve never seemed terribly practical for HTPC use.
The problem isn’t horsepower, it’s expandability — you typically have one video card slot, and one PCI slot. Once you drop a tuner in there, you’re saying you’re going to live without ever adding another tuner card, a better sound card, etc. Even a MicroATX motherboard gives you more breathing room, with three PCI slots.
Maybe it’s not so bad, though. With dual tuner cards (guess you won’t be adding an HD tuner to that), and decent motherboard audio, it could be fairly survivable.
Apparently Shuttle thinks so too — they’ve now brought out a box (either barebones, or fully built up running Windows MCE 2005) designed to appeal to the HTPC enthusiast.
Onboard Highlights of the XPC SB85G5M (they really need someone to give these things good names) include a slick-looking front panel VFD Media Display (compatible with Windows MCE 2005), 6-channel audio, an Intel 915GT/ICH6-R chipset, and GMA900 video (apparantly without s-video out, which makes this pretty useless).
The unit supports up to 2 SATA 150 drives, a PCI-Express video card, a PCI card, up to 2 gig of DDR333/DDR400 RAM, and your choice of Pentium 4 or Celeron-D processors.
(via The Register)