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.
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