Shuttle Zen XPC ST62K: Finally, a Quiet SFF PC!

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MOTHERBOARD LAYOUT & CPU COOLING

The ST62K uses a Shuttle FT62 motherboard with the ATI 9100 IGP chipset. ATI has partnered with Intel to integrate high performance video onto the motherboard. The 9100 IGP seems to compete directly with Intel's 865G chipset performance but has much more advanced onboard video performance.

The 9100 chipset consists of the RS300 northbridge and the IXP150 southbridge, both passively cooled on this system. Chalk up another one for silence! The RS300 is compatible with Intel Socket 478 processors on a 400, 533, or 800MHz front-side bus. This gives a wide range of CPU choices from high-end Pentium 4s to low-end P4-based Celerons. This chipset also supports Hyper-Threaded processors and dual-channel memory for up to 2GB of PC3200 DDR SDRAM.

The IXP150 southbridge supports six USB 2.0 ports, four external plus two internal headers (which seem designed for the integrated card reader Shuttle doesn't include). The SB also supports two ATA-100 P-ATA IDE channels. There is no onboard support for Serial ATA. There is also an onboard Realtek 10/100 Fast Ethernet controller and two Firewire ports courtesy of the VIA VT6307 Firewire controller.


L to R: Single PCI slot, heatsink bracket, CPU socket, passively cooled RS300 NB and IXP150 SB.

The Radeon 9100 Integrated Graphics Processor supports DirectX 8.1 and utilizes a 128-bit DDR memory bus running at 300MHz. This will give pretty fast video memory access and should be powerful enough for HTPC's, business systems and non-hardcore gaming. The 9100 IGP has single VGA and S-Video outputs, but no DVI output or multi monitor support without a PCI graphics card.

ICE Cooling System

The ST62K uses the familiar Shuttle ICE (Integrated Cooling Engine) heat-pipe heatsink to cool the CPU, and the rest of the case for that matter. The ICE cooling system consists of an aluminum heatsink with a swaged-in copper base, four heat pipes and an aluminum finned radiator with an 80mm fan in front of it. This fan serves two purposes. It acts as a case cooling exhaust fan and it also transfers the heat from the radiator to the outside of the case. Shuttle has chosen to replace the rather noisy standard Sunon fan with a much quieter Bi-Sonic 80mm x 15mm DC Brushless Fan on the ST62K. This fan is rated at 45cfm at 3500rpm but is speed controlled by the BIOS' "Smart Fan" technology for quieter operation.


ICE cooler with copper base, aluminum fins, four liquid-filled heatpipes and aluminum-finned radiator. Schweet!


80mm x 15mm BI-Sonic fan in shroud with rubber grommets to reduce vibration.


ICE heatsink in place without fan, shroud and HS clip.


All of the ICE elements.

The ICE cooler is secured to the standard Intel heatsink retention bracket by a nice retention clip that is easy to install and remove but still holds the heatsink on quite firmly. Rubber washers are used to dampen vibrations between the ICE cooler's fan shroud and the mounting points on the rear of the chassis: Another nice little touch on a potentially noisy area.



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