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 Post subject: Another Shuttle -- XPC SB86i, a "real" BTX
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 1:35 pm 
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Another Shuttle -- XPC SB86i, a "real" BTX

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 3:49 pm 
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As usual, a very good review :)
The new BTX standard brings some improvements compared to the last socket 755 SFF reviewd. But it's not a very good base for a very silent setup. The Nexus fan is not able to cool down the CPU at full load, which shows that the new setup is not as efficient as it may look like.
The socket 939 Athlon 64 SFF last reviewed has a ATX setup with an additional northbridge fan and a 60mm PSU fan and offers lower power draw and lower noise.
One comment about the CPU: the P4 520 has not enhanced haltstate (C1E) which let it draw quite a bit more power at idle than the 520J. For more information, have a look at http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewtopic.php?t=20906. The link at hardwareluxx.de in the post shows a P4 540, which should have 84W TDP. At idle, this CPUs has no difference to the 550. Judging this, the 520 should be in the same territory. If you have further links about a 520-540 vs 520-550J, I'd be glad to know.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:06 pm 
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I switched from Shuttle's SFF format back to ATX because ATX lets me mod my system to perfection and still change motherboards without a care.

Shuttles cases are always different with each newer motherboard. Maybe this BTX format will change that.

While my case isn't small, I still keep everything else neat: LCD screen, mini keyboard, relocated/networked printers, organized cables (to the point of looking wireless), etc. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:51 am 
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The forum link at the end of the review points to a wrong thread.

Cheers,

Jan

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 7:04 am 
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Jan Kivar wrote:
The forum link at the end of the review points to a wrong thread.


That's perhaps the reason for only 3 comments to the review. Or the review itself is perfect and doesn't need any comments ;)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 7:58 am 
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The most important thing this review shows (again), is that for a SFF the use of a cool running processor is even more important than in a desktop or tower case.

Either Shuttles design traject is so long that they haven't recovered from the Prescott heat explosion or they don't really care about noise. Last quarter of 2004 there are more boxed A64's sold in retail than boxed P4's, but seeing the lack of choice in A64 barebones from Shuttle they didn't pick up on this trend.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 8:48 am 
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Well put, Tibors.

I am getting ready to write a short article about requirements for quiet systems in different applications. Tentatively:

1) classic floor-standing tower -- 30 dBA/1m max
2) HTPC -- maybe 35 dBA/1m max? depends on location
3) SFF for desktop -- 25 dBA/1m max
4) general office -- 35 dBA/1m max

Qualified by a number of subjective requirements --

a) benign sonic signature
b) no rapid variations in noise level or quality
c) minimal vibration
d) certain SPL increase allowance for long / high load -- not sure exactly how much.

I am sure requirement 3) will upset some SFF makers, but in my experience, there is no way that I could accept any unmodified SFF on my own desktop as my main computer. Not one, not even the Zen. 25 dBA/1m is high from my PoV. I'd want 20.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:36 pm 
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More AMD-Shuttle solutions are showing up. Besides the probably noisy SN25P there's also the new ST20G5 with the new ATI Xpress chipset (DirectX 9 graphics), looks quite interesting. Not really news, but some of you may not have seen it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:57 pm 
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A small request for the reviews in general: could you link the photos to higher resolution versions? In many cases it would be useful to have a larger version in order to more fully understand how a case works.

As for this case, shame it didn't fare better, I'd love to get a silent SFF case next. I wonder if you could fit a single suspended 3.5 inch HD in the space of the two cages on the top of the case. And considering how the plastic casing of the cooling unit seems to be responsible for much of the noise I wonder if you could easily remove the shell, leaving a more classic HSF construction...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:18 pm 
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moritz wrote:
As for this case, shame it didn't fare better, I'd love to get a silent SFF case next. I wonder if you could fit a single suspended 3.5 inch HD in the space of the two cages on the top of the case. And considering how the plastic casing of the cooling unit seems to be responsible for much of the noise I wonder if you could easily remove the shell, leaving a more classic HSF construction...

Single suspended drive -- maybe. It'd be tight.

As for losing the HSF casing, not easy at all, because not only does the fan mount to it, it's what mounts the heatsink to the board & chassis.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:26 pm 
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But I got you right in that the HSF mounting etc. is set in the BTX standard, so 3rd party manufacturers can sell replacement cooling sets that can go into even SFF cases? Because I'm sure someone will come up with one that, well, doesn't suck or at least can easily be modded to that end.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:36 pm 
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Ahh, sounds like a very nice machine if only we had a SocketT Pentium-M and a SATA 2.5" drive. :wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 3:25 pm 
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re ST20G5

Finally a Shuttle with DVI, this looks very promising, if perhaps not as innovative as the box reviewed.

re Mike C sounds standards

Have to agree that a stock Zen even with fan on lowest setting is too loud, and a 3.5" drive is totally out. You really have to slow your CPU down and slow down or replace the fan. Still think the Zen power supply is the best thing ever though. I wish you could run a more powerful system with a couple of them!

Thanks for a most interesting review. If you do get the chance to do an ST20G5 ... , it would be nice to know if its power supply can be kept quite enough!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 3:51 pm 
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The best space for HD suspension that I can see is placing it across the case,
between the PSU and OD with the 1" x 6" sides facing up/down.
Not sure that it will fit though, possibly in the way for PCI cards or OD.

ST20G5: no video out, too bad. So you still need some kind of add in card if you want to use it as a HTPC.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 12:46 am 
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MikeC wrote:
1) classic floor-standing tower -- 30 dBA/1m max
2) HTPC -- maybe 35 dBA/1m max? depends on location
3) SFF for desktop -- 25 dBA/1m max
4) general office -- 35 dBA/1m max

Qualified by a number of subjective requirements --

a) benign sonic signature
b) no rapid variations in noise level or quality
c) minimal vibration
d) certain SPL increase allowance for long / high load -- not sure exactly how much.


Regarding 2), 35 dBA/1m might be okay during use, but I'd want to specify a lower threshold when idle - noise when recording or watching TV is forgivable, but I'd hate to have a constant buzz if I was just sitting reading.

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 Post subject: this case has problems
PostPosted: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:51 pm 
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With a CDROM and real CPU like 3 G Prescott, this case has serious overheating problems. But I just found a fix after almost a year :

http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... 532#375532

problem of the design is insufficient negative pressure to remove heat buildup (of course for a Precott), hard drive failures ensued


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