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Shuttle SN68SG2 Barebones PC
Back in July, Shuttle announced the latest addition to its XPC Glamor line of small form factor PCs, the SN68SG2. We were, as is always the case with new Shuttles, suitably impressed by its stats sheets and glamour shots and knew straight away we just had to get one in for review. Now, just shy of a couple of months later we have that pleasure.
Shuttle produces two main lines of XPC chassis (there are a few unique ones as well), the G series and the P series. The latter, like the SD39P2 that Benny recently looked at, is a later development from the original G series and is aimed at the power user so it can, for instance, take dual slot graphics cards and fit three hard drives. However, the SN68SG2 is of the more petite G variety and is limited to a single hard drive and will only fit a single slot graphics card. Not that this is a problem, in fact it's just perfect for general office and multimedia use.
Reflecting this mainstream focus, the SN68SG2 is an AMD system based on nVidia's 630a chipset, which supports all AMD's current crop of Athlon64, X2, and Sempron CPUs. It has support for a maximum of 4GB of 800MHz DDR2 RAM and includes integrated graphics in the form of the GeForce 7025 processor. If you feel this a bit underpowered, though, you can add in a separate graphics card, using the single PCI-E x16 slot, making it the ideal compact gaming machine or workstation.
One area where Shuttle cases almost never fail to impress is with their aesthetics. Sure, they're not the most wacky, revolutionary, or standout boxes available but for sheer elegance and simplicity they seldom fall short. And, so it is with the SN68SG2.
The finish of the black anodised brushed aluminium top and sides is simply sublime. Not a single blemish, whether it be a scratch, embossed logo, or sticker is present, leaving a smooth, luscious finish that just oozes quality. OK, it may attract greasy fingerprints, but then glossy surfaces show the dust and matt paint is just boring and certainly not befitting of the Glamor title. The styling of the front is a bit more of a personal preference. Personally I find having all the connections and bolt heads exposed makes the front look a bit cluttered and I prefer the clean lines of the G5 or G6 chassis. That said, Riyad's a big fan so it just goes to show, these things are subjective.