Once again Iâ€™ve had to forego my May Bank Holiday weekend in order to jet off to Taiwan. Yes itâ€™s Computex time again, and the whole technology world has descended on Taipei to shout about the whatâ€™s hot and sometimes whatâ€™s not.
So, despite the fact that Iâ€™m tired (I hate flying), I always get a good feeling when I climb out of the taxi on the first day of a show like this. I know that there will be some big announcements, some very cool products and some familiar faces.
I kicked off Computex 2005 with a visit to the Shuttle suite, which was handily in the same location as last year. I donâ€™t think that anyone will deny that Shuttle is the company responsible for the small form factor PC as we know it today â€“ in fact the name Shuttle is so synonymous with SFF boxes, that itâ€™s sometimes used as a generic term for small cube shaped computers.
There was a reason that I so keen to see Shuttle â€“ a rather tempting carrot had been dangled in front of me before I had left for Taiwan. I had been told that there would be an SLi Shuttle box on show and true to its word, Shuttle did in fact have such a machine on display.
The new SN26P looks like the ultimate SFF system for the hardcore gamer. The SN26P has a motherboard based on the nForce 4 SLi chipset and will support all 939 CPUs, including the new dual core X2 chips.
Of course squeezing two graphics cards in an SFF box isnâ€™t easy, especially when it comes to heat dissipation, therefore this isnâ€™t the type of box that you can buy and throw any graphics cards you like into it. Instead the SN26P ships with two Leadtek GeForce 6800GT cards already installed, leaving the end user to choose their own CPU, memory, hard disk and optical drive.
Both graphics cards are fanless and sport copper heatsinks with heatpipes to draw the heat away from the GPUs. All the memory chips (256MB on each card) are also topped with heatsinks to keep things as cool as possible.
Thereâ€™s also a 350W power supply to ensure that youâ€™ve got enough juice to drive those graphics cards and a powerful CPU.
I will hopefully be getting my paws on one of these SLi cubes very soon, so check back to see the full review.