Shuttle isn’t one to shy away from being the first to introduce new technology and has done so again with its new 'super-quiet' XPC SB86i. The big deal with this new box is that it is the first small form factor (SFF) PC to use Intel’s BTX platform.
BTX stands for Balanced Technology Extended form factor and provides a number of advantages to system builders. It improves thermal management and reduces noise both of which are important for a SFF PC. The design takes into account newer technology, such as Firewire, Serial ATA and optical ports, which means things can be more sensibly laid out at the rear of the system. There are three size variants of the BTX platform and not surprisingly the SB86i uses the smallest pico BTX form factor. Shuttle also claims that it has made further improvements to the design to improve things such as air flow.
The XPC SB86i is based on Intel’s 915G +ICH6-R chipset and features Intel’s Graphics Media Center Accelerator 900 along with support for x16 PCI Express graphics cards. It's the first Shuttle not to feature a slot for a floppy disc drive but instead offers an integrated card reader. It also features funky side mounted ports.
The new design is housed in new chassis and is made of standardized recyclable materials, which should please green fingered users.