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Shuttle XPC SN26P (nForce4 SLI)
By Vincent Chang
Category : Barebone/SFF
Published by Vijay Anand on Monday, 5th September, 2005
Rating : 4.5 out of 5 stars   (Most Innovative Product Award)

SLI Comes to the SFF

First unveiled to the public at this year's Computex in Taipei, Shuttle's latest innovation in the design of the small form factor (SFF) computer, the XPC SN26P, promptly stole the thunder from the other SFF vendors at the show with yet another world's first. This time, it was for bringing NVIDIA's Scalable Link Interface (SLI), to the SFF scene by successfully adapting the nForce4 SLI board to the lesser confines of a SFF system.

For those who are unaware, the compact nature of the small form factor means that space is at a premium. This limitation is a test that SFF vendors must work around as in a poorly designed SFF, heat-generating components may end up clustered together, creating 'hot spots' that can either damage the parts outright, or at the very least, severely shorten their life spans. As the typical high-end graphics card nowadays produces most of the heat in a system, the dilemma facing Shuttle for the XPC SN26P was how to have two such cards cramped into a small enclosure. The engineers also needed to consider the power hungry appetites of these expensive graphics cards. With SFFs providing at most 250 to 350W of power, trying to meet NVIDIA's recommended power requirements for a SLI system meant that Shuttle's SilentX power supply has a rather strict standard to follow.

For its first SLI SFF, Shuttle has gone for a dark maroon, violet look.

Through some creative modifications of its popular P series chassis, Shuttle has pulled off this engineering feat. The Shuttle XPC SN26P comes in two flavors, either a standard barebones package without the two graphics cards (though with a list of compatible cards and an installation guide) or a pre-installed version that comes with the cards. While the review unit we received featured dual Leadtek GeForce 6800 GT cards, Shuttle has confirmed that the fastest graphics available now, the GeForce 7800 GTX is compatible with the SN26P. This should be right up the alley for the hardcore gamers as their next LAN machine. So without further ado, let us dive right into the technical details.

Shuttle XPC SN26P Technical Specifications
Case Parameters
  • Shuttle custom form factor ATX specification
  • 1 x 5.25-inch drive bays
  • 2 x 3.5-inch drive bays
  • Power Button
  • Reset Button
  • Power and HDD indication LEDs
Expansion Ports
  • Front Panel
    • 8-in-1 card reader
    • 1 x Mic-in
    • 1 x Headphone (Line-out)
    • 2 x USB 2.0
    • 1 x Firewire port (IEEE 1394)
  • Back Panel
    • 1 x Serial port
    • DVI-I ports (4x, but only 2 active)
    • TV out port (2x, but only 1 active)
    • 1 x FireWire port (IEEE 1394)
    • 4 x USB 2.0 ports
    • 1 x Gigabit RJ-45 LAN port
    • 1 x PS/2 (mouse)
    • 1 x PS/2 (keyboard)
    • 1 x Optical S/PDIF in
    • 1 x Optical S/PDIF out
    • 1 x Coaxial S/PDIF out
    • 8 channel audio out
    • CMOS Reset button
Motherboard Type and CPU Support
  • Shuttle FN26 (proprietary)
  • Based on NVIDIA nForce4 SLI
  • Supports AMD Socket 939 (Athlon 64, Athlon 64 FX, Athlon 64 X2)
  • Supports unbuffered non-ECC DDR200 / DDR266 / DDR333 / DDR400 memory up to 2GB
Graphics Subsystem
  • Dual Leadtek PX6800GT TDH PCIe graphics cards in SLI (NVIDIA GeForce 6800GT 256MB)
  • Custom SLI Heatpipe Cooling Unit
Sound Subsystem
  • VIA Envy 24-bit (7.1 channel audio controller with S/PDIF)
Case Cooling
  • Shuttle I.C.E. (Integrated Cooling Engine) advanced Heatpipe technology
Power Supply
  • Silent-X 350 Watt mini PSU
Dimensions & Weight
  • Length: 325mm
  • Width: 220mm
  • Height: 210mm
  • Material : Aluminum
  • Color: Black with Violet Front Panel
  • Weight: 5.8kg net / 7.6kg gross

The Shuttle XPC SN26P comes with the usual, comprehensive Shuttle package. Being a mostly tool free installation, the accessories are at a minimal, with the mounting rails nicely packed in zip lock bags. For the SN26P, graphics card accessories are also included, so there are extension cables and DVI-to-VGA adaptors. To summarize, here is the complete list of items in the box:

  • 1 x ATA100/66/33 Ribbon Cable
  • 1 x Floppy Ribbon Cable
  • 1 x Serial ATA Cable
  • Mounting rails for 3.5 and 5.25-inch drive installation
  • Shuttle SN26P Installation Guide
  • FN26 User Manual
  • NVIDIA RAID User Guide
  • NVIDIA RAID Driver Diskette
  • Driver CD (Chipset and Audio drivers)
  • Shuttle Extras CD (including software like Trend Micro PC-Cillin 2004)
  • WinFast User Guide
  • GeForce 6800GT SLI Driver CD
  • 2 x Composite Extension Cables
  • 2 x S-Video Cables
  • 2 x DVI-to-VGA Adaptors
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