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Shuttle Zen XPC ST62K
By Vijay Anand
Category : Barebone/SFF
Published by Jimmy Tang on Monday, 5th April, 2004
Rating : 4 out of 5 stars  

The Shuttle Zen XPC ST62K Exterior

With a square front and short chassis depth, the overall view of the Shuttle Zen XPC ST62K was almost that of a cube. Sporting a clean pearl white front behind the acrylic finish, this new look given to the façade of the XPC ST62K resembles very much that of the AOpen XC Cube EZ65 and lives up to its 'Zen' series name.

Colored in pearl white with a neat design, the Shuttle Zen XPC ST62K would appeal to minimalists.

The 5.25-inch drive bay faceplate still hasn't been designed such that it can neatly disguise an optical drive behind it. Those of you who value uniformity wouldn't be impressed by Shuttle SFF systems because all of their models require dismantling of the 5.25-inch drive bay cover and that clearly exposes the unsightly optical drive's faceplate. For those of you who have no idea what we are harping about, this photo should explain it all:-

Not a very pleasant sight, isn't it? We hope to see the day when a Shuttle SFF would incorporate a sliding bay cover to cater to any optical drive installed and retain the neat design of the system.

Normally, we would prefer the forward facing connectivity ports to be tucked away behind a faceplate, but because of the their neat layout, they sort of coexist with the rest of system design. Well, we leave this point to your preference, but we think it is acceptable.

From left to right, the various items on front panel of the system are: Reset switch, system-on LED, HDD activity LED, Mic-in, Line-in, Headphones output and two USB 2.0 ports.

Here's the rear view of the Shuttle Zen XPC ST62K. The large central exhaust is that of the Shuttle I.C.E. heat-pipe technology that cools the CPU and aids to exhaust air from the rest of the system.

A close-up of the rear I/O ATX panel revealed a unique feature that no other systems had before – a conveniently located clear CMOS switch! Also notable is a TV output port thanks to the integrated RADEON 9200 VPU in the RADEON 9100 IGP.

All the major ports and connectors are located at the rear of the SFF, but something newly introduced in this model is a convenient CMOS reset switch in case one screwed up the settings. Noticed the huge DC-power input plug? Remember, this little SFF does not include an internal power supply unit and uses an external unit instead. This reduces, heat and noise within the system while clearing up more space for the interior.

This is the huge AC to DC converter, or essentially a power supply unit as known to many of us. Another name for these huge external units are 'power bricks'. The design is such that it only relies on passive cooling, hence you can expect no noise from this unit.

The proprietary power connector to the Shuttle Zen XPC ST62K SFF looks pretty robust, so no worries of damaging it.

These are the specs for the 180W power supply unit. The SFF doesn't really need any of those higher-powered 250W units because the SFF doesn't cater to the AGP card – a huge power draw on normal SFF systems.

Most SFF systems have some small openings on the case cover for ventilation, but the Shuttle Zen XPC ST62K has none at all. Instead, all the necessary vents have been incorporated at the bottom of the SFF around its periphery.

The periphery of the base is lined with intake vents.

The Zen XPC ST62K has only one large 80mm exhaust fan unit at the rear of the system, so all the vents at the bottom of the system are naturally for fresh air intake. Simple in concept, but it is an ingenious and efficient design that Shuttle engineers implemented. During our rigorous test runs in our 22 degrees Celsius air-conditioned lab, the temperatures within the system was hovering only between 26 to 29 degrees Celsius. The CPU was well cooled by Shuttle's heat-pipe technology, so the heat generated by it is mostly dispersed out through the 80mm exhaust fan (which the temperature was measured to be at 42.3 degrees Celsius and is equivalent to the exhaust from other SFF systems), leaving the internals pretty cool.

Shuttle Zen XPC ST62K versus the Shuttle SB75G2 in size. The picture might not really portray the petite size of the Zen XPC ST62K, but it is smaller in every dimension and very much lighter as well.

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