Shuttle has always focused on desktop replacement systems with their XPC line and performance is a top priority. They have done it again with the SN95G5, producing a well-balanced mini PC that will rival any desktop board in most areas of performance. From our benchmark tests, the FN95 motherboard on the SN95G5 performed on par with every benchmark we threw at it. The only issue we noticed was a slight anomaly in the scores for SYSmark 2004's Office Productivity test. Since the SN95G5 did not show any trends of diminished performance in other tests, it could be an isolated issue with SYSmark 2004.
The FN95 motherboard that accompanies the SN95G5 has all the features of a full ATX sized motherboard crammed onto the proprietary SFF design. The SN95G5 has full six-channel audio, Gigabit Ethernet and sufficient connectivity ports in the form of USB 2.0 and IEEE 1394a to fulfill all your connectivity needs. We find that the SN95G5 is capable of sustaining a good graphics card, CPU and newer SATA hard disks while still running relatively cool and quite.
Besides general features and performance, the SN95G5 also proved to be quite an overclocker. Shuttle does not shy away from the enthusiast market and it is clearly shown by the inclusion of a BIOS reset button at the back of the chassis. The FN95 motherboard was also loaded with full overclock parameters in the BIOS and an excellent heatpipe cooling system. We were able to get very good FSB overclocking results, which are again comparable with the best of the desktop boards out there.
Shuttle has become something of a designer brand when it comes to SFF PCs. Their XPC chassis are well built and crafted with style. The new G5 chassis has a minimalist 'Zen' appearance, ensuring that the SN95G5 will look excellent on your desktop at home or at work. With the performance that it packs, the SN95G5 should be a hit at LAN parties too. The SN95G5 barebone SFF can be found for around S$699 at local retailers. Many manufacturers have tried to take up a slice of the SFF pie, but from our review of the SN95G5, we find that Shuttle is still top dog.
The Shuttle XPC SN95G5. A powerful desktop replacement. Quiet, powerful, efficient and even overclocker friendly.