Desktop Systems Guide

Shuttle XPC ST20G5 review

Shuttle XPC ST20G5 (Socket-939)

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The reasons why Shuttle happens to be the dominant small form factor (SFF) computer manufacturer now are not hard to fathom. An extensive range of SFFs catering to both Intel and AMD chipsets, coupled with a knack to swiftly adapt newly launched chipsets to its popular series of chassis, has turned out to be the winning formula. The first mover advantage due to Shuttle conceiving and marketing the concept of SFF systems no doubt helped too. Besides, its rivals in this niche market are also not as focused compared to Shuttle, which seems to have reinvented itself primarily into an SFF-geared company. Hence, it's not surprising to find Shuttle offering multiple SFF choices on any one platform, accommodating a wide audience with varying preferences. Just recently, we reviewed the nForce4 Ultra based XPC SN25P SFF and today we have yet another system built for AMD CPUs.

Shuttle's latest SFF for the Athlon 64 (Socket 939), the XPC ST20G5 uses the Radeon Xpress 200 chipset that comes with integrated graphics. ATI's own SurroundView feature allows users to combine the output from both the integrated graphics and a discrete graphics card, theoretically enabling up to three digital displays at once. ATI has had issues previously with their Southbridge implementation and since Shuttle's early market penetration is crucial, Shuttle engineers have chosen go with ULi's M1573 Southbridge instead. Coincidentally, the Uli M1573 is actually a more feature-rich Southbridge than the ATI's own, so in the end it was a better choice for Shuttle.

As its name suggests, the newest incarnation of Shuttle's G series of chassis, the G5 (in elegant silver) was the chosen enclosure for this SFF. We shall soon find out if the latest Shuttle XPC lives up to its reputation, but first on this page, we list the contents of the SFF package and the complete tech specs of the XPC ST20G5. Shuttle has pre-installed most of the needed cables in the chassis itself, so here are the rest of the items in the package:

  • 1 x ATA100/66/33 Ribbon cable
  • 1 x Floppy Ribbon cable
  • 1 x Serial ATA Cable
  • 1 x Molex power splitter
  • Shuttle ST20G5 Installation Guide
  • Shuttle FT20 User Manual
  • ULi M5287 SATA RAID User Guide
  • ULi M5287 RAID Driver Diskette
  • Driver CD (Chipset and Audio drivers)
  • Shuttle Extras CD (including software like Trend Micro PC-Cillin 2004)