Altech Computers Shuttle XPC Prima
- Transportable form factor, e-SATA, Windows XP installed (better performance)
- Windows XP is installed not Vista (no DirectX 10 support), limited upgradeability
For LAN gamers this is a great choice, but its limited upgrade options may put some people off.
Price$ 1,925.00 (AUD)
Altech has used Shuttle's XPC Prima case to create a funky small form factor gaming PC, which is ideal for LAN gamers who regularly need to move their PC around. It's a far cry from the typical towering case with the flashing lights design we're used to in gaming cases, which certainly adds some advantages, but it definitely has its flaws, too.
On the up side this is one of the best options for fans of LAN gaming, as the smaller form factor makes it much easier to transport around. It's also a good form factor to use as a shared media centre PC. Cables permitting, it wouldn't be too hard to move into the lounge room and hook up to the TV and sound system.
The shuttle uses an AM2 socket motherboard with a dual-core AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ 3GHz CPU. It allows for a total of one optical drive, one external 3.5in drive, two hard drives, four RAM slots and one full-sized PCI express 16x graphics card. A Galaxy GeForce 8800 GTS 320MB has been installed, as has 2GB of Corsair 800MHz DDR2 RAM.
Naturally with such high-end hardware and such little space to breathe there's a fair bit of cooling involved. The CPU gets a nifty twin fan cooling system, with one small fan blowing air over the fins of the heat sink, while a second larger fan extracts air from the other side, doubling the effort to maintain strong airflow over the CPU.
At the rear of the case there are three more fans. Two tiny fans blow cool air over the 320GB Samsung hard drive, which resides at the top rear of the case, while another slightly larger fan built into the power supply extracts air from the case.
Overall, the case has been designed well to accommodate some serious hardware in such a small enclosure, and we're impressed by how powerful this system is with so little room to move. However, on the down side, there's little room to upgrade, a key requirement for many gaming machines. The games industry develops at such a rate that hardware can struggle to keep up. In many cases it's better to upgrade your hardware before laying out another load of cash for a whole new system, but this PC has little to offer in this regard.
There's no room for a dual-graphics card configuration, there's only room for one more hard drive and optical drive. Our only other gripes are that, as a gaming system an Intel CPU might have been a better choice.
Also, Altech has installed Windows XP. While many gamers still believe, and rightly so, that games run better under XP, the 8800 GTS graphics card is a DirectX 10 card and XP can't run DirectX 10. Although this card will run DirectX 9 games and run them well, it's a shame to lose the DirectX 10 content now available in many games.
In WorldBench 5, our Windows XP benchmark (not comparable to WorldBench 6 scores), the Altech Shuttle XPC Prima scored 137, a solid score for anything from gaming to video encoding. In the MP3 encoding tests it took 72 seconds to convert 53 minutes worth of WAV files to 192Kbps MP3 files using iTunes and 86 seconds using Cdex (using one core only). In 3DMark 2006 we saw a solid score of 8735 and in 3DMark 2001 SE it dominated, scoring 34,672.
This system uses the motherboard's own Realtek audio, which can be hooked up via the analogue or digital outputs. One nice feature of this PC is the inclusion of an e-SATA port at the rear of the case.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Smart LED Bulb LB130
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Portable SSD
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Huawei Mate 9
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Surface Pro 4
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 5 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- Intel ships latest Itanium chip called Kittson, but grim future looms
- Samsung Galaxy S7 hardware will come to the DragonBoard 820c computer
- Now you can try Microsoft's supersized Surface Hub before buying
- Samsung scraps a Raspberry Pi 3 competitor, shrinks Artik line
- Google wants to add AI to gadgets made using Raspberry Pi
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)QLD
- FTSolution Designer l Microsoft SMENSW
- CCTest ManagerWA
- FTData Conversion LeadNSW
- TPTechnical ConsultantNSW
- FTDigital Strategist - Global Consulting FirmACT
- FTLife/400 Resource - PermanentNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional ConsultantACT
- FTHRIS ConsultantQLD
- TPNodeJS DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst - AgileQLD
- FTSenior Java DeveloperNSW
- TPBusiness Process Analyst (Newcaslte Based)NSW
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- FTMicrosoft ProgrammerSA
- FTJava Developer/IntegratorACT
- CCContract - System Access Administrator - major Telco in MelbourneVIC
- CCSenior Automation TesterQLD
- FTInfrastructure Security Compliance OfficerNSW
- FTSAP BOBJ ConsultantACT
- FTService Desk AnalystNSW
- TPEnvironment Specialist(DevOps)QLD
- TPLinux Desktop Support SpecialistWA
- TPBI Commercial AnalystVIC
- FTMicrosoft ConsultantVIC