New Shuttle computer runs cool and quiet

Shuttle released its latest "bare-bone" computer Wednesday, showing a system that packs all of the functions of a full-fledged PC in a case about the size of a large shoe box.

Long popular in Asia, Shuttle calls its computers "bare-bone systems" because they ship with only the core components of a PC, requiring the end user to add a processor, memory and drives. While this may seem like a lot of work to most users, computer enthusiasts relish the slick silver casing, small size and quiet of the Shuttle systems.

The new XPC SS51 supports Intel Corp. Pentium 4 processors, AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) and PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) cards and comes with Shuttle's Integrated Cooling Engine (ICE), said Michael Wu, president of Shuttle Computer Group. These features allow the SS51 to perform on par with a standard PC but without the noise or large size associated with most home computers, Wu said.

The ICE is the key to the SS51's ability to run the powerful but hot Pentium 4 chip in a small casing. The ICE technology uses a hybrid of copper and aluminum piping along with water cooling to keep the processor heat down. This allowed Shuttle, which is based in Taipei, to remove the processor fan, eliminating the noise produced by a standard PC.

"The silence of the system coupled with its small size are important features for people that want a multipurpose system to sit in their living rooms," Wu said.

The back of the Shuttle systems are dotted with just about every port a user could need, including plug-ins for TV, stereo and video use. These features could be helpful for users who want to make their PC a home entertainment hub, Wu said.

As with all Shuttle's XPC systems, the new model comes with built-in Firewire support, extensive audio and video ports, four USB (universal serial bus) ports and SPDIF (Sony/Philips Digital Interface) input.

One analyst said that bare-bone systems account for close to 2 million of overall PC shipments worldwide each year.

"In Taiwan there is a big bare-bones market," said Roger Kay, an analyst at IDC. "There are huge components bazaars where you can find everything you need, including a guy with a screwdriver who will put the system together for you."

The bare-bones PC market is big throughout other parts of Asia and the U.S., he said.

"It's for guys that like to screw things together," Kay said.

The Shuttle XPC SS51 is available immediately at US$339.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ashlee Vance

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?