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!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ashlee Vance

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?