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Reviewed by: Norman Tan [09.28.05]
Manufactured by: Shuttle, Silverstone



Well, we have here two very different products that look to fill a similar place in the market. What one buys will ultimately depend on what is important to them.

In the Shuttle, we have a cutting edge platform which has almost everything one could possible want in an SFF. A full featured bios complete with overclocking combined with a well thought out layout makes for a great computer. The attention to details on the system was simply great and the back panel is definitely deserving of some notice. The multiple digital outputs along with the external SATA connector definitely puts Shuttle as the leader of the pack.

Negatives about the Shuttle? Not many. Firstly was the poor audio performance... but given onboard that is to be expected. The Creative Labs integrated solution isn't what we expected (which was Audigy/Audigy 2 level performance) but was definitely a step above the Realtek junk normally seen on P4 boards.

In sharp contrast to the Shuttle is the Silverstone SG01. Another innovator in the industry, the SG01 represents the DIYer who wants to select every single part by themselves and build up their computer just the way they like it. The quality was absolutely top notch as always and the case was well thought out. It is without a doubt the most expandable SFF on the market today!

As with the Shuttle however, there were some negatives. Firstly, given our experience on the Shuttle, it would have been nice if the Silverstone was tool-less as well. Secondly, though not Silverstone's fault, it is important to choose one's components carefully lest they run into problems with passive coolers as we did. Also, it was quite a bit bigger when compared to the Shuttle. You can call it a sort of 'smallish' big, but it definitely looks huge when seated next to the Shuttle P series chassis.

In terms of price, the Shuttle SD31P sells in the sub $500 range. A quick browse around the net finds it at ZipZoomFly for $455 and for $445.

The only place we could find the Silverstone SG01 at was (so we're not going to complain). They carry it for $150. When comparing to a Shuttle XPC, you must factor in an mATX 945G motherboard ($100), memory card reader ($20), reasonable 350W PSU ($40). As you can see, you can still save quite a bit of money over the Shuttle, and have an open upgrade path in the future.

So just what system does one choose? It comes down to one question: Is the flexibility and lower cost of the SG01 more attractive or does the idea of having a smaller overall system with higher quality integrated solution sound better? You can't go wrong with either.

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