The Shuttle XPC G2 7500M gives us our first chance to review a complete PC from Shuttle, a company best known as a purveyor of small-form-factor (SFF) desktop cases and bare-bones systems. Drawing on its expertise in SFF designs, Shuttle packs the XPC G2 7500M with fast, hot-running parts--an impressive feat considering the size of the case. Coupled with Microsoft's Windows Media Center operating system, it is easy to recommend this compact, high-performance PC to portability-minded gamers, as well as to those looking to integrate a PC with their home-theater components.
Today's fastest components normally generate more heat than the cramped interior of an SFF PC can effectively dissipate, but thanks to a unique convection-cooling heat sink on the 3.4GHz Intel Pentium 4 CPU, Shuttle is able to use this high-end processor and the power-hungry ATI Radeon 9800XT graphics card--parts that are normally reserved for full-size PCs and their arrays of internal cooling fans. But the Shuttle's heat sink not only cools the CPU effectively, but by replacing the CPU fan, the heat sink eliminates the noise generated by the spinning blades, making the XPC G2 7500M fairly quiet.
Another standout feature of the XPC G2 7500M is the XP17 17-inch LCD that was included with our test system. This optional upgrade drives the overall price to $3,299, but Shuttle's unique spin on standard LCD design makes for a compelling sales pitch. Reminiscent of Apple's outstanding (and larger) , the XP17 LCD's sleek design offers a light weight, plus portability, in the form of a smartly incorporated handle, and it also features a slide-show-friendly portrait-viewing mode, thanks to the rotating support arm on the back panel. The XP17's image quality was solid when we tested it with a DVD movie: we saw realistic-looking color and accurate contrast. Gamers will appreciate the quick 18-millisecond response time, an important rating in determining how smoothly an LCD can display a moving 3D image.
In addition to robust components, such as 1GB of 400MHz DDR memory, a 200GB 7,200rpm hard drive, a 4X Sony multiformat DVD-recordable drive, and an AverMedia TV tuner (complete with DVR features and an FM radio receiver), the XPC G2 7500M is practically a showroom of current wireless technology. Most innovative is the built-in 802.11b wireless receiver, with its screw-on external antenna. A USB infrared receiver picks up the signal from the included Windows Media Center remote control, and Shuttle includes a Logitech Bluetooth keyboard/mouse combo. As for expansion, all of the internal slots and drive bays are occupied, as is usually the case with SFF PCs, but six external USB 2.0 ports and a pair of FireWire jacks help make up the difference.
We saw outstanding performance on our benchmarks, with the XPC G2 7500M posting the fastest scores we've seen for a Media Center-based PC. It also fared well against similarly configured full-size desktops, despite its slightly slower Intel 865 chipset. Shuttle backs up the XPC G2 7500M with a warranty providing one year of parts and labor coverage. This is better than nothing, but we would rather see longer coverage out of the box for a PC as complex as this one.
|BAPCo SysMark 2004 rating||SysMark 2004 Internet-content-creation rating||SysMark 2004 office-productivity rating|
|Unreal Tournament 2003 Flyby-Antalus 1,024x768||Unreal Tournament 2003 Flyby-Antalus 1,600x1,200 4xAA 8xAF|
Find out more about how we test desktop systems.
Windows XP Home, 3.2EGHz Intel Pentium 4; Intel 875P chipset; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; Nvidia GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 256MB; two WDC WD740GD-00FLA0 74GB 10,000rpm Serial ATA; integrated WinXP Promise FastTrak 378 controller
Windows XP Home, 3.4GHz Intel Pentium 4 Extreme Edition; Intel 875P chipset; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; Nvidia GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 256MB; two Seagate ST3120026AS 120GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA; integrated Intel 82801ER SATA RAID controller
Gateway FMC-901X Family Room Media Center
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004; 3GHz Intel Pentium 4; Intel 865PE chipset; 512MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB; Maxtor 7Y250P0 250GB 7,200rpm
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004; 3.4GHz Intel Pentium 4; Intel 875P chipset; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; ATI Radeon 9800XT 256MB; WDC WD2000JB-00FUA0 200GB 7,200rpm
Windows XP Professional, 2.4GHz AMD Athlon 64 FX-53; Nvidia Nforce-3 Pro 150; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; Nvidia GeForce FX 5950 Ultra 256MB; two WDC WD360GD-00FNA0 36GB Serial ATA 10,000rpm; one WDC WD2000JB-00EVA0 200GB ATA/100 7,200rpm; integrated WinXP Promise FastTrak 378 controller