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Desktops

Shuttle x27D: Dual-core Atom 330 desktop

Be jealous -- very, very jealous. We've just got our filthy paws on the Shuttle x27D -- the first Shuttle PC to use an Intel Atom 330 CPU

Be jealous -- very, very jealous. We've just got our filthy paws on the Shuttle x27D -- the first Shuttle PC to use an Intel Atom 330 CPU.

The Atom 330, as our geekier readers will know, is a dual-core Atom variant designed for desktop PCs, not netbooks. In theory, it promises very low power consumption and low heat output, while improving on the performance offered by single-core Atom CPUs.

Our early tests yielded positive results. It racked up a PCMark 2005 score of 2,035, which indicates it's around 25 per cent faster than the single-core Atom N270 you get in netbooks such as the Eee PC, or desktops such as the Eee Box and the Eee Top. The only drawback was that it generated a fair bit of heat and noise.

We won't hold that against it though -- mainly because it's housed in what is arguably Shuttle's best-looking small form-factor chassis. A flap at the front folds down to reveal a couple of USB ports plus mic and headphone ports, and round the rear, you get four additional USB ports, plus DVI and D-Sub video outputs.

In addition to the Atom 330 chip, our test system was fitted with 2GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, a DVD rewriter drive, and onboard Intel GMA 950 graphics. Check back in a few days for a full, in-depth review, or head on over to Ambros to buy one now for just £199.