The $999 Shuttle XPC K6200h is pleasing to the eye with its clean, compact shape (it's even smaller than the Shuttle XPC i8600b), but its lackluster internal components deliver performance that can't keep pace with the other sub-$1,000 systems in our budget PC roundup. The K6200h's small size and quiet operation make it well suited for people who need an unobtrusive PC--just don't expect to be able to use it for more than the most basic applications.
The K6200h's tiny dimensions (6.75 by 7.5 by 11.25 inches, HWD) and effective cooling are due in large part to Shuttle's use of an external power supply. By moving the power supply from the case to a brick on the power cable, the system retains less internal heat, thus requiring less work from the typically noisy internal fan. Most of the time, the K6200h produces only a low hum, like that of a quiet fish tank. The only component that made significant noise was the loud Lite-On DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive, which made an intrusive whirr when we imported an audio CD.
The Shuttle XPC K6200h currently has a baseline price of $649 (the included 17-inch LCD makes up the difference in price), but it's no performance bargain. Featuring a 2.8GHz Intel Celeron D 335 processor and 512MB of DDR SDRAM, the K6200h can't match the iBuyPower Value-Pro's 2.2GHz AMD Athlon 64 3500+ chip and 1GB of system memory. It didn't fare well against the three other budget PCs in the roundup, either. The K6200h performed dead last on almost all of our tests. The only exception, interestingly, was on our Half-Life 2 test. At 17 frames per second, it's not playable even at the less demanding 800x600 resolution, even after reverting to the game's older DirectX 8.1 graphics-rendering mode. Unlike the Gateway and Sys PCs, though, the Shuttle at least posted a score. But make no mistake: with its bargain-basement CPU and integrated ATI graphics chip, the Shuttle XPC K6200h is no gaming box. It can barely handle regular 2D apps.
The rest of the Shuttle XPC K6200h's specs are similarly basic, with a respectable number of external inputs. It has an 8-in-1 media reader on the front along with two USB 2.0 ports and analog audio jacks. Around back, you'll find two more USB 2.0 ports, another set of analog audio ports, a digital audio jack, and a pair of FireWire ports. The inside doesn't offer much in the way of upgradability, but that's to be expected given the size of the unit. You get one free PCI slot and a spare memory slot, but no empty drive bays or free expansion slots for a graphics card of any substance (sorry, PCI 3D cards, you don't do the job).
Should you want to add more memory or a PCI card, you'll find that the system's cover comes off easily after you remove the three screws. Shuttle provides a respectable amount of storage thanks to the 160GB Western Digital 7,200rpm EIDE drive, which comes with Microsoft Windows XP Home SP2.
The Shuttle XPC K6200h doesn't ship with speakers--it's the only PC in our sub-$1,000 roundup without them--but you do get Shuttle's excellent XP17 Lite 17-inch LCD. The system's software bundle is nearly nonexistent: an OEM version of Nero's disk-burning software and nothing else.
Sadly, the support options aren't any stronger than the system itself. Our test model didn't come with a manual, either printed or electronic. You can look to the Shuttle Web site's support page for help, but it contains only vague FAQs and links to forums hosted on other sites. The site also lists the toll-free tech-support number (open weekdays from noon to 8 p.m. ET) and a link to the support e-mail address. The K6200h's warranty is good for one year of parts and labor--an average coverage period for systems in this price range.
|BAPCo's SysMark 2004 rating||SysMark 2004 Internet-content-creation rating||SysMark 2004 office-productivity rating|
|1,024x768 with no antialiasing and no anisotropic filtering|
|800x600 with no antialiasing and no anisotropic filtering|
Find out more about how we test desktop systems.
Windows XP Home SP2; 3.06GHz Intel Pentium 4 519; Intel 915GV chipset; 512MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; integrated Intel 915GV graphics chip using 128MB shared memory; Seagate ST3160023AS 160GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA
Windows XP Home SP2; 2.2GHz AMD Athlon 64 3500+; Nvidia Nforce-4 chipset; 1,024MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 6200 TurboCache PCI-Express; Western Digital WD1600JD-98HBB0 160GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA
Shuttle XPC K6200h
Windows XP Home SP2; 2.8GHz Intel Celeron D 335; ATI 9100IGP chipset; 512MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; integrated ATI 9100 graphics chip using 128MB shared memory; Western Digital WD1600JB-00GVA0 160GB 7,200rpm EIDE
Sys MediaMax S2600
Windows XP Home SP2; 1.8GHz AMD Sempron 3100+; Via K8M800 chipset; 512MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; 128MB Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 AGP; Western Digital WD800JD-75JNCO 80GB 7,200rpm Serial ATA
ZT Group Pro A7055
Windows XP Home SP2; 2.4GHz AMD Athlon 64 3400+; Via K8T800 chipset; 512MB DDR SDRAM 400MHz; 128MB Nvidia GeForce4 MX 400 AGP; Western Digital WD2000JB-00GVC0 200GB 7,200rpm EIDE