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Shuttle XPC P2 2700 review: Shuttle XPC P2 2700

You'll want to give Shuttle's new AMD-based, small-form-factor gaming PC a week or two to see how the coming Athlon price drop will affect the price tag. Assuming that Shuttle continues its aggressive pricing, however, the XPC P2 2700 will deliver lots of bang for your buck.

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Rich Brown
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Rich Brown

Executive Editor / Reviews - Home and Wellness

Rich moved his family from Brooklyn to Louisville, Kentucky, in 2013 to start CNET's Appliances and Smart Home review team, which includes the CNET Smart Home, the CNET Smart Apartment, and the Appliances Review lab. Before moving to Louisville, Rich ran CNET's desktop computer review section for 10 years. He has worked as a tech journalist since 1994, covering everything from 3D-printed guns to Z-Wave smart locks.

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If you're looking for a basic SFF gaming PC, we recommend that you do not buy the Shuttle or any other system right now. Instead, wait a week. Intel's new Core 2 Duo chips aren't offered on the XPC P2 2700, but Shuttle says it has a system with those chips in the works. In addition to Core 2 Duo availability, Shuttle tells us that it will implement AMD's forthcoming CPU price cuts as soon as they're announced the week of July 27. We expect that will make the XPC P2 2700 an even better deal than it already is.

7.2

Shuttle XPC P2 2700

The Good

Aggressive pricing that will only get more competitive with AMD's coming price cuts; room for full-size graphics card; uses latest AMD platform; strong performance; two free drive bays for more storage options.

The Bad

Larger than other small-form-factor PCs; media card reader costs extra.

The Bottom Line

You'll want to give Shuttle's new AMD-based, small-form-factor gaming PC a week or two to see how the coming Athlon price drop will affect the price tag. Assuming that Shuttle continues its aggressive pricing, however, the XPC P2 2700 will deliver lots of bang for your buck.
The trumped even the Apple Mac Mini for the number of features you can pack into a tiny media PC, and both models make the traditional bread box-size small-form-factor (SFF) case look downright gigantic. With Intel and AMD both increasing their chips' power efficiency, we expect this trend will continue. Thus, an SFF PC such as the $2,392 Shuttle XPC P2 2700 is effectively relegated to gaming, which benefits from the SFF case's extra room for a 3D graphics card. Falcon Northwest, Maingear, Shuttle, and others have SFF PCs aimed at gamers. While Falcon and Maingear systems lean more toward the higher end, with their raft of customization options, the XPC PC 2700 Shuttle instead offers a limited number of configuration choices at better prices. A similar config from its competition will run you at least $500 or more.

For right now, your $2,392 will get you a powerful XPC P2 2700. Our review model came with a Socket AM2 motherboard, complete with the high-end Athlon 64 X2 4800+ CPU and 2MB of 800MHz DDR2 SDRAM--a strong foundation for gaming and other intensive graphics tasks. (Intel's Core 2 Duo chips, however, will provide an even stronger foundation.) Shuttle sent us a powerful 512MB GeForce 7900 GTX graphics card and a fast 150GB Western Digital Raptor 10,000rpm hard drive (with room inside for two more drives or one drive and one $16 media card reader). A dual-layer DVD burner seals the deal.

What we also like about the Shuttle XPC P2 2700 is that upgrading this system costs less than it does with other vendors. Upgrading to the GeForce 7950 GX2 graphics card, for example, costs about $40 less from Shuttle than from Falcon or Maingear. Shuttle's aggressive pricing translates to other parts as well, which helps drive down the overall cost. Still, like every system without one, we wish the XPC P2 2700 came with a media card reader in the default configuration.

According to our new benchmarks, this configuration of the XPC P2 2700 competes well against the latest chips from Intel. It's hard to do a direct comparison because we haven't seen many systems yet with these parts, nor will we be able to really judge the price-to-performance ratio until we know what AMD's price cuts will look like. But based on raw performance, this new Shuttle finished as expected on every application and gaming test, which is to say that it didn't set records, but it's fast enough for anything you'd want to do with it. It even overachieves a little on our Photoshop test. We threw in the new Dell XPS 700, one of the fastest systems we've ever tested, just to give you an idea of how far the Shuttle is from the top.

Shuttle supports the XPC P2 2700 with a basic one-year parts-and-labor warranty with limited telephone support hours (12 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday), although the phone number is toll-free. It also includes a recovery disk, and the online support features step-by-step instructions for using it. The rest of the Web support includes a FAQ and product-return information. It's all relatively easy to understand, but we wish Shuttle had vendor-specific links to driver downloads and, in general, provided more robust resources.

Multitasking test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
McAfee AntiVirus 2006 and DivX 6.1  
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 test bed
174 

Photoshop CS2 image-processing test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Adobe Photoshop CS2 image-processing test  
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 test bed
219 

iTunes encoding test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Apple iTunes encoding test  
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 test bed
148 

Office productivity test (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Microsoft Office productivity test  
Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 test bed
536 
AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 test bed
556 

3D gaming performance (in fps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Quake 4 1,600x1,200 4xAA 8xAF  
Quake 4 1,024x768, 4xAA 8xAF  
F.E.A.R. 1,600x1,200 SS 8xAF  
F.E.A.R. 1,024x768 SS 8xAF  
Dell XPS X700
107.2 
115.2 
88 
126 
AMD Athlon 64 FX-62 test bed
91.9 
99.6 
46 
92 
Shuttle XPC P2 2700
74.6 
82.7 
45 
86 

Find out more about how we test desktop systems.

System configurations:
AMD test bed
Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe motherboard; Nvidia Nforce 590 SLI chipset; Corsair 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 1,066MHz; 512MB Nvidia GeForce 7900 GTX; 74GB Western Digital 10,000rpm serial ATA hard drive; Windows XP Professional SP2; PC Power & Cooling 1kw power supply
Dell XPS X700 (Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800)
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 SP2; 2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme X6800; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; Nvidia Nforce 590 SLI chipset; (2) 512MB Nvidia GeForce 7900 GTX SLI; (2) 320GB Western Digital 7,200rpm Serial ATA hard drives; Nvidia Nforce RAID class controller (RAID 0)
Intel test bed
Windows XP Professional SP2; Intel Core 2 Duo E6700; Intel Desktop Board D975XBX; Intel 975X chipset; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 512MB Nvidia GeForce 7900 GTX; 74GB Western Digital 10,000rpm serial ATA hard drive
Polywell Poly 430AM2
Windows XP Professional SP2; Intel Core 2 Duo E6700; Intel Desktop Board D975XBX; Intel 975X chipset; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 512MB Nvidia GeForce 7900 GTX; 74GB Western Digital 10,000rpm serial ATA hard drive
Shuttle XPC P2 2700g
Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005; 2.4GHz AMD Athlon 64 X2 4800+; 2,048MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 512MB Nvidia GeForce 7900 GTX; 150GB Western Digital 10,000rpm SATA
Velocity Micro Vector GX Campus Edition
Windows XP Home SP2; Intel Core 2 Duo E6300; Intel 975X chipset; 1,024MB DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz; 256MB Nvidia GeForce 7600 GS; 250GB Western Digital 7,200rpm serial ATA hard drive

7.2

Shuttle XPC P2 2700

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 8Performance 7Support 6
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