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Performance

Now that we are about to start our discussion of the benchmarking results obtained on Shuttle ST61G4, we would like to remind you once again that it is built on ATI RADEON 9100 IGP chipset. We have already dedicated an entire review to the ATI RADEON 9100 IGP chipset (click here for details). On the one hand, its integrated graphics core has no rival today, but on the other hand, the memory controller is very slow. Keeping these two facts in mind, you can easily explain the results you see below.

To check out the performance level of Shuttle ST61G4 we assembled it with an Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz processor, two Corsair XMS3200LL memory modules (256MB each), a Western Digital WD360GD HDD (Raptor), and a CD-ROM. After benchmarking this system, we added an external RADEON 9700 PRO graphics card and ran the tests anew to see how the graphics card would influence the system performance.

In the table below we also included the results of an analogous desktop system on ASUS P4P800 mainboard (Intel 865PE chipset) as well as the results of another barebone, AOpen XCcube EZ65, based on Intel 865G integrated chipset. The system ran Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 1 and DirectX 9.0b installed.

 

AOpen XC?ube EZ65

Shuttle ST61G4

ASUS P4P800

Internal Graphics

ATI RADEON 9700 PRO

Internal Graphics

ATI RADEON 9700 PRO

ATI RADEON 9700 PRO

i865G

ATI RADEON 9100 IGP

i865PE

Business Winstone 2002

33.8

34.5

34.0

33.9

36.3

Multimedia Content Creation Winstone 2003

51.8

53.2

51.5

52.0

54.2

3DMark2001 SE, Score

2992

16827

5664

15623

17661

3DMark03, Score

37

5118

818

4803

5162

3DMark03, CPU Score

-

724

576

678

771

SiSoft Sandra 2004, RAM Buffered Bandwidth

4519

4764

3995

4165

5045

UT2003, dm-antalus, 1024x768x32

9.58

65.28

33.31

59.95

69.06

Quake3 Arena, four, 1024x768x32

57.4

370.8

84.5

312.3

400.1

I guess it is all clear. If you are planning to use the integrated graphics core of the Shuttle ST61G4 system, you wouldn’t find a better alternative. But if you are planning to install an external graphics card, this barebone won’t please you with high performance. At least, Socket 478 systems on other chipsets work faster in this case.

Conclusion

When reviewing ATI RADEON 9100 IGP chipset, I expressed my opinion that it would suit well for a barebone system due to its fast graphics core. Shuttle ST61G4 is a proof that I was right. The “cubic” from Shuttle is just excellent until we start to compare its performance with an installed add-on graphics card with that of other barebone systems on other chipsets. So, this is the main bottleneck of Shuttle ST61G4: it is slow with an external graphics card. Well, it’s really not the fault of the engineering team from Shuttle, it’s just the choice of the chipset that determines this situation.

As for the rest of the features available in this barebone, they are quite satisfactory for today. The system offers you everything necessary like USB 2.0 and IEEE1394, integrated video and audio, Serial and Parallel ATA, a universal card reader and good expansion options.

Highs:

  • Stylish exterior;
  • High performance of the integrated graphics core;
  • Integrated card reader;
  • Easy to assemble;
  • High functionality;
  • Support of SerialATA hard disk drives;
  • TV-Out;
  • High stability.

Lows:

  • Low performance with an external graphics card;
  • No utilities for hardware monitoring included in the bundle;
  • No DVI output
 
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