Internals and Assembly
Shuttle ST61G4 has original looks, but its stuffing remained practically the same, only the card reader replaced the FDD that used to occupy the 3.5” bay. Thus, there are no magic tricks you need to know to assemble a fully-fledged system from a Shuttle ST61G4 barebone.
You have to install a processor and memory and attach a HDD and an optical drive. Optionally, you can add an expansion card and an external graphics card. Of course, developers of “cubic” systems take care for everything, so that it could be installed as easily as possible, and you can really cope with the assembly without even looking up in the accompanying manual.
The engineering team from Shuttle has accumulated a huge wealth of experience in making barebone systems, so it is hard to find any faults in the ST61G4: all cables follow optimal routes inside the case with fixing clips where necessary. Strangely enough, barebone makers, including Shuttle, don’t use round aerodynamic cables, although they would be very appropriate in mini-systems like that.
I won’t go into details regarding the actual assembly process. It’s quite typical and you can refer to our previous reviews (for example, about the AOpen XCcube EZ65) for the basic guidelines on the assembly. The drives chassis in the Shuttle ST61G4 can be removed for more convenient HDD installation, while the processor cooler is fastened with a spring clip at the processor side and with four screws at the back panel of the case. After you return back the drives chassis, you can get to the expansion card and AGP graphics card installation. By the way, this system can take “short” as well as “long” graphics cards like NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti. Unfortunately, graphics cards with massive cooling systems (that take the neighboring PCI slot in an ordinary computer) just can’t fit into the ST61G4. Here I am talking about various GeForce FX cards in the first hand, of course.
You will need only a screw-driver to perform the assembly, while the cover and the cooling system can be installed without any tools at all: they are fastened with thumb-screws. Does have this feature, but has no room inside the case for two hard disk drives. So I am rather doubtful about the possibility of building a RAID array here. Well, you can remove the card reader and put a second HDD there, but the slits in the front panel will remain. I think Shuttle integrated the SerialATA controller just for you to be able to use a single SerialATA HDD, as RADEON 9100 IGP doesn’t support this interface initially.