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Small form-factor personal computers can boast with growing popularity among all types of markets these days. There is demand for both cost-effective as well as higher-end luxurious models – end-users already do not want to restrict themselves with what one or two manufacturers offer them and have a great chance to select the best product from various companies at a great value. Shuttle, who is basically the inventor of “cube PC barebones” and the leading company on the market, has followed the trend and rolled-out two feature-rich SFF computers based on i875P and RADEON 9100 IGP chipsets.

The XPC ST61G barebone – first SFF PC powered by the RADEON 9100 IGP core-logic with integrated graphic core supporting DirectX 8.1 capabilities unveiled this Summer – is probably targeted for gamers and multimedia enthusiasts. Besides the relatively powerful graphics, the ST61G is able to provide a dual-channel memory controller to boost performance in multimedia applications, 1AGP 8x and 1 PCI slot for greater expandability, 2-channel Parallel ATA controller as well as 2 Serial ATA-150 ports. Generally, the ST61G is a PC that packs dozens of capabilities and may be upgraded to bring even more features and performance to satisfy growing demand for extreme performance.

A couple of days ago a new XPC barebone from Shuttle – SB75G2 – emerged in a number of Akihabara stores in Japan. The product is built upon i875P core-logic – Intel’s premier chipset this year. The SB75G brings everything Shuttle XPC platform has to offer – loads of I/O ports, including USB 2.0 and FireWire, Shuttle’s own technologies as well as 220W PSU – one of the most powerful PSU used in barebones. The main peculiarity of the PC barebone is a number of enterprise PC features – Gigabit Ethernet, ECC memory support and Serial ATA-150 RAID. All three are hardly used at home, but are popular among workstation users demanding rock-solid stability and the fastest Ethernet connection.

Nowadays we witness how small form-factor personal computers address home-users, gamers, hardware-enthusiasts and even enterprise users with a variety of products. In just one and a half years PC barebones become capable of offering the right solution for nearly all markets. Even though quite some companies are not satisfied with their SFF PC sales, the market itself is becoming broader and more mature, what is definitely very positive. Now it is time for customers to bite…


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