There has been a lot of discussion regarding this system on the Small Form Factor forum on viahardware.com. The gBox isn't a shuttle, but shuttle is apparently coming out with a similar system later this summer. Reportedly the Shuttle will look better (similar to the SS50 barebones system), have USB 2.0 and firewire, 1 AGP slot and 1 PCI slot.
But the Shuttle SS series do have 2 PCI slots so you could add an M-Audio card if you wanted. I don't know how they managed to get 2 slots in there.
I ordered the SV25 because I'm upgrading a system and want to use the leftover P3/850 cpu. I'm just going to use it as storage for video from my ReplayTV 4040, and it should actually fit on top of my tv.
That other system with the handle looks like it's more for gamers who take their pcs to lan parties.
Just found a picture of the Shuttle SS40G (amd version). That's an spdif on the front if you squint really good
I've actually put together one of these cases and set one up for my HT. I got mine from one of the US Distributors and wrote up a simple review here . Overall, I've been very happy with the case and setup.
The sound levels improved a bit once i installed the Extigy from Creative Labs which isn't shown in my pics. The onboard sound wasn't too bad by itself either but I wanted the digital outputs and also had other plans with an extigy lying around. I haven't played with the new Shuttle cases yet. Was also thinking about putting an SS40 together but opted for this case instead.
As for sound levels, I have the SV25 and it was EXTREMELY loud when I got it. Sounded like a hair dryer (I'm NOT kidding). I replaced all the fans (including disassembled the power supply to replace that one, which was the loudest computer fan I've ever heard), and now it's no louder than my other PC's.... but still not silent by any means.
I'm sure this is linked elsewhere, but if anyoine is interested, there's a review of the Shuttle SS50 on The Tech Report. In addition to 2PCI, 4 USB, 10/100 ethernet and 3 IEE1394 ports, it has an svideo out and a 6-pin mini DIN for 6-channel surround sound.
The interesting part is that they didn't kludge the built-in sound, ethernet, etc. capabilities of the SIS 961 South bridge, but opted to add a separate C-Media 8738 audio chip for the six channel sound, a Realtek ethernet chip, and a SiS 301 for the Tv encoding for the Svideo. All in all, it's got a lot of speclty chips where most small form factors try to (over?) leverage a few multipurpose chips.
Is the on-board SiS 301 adequate replacement for an AGP slot? Maybe not. But the PCI slots have enough room for a PCI Voodoo 5 card or similar large PCI video card, per the review, and I don't think an HTPC really maxes out a PCI slot the way a 3-D game might.
I actually don't use the Extigy for anything fancy right now so in many ways I can just use the audio out on the mobo. I just had an extigy around so I decided to use it that's all. The SS50 is a pretty sweet SSF PC also but I am waiting for the newer SS51 to come out in the latter half of the summer - hopefully I'll be able to review it then. For now the CF-S868 is a sweet machine for either an HTPC or a LAN party game machine.
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