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The below is a link to a review of the Shuttle SS40. It's a barebones, Small Form Factor PC. It's relatively quiet operation and small form factor might lend itself well to being used in a HTPC application. www.newegg.com has them listed at $350. CPU/Ram not included.


It does have fans, so it's not as silent as the Apple Cube (was it iCube?) unfortunately.

Review of Shuttle SS40



It's specifications:


Shuttle FS40 Motherboard


AMD Athlon/Duron Support


SiS 740 Northbridge/961 Soutbridge


DDR200/266 Support - up to 1GB


ATA/100 Support - 2 IDE Ports


Integrated Video


2 Serial Ports


4 USB Ports (2 Rear, 2 Front)


USB 2.0 PCI Card


3 Firewire Ports (1 Front, 2 Rear)


PS/2 Keyboard/Mouse Ports


S-Video Out w/ RCA Adapter


CMedia 6 CHannel Sound


Front Headphone and Microphone Jacks


Front Optical Output


Onboard Realtek RT8100B LAN


Infra-Red Support


2 PCI Slots


Aluminum Chassis


1 5.25" Bay, 2 3.25" Bays (1 External)


(L) 300mm X (W) 200mm X (H) 185mm


200W Power Supply


1 80mm Rear Exhaust Fan


Heatpipe Heatsink with Radiator
 

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Hi Nomas:


___Welcome to the Home Theater Computer forum. There is a ton of information here so please read what you can at a pace that will get you up to speed quickly. The HTPC FAQ will hopefully help in this regard.


___What makes an HTPC is its ability to scale video to the highest quality without artifacts as well as its ability to output a sound solution that even an audiophile could love. The Shuttle SS40 is about as far away from these two goals as possible and it would not matter to most here if it was cooled passively (completely silent) or was the size of a jewelry box. Without the audio and visual characteristics most here are accustomed to, it is not an HTPC but simply a small form factored setup for someone looking for a PC that looks like it does. If you search the HT Computer forums, this is not the first time this setup has been discussed. What would be neat is if Shuttle or whoever wanted to design one of these would leave maybe 3 PCI slots and a full blown AGP slot for our uses. Than many here would consider it.


___Good Luck


___Wayne R. Gerdes

___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.

___ [email protected]
 

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These boxes seem perfectly sensible choices to me. Personally I would go the Intel version but the AMDs have a useful price advantage here in UK.

A PCI radeon card, and a quality PCI sound card would make a very appealing htpc with the cheap cool Cyrix CPU.

If you need video input to the box, keep the ATI card, add a PCI capture card and use SPDIF via a USB device.

Seems a shame to write off solutions that are a little different to the norm (I know these boxes have substantial threads on them), and a lot of posts are about trying to make boxes as pretty as a jewlery box if not as small - one day perhaps :)
 

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The SS40 does have digital audio out, and from what I've read the Cmedia chip doesn't upsample 441.kHz audio to 48kHz like many sound cards.


The lack of an AGP slot is an issue, however a PCI video card might be a viable solution.


Personally, I'm waiting for the SS51, which will have 1 AGP and 1 PCI slot. With digital audio out, integrated LAN, firewire, and USB 2.0, I plan on putting a ATI Radeon 7500 AIW card in along with a DVD+RW drive and a large HD for a very small, stylish media server.


Later on, I might add the Delta 410 as a soundcard for use as a pre-amp. Alternatively, I could put in a DScaler compatible tuner card, but I've been more happy so far with my ATI AIW than my Pinnacle Studio PCTV Pro and Dscaler.


Other than a decent video card, digital audio out (without resampling), a spot for a TV tuner and ethernet, I can't think of much else that I would need in a HTPC. Obviously this will vary depedning on your particular setup.


There is a fair amount of discussion of the SS40 and the upcoming SS51 on viahardware.com's Small Form Factor board.


Andrew
 
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