If you read our Athlon
64 Chip Guide, you'll be well aware that the Socket 754 Sempron is not only
very close to the speed of an Athlon 64, but a cooler running chip and a great
overclocker. These are all qualities that make for a great SFF processor. With
this in mind, we decided to take a look at the SN85G4 barebones unit from Shuttle.
Although this is now fairly old, being an nForce 150 solution, we wanted to
see how it faired with these budget CPUs.
Just like every other shuttle, the chassis is made entirely of
aluminium to help keep the weight down. The main cover has a black brushed finish
which would fit in almost any environment. Shuttle have made the bold move not
to include a 3 1/2" slot for a floppy drive. Instead they have included
a 7 in 1 card reader which has the slots carefully cut out in the mirror panel.
With most people owning digital cameras now, this is probably more useful.
The usual power and reset switches are present along with activity
LEDs. Just below the mirror panel, there are audio jacks, two USB ports and
The case lid is removed via three thumb screws to reveal the
chassis below. Included is a manual with step by step instructions on installing
the system. The drive cage is removed by two screws and lifts out of the top of the chassis. Once removed,
you can install an optical drive and hard drive in the normal manner. An IDE
cable and molex are already in place for the CD-ROM drive to speed up installation.
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