The new generation of barebones from Shuttle is compatible with 4th generation Intel Core processors with Intel’s high-performance H87 chipset.
A very interesting feature about the XPC from Shuttle is that they take compact solutions to the next level, getting rid of the limitations of small computers and making solutions easier. With a Shuttle XPC you can simply add a processor, memory and a storage device and you’ll have a smaller, quieter high-end PC. Also, the XPC offer something the Mini-ITX systems don’t: a proprietary motherboard that greatly increases performance.
Its specs make this the second best Intel chipset for this generation. The H87 does everything the Z87 does except for the over clocking customizations, because over clocking isn’t really what this model is about. This model is designed to have a powerful PC without much hassle, totally functional and with the latest technologies.
This is what the H87 has to offer, the latest technologies integrated in a more affordable chipset but just as powerful and versatile. For example, we have the same SATA controller with six 6gbps ports and many RAID modes or the native support for USB 3.0 and the same PCI Express connectivity. This translates into a similar performance and possibilities tan the high-end model.
Shuttle’s SH87R6 supports any 4th generation Core processor. It’s also the only option in the market capable of supporting four DDR3 slots and therefore can have up to 32GB of RAM. It’s also worth noting that ITX mother boards have only two memory slots, which means a total RAM of 16GB.
The wider space between the components also adds some interesting new features, like two upgrading slots that make room for a GPU and another additional card. Naturally, you can’t use the two of them at the same time if the both use the two slots.
Its size also allows for a wider space between the components and the possibility for very efficient cooling systems we will later talk about, which isn’t exactly special, but still a nice addition. We have four 6gbps internal SATA connectors, one mSATA/MiniPCIe connector also compatible with 6gbps SATA and with native support from the chipset, or a Half-MiniPCIe connector to add wireless connectivity.
The SH87R6 offers great connectivity with a vast array of different connectors. On the rear we have one dual-link DVI port (perfect for high-quality monitors), one HDMI 1.4 port, four USB 2.0 ports, one eSATA port connected to the 6gbps SATA port in the chipset, analog and digital HD Audio ports and finally two USB 3.0 ports.
This barebone is part of the sixth revision of Shuttle’s XPC series. There aren’t really many differences between this and de fifth version of this barebone, except for some design changes the rest is pretty much the same, we felt the management of the storage devices has still a lot of room for improvement. In any case, no we have access to an accessory, or we can also use any compatible one, to convert the two 3.5-inch disk bays into two 2.5-inch ones.
There’s one frontal 3.5-inch bay as well as a rear one, which makes it easy to install one frontal rack for 2-5-inck SSD units hot swapped. One additional 5.25-inch bay will let us mount optic drives or any other compatible device. It’s worth noting that this barebone is designed to hide these bays with frontal covers, and even though the 3.5-inch one is manual, the 5.25-inch one is designed to work with a DVD or Blu-Ray drive. There are two USB 3.0 frontal ports, two USB 2.0 –one of them charged (up to 2ª)-, and one frontal audio jack. We missed, though, the SD card reader.
Its design is simple, and since we mounted it with one mSATA SSD disk, the result was a very clean and efficient-looking model, not to mention very light thanks to its aluminum chassis. Also, it has a 300W Flex ATX power supply unit with 80 Plus Bronze certification (efficiency of more than 80%). It is capable of directing current to the mother board, several storage units and a 6-pin PEG connector for graphics cards.
There are two LEDs in the front that indicate disk activity and power, as well as one power and one reset button. They’re integrated on the frontal area, and are totally elegant-looking and discrete. This barebone is also compatible with ITX mother boards, a feature that gives it a new level of versatility.
Not a barebone for gamers or over lockers
We’ve analyzed other barebones from Shuttle, even similar to this one, that offer over clocking possibilities, but that’s not the case with this model. This is being sold as a work-oriented barebone, therefore it can’t really offer much for those looking for something else. Still, that doesn’t mean this isn’t an excellent model, especially if you consider its combination of features and a small size, something that no ITX model can offer.
The mother boards of these barebones aren’t saturated at all; it’s a very efficient program that’s as wide as a Micro ATX but not as tall.
The BIOS is simple and conventional, capable of taking advantage of all the functions and features of the barebone. The frequency cannot be altered beyond the memory settings you can change; it supports XMP profiles and offers very efficient noise control and system monitoring.
RAID, control of the different components and other features make this a very complete BIOS but without the frequency options present in boards. With the appropriate processor, though, this barebone can become an excellent tool.
Our personal experience
Many variants of the 4th generation Intel processors exist. Some of them, like the K series, have many possibilities for over clocking and high performance in demanding task, but the K series models are not everything Intel has to offer. There are many low resource-consuming models, like the i7 Core –without suffixes-, that integrate technologies like the VT-d, which can’t be found in the K series models. Shuttle’s compact models Intel has been introducing, therefore, have their own features and market.
Our test model had a Radeon HD 6670 with 5 Displayport ports (we connected 3 monitors to it) and an OCZ Revodrive hard disk.
In our case, we found in this barebone a simple and efficient model capable of having up to 32GB of RAM and supporting several kinds of storage devices. It’s also possible to upgrade it and add two GPUs for multiple screens by using the integrated graphics cards, as well as accessing some additional options for other kinds of cards –not that this is an extraordinary feature, though-.
We didn’t test the speed and performance of the mSATA connector to make sure it really is a 6gbps SATA one. As you can see in the screenshot, the board gets the job done and pays attention to every detail.
Our ADATA SX300 disk behaves just like we expected it to in the mSATA connector of the Shuttle SH87R6.
The cooling system hasn’t changed much and the consumption of the so this Shuttle system is very versatile. It has a system of three heat pipes that direct the heat to a dissipation block with an 80-millimeter fan that gets the hot air outside and side and frontal air entrances get cool air into the case. The works with very well and only needs two fans, a frontal one and a second one in the case.
Analysis and conclusion
A Shuttle barebone with the latest features of Intel’s most recent chipsets and processors; the result is a barebone adapted to the latest technologies that behaves flawlessly. It’s elegant and beautiful, like similar models of the brand, and with a small format but without its limitations thanks to its proprietary system. It costs 329 Dollars and includes case, motherboard, cooling system and power supply unit.