Assembling the Shuttle
SB65G2 was very simple and straight forward.
Getting one of these barebones machines up and running
is as easy as inserting your RAM, CPU and video card,
and mounting the drives in the removable drive tray.
Then route a few power and drive cables and your done.
We had absolutely no trouble getting the SB65G2 built
and powered up in under an hour. We're sure some
of you seasoned HotHardware veterans could do it even
Setup & Quality
Small? You Betcha!
The SB65G2, as the name
implies, is based on Shuttle's all-aluminum G2
enclosure that was first introduced with the SN41G2.
As you'll see a little later, the G2 case seems a bit
drab, at least in our opinion, when compared to the
style of the new G4, but it is still sleek and very
functional. The sides of the case are perforated
with holes designed to draw cool air into the chassis,
which is then drawn over the heat-pipe and through the
220 Watt PSU, and is finally expelled out of the rear
of the case. The cooling system seemed very
effective, as it kept our 3.2GHz Pentium 4 hovering
around 40C at idle.
- 2 x USB
- 1 x mini1394
- 1 x Line-In
- 1 x Mic-In
- 1 x
- 1 x Power-On
- 1 x Reset
- 4 USB2.0
- 1 PS/2
- 1 PS/2 Mouse
- 1 IEEE1394
- 1 Rear out
- 1 x Front out
- 1 x
- 1 RJ45 LAN
- 1 Serial
- 1 PCI slot
- 1 AGP 8X/4X
The Shuttle SB65G2 is
laden with connectors, on both the front and rear of
the system. Situated on the front fascia are two
USB 2.0 ports, a single mini-1394 port, three 1/8"
audio connectors (Line In, Microphone In and Headphone
Out) and the power and reset switches. The rear
of the system is adorned with three more 1/8" audio
connectors (Front, Rear and Center / Bass Out), S/PDIF
in and out, four more USB 2.0 ports, a powered IEE1394
connector, a serial port, PS/2 keyboard and mouse
ports, an RJ45 LAN port and lastly an antenna mount
for the built-in 802.11b wireless Ethernet controller.
As you can see, the externally available connectors
leave little to be desired...
The system's internals
could use a little work, however. For the most
part, the layout of Shuttle's FB65 motherboard is
good, but there are a few things that could have been
done better. We're not big fans of vertically
mounted CMOS batteries because the clips are
notoriously easy to bend and break off. We
realize board real-estate is limited, but Shuttle
could have easily mounted the CMOS battery flush with
the board. Secondly, we're also a bit
disappointed that nothing has been done to clean up
the thick, white cables used to connect the various
headers to the front and rear mounted ports.
These cables contribute greatly to the overall
cluttered look of the system's internals and impede on
both slots. We hope Shuttle (and virtually every
other SFF system builder for that matter) move the
headers to the edge of the motherboard and route the
cables underneath. Doing so would clean up the
inside of the system considerably, and would improve
airflow to boot. The rest of the components are
well laid out and easily accessible, especially
considering the diminutive size of the SB65G2.
The RAM and CPU were easy to install and remove, and
all of the included cables are just the right size.
As Complete As They Get
Shuttle has equipped the
SB65G2 with a very complete Phoenix / Award BIOS, that
should please even the most discriminating power
users. Some SFF systems have traditionally
shipped with somewhat limited BIOSes, but not the
SB65G2. The BIOS on this system has a full
compliment of options for tweaking the RAM and all of
the on-board peripherals. The system's fan
speeds can also be altered for maximum airflow, or
minimum noise. Fans can even be set to spin-up
or down at a specified temperature.
In the six screen shots
above, you'll find all of the overclocking options
available within the SB65G2's BIOS. The Front
Side Bus (FSB) can be set to any frequency between
100MHz and 355MHz, in 1MHz increments. The AGP,
PCI and SATA clock speeds can run asynchronously with
the FSB and can be locked at specified frequencies to
prevent running drives and video cards too far out of
spec. CPU, AGP and DDR voltages can also be
altered. The CPU voltage can be set as high as
1.85v in .025v increments. The AGP voltage
options range from 1.55v to 1.65v in .05v increments
and the available DDR voltages range from 2.65v to
2.75v, in .05v increments. With the ability to
also set memory timings manually, the SB65G2's BIOS
gives overclockers all of the tools they need to push
their CPU well beyond its rated speed.
SANDRA CPU BENCHMARK
SANDRA CPU BENCHMARK
CPU @ 3.20GHZ
CPU @ 3.68GHZ
We set out to see just how
high we could push our 3.2GHz Pentium with the SB65G2.
With a modest bump in core voltage up to 1.7v, we
slowly raised the FSB until the system was no longer
stable. In the end, we were able to push our
particular CPU all the way to 3.68GHz (16 x 230MHz).
Even at this high speed, Shuttle's custom I.C.E
heat-pipe CPU cooling system kept the processor
relatively cool (hovering around 55C - 60C).
Up Close &
Personal with the SN85G4