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Shuttles from Enigine?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by phil_evans, Feb 1, 2003.

  1. phil_evans

    phil_evans
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    Am thinking of building a Shuttle based HCPC and like the look of Enigine's site (www.enigine.com) as they build to spec. Has anyone ordered from them before? I can't find any references on the web (tried Sudhian, Hexus forums too).

    Alternative seems to be to do the work myself and buy components thru someone like Ultim8pc.co.uk.

    Any suggestions welcome.
     
  2. ChrisAllenFiz

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    www.microdirect.co.uk have specials on these most weekends. I think if you are confident to build it yourself you will save a fair bit

    Chris
     
  3. cybersoga

    cybersoga
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    Kustom PC's are the best place to buy Shuttle stuff, they offer an excellent one to one service and I cant reccomend them enough. My XPC's facia had a manufacturing defect and I had it replaced in days, they even sent the new facia before I sent the old one back! If you ask them, I think they do offer a service where they can build the PC for you...
     
  4. phil_evans

    phil_evans
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    Thanks for the recommendations guys - looks like I would save a few quid thru self-build and learn a hell of a lot in the process. Will no doubt be back with many a question once I've taken the plunge...

    Cheers,
    Phil
     
  5. HMHB

    HMHB
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    Another place to look is CCL Computers
    They have some pre-built systems and DIY and are very competitive. As stated above, Kustompcs are also very good and have good aftersales and their own forum if you get into difficulties.
     
  6. Orbitalzone

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    Can anyone with a Shuttle (preferably a SS51G) tell me if they're quite quite ?

    Some reports I read online suggest that they're not always too quiet (but maybe that's the AMD versions?)

    Ideally I want something small to have in the lounge that looks nice on a shelf, works as a powerful PC and use with the hifi etc....

    also any comments on quiet hard drives..?... Seagate Baracuda's are quiet if I recall.... again any comments or your experiences on Shuttles and quiet drives appreciated...
     
  7. HMHB

    HMHB
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    I've no first hand experience but most reviews I've read recently have suggested that they are all a little too noisy. I was thinking about building one myself - but need it to be quiet so will wait until I find out 1st hand. There's a section on the Kustompcs forum that is specifically for small form factor pcs so it may be worth asking the question there.
    As for hard drives, I have an 80GB Seagate and it is fast and whisper quiet. I also have one of the Western Digital drives with an 8MB cache - but that is more noisy in operation when reading/writing.
     
  8. Orbitalzone

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    Thanks John, I've read conflicting reviews on the Shuttles... I suppose it all depends on what people consider 'quiet'

    I want something as near silent as possible... but I've found most other people rarely notice the noise coming out of their PC...
     
  9. Magsy

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    I have one (SS51).
    If you want silent then go elsewhere, the psu fan is clearly heard, the heatpipe one less so but its still there.
    When the fan spins up (temp controlled) its really loud, you can control this and i doubt in htpc usage you`d have it spin up but if it did during a movie it would annoy the hell outta you.

    The seagate drives are the quiet ones!

    I`m not fully satisfied with my 51g, its been a rollercoaster of a ride trying to get it to work 100% and its still not right - truth is i pushed whats allowable in a SFF pc to far (scsi stuff).

    Cybersoga has had many an issue with a freeview card too, which might be on your list? he can explain better! (He swapped for a SB51g and all is good...)

    I`d be looking at the SB51g if i was buying again!
     
  10. Adlopa

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    I use an SS51 with a P4 2.53 and compared to a normal midi-tower, it's pretty quiet. Most of it does come down to what components you use -- fast CD-RW drives are inherently noisy and my WD hard drive audibly whines (get a Seagate Barracuda, in other words).

    As far as the Shuttle itself goes, the heat pipes on the CPU with the temperature controlled fan really helps to keep the noise down but I (along with many others) have replaced the stock fans on the CPU and PSU with more efficient and quieter models. This is very, very simple but obviously voids your warranty... The small case does have some cooling issues and some people have even gone as far as modding the case to fit additionial cooling for greater air throughput. But if all you 've known is a regular PC, the out-of-the-box Shuttle will open your eyes, noise-wise.

    Incidentally, you should check out the SFF Forums more more info -- everyone's very helpful and informative.
     
  11. RimBlock

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    The problem with the Shuttles are that the PSU fan is very small and spins very fast generating a lot of noise in a quiet room (ie. no movie running).

    I have a SS50 which is fine for what I want (HTPC) and rather than use the small fan and half height heat sink, you can just get the standard PIV fan in with a little bending. The SS51 has the heat pipe which I havn't tried but if the fan is noisy then you can get a quieter fan from somewhere like Kustom (yes I have found them to be very good as well).

    For the PSU fan, a lot of people fit a speed controller to slow it down and cut the noise. It still produces a noise (very high pitched but unhearable with a tv on normal levels) and having the PSU modified like this will invalidate your warranty.

    If you are not going to use the machine for games then I would suggest looking at a SS50 (main difference is the lack of AGP slot for video card).

    The seagate drive in mine is silent.

    With a PIV 1.6 running the show I have no problems with dropped frames etc watching Mpeg2, Mpeg 4 or any other formats.

    Sounds ok but you have two PCI slots with which to add a better sound card if you wish.

    Oh the other problem with them is the 'burn your eyes out' bright led's on the fromt (power and disk).

    They are bright enough to light up a room and probably look cool at your local lan party but for watching a movie at home they can be quite a distraction. These should be easy to replace with a new ones if you want too although I havent bothered.

    The SS/SB51's also do not have TV out as standard so you would need an addon card for that. The SS50 has a SVHS output but no digital audio out as standard (just 5 channel 3.5mm jack plugs).

    Depends on exactly what you want to use it for (dvd player replacement / email / web browsing / movie file player from either it's hard disk or another machine on a network / games etc).

    Hope this has helped abit.
    RB

    Oh and Kustoms SFF forums are here.
     
  12. Orbitalzone

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    Thanks for all your replies and the links... most interesting indeed!
     
  13. DJT

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    Very interested to read this thread, I have couple points to add that you might find interesting.

    I have built XPCs with both Seagates and the WD SE and I'm more than prepared to take the performance over the, very slight IMHO, increase in disk noise - not that I've ever heard it over the system fan.

    The problem of cooling as computers shrink and processors get faster will be with us for a while. This is further compounded by faster video cards and faster hard drives, all of which will raise internal temperatures making processor cooling less efficient and lower the lifetime of everything else, something amplified in SFF boxes of course.

    Shuttle's solution is probably one of the best, to use the system fan to cool both the internal components and the processor with the obvious benefits. The design has moved on greatly from the SS40G, which is a little noisy, with us being able to put a 3.06GHz P4 in the SB51G and run the fan at half-speed with the Temperature Guardian on (we also have put the Athlon 2700 in an SN for review in ComputerActive and that also ran 'quiet').

    I have an SK connected to my TV via the on-board S-Video, an XP1700 (BTW temperature doesn't change really as you go up the scale - they all were designed in a hurry so all run at around 40 - 47 at the die!). I replaced the Shuttle original with an ultra-quiet fan and it makes a little difference, which is important in the front room. I then had it in bits and tried every expensive on chip cooler out there (Silver Mountain Quiet 2, Global Win etc.), and nothing came close (they all have smaller fans).

    Currently, as someone pointed out earlier, the PSU fan is dominant, and I haven't had a chance to get in there yet :) , but IMHO its quiet enough to be able to watch a DVD an not get distracted in quiet moments, and I don't think I'd want to risk my data on the HD for a few dBs.

    Cheers,

    Darren, Enigine

    PS> FYI the 3.06GHz SB clocked a 3DMark 2001 SE of 15111 (1024x768/32) with an ATi Radeon 9700 - not bad for a littl'un!
     
  14. phil_evans

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    Darren - welcome to the AVforums - its great to see another vendor posting here!

    Another quick question on the Shuttles - I know the S/PDIF output is on the front panel and causes much angst for AV users, but looking at the motherboard manuals (SB/SN) it talks about there being a S/PDIF header on the motherboard. Is this "used up" by the front S/PDIF or could this be configured as an additional output at the rear of the machine (assuming I was willing to cut the case)?

    Regards,
    Phil
     
  15. cybersoga

    cybersoga
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    You could make your own spdif output and mount it on the back of the case, the header on the main board does allow for this. I havn't got round to it yet. here's a pic of my XPC with the new Sony DVD writer and the clear/silver facia!
    [​IMG]
     
  16. DJT

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    I concur, the pins are shown in detail in the mb manual. Also there is a small push-out panel above the cooler (usually for a parallel port) which looks a likely candidate for the in/out sockets without hacksaws being involved :)

    Nice silver fascia BTW. Although I'd love one of the mini-LCD ones myself!!

    Darren
     
  17. phil_evans

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    Hi Cybersoga,

    Very nice it is too - how much does the clear/silver facia cost? I can see why people get so upset about the S/PDIF (and I guess you can't bend the cables too severely either)!

    Another question - this time about the multi-format memory card reader sold by Shuttle. Is this a read/write device or just read? I ask because I bought a PCMCIA CF adapter for my laptop for the purposes of transferring digital photos but I find the device magic at work and home for transferring files between laptops (as was particularly useful the other day when our whole network went down for a day due to Slammer). Perhaps the space would be better occupied by a second HDD with an external USB memory card RW device.

    I have DVB PVR ideas (e.g. Nebula, Showshifter) but know the path is not that easy....

    Phil
     
  18. cybersoga

    cybersoga
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    The facia was about £15. This is what I use as a CF card reader, I got it from Maplin.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. phil_evans

    phil_evans
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    Very nice (again)!
     
  20. CW1000

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    The Front S/PDIF connects to the S/PDIF header on the motherboard.

    I believe that shuttle make an addon that can connect to the S/PDIF header to provide optical/coax in/out, but it says that it works with the SS50N but doesn't say if it works with the newer shuttles. The card get mounted in the PCI slot, but doesn't plug in to the PCI socket

    Pic: http://www.shuttle.com/new/Images/productimages/ca10.jpg

    The SS50N has a different pinout for the S/PDIF header so that addon might not work in the SB/SN models.

    The front S/PDIF port on the SB/SN looks like it's mounted on the same board as the front audio/usb/firewire connectors. So you would have to make your own S/PDIF connector for the rear of the shuttle (it looks like it has a small circuit) unless you can find one for sale.
     
  21. DJT

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    Shuttle's own literature say the CA10 is only for SV25 and the SS50C. One day if I can get my hands on one I'll take a look at taking it apart.

    Until then I'm going to look for alternative solutions to this problem...

    Darren
     

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