In recent years, we have seen the explosive growth of digital media, with movies and television shows quickly following music into the digital arena. With its versatility, the home PC has naturally emerged as a focal point of this trend, with big companies jumping onto the multimedia bandwagon. HP is an example of a vendor which has had great success with systems configured to act as media and entertainment hubs, also known as HTPCs. However, for those who desire more customization options than those offered by the usual vendors, home theatre enthusiasts hoping to go digital for instance, these specialized needs may be more suited to a DIY approach.
And for that, they can turn to a niche segment provided by a few manufacturers and dominated by a single name - Shuttle. As the pioneer of small form factor (SFF) computers, Shuttle has consistently kept up with the latest technology, introducing models that rapidly mirrored the developments in the market. Hence, consumers will almost always find a suitable Shuttle equivalent for any chipset available in retail. Which means that with chipmaker Intel preparing for its upcoming 45nm processors by releasing its Bearlake (3-series) chipsets, Shuttle too has adapted one of these chipsets, the Intel G33 Express for its newest SFF and the first in its new Glamor XPC series, the SG33G5.
Based on Intel's G33 Express chipset, the XPC SG33G5 supports all processors using Intel's LGA775 socket, from the low-end Celeron 400 series to the quad-core Core 2 Extreme. It will also support the 45nm Penryn processors when they are released, though DDR3 memory is not on the cards at the moment. Its multimedia credentials are decent as it comes with Intel's new GMA 3100 graphics chipset with Intel Clear Video technology to enhance high definition video playback. A HDMI output and hence HDCP compliance, along with 7.1 audio channels with Dolby Digital Live! and DTS Connect bolsters its case further. Impressed so far? Here are the rest of the specifications: