Shuttle Glamor XPC SG33G5 (Intel G33)

The G5 Makeover

The G5 Makeover

Shuttle's popular G5 chassis gets a minor makeover here, with the facade getting the 'glamor' treatment with touches of piano black gloss at the edges. LED indicators of blue and orange add a much needed dash of color to the overwhelmingly black chassis. Drive bays, a 5.25-inch and a 3.5-inch, are all concealed behind the black panels while a lower panel opens up at a touch to reveal the front connectivity ports, all of which should be familiar to users, such as USB 2.0 and FireWire ports.

The familiar facade of Shuttle's G5 chassis. Of course, there is now additionally the 'Glamor XPC ' label and even DTS Connect and HDMI logos in case you weren't paying attention to its multimedia prowess.

Behind a concealed panel lies the front connectivity ports, which are the useful albeit standard ones like USB 2.0, microphone and headphone jacks and a mini FireWire port.

Unlike some other Shuttle chassis, the G5 is not elevated at the front though there are four plastic feet to raise the whole enclosure slightly above the surface and there are ventilation holes at the bottom. Other vents are found on both sides of the chassis while at the rear, the largest air vent is reserved for cooling Shuttle's proprietary ICE heatsink.

The main air vent here is given to the CPU cooler, which relies on a combination of heat pipes and aluminum fins. Two add-on cards are also possible: a PCI and PCIe x16. A tiny CMOS reset is also found beside the analog audio outputs and you'll need a pen or sharp object to activate it.

It's not the first time that Shuttle has sacrificed legacy ports (PS/2) to accommodate for newer options like USB 2.0 and in the case of the SG33G5, eSATA ports. HDMI is another 'new' and useful option given, though the analog video output is retained for those still using older displays. Those who require a DVI connection can simply used the supplied HDMI-to-DVI converter plug.

One of the weaknesses of the G5 chassis we felt has been the lack of an integrated card reader and this is unchanged in the SG33G5. You could install one yourself but that would use up the single external 3.5-inch drive bay, ruling out other devices, including a second hard drive. For a system meant to be a media hub, this is an obvious shortcoming. In short, the G5 chassis remains very much like the original incarnation both externally and internally. There are however more positives than negatives to its design, even if the glamor factor appears to be mostly marketing. For those with even deeper pockets, Shuttle has another model - the SG33G5M - that comes with a vacuum florescent display (VFD) at the front and seems to be a more suitably glamorous candidate, even if the two systems are basically similar.

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