The Console SFF
The Console SFF
Ever since the PC started encroaching into the living room space with the convergence of digital media and broadband, we have all been waiting for its Holy Grail - that perfect blend of style and performance which acts as the indispensable hub of your home entertainment system. Parallel developments like Microsoft launching its Windows XP Media Center Edition and the rise of AMD to challenge Intel in the processor arena in terms of cheaper and cooler chips have helped to drive this trend.
At the forefront of this has been Shuttle, which pioneered the small form factor (SFF) enclosure that found favor as both portable LAN gaming machines and equally stylish home theater PCs (HTPCs). Its SFF systems have been popular among enthusiasts who cherished its good build, aesthetically pleasing enclosures and the variety and support for dozens of chipset and processor combinations. If you can name it, Shuttle has the barebones system for it; the company has been the first to introduce both dual-core processor and SLI support to the SFF niche. Recently, Shuttle has expanded its scope beyond the versatile SFF domain to building systems targeted and tailored for HTPC usage. These systems, like the Shuttle XPC M1000 are undeniably made for the living room and look more like your typical DVD recorder while giving you the functionality of the PC and user-friendliness of a typical end-user appliance.
Based on Intel's Viiv platform, it seemed that the XPC M1000 was just the beginning of a new range of media PC oriented products. For instance, Shuttle felt that there was a market for very small SFFs, one that looked more like a competitor to Apple's Mac Mini or even a gaming console. Don't believe us? Here's the ultra small form factor of the new Shuttle XPC X100: