Shuttle add Z68 to their barebones series
Ryan Martin / 5 years ago
Shuttle is a well known brand for the sale of small form factor (SFF) barebones which normally consist of PC case, power supply and motherboard combos. Most of their barebones to date have been comprised of the H61, H67 and P67 platforms from Intel. However, as of today they have introduced Intel’s Z68 platform. Probably from recognising the usefulness of SSD caching technology to HTPC and SFF owners. All of Shuttle’s barebones will come with an mSATA port to allow for small SSDs (of 64GB or less capacity) to cache the primary mechanical hard drives.
The first model to be given Z68 at Shuttle is the XPC Barebone SZ68R5. This barebones kit will have a healthy portfolio of PCI-E expansion compared to what you would normally expect to find in a HTPC. There will be a full size PCI-E 2.0 16X slot which will obviously support discrete video cards and anything else that needs more than 4X slot. There will be a PCI-E 2.0 4X slot ideal for wireless cards or rear mounted expansion inputs. Finally there is a PCI-E 2.0 1X slot and the mSATA slot mentioned earlier (mSATA is actually a PCI-E lane not a SATA input despite the naming).
The motherboard will be supporting up to 32GB of memory across the 4 memory slots so that means 8GB DIMMs are supported. Shuttle have also integrated a “Turbo Boost” function into the motherboard BIOS allowing uses to overclock when wanting extra performance and downclock when wanting to save power (similar to ASUS’ EPU and TPU technology). The motherboard will support the full range of Sandy Bridge processors from the Celerons all the way up to the core i7s. The board has display outputs should you want to use the integrated Intel graphics, you get a DVI and HDMI. Although there are two rear PCI brackets worth of space so you could easily run a discrete card to support up to four monitors.
In total, the machine offers the following host of external connectors: 4x USB 3.0, 6x USB 2.0, 1x eSATA/USB Combo, 7.1 Audio, S/PDIF. On the UEFI motherboard, there are 2x SATA 6 Gbit, 2x SATA 3 Gbit, 2x USB 2.0 and 1x RS232 ports. This is all powered by a 500W 80 PLUS power supply.
“The long-awaited XPC Barebone based on Z68 Express has now landed in Europe,” states Tom Seiffert, Head of Marketing & PR at Shuttle Computer Handels GmbH. “Not often in our long history has the sales launch of a new model been so keenly awaited. In fact, there were already requests for this development as soon as the first model with LGA1155 was introduced.”
Shuttle is planning on retailing this product at €300 excluding VAT in Europe so most countries will see it market at around the €350-360 price point. You can get more information at the product page.