System: Shuttle ST62K Zen XPC :: Introduction

03-01-2004 · Category: Hardware - Systems

By Benjamin Sun

The first time I used a Shuttle motherboard was on a Hot-637 board based upon Intel's i440LX chipset. At the time CPUs were still based upon the Pentium II chipset and motherboards barely had AGP 2X slots. It's hard to imagine that we're on the cusp of CPUs ranging in the 4 GHz range and motherboards with PCI Express slots for the video slot today.

The concept of the Personal Computer hasn't changed much in 20 years. In terms of size, the standard computer today isn't far different in form or function as it was in 1983 with the introduction of the IBM PC. Mini computers have been around as well, but most weren't full-fledged units, or used components that were less than state of the art.

Kenneth Huang, one of Shuttle's top designers, decided a few years ago to see if he could change all of that. Why not have a small system that fits easily virtually anywhere with full-fledged capabilities of their bigger brothers? Why not make it aesthetically pleasing to the eyes and have a wide range of accessories to complement the concept? Thus was born the Shuttle XPC concept.

The first Shuttle XPC was the SV25 which was released in 2001. Subsequent to the SV25 there have been numerous models including the SK41G, the SN41G2 and other XPCs based upon virtually every motherboard chipset from both Intel and AMD camps. Motherboards.org has reviewed many different small form factor computers including Shuttle based XPCs. Due to unforeseen circumstances; it's been a while since our last XPC review. Currently there are 17 models of the XPC available, with several special edition XPCs added to the mix.

The system I'm reviewing today is the Shuttle ST61K Zen XPC. Sporting a integrated video chip based upon the RADEON 9100 IGP from ATI, but no AGP slot, it should be an interesting review. Another interesting new addition to the XPC line is a power brick with an external power supply. So let's see what the ST61K has to offer.