The Exterior - Design and Features
Shuttle has always stuck with a simple yet stylish design for its SFF chassis. The new P2 chassis although similar inside, has several differences to the original P chassis found in the SN25P.
Gone is the memory card reader that used to be housed above the 5.25” bay – fortunately one could always buy a reader and place it in the available external 3.5” bay. The blue (or purple for the SN26P) plastic covered front is replaced by black brushed aluminum, giving the SN27P2 a more distinctive, sleek look. The optical drive eject button, hard drive LED, and power button (in that order) are now placed on a vertical silver stripe running down the length of the front, and like the original P-series, Shuttle continues to hide the external 3.5” and 5.25” drive bays behind hinged drive bay doors.
Dimensions of the new chassis are largely the same, the SN27P2 measures 325mm in length, 220mm width, and 210mm in height.
The front panel ports don’t change much either, like the external drives, Shuttle houses the ports behind a bay door; the only differences are the change from one 1394b to one 1394a and placing the reset switch inside a tiny hole requiring a pin or pen to push. Meanwhile, on the sides, we see many vents and a fan inside the SFF.
On the back of the SN27P2, we see a full set of rear panel connectors. There is one external SATA port, a first for SFF systems, Gigabit Ethernet, six (6) USB 2.0 ports and 8-channel sound. You will note however that Shuttle has elected to remove the serial, parallel, and PS/2 ports for the mouse and keyboard.
Overall Shuttle outfits its small motherboard with many of the same features as other AM2 motherboards featured in our Socket AM2 Chipset Showdown
and AM2 Motherboard Roundup Part 1
articles. There is also a small “Clear CMOS” button that requires a pen point or pin to push. The expansion slots are located on the opposite side of the chassis to allow the installation of video cards with dual slot cooling.
Above the rear panel connectors we see the 80mm fan from the power supply, the power cable connector, and switch. Notice that Shuttle’s PSU has Active PFC which automatically corrects AC input voltage and has a theoretically higher efficiency and power factor. If we look higher we see two fan grilles for dual 60mm exhaust fans. The outside grille is made of box-like openings that are more restrictive than the honeycomb ones featured on most other case panels, and prevent the already slow spinning fans from expelling the little air they push. Now let’s dive into the belly of the beast.