Shuttle is readying Gulftown barebones for Computex

ION2 XPCs set to be announced as well

IT’S JUST OVER a month until Computex kicks off in Taipei, but we’re already starting to see some early announcements of new products that will be launched at the show. Shuttle is getting ready to launch its second X58 based XPC, although the new model is getting support for Intel’s 6-core Core i7 980X Gulftown CPU, as well as a new chassis. The company is also readying a one litre slim-line Atom system with ION2 graphics.

There isn’t much in terms of details as to the features of the new SX58J3 as it’s called, but Shuttle has kindly posted a video on YouTube that provides a bit more detail as to what’s on offer. We’re not sure if this is a video of the final production chassis, but hopefully it’s not, as the model on show is using a steel chassis rather than an aluminium chassis which has been the case with Shuttle’s XPCs in the past. For what is supposed to be a high-end model we can’t say that we’re entirely impressed, especially not compared to the current SX58H7.

Shuttle has changed the rear I/O slightly and dropped one of the eSATA ports in favour for two additional USB 2.0 ports for a total of eight rear USB 2.0 ports. The SX58J3 also has two Gigabit Ethernet ports, five 3.5mm audio jacks and a power connector for eSATA devices, but it doesn’t appear to have an optical S/PDIF out like the older model. Around the front is a pair of USB 2.0 ports, of which one is a  combo eSATA/USB 2.0 port, a pair of audio jacks and what appears to be an SD card reader. There are no USB 3.0 ports in sight and a comment from Shuttle Germany says this has been done to keep the cost down, not something you’d expect on an X58 system.

One of the big selling points of the SX58J3 is that it can be kitted out with a GeForce GTX480 graphics card. Although there are two x16 PCI Express slots, you won’t be able to fit more than a single dual-slot card due to Shuttle’s tiny chassis. The motherboard does actually appear to be fairly similar to that of the SX58H7, although some changes have been made to the chipset layout and cooling. You still get four memory slots, although you can only use three of them if you want to run the memory in a triple-channel configuration.

The power supply also appears to be similar to the older model, but the only thing that’s clear from the video is that it carries an 80 Plus bronze certification. The CPU cooling doesn’t appear to have changed much, for better or worse. The new chassis design isn’t a world changing makeover, but it’s a slightly simplified and somewhat more stylish design. We’re not sold on this new model though, especially considering that it’s not going to be cheap and we would’ve expected a bit more from Shuttle.

As to the ION2 based one litre system we can only speculate as to what will be on offer, as in terms of volume it’ll be a third of the size of Shuttle’s current Atom barebones, the X27, which is a three litre model. It will feature one of Intel’s Pineview Atom processors, most likely the D510, although it’s possible it might be the D525 with DDR3 memory support and a higher clock speed of 1.83GHz. We’ll drop by Shuttle’s booth at the show and bring you some pictures of the new models during Computex.S|A

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