revealed today their latest contender for the Ultimate LAN Party rig, the SN26p SLI XPC. Everyone may fantasise about IWILL's loony dual-Opteron SLI SFF, but Shuttle have designed an off-the-shelf barebones allowing you to easily drop in your existing processor, RAM and hard drive and get you fragging in no time.
Of course, thermal performance is a substantial consideration for any small form-factor machine, but add in a pair of 6800GT cards and you need to get creative. And Shuttle being Shuttle, they have done just that: both GPUs are cooled by a heatpipe that routes to a twin-fan heat exchanger located at the rear of the case.
Due to the complexity of this solution, Shuttle will be pre-assembling systems complete with installed SLI.
The one question on everyone's lips is: can it support 6800 Ultras? Shuttle weren't prepared to provide a black & white answer, but since they themselves assemble the systems, a 6800 Ultra SLI bundle will not be offered initially. When pressed as to what the limitations were, they seemed confident the new 350W XPC PSU would be up for the job; from what I have seen of the heatpipe cooler, I suspect it too would be capable of handling a pair of Ultras, though at what cost in terms of noise?
The SN26P SLI is due for release mid-July, and while pricing was unavailable at the time of press, the bundled pair of 6800 GT cards will set you back in the region of ₤550 as it is, and the SN26P retails for approx ₤300. Add in the extra cost of the heatpipe cooler and I'd say an SN26P box will set you back ₤900-1000 excluding CPU, RAM, hard drive etc. That may sound like a lot, but compared with the cost of buying a standard tower case, PSU, and SLI-capable motherboard, it not only represents good value, but you get the much-envied Shuttle design & engineering
Here are some photos for you to enjoy, and you can discuss the merits of this product in our News Discussion
It may look like a regular Shuttle from the outside, but it's the beast within that is of greatest interest: NVIDIA 6800GT SLI
Because of space & heat considerations, both GPUs are cooled by a heatpipe...
...which pushes the heat to this twin-fan heat exchanger mounted at the back of the chassis.