We would like to thank Shuttle for supplying the review sample.
Shuttle specializes in the construction of mini- and slim-PC systems for home-, office- or industrial use, and they were kind enough to send us the fresh XH97V, a compact barebone that can deliver great performance since it supports Intel's 4th generation Haswell CPUs with a TDP of up to 65 W. Its mini-ITX mainboard utilizes Intel's H97 Express chipset, and with two memory slots available, it can take up to 16 GB of RAM. Shuttle says this device to be the perfect home-media PC thanks to its quiet operation and 4K display support. It can also play a key role in digital signage applications since it is capable of delivering Full-HD multimedia content on up to three monitors simultaneously.
Our experience with similar Shuttle Slim-PCs shows that using an SSD drive and a mid-level CPU will net you good enough performance for everything but gaming. For the latter, a dedicated graphics card is required, so a larger chassis is inevitably a must. Shuttle has a range of mini-PC barebones that will cover you in any other case, and we have reviewed some of those in the past.
Shuttle's XH97V barebone is based on Intel's H97 Express Chipset and supports Intel Haswell and Haswell re-fresh CPUs with up to a TDP of 65 W. This means that you can install up to a Core i7-4790S CPU for high computational power and decent 3D performance due to its embedded VGA (HD 4600). It, however, won't be able to cope with demanding games running at even low resolutions. The two available RAM slots support up to 8 GB per DIMM, so the maximum amount of supported memory is 16 GB, which is enough for even tough usage scenarios.
|Chipset||Intel H97 Express Chipset|
|GPU||Intel HD Graphics|
|CPU Support||Intel Haswell / Haswell re-fresh i3/i5/7, Pentium, Celeron 65W CPU|
|Memory Support:||2 x 204 pin DDR3 SODIMM slots,8GB per DIMM (Max 16GB)|
Dual Channel DDR3 1333 Mhz
|Networking||Realtek 8111G X1|
IEEE 802.3u 100Base-T specification revision 1.0
100Mb/s and 1Gb/s operation
Support Wake-On-LAN function
|VGA||HDMI x1 + Display port x2 Support 3 display|
|ODD Support||(1) Slim ODD|
|Storage Interface||(3) SATA 6Gb/s bandwidth SATA II|
|I/O Ports Front||(2) USB 2.0 ports|
(2) USB 3.0 ports
|I/O Ports Rear||(1) RJ45 Gigabit LAN port|
(2) Display port
(2) USB 2.0 ports
(2) USB 3.0 ports
(1) Line in port
(1) Line out port
(1) MIC in port
(1) Clear CMOS button
(1) DC in
(1) Kensington lock
(2) Wireless Antenna fixture
|Drive Bays||(1) 2.5" HDD / SSD bay |
(1) Slim ODD bay.
User can install either 1 Slim ODD or (1) 2.5" HDD/SSD
(1) PCI-E x1 slot
|Cooling||Heatpipe based Heatsink + 2x Fans|
|Power||90W Power Adapter|
Input:100- 240V AC
Output: 19V 4.47A DC
|Expansion Slot||(1) Full size Mini-PCIE socket |
(1) Half size Mini-PCIE socket
|Dimensions||240(L) x 200(W) x 72(H) mm|
Networking is taken care of by a single Gigabit Ethernet port, while the VGA outputs are three: a single HDMI and a pair of display ports. There is no DVI output, but the aforementioned VGA ports support three displays and 4K playback, making this barebone an ideal choice for digital signage applications. There is also support for a slim optical drive since the XH97V's chassis is only a little larger than those of Shuttle's Slim-PCs. If you don't want an ODD, you can use the space for a 2.5" HDD/SSD, which would increase the number of 2.5" disks to two. The other I/O ports include four pairs of USB 2.0 and 3.0 and sound and serial ports. A Kensington lock has also been placed at the rear; it will come in handy if the barebone is installed into a public space.
Shuttle utilized a heatpipe solution it paired with a couple fans to keep the unit cool. The cooling contraption managed well and kept output noise to a minimum under normal conditions. The power brick that accompanies the barebone can deliver up to 90 W. We would feel more comfortable if it were a bit stronger (e.g. 120 W). The mainboard of this barebone has a fully sized and half-sized Mini-PCIE socket for compatible devices. Although still compact enough, the unit is also larger than the DS-81 we recently reviewed, and the product's price looks good given its characteristics and features.
The optional accessories are the following: