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Nettop is “almost fanless”

Aug 27, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Shuttle Incorporated unveiled a “nettop” computer claimed to offer “almost fanless” operation and use just 38 Watts. The mini-ITX based “X27” includes an Intel Atom 230 processor, a gigabit Ethernet port, DVI video output, a 2.5-inch hard drive bay, and a PCI expansion slot, says Shuttle.

(Click here for a larger view of Shuttle's X27)

According to Shuttle, the X27 will be released at the IFA 2008 show in Berlin, Germany, which starts Aug. 29. However, details of the device have already leaked on an online forum maintained by the company.

As pictured above, the device sports a snazzy “piano-black” case that measures 9.85 x 7.3 x 2.75 inches. Under the skin, the X27 follows Intel's “nettop” recipe, which includes the chipmaker's 1.6GHz Atom 230 processor, plus the supporting 82945GC northbridge and 82801GB (ICH7) southbridge.

Touting the X27 as “almost fanless,” Shuttle says it makes just 23 decibels of noise and uses 36 Watts, idling at 23 Watts. While no information was provided on the fan's location, Intel's own D945GCLF mini-ITX motherboard does without a fan on the Atom 230, but requires a small fan on the 82945GC.

The X27, too, is based on a mini-ITX motherboard, and, just like the D945GCLF, includes a PCI expansion slot, but not the 1 x PCI Express slot called for by Via's mini-ITX 2.0 spec. Whatever motherboard Shuttle is using, it apparently isn't the D945GCLF (“Little Falls”) itself, since gigabit Ethernet is cited here but not offered by Intel.

Shuttle says additional features on the X27 include four rear-panel USB ports, PS/2 connectors for keyboard and mouse, mic in, and line in/out. An additional listed “d-sub” connector could be either a serial or VGA port, but the company didn't specify which.

The X27, apparently shipped initially in a “barebone” configuration, has bays for a 2.5-inch hard disk drive and an optical disk drive. With an IDE connector and two SATA ports, the nettop has a single SO-DIMM slot that accepts up to 2GB of memory, says Shuttle.

Features and specifications listed by Shuttle for the X27 include:

  • Processor — Intel Atom 230 clocked at 1.6GHz
  • Memory — up to 2GB of 533/400MHz DDR memory
  • Storage — Bays for 5.25-inch optical drive and 2.5-inch hard disk drive
  • Display — Outputs to DVI, with unspecified resolutions
  • Networking — 1 x gigabit Ethernet port, with RJ45 connector
  • Other I/O:
    • 1 x DVI
    • 1 x “d-sub” (could be either VGA or serial)
    • 4 x USB 2.0
    • 2 x SATA
    • 1 x IDE
    • Audio:
      • 1 x mic in
      • 1 x line in
      • 1 x line out

  • Expansion — PCI expansion slot
  • Dimensions — 9.85 x 7.3 x 2.75 inches
  • Power requirements — 60W AC adapter; 38W consumption

According to Shuttle, the X27 ships with drivers for Windows XP and Windows Vista. Thanks to its standard chipsets, however, it is likely to be compatible with Linux as well.

Pricing and availability information was not released. However, Shuttle says the X27 will be on show at its IFA stand, booth 115 in hall 12.

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