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Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2010 orks, a business unit of Nuevvo Webware Ltd.
Tuesday, 21 August 2012 16:50

Shuttle XS35GTA V3 1.5L Barebone tested

Written by Slobodan Simic

shuttle logo shuttle xs35gtav3 logo

Review: Atom D2700 coupled with Radeon HD 7410M graphics


When we got a chance to get our hands on Shuttle’s XS35GTA V3 it was simply an offer that we could not refuse, especially due to a quite interesting choice of components squeezed into a 1.57-litre chassis.

As part of Shuttle’s Slim PC lineup, the XS35GTA shares many features with most of the Slim PC series systems. In case of the XS35GTA V3, Shuttle decided to pair Intel’s NM10 Express chipset with Atom D2700 dual-core CPU and AMD’s Radeon HD HD 7410M dedicated GPU, but we will get to precise specifications a bit later.


shuttle XS35 16b

The impressive part of the XS35GTA V3 is the fact that it is completely passively cooled and thus does not produce any noise. Power consumption of the entire system, according to Shuttle, is set at 19W in idle and up to 27W under full load. To make things even more impressive, components are squeezed into a compact chassis measuring 25.2 x 16.2 x 3.85 cm (DxHxW) and weighing around 2.1kg.

The Shuttle XS35GTA V3 offers an entire office/HTPC system packed in a small, VESA mountable, 1.57-litre chassis that should pack enough punch for full-HD movies, 3D content and regular office work without producing any noise at all.





Package and accessories

Shuttle ships the XS35GTA V3 in a simple cardboard box with a plastic handle. The package itself is not fancy but does feature all the necessary information regarding the product inside.

shuttle XS35 1

The chassis is well protected and placed next to another cardboard box that includes the rest of the accessories.

shuttle XS35 2

As you can see from the picture below, the accessory box features compartments that contain an external power adapter, stand for the barebone, installation disc and HDD mounting plate with screws.

shuttle XS35 3

The external PSU/power adapter is rated at 19V, 2.1A and according to Shuttle’s specification list, is rated at maximum 40W and has automatic voltage adjustment.

The XS35GTA V3 does not come with VESA mount which is actually an optional accessory, just as is an adapter for second 2.5-inch drive.





Specification and features

As noted earlier, Shuttle decided to go for a quite strange combination that features Intel’s dual-core D2700 Atom CPU paired up with AMD’s Radeon HD 7410M graphics, something that we have not seen before.

The XS35GTA V3 is based, of course, on the Intel NM10 Express chipset that unfortunately has no support for USB 3.0, something that most AMD Brazos based HTPCs have. In case you missed it, the Intel Atom D2700, codename Cedar View, is a 32nm dual-core CPU working at 2.13GHz and features 1MB of L2 cache. It features Intel Hyper-Threading, Intel EM64T and VT-X Virtualization technologies and has MMX, SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3 and Execute Disable Bit instructions as well as integrated North Bridge with memory controller and graphics.

cpu-z ss1

The Intel Atom D2700 has a single-channel memory controller that supports up to 4GB of DDR3-800/1066 memory. The main drawback of the D2700 is actually its integrated graphics core, dubbed HD Graphics 3600, that is actually a PowerVR SGX545 GPU. Unfortunately, it has no support for DirectX 11 and has a bunch of other problems that Shuttle evaded by simply disabling it and including the Radeon HD 7410M GPU.

The AMD Radeon HD 7410M GPU, codename Seymour-LP, on the other hand is quite an impressive piece of 40nm silicon with a total of 160 stream processors, 480MHz GPU clock and 512MB of dedicated GDDR3 memory clocked at 800MHz. It supports DirectX 11, Shader Model 5.0 and OpenGL 4.1, has AMD’s Unified Video Decoder (UVD 3), has support for full HD decode, Blu-ray playback, has integrated HD audio controller for 7.1 surround sound via HDMI and supports up to two simultaneous displays via digital HDMI 1.4a and analog D-Sub.

Unfortunately, the latest GPU-Z is unable to correctly read the specs of the Radeon HD 7410M GPU but AIDA 64 does it quite well so we managed to confirm the specs that were already listed in Shuttle’s specification list.

gpu-z ss1

The Radeon HD 7410M, when compared to the GPU in the E-450/E-350 APU actually has 80 stream processors more, but works at a slightly lower GPU clock (480MHz vs. 500-600MHz on the Radeon HD 6320 in the E-450 APU) so it should end up to be faster than the GPU found in those quite popular APUs, and of course, the D2700 is certainly faster than any of those APUs so these two sound like a match made in heaven.

You can check out the rest of the specs in Shuttle’s official specification list below.

XS35GTA V3

Fanless and silent
Passive cooling, no fan noise at all
Perfect to be used in noise-sensitive environments
Fanless, dust-free and thus virtually maintenance-free
Low power consumption
Power consumption: ca. 19W (idle mode) and ca. 27W (full load)
Chassis
Dimensions without Stand: 25.2 x 16.2 x 3.85 cm (DxHxW) = 1.57 L
Weight: 2.1 kg net, 2.8 kg gross
Hole for the Kensington Lock at the back panel
Optional accessory: 75mm and 100mm VESA mounting kit (PV01)
Operation System
This system comes without operating system.
It is compatible with Windows 7 (32 oder 64 bit)
Processor
Intel Dual Core Atom processor D2700 (Codename: Cedarview)
Intel Hyper-Threading technology: 2-threads per core
32 nm manufacturing process, Micro-FCBGA11 package
Intel 64 architecture, Core clock: 2.13 GHz
L2 Cache: 1024kB , TDP: max. 10W
Supports SSE2, SSE3, SSSE3, Execute Disable Bit
Integrated North Bridge with controller for memory and graphics
Passive cooling without fan
Passive, completely fanless cooling through convective heat transfer
Warning: Please make sure the system is always placed
upright using either its stand or the optional VESA mount.
Ventilation holes must not be blocked to ensure sufficient cooling.
Chipset
Intel® NM10 Express Chipset (south bridge)
Platform Controller Hub (PCH)
Code name: Tiger Point
BIOS
AMI BIOS in a 8Mbit Flash ROM supports PnP, ACPI 2.0
Supports external USB flash memory card boot up
Supports Power fail resume / AC power on state / always on / always off
Supports Wake-on-LAN (WOL) from S3, S3, S5 ACPI states
Supports Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)
Memory
2x SO-DIMM slots with 204 pins
Supports two modules DDR3-1066 (PC3-8500)
DDR3-1333 is supported at DDR3-1066 clock rate
Supported maximum capacity: 4 GB
Optical drive (optional)
Support an optical DVD or Blu-ray slim-line drive
Serial ATA interface, 12.7mm height, Slimline SATA connector
Hard disk drive/SSD
Supports one Serial ATA hard disk (5400 / 7200 rpm)
or one SATA SSD drive in 6.35cm/2.5" format
The SATA 2.0 interface supports up to 300MB/s data transfer speed
Supports a drive with 9.5mm height (12.5mm is not supported)
Supports Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)
Discrete ATI Graphics
AMD Radeon™ HD 7410M graphics processor (Codename "Seymore-LP")
Dedicated 3D graphics card
VRAM: 512MB DDR3, 800MHz, 64 bit (no shared memory)
160 Stream Processing Units, 40nm technology
Supports DirectX 11, Shader Model 5.0, OpenGL 4.1
Unified Video Decoder (UVD 3) dedicated video playback accelerator
Supports full HD decode (1080i/p)
Support for up to 2 simultaneous displays:
1) Digital HDMI™ 1.4a, max. resolution: 1920x1200
2) Analog D-Sub VGA, max. resolution: 2048x1536
Supports Extended Desktop Mode and Clone Mode
Supports Blu-ray play back in combination with an optional slim-line
Blu-ray drive and appropriate software
Integrated HD audio controller for 7.1 Surround Sound via HDMI.
Supports AC-3, AAC, Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio formats.
Integrated Audio
IDT92HD81 Audio Codec with Azalia support
Two analog audio connectors (3.5mm):
1) Line out (head phone)
2) microphone input
Supports digital 7.1 HD audio via the HDMI port.
Card Reader
Integrated card reader supports SD, SDHC and SDXC memory flash cards
Wired Network
RJ45 connector supports Gigabit LAN at 10/100/1000 Mbit/sec.
Network controller JMC 251
Supports Wake-on-LAN (WOL) from S3, S3, S5 ACPI states
Wireless Network (WLAN)
Supports IEEE 802.11b/g/n, max. 150Mbps up-/downstream
Security: WPA/WPA2(-PSK), WEP 64/128bit, IEEE 802.11x/i
Half size Mini-PCIe-Card
Connectors
HDMI v1.3 digital video and audio output
D-Sub/ VGA analog video ( 15 pin)
5x USB 2.0 (1x front, 4x rear)
Gigabit network (LAN, RJ45)
Audio Line-out (head phone)
Microphone input
DC input for the external power adapter
LEDs and Buttons
Power button
Power LED (white)
Hard disk LED (blue)
Power supply
External 40W AC/DC power adapter (fanless), 19V / 2.1A
AC Input: 100~240V AC, 50~60Hz
Automatic voltage adjust
Dimensions: 89.5 x 37 x 26.5 mm (LWH)
DC Connector: 5.5/2.5mm (outer/inner diameter)
Optional Accessories
- VESA mount made of metal (PV01)
- Adapter for second 2.5" drive instead of optical drive (PHD2)
24/7 nonstop operation
This device is approved for 24/7 permanent operation.
Requirements:
- Free circulation of air amongst the PC must be guaranteed.
- Ventilation holes must be clear.
- If a hard disk is installed, this must also be approved for permanent
operation by its manufacturer (max. one hard disk)
Environmental Spec
Operating temperature range: 0~35°C
Relative humidity range: 10~90% (non-condensing)
Certification and Compliance
EMI: CE, FCC, BSMI, C-Tick, CCC
Safety: CB, BSMI, ETL
Other compliances: RoHS, Eup Lot6
This device is classed as a technical information
equipment (ITE) in class B and is intended for use in
living room and office. The CE-mark approves the
conformity by the EU-guidelines:
- EMV-guideline 89/336/EWG electromagnetic tolerance
- LVD-guideline 73/23/EWG use of electric devices
within certain voltage-limits





Closer look at the 1.57L chassis

Since it is mostly made out of plastic we were a bit worried that Shuttle’s XS35GTA V3 will be a device that you would rather hide from plain sight, but luckily we were wrong, as the actual build quality is quite good. We must say that Shuttle certainly did not cut any corners and definitely made use of every last millimeter of space. The XS35GTA V3 is rated at 24/7 nonstop operation but needs to have free circulation of air and clear ventilation holes.

shuttle XS35 4

As you can see from these pictures, the sides of the XS35GTA V3 are made out of a combination of plastics and aluminum and are actually a large ventilation area.

shuttle XS35 4b

The front side features one USB 2.0 port, 4-in-1 card reader and place for an optional optical drive or the second HDD (via optional accessory).

shuttle XS35 5

The front upper side also includes power and reset buttons that double as power and HDD activity LEDs.

shuttle XS35 17

The back of the unit is a busy part of the system as this one includes almost every output and input that you might expect and even would not expect from an office PC or even an HTPC for that matter. From right to left, the XS35GTA V3 features Kensington lock, microphone and headphone jacks, LAN port, four USB 2.0 ports, D-Sub output, HDMI output and power jack.

shuttle XS35 6

You might have noticed that we skipped the first HDMI but that one is unusable and comes with a cover plug, same as the second D-Sub output. The first HDMI and the covered D-Sub are actually not usable.

The reason behind this is the fact that the Intel GMA 3650 is actually disabled, as you could see in the specification list, but since Shuttle offers pretty much identical system, sans Radeon HD 7410M graphics, the outputs remained on this one as well.

When paired up with the included stand, Shuttle’s XS35GTA V3 actually looks pretty good and we are sure that it would fit any living room.

shuttle XS35 16





Inside of the chassis and installation

To be quite honest we did not even check out the installation manual but went on to see if we could figure out the chassis by ourselves.

shuttle XS35 10

We were quite surprised to find a single screw and to our surprise, it was the only screw that you need to get rid of in order to get to the inside of the chassis as it holds both side panels of the XS35GTA V3.

shuttle XS35 7

The inside of the left side are quite dull as it features a rather large heatsink plate connected to the front heatsinks via heatpipe and a place for an optical drive or optional 2nd HDD.

shuttle XS35 8

The right side, on the other hand, is quite interesting as it shows the entire motherboard including place for DIMM memory in two slots, WiFi adapter, place for HDD or SSD and a rather large heatsink connected to two other heatsinks via heatpipe.

shuttle XS35 9

The installation of the HDD is quite straightforward as you simply need to screw the mounting plate to the HDD.

shuttle XS35 12

Then you simply have to plug it in place and secure it with additional three screws. Pretty simple and once again we did not even have to consult a manual, that by the way, explains it quite good.

shuttle XS35 13

The memory is self explanatory as well. Just angle it and simply press the memory module down to secure it.

shuttle XS35 14

We decided to pair the barebone with a 320GB 5400RPM 2.5-inch HDD and 2GB of DDR3 memory. Unfortunately, we did not have an extra slim optical drive but the installation is pretty much identical to the HDD as you simply plug it in and secure it with the supplied adapter.

shuttle XS35 15




Performance and everyday use

We already had a couple of HTPC units in our hands earlier and one of them was Zotac’s ZBox AD02 Plus that features AMD’s E-350 APU as well as Sapphire’s Edge HD2 based on dual-core Atom D525 1.8GHz CPU paired up with Nvidia’s ION 2 GPU. We also included results from Sapphire’s Pure White motherboard also based on E-350 APU.

In terms of sheer CPU power, the dual-core Atom D2700 is certainly much faster than E-350 CPU part as well as the 1.8GHz D525 Atom. As we noted earlier, the main disadvantage of the D2700 is its GPU part, but in case of Shuttle’s XS35GTA V3, this is not a problem since the integrated GPU is disabled and switched to AMD’s quite decent Radeon HD 7410M GPU with 512MB of GDDR5 dedicated memory.

In AIDA 64 benchmark, Shuttle’s XS35GTA V3 clearly steams ahead tests as both the 1.8GHz and 2.13GHz clocked D2700 are simply faster than AMD’s E-350 APU.

aida64

In order to check out the power of the GPU we decided to check Futuremark’s 3DMark 06 since we already had results from both Sapphire Edge HD2 and Zotac’s ZBox AD02 Plus and it is clear that HD 7410M, paired up with D2700 has more than enough power to compete with both AMD’s E-350 APU and Atom D525/ION2 combination.

3dmark06 ss1

The same thing goes for Cinebench R11.5 as Shuttle’s XS35GTA V3 clearly has a much better GPU and pretty decent CPU as well.

cinebench

The PCMark 7 results are sort of a mixed bag, but they are clearly dependant on the choice of the HDD as system in most parts of the benchmark, the XS35GTA V3 clearly steams ahead of the ZBox E-350 APU but in some tests it lags behind. Of course, nothing stops the user to go for a speedier 7200rpm 2.5-inch HDD or even a hybrid drive or SSD and get some impressive numbers on that side as well.

PCMark7

We did not bother with HDD testing as we got the barebone version of the XS35GTA V3 so these scores solely depends on which HDD gets plugged in.

We used the XS35GTA V3 for some casual internet surfing, media playback and even some office work while it remained connected to the 1080p capable TV and we must say that we were quite impressed as it handled everything that we threw at it with ease.

We only regret that we did not test the Blu-Ray and 3D video playback but we simply did not have neither the slim Blu-ray drive nor the 3D-capable TV or monitor so we will leave that for some other time. Of course, according to the specs, AMD’s Radeon HD 7410M support full HD decode and Blu-Ray playback thanks to the third generation Unified Video Decoder so we doubt there will be any problems with that as well.





Temperatures, noise and power consumption

As we mentioned quite a few times earlier, the Shuttle XS35GTA V3 is a completely silent system which can’t be said of many other HTPCs. The fully silent feature does have its advantages but also comes with a price and as you can see from a picture below, the CPU temperature tends to climb as high as 84 degrees Celsius, while the GPU temperature can climb as high as 71 degrees Celsius.

hw-info ss1

Of course, bear in mind that these temps are highest values that we got after a few hours of extensive benchmarking.

We even decided to put those 24/7 claims to the test and left the little Shuttle XS35GTA V3 idling for a few days and we can happily report that it went without a hitch.

We decided to measure the power consumption and ended up with pretty much same values that Shuttle wrote in its specification and feature list. Under idle mode in Windows 7, when OS actually powers down the HDD and turns off the display, Shuttle’s XS35GTA V3 pulls around 15W from the power outlet. On idle desktop without any active applications, Shuttle pulls around 20W. Light surfing with few tabs and Crytek’s CryEngine3 tech-demo running on YouTube in 720p draws an average of 24W. The maximum load that we managed to pull off was around 26W.

Of course, bear in mind that our test bed did not include an optical drive so you should add a few Watts for it as well in case you decide to pair it up with slim Blu-Ray optical drive.




Conclusion

We had a chance to spend a couple of weeks with Shuttle’s latest addition to the Slim PC lineup, the XS35GTA V3, and we honestly have to say that we are quite impressed. With a rather strange combination of Intel’s N10 Express chipset, Atom D2700 CPU and AMD’s Radeon HD 7410M GPU with 512MB of GDDR3 dedicated memory, Shuttle practically managed to make a match made in heaven.

Intel’s dual-core Atom D2700 recently reached EOL (end-of-life) and Shuttle’s XS35GTA V3 might not be on the market for a long time, depending on how many parts Shuttle ordered.

The one thing that we mostly liked on Shuttle’s XS35GTA V3 is that it is completely silent and produces zero noise. Of course, as we noted in our review, this brings some drawbacks as it needs enough “breathing room” and you can’t cramp it up as it already reaches quite high temperatures when pushed under full load. Of course, these full load states will be rarely reached but it is definitely something to keep in mind.

Shuttle’s XS35GTA V3 has enough CPU and GPU power to be a great office PC and great HTPC as well. Unfortunately, Intel’s NM10 Express chipset lacks USB 3.0 support, and that win goes to Brazos equipped systems.

shuttle XS35 16b

Price wise, Shuttle’s XS35GTA V3 has surprised us there as well as Shuttle Europe has informed us earlier that the suggested retail price is set at €233 exc. VAT, but we managed to find it listed in Europe for as low as €222 including VAT. Of course, we are talking about barebone system here so count at least additional €60 for a 320GB HDD and 2GB of RAM memory, so you are looking at a final price of around €280 to €300, which does not sound that bad considering that Sapphire’s Edge HD2 with 2GB of memory and 320GB HDD goes for around €310 (one of the lowest prices) while Zotac’s ZBox AD02 Plus with E-350, 2GB of memory and 320GB HDD sells for around €300 as well.

shuttle XS35 18

Of course, Shuttle’s XS35GTA V3 has an advantage of being a completely silent system and performance wise generally ends up faster than most HTPCs (similar priced and similar sized). We simply loved the design and when paired up with some sort of HTPC-friendly wireless keyboard it certainly sounds like a great deal, so we simply have no other choice than to give it an award, although we honestly do not mind.

fudz recommended ny

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Last modified on Tuesday, 21 August 2012 16:32
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