These are very old, will arrive very “used” and the front USB ports won’t work.
I purchased one of these about 2 years ago and the HD is incredibly slow !
One I installed an SSD and maxed out the memory, it was nice for doing basic stuff pretty quickly, and you could use it as a gaming rig !
The front ports did not work, no matter what I tried !
There just does not seem to beany driver updates that make them come to life !
If I had it to do over, I’d wait for one of he mini Linovo’s to come through here again !
I was thinking of grabbing one to act as a Plex server. The price point for the processors in these systems are the lowest I’ve seen. The box would just sit hard-wired into the router and act as a Plex server for clients (mostly Roku’s) through the house. Front ports wouldn’t matter. When people say these are ‘slow’ - do you mean you don’t get results on par with the Passmark scores for these processors?
Passmark measures processor speed, which really isn’t an issue here. The problem with these computers is that the hard drive is crap. It would work just fine for a plex server, but I’d add an SSD for the OS anyway, and a big, fast hard drive for my movies/music.
This is exactly what I’m going to be doing with the one I just bought. I already have a 256GB SSD and a fast 2TB HD, just been pondering what to build with them for a home PLEX server.
I love the form factor. It’s compact but still lets me throw in a GPU, second drive, etc.
Is there any form factor that’s roughly equivalent that can handle more modern equipment? I see Shuttle XPC barebones systems on the Amazon mothership that are a lot more expensive once you add in a CPU, drive, and Windows (if Windows is your thing). I’d rather not get stuck with a 5-year-old motherboard and CPU, but I’ll deal if it’s the most cost-effective option with this form factor.
Based on dimensions, this could only be either a custom board or a mini-ITX board. Since Shuttle doesn’t appear to manufacture their own boards, I’d say you could probably fit any mini-ITX board in the box, but you’d want to pick the box up first so you can make sure you won’t have any layout issues (onboard headers obstructed by case bits and so on). You absolutely won’t beat this price for a legit copy of Windows 10 Pro + hardware, and for a basic desktop, these will still do fine as-is, though you’ll most likely want to add an SSD.
I’d pass on these for servers though, especially if Windows isn’t needed. First, it seems you can really only fit two drives in the box without shenanigans. That might not be a big deal with big drives pretty cheap these days, but the age of the processors means they suck a lot more power than you need to spend. The cheapest option, the i3 2100, idles around 78 watts. If you keep this thing on 24/7, you’ll be spending at least $100/year on electricity. With newer processors in that performance range idling under 15 watts, your savings disappear after a just a couple years if you ignore the Windows cost.
If you’re thinking about upgrading the motherboard/cpu at some point, you may or may not have to re-purchase Windows: Technically, the OEM licenses you get with these refurbs can’t be transferred to new hardware, so it’s Microsoft support roulette.
If any of my tech-challenged family members needed a new desktop right now, I’d jump on one of these. If you need a general use Windows desktop that’s not going to be powered on 24/7, they’re a solid deal. For any other purpose, I’d look for newer hardware.
This is a good machine. I bought one of these from Woot about a year ago. Mine came with the i7-3770, 16gb ram and 2 2gig hds. I upgraded it with a boot SSD and a gtx 750ti video card. I have had absolutely no issues with this box. I have had no problems with the front USB 3 connectors as mentioned by the other poster. The only item I would suggest is to update the BIOS to the latest from Shuttle. If you want to put a bigger video card than 750ti you will have to upgrade the PSU. I am running it with Windows 10 64bit.
I ordered the one with the i7-3770 in it, and just finished setting it up. On the advice of a poster I threw a (very old) SSD in it, and installed the OS on that, but after benchmarking, that might not have been needed. The front ports work fine.
Here’s the benchmark results, all I added was the ssd and a Radeon 560.
I got one from woot a couple years ago with an 2nd gen I5-2400 (passmark 5895). It looked like it was never used, I couldn’t see a speck of dust on the inside of it. I basically looked like surplus that was never sold. Everything works great on it. I love this form factor. I put an SSD in it, it came with 8GB RAM which is just fine, it’s great hardware and it flies with an SSD.
So I received my i7-3770 model and I can say that the front USB 3.0 ports work just fine. Not a spec of dust anywhere either but it was missing a screw internally. It came with a Hitachi 500GB HD, which was quickly replaced with an SSD and a 2GB drive and is now transcoding away as a PLEX home server.
Some handy links:
Win 7 ISOs if you need them: