Shuttle XPC P2 3900g
At a Glance
Shuttle XPC P2 3900g
You pay a big premium for this system's small size, and you sacrifice expandability, but you get top-shelf performance.
Shuttle's compact XPC P2 3900g is no run-of-the-mill PC. This desktop is so small that its ideal buyer has several definite attributes: no room for a behemoth tower, no interest in tinkering with the system's innards, and a fata; attraction to the aesthetics of tiny computers.
The boxy XPC P2 3900g looks more like an extremely portable refrigerator than like a PC. But this design is practical if you want to put a PC on top of your desk instead of beneath it (hey, they are called desktops), and to see over it while sitting down.
On the other hand, the tightly packed Shuttle comes at a price--aside from the outrageous sticker cost of $4301 (as of March 16, 2007). The XPC comes with only one open bay (an externally accessible, 3.25-inch one) and a single open PCI slot that the GeForce 8800 GTX graphics board sitting in the adjacent PCI Express slot renders unusable because the board is too thick to allow anything to fit next to it. The Shuttle's extremely tight packing makes adding or changing a card or external drive exceedingly difficult. And unlike the seven other power desktops we tested concurrently, the XPC P2 3900g has no media card slots. It does come with one DVD drive (most power systems offer two).
On the bright side, the two internal bays are as easy to access as any I've seen. Our system came with two hard drives that combined to provide 550 GB of storage space but were not configured in a RAID array. Clearly, the Shuttle is for people who don't plan to putter around inside their computer. The only documentation is a well-designed and informative foldout installation guide.
The XPC P2 3900g, which ran Vista Ultimate, performed well in our tests, fashioning a respectable score of 114 on WorldBench 6 Beta 2. The comparably priced $4399 CyberPower Gamer Infinity Ultimate, however, beat it hands down, with a WorldBench 6 Beta 2 score of 129.
If you're willing to sacrifice expandability and to pay a hefty premium for the tiny dimensions of the Shuttle XPC P2 3900g, you'll get very good performance in return.