Shuttle reveals pint-sized Fermi rig

Shoebox-sized PCs have garnered a reputation for being underwhelming when it comes to gaming, but mini PC maker Shuttle is attempting to overturn this with a Fermi-powered gaming box.

The company claims its latest XPC J3-5800G can accommodate a GeForce GTX 480 card, which is pretty ambitious when you consider the GPU's fiery reputation. Housing a GeForce GTX 480 will not only mean providing enough room for a large card with dual-slot cooler, but also making sure that there's enough power.

Small form factor PCs often skimp on power, as there simply isn't enough room in the chassis for a large PSU. However, Shuttle says the J3-5800G's PSU is rated at 500W, and it's also an efficient beast that's been given the 80plus Bronze award.

It's still nowhere near the specs offered by top-end desktop PSUs, but Shuttle reckons it can handle a GeForce GTX 480 as long as you don't overload the rest of the system. Speaking of which, the rest of the PC's innards are also pretty high-spec for a box measuring just 204 x 333 x 215mm (WDH). Based on Intel's X58 chipset, the J3-5800G can handle LGA1366 Core i7 and even Core i7 Extreme CPUs.

Bizarrely, though, Shuttle says the J3-5800G can support 4GB, 8GB and 16GB DDR3 memory configurations, which would mean installing the modules in pairs, rather than groups of three for triple-channel memory. A quick look at the online configuration form shows this is indeed the case, with 4GB and 8GB options made up of pairs of modules. That means no triple-channel memory on this machine, folks.

Back to the machine's innards, you'll also find two hard drive bays inside, as well as a single optical drive bay. Meanwhile, the back sports a rack of eight USB 2 ports, the ins and outs for the 7.1-channel audio system, a 1Gb/sec Ethernet connection and a clear CMOS button

The starting price for the XPC J3-5800G is $1,899 (excluding tax) in the US, which buys you a ready-built PC with a basic spec, rather than just the barebone chassis. There's no word on UK pricing or availability yet, but we've asked Shuttle for some information and we'll update you if we get any more details.