[section_title title=”Building Inside The SZ170R8″]
Building Inside The SZ170R8
With the Shuttle SZ170R8 being a perfect fit for either a small powerhouse single graphics card, or a powerful 4 drive server, we decided to go down the server route for this particular model. Although this specific XPC Cube does allow for graphics cards up to a height of 120mm, we decided to run a blisteringly fast RAID0 array for all our storage needs here at Play3r.
Starting off with the accessories bundle, Shuttle includes a plethora of accessories which can be used. These include:
1 x Shuttle driver installation disc
1 x LGA 115x socket protector
1 x Generic tube of thermal paste
1 x Bag of installation screws
2 x PCI blanking plates
Set of installation guides in multiple languages
1 x 3pin kettle lead (power)
So what’s the specification of our Shuttle form factor server?
CPU – Intel Core i3 6320 Processor
Motherboard – SZ170R8 Z170 Chipset
OS Storage – Plextor 128GB M.2 SSD
RAID0 Array – 4 x Crucial MX200 250GB SSDs
RAID Controller – LSI MegaRAID SAS 9260-4i
Graphics – Intel HD Graphics 530
Power Supply – Shuttle 500w 80PLUS Silver
What’s the reason behind the part selection? Well to begin with, the Intel Core i3 6320 processor offers fantastic performance for the price with 2 cores and 4 threads. The SSD array over the LSI MegaRAID card could be considered overkill, but we wanted maximum storage performance with no bottlenecks; the Intel Z170 chipset does have a tendency to bottleneck arrays a lot and with performance in mind, we felt the 9260-4i was the most suitable option; not the cheapest however.
So getting on with it, the drive bay included supports up to a maximum of 4 x 3.5” hard drives and although 2.5” drives can be installed, no adapters are actually included which is a little disappointing. The bay is held in with 4 screws which sit over the motherboards chipset; this encompasses the Shuttles space saving features to the maximum.
Installing the cooler was painless and easy too, which is always a good thing right? There is a sticker on the block to remind you not to install CPUs with a higher TDP than 95W!
The CPU cooler comes in 2 sections with the CPU block featuring Shuttle’s I.C.E 2 heat pipe technology (4 pipes) and a second section which consists of an aluminium finned heat sink with a pre-installed 80mm fan. Installing the CPU block was easy due to the 4 x plastic clips which strike a very resembling similarity to an Intel stock heat sink.
Finally we installed the LSI MegaRAID SAS 9260-4i into the PCIe x16 slot and although this is the exact same slot that you could install a dual slot graphics card into (sorry triple slot cooler fans), we decided to use the Intel Core i3 6320’s on-board. You could easily fit an NVIDIA GTX 970 or 980 in, providing that whatever graphics card you do choose to use doesn’t have a maximum of 2 x 6pin PCIe connectors required to power it.