Thoughts on my Shuttle Build

gvx64

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Hello, I used to be a regular member here about 15 years ago under the name GVX and so I knew a fair bit about hardware and I have built quite a few computers in my past, unfortunately my knowledge is now very out of date. I am not an enthusiast anymore and my last build was 12 years ago and was a Shuttle SH55J2 which has been an amazing entry-level computer. I am still using it to this day with practically no issues.

Given my positive experiences with Shuttle, I would like to build another Shuttle system. Like I did 12 years ago, I am looking to build a decent mid-range SFF computer that has enough horsepower to still be usable in 10 years. I plan to do some light gaming and I would like it to be able to at least run most games that are out today at a decent res. I also plan to run some AI applications, do some dvd encoding, as well as run CAD software such as AutoCAD. I want to get the maximum life out of my components and so I am not planning to overclock.

The prices below are all in Canadian. I am trying to keep the total cost of the build at around $1700 CAD (~$1,300 USD). I think that I can save about $100 on the Shuttle SH510R4 from the Newegg.ca price below if I go with an Ebay seller.

Here is what I am thinking:

Shuttle XPC Cube SH510R4 Mini Barebone PC Intel H510 Supports LGA1200 125W 11th/10th Gen Rocket Lake/Comet Lake CPU No RAM No HDD/SSD No CPU No OS 300W 80+ Bronze Flex PSU ($796.50 CAD, $622.31 USD)

https://www.newegg.ca/p/37E-0008-000C7

CORSAIR Vengeance LPX 32GB (2 x 16GB) 288-Pin PC RAM DDR4 3200 (PC4 25600) Intel XMP 2.0 Desktop Memory ($134.99 CAD, $105.47 USD)

https://www.newegg.ca/corsair-32gb-288-pin-ddr4-sdram/p/N82E16820236541

Intel Core i5-11400 - Core i5 11th Gen Rocket Lake 6-Core 2.6 GHz LGA 1200 65W ($189.99 CAD, $148.44 USD)

https://www.newegg.ca/intel-core-i5-11400f-core-i5-11th-gen/p/N82E16819118264

WD Blue 1TB SA510 2.5" Internal Solid State Drive SSD ($129.99 CAD, $101.56 USD)

https://www.newegg.ca/western-digital-1tb-blue-sa510/p/N82E16820250229?Item=N82E16820250229

EVGA GeForce GTX 1650 SUPER SC ULTRA GAMING Video Card, 04G-P4-1357-KR, 4GB GDDR6, Dual Fan, Metal Backplate ($365.51 CAD, $285.57 USD)

https://www.newegg.ca/evga-geforce-gtx-1650-super-04g-p4-1357-kr/p/N82E16814487482?Description=eVGA 04G-P4-1357-KR Video Card GeForce GTX 1650&cm_re=eVGA_04G-P4-1357-KR Video Card GeForce GTX 1650-_-14-487-482-_-Product

Pioneer Black 16X BD-R 2X BD-RE 16X DVD+R 12X BD-ROM 4MB Cache Serial ATA Revision 3.0 Blu-ray Burner ($118.99 CAD, $92.97 USD)

https://www.newegg.ca/pioneer-bdr-212dbk-internal-blu-ray-burner/p/N82E16827129091

Microsoft Windows 11 Pro 64-bit, DVD ($149.99 CAD, $117.19 USD)

https://www.newegg.ca/microsoft-windows-11-pro/p/N82E16832350882

I am curious if you see any compatibility issues with what I am proposing above that I haven't considered. Some assumptions in particular that I would like your thoughts on:
- I cannot find any images of the motherboard layout for this particular Shuttle box but I am assuming that GTX 1650 Super video card will rule out me using a M.2 M key SSD here as I assume that the spare PCI-E port is going be blocked by the GPU dual slot cooling. As a result, I am going with a SATA-connected SSD.
- I was originally going to go with a GTX 1660 Super as it is almost the same price as the GTX 1650 Super but I found out that it has an 8-pin connector while the Shuttle 80+ Bronze PSU only has a 6-pin VGA power dongle. I assume that the GTX 1650 Super is the best that I can do for a GPU with a 6-pin power connector? I guess that the other option would be the Radeon 6500 XT which is definitely cheaper than the GTX 1650 Super. It's just that I haven't used a Radeon since the ATI days and my experiences weren't as good as with Nvidia, especially around driver compatibility. What is the general opinion of the 6500 XT vs the GTX 1650 Super?
- I tried to keep the power consumption of each component inline with what is in my current Shuttle system as it also uses the 80+ Bronze PSU and so I think that I should hopefully be OK with not exceeding the limits of the 300W Shuttle PSU. At least 12 years ago, it was the case that the Shuttle PSU's were way better than their wattage ratings led one to believe. I am hoping that this is still the case today and that the quality has not gone down, I certainly do not think that a standard off the shelf 300W PSU would be enough for what I am building.
- I am trying to future-proof as much as possible here by going with Windows 11 but I am also a bit concerned about compatibility issues with a new OS. Has the general reception for Windows 11 been positive or are people waiting for 12 to come out before upgrading?

I know that there are lots of questions here. I have been out of the loop for quite a while now when it comes to PC hardware and so I appreciate any help that you might be able to provide.
 
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kirbyrj

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I wouldn't make the same assumption as you did concerning M.2. If anything, I would assume it was on the motherboard and accessible even with a dual slot video card. The quickguide for that shuttle on their website seems to indicate that. The rest of the parts should work fine.
 

gvx64

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OK, thanks for this information.

I was making the assumption that the M.2 key went in the PCI-E x1 slot but I re-read the specs and you are completely right, the M.2 key sockets are different and must be located somewhere else on the motherboard, which means that there shouldn't be a conflict.
 

doubletake

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I'm guessing you misunderstood the m.2->PCIe association? That being mentioned in the specs is just to inform you of which slots are PCIe(i.e. NVMe) + SATA capable, and which are PCIe only, since not all m2 slots are sata capable, depending on where they route to (direct to CPU or through the PCH).
 
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gvx64

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I'm guessing you misunderstood the m.2->PCIe association? That being mentioned in the specs is just to inform you of which slots are PCIe(i.e. NVMe) + SATA capable, and which are PCIe only, since not all m2 slots are sata capable, depending on where they route to (direct to CPU or through the PCH).
Yeah, thanks for the clarification. Exactly, I saw PCI-E in the notes and I just assumed M.2 keys got connected the way we did sound cards back in the day, perpendicular right below the video card in the available PCI-Ex1 port. I feel like a dinosaur. Honestly, a big part of why I initially was going to go with the SATA cable SSD was because it was old and familiar, which isn't a good reason.

I did do some research and I was able to find a pic of the Shuttle motherboard on the below European site:
https://www.shuttle.eu/en/products/cube/sh510r4

It's pretty clear to me now that the M.2 key socket has been positioned to not conflict with a video card of ~9 inch length. As a result, I decided to go with the following two drives:

Western Digital WD BLACK SN850 NVMe M.2 2280 500GB PCI-Express 4.0 x4 3D NAND Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) w/ Heatsink

https://www.newegg.ca/western-digital-500gb-black/p/N82E16820250184

WD Red Pro NAS Hard Drive WD2002FFSX - Internal Hard Drive - 2 TB - 3.5" - SATA 6Gb/s - 7200 rpm - Buffer: 64 MB - OEM

https://www.newegg.ca/red-pro-wd2002ffsx-2tb/p/1Z4-0002-002R5

I still have a lot that I need to learn here about the M.2 key technology. I went with an M.2 drive that has a heatsink because apparently it is important for hardware longevity (it makes me wonder why so many of them do not ship with heatsinks if that is actually the case, though). Also, I read that there can be issues with partitioning/defragmenting M.2 drives and so I figured that I would go with a conventional 7200rpm hard disc drive for long-term storage. Worst case scenario, I can treat the M.2 drive as a single partition for Win11 and do the rest on the disc. I will have to research this when I have more time.

Thanks again, both of you, for the help here. It's much appreciated.
 

doubletake

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Not all m2 drives benefit much from a heatsink, depending on their specs, use case, and install location.
Also, almost every major brand incorporates a metallic layer in the label (at least for midrange/performance models) to act as a heatspreader, which helps them require less directed airlow for normal operation.

Gen4 drives pretty much always benefit from a heatsink, mostly for sustained throughput.
 
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GoldenTiger

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Ssds do not require defragmentibg as the access times are the same drive wide, unlike a traditional hdd. :)
 

Absalom

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- I was originally going to go with a GTX 1660 Super as it is almost the same price as the GTX 1650 Super but I found out that it has an 8-pin connector while the Shuttle 80+ Bronze PSU only has a 6-pin VGA power dongle. I assume that the GTX 1650 Super is the best that I can do for a GPU with a 6-pin power connector? I guess that the other option would be the Radeon 6500 XT which is definitely cheaper than the GTX 1650 Super. It's just that I haven't used a Radeon since the ATI days and my experiences weren't as good as with Nvidia, especially around driver compatibility. What is the general opinion of the 6500 XT vs the GTX 1650 Super?
- I tried to keep the power consumption of each component inline with what is in my current Shuttle system as it also uses the 80+ Bronze PSU and so I think that I should hopefully be OK with not exceeding the limits of the 300W Shuttle PSU. At least 12 years ago, it was the case that the Shuttle PSU's were way better than their wattage ratings led one to believe. I am hoping that this is still the case today and that the quality has not gone down, I certainly do not think that a standard off the shelf 300W PSU would be enough for what I am building.
I'm not going to recommend it, but I've gotten away with a 150W part (GTX 670) powered by a single 6-pin from the PSU (used a Y-splitter to feed two 6-pins on the GPU). That said, the Shuttle in question was using a 400W rated power supply made 10 years ago. Still working fine today although I don't use it for gaming anymore.

A single 8-pin cable is rated up to 150W, a 6-pin is rated up to 75W. A GTX 1660 gpu tends to use around 120W under full load. Keep in mind that any gpu can pull up to 75 watts of that from the PCI-E slot itself. In reality, not all the power necessary is pulled over the PCI-E power cables.

It really comes down to the quality of the power supply and the quality the cable (being short helps too). The only difference between an 8-pin and 6-pin PCI-E power cable are 2 extra pins, neither of which carry any extra power. The extra power is pushed through the same 3 pins found on the 6-pin connector. The extra pins of the 8-pin are only there to regulate the voltage better. Without getting too technical, as long as the power supply is able to regulate the voltage and the cable itself doesn't contribute to voltage fluctuations, then a 6-pin can push on past its spec'ed 75W. Shorter cables (like the ones you find in a Shuttle SFF) tend to help make this possible.

So if you're feeling [H], I say go for a 1660 and use a short 6-pin to 8-pin adapter. Worst case scenario, under maximum gpu load the cable can't handle it and it melts the outer shielding. Never witnessed this myself, so it's all theoretical to me *shrugg*. If Shuttle cheaped out on quality, well then you were warned.

Also, the whole notion that Shuttle PSUs perform better than they are rated is a dated one. In fact, I'd put more faith in any modern off the shelf PSU performing better for its given rating. Shuttle is probably sourcing the same proprietary PSUs they did 10 years ago. We have SFX power supply form factors now, and they're all typically amazing for their smaller size.
 
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gvx64

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I'm not going to recommend it, but I've gotten away with a 150W part (GTX 670) powered by a single 6-pin from the PSU (used a Y-splitter to feed two 6-pins on the GPU). That said, the Shuttle in question was using a 400W rated power supply made 10 years ago. Still working fine today although I don't use it for gaming anymore.

A single 8-pin cable is rated up to 150W, a 6-pin is rated up to 75W. A GTX 1660 gpu tends to use around 120W under full load. Keep in mind that any gpu can pull up to 75 watts of that from the PCI-E slot itself. In reality, not all the power necessary is pulled over the PCI-E power cables.

It really comes down to the quality of the power supply and the quality the cable (being short helps too). The only difference between an 8-pin and 6-pin PCI-E power cable are 2 extra pins, neither of which carry any extra power. The extra power is pushed through the same 3 pins found on the 6-pin connector. The extra pins of the 8-pin are only there to regulate the voltage better. Without getting too technical, as long as the power supply is able to regulate the voltage and the cable itself doesn't contribute to voltage fluctuations, then a 6-pin can push on past its spec'ed 75W. Shorter cables (like the ones you find in a Shuttle SFF) tend to help make this possible.

So if you're feeling [H], I say go for a 1660 and use a short 6-pin to 8-pin adapter. Worst case scenario, under maximum gpu load the cable can't handle it and it melts the outer shielding. Never witnessed this myself, so it's all theoretical to me *shrugg*. If Shuttle cheaped out on quality, well then you were warned.

Also, the whole notion that Shuttle PSUs perform better than they are rated is a dated one. In fact, I'd put more faith in any modern off the shelf PSU performing better for its given rating. Shuttle is probably sourcing the same proprietary PSUs they did 10 years ago. We have SFX power supply form factors now, and they're all typically amazing for their smaller size.
Thanks a lot for this info, this is really helpful.

Back when I was especially active on this board (2004-2005) the situation with PC PSU's was particularly bad. It was so bad that there was a list of "not recommended" brands on a sticky at the top of the PSU subforum emphasizing that you needed to avoid them even if their wattage rating was extremely high. I would say that the majority of the brands on the market back then, including some of the most popular ones, were in the "bad" category and had outright dishonest ratings. Back then, Shuttle PSU's were regarded as one of the best out there probably just because they did what they said they did. It's good to hear that the industry has made huge improvements nowadays, although it is a little disappointing to hear that Shuttle is falling behind.

I think that I will stick with the 1650 Super for now, it's not a great card but I think I can get Forza 5 and Halo Infinite at 1080p at ~30fps which should be enough for what I want to do gaming-wise. I am a bit concerned about the Shuttle's 300W PSU, even with my current specs, as the i5-11400F has a turbo mode that I read can draw up to around 140W even though it's TDP is rated at 65W. That along with a 100W video card is definitely the upper limit of what I want to be doing with a 300W PSU. If I find that I want any upgrades in the future (more powerful cpu, video card) I will buy one of Shuttle's higher rated PSU's that can fit the same form factor.

Not all m2 drives benefit much from a heatsink, depending on their specs, use case, and install location.
Also, almost every major brand incorporates a metallic layer in the label (at least for midrange/performance models) to act as a heatspreader, which helps them require less directed airlow for normal operation.

Gen4 drives pretty much always benefit from a heatsink, mostly for sustained throughput.
Thanks again. I was looking at the M.2 drives without heatsinks and I was trying to figure out if it was just a sticker on them or if there was some kind of heat-spreader underneath. It's really hard to tell in the photo's and it is not mentioned in the specs.

Ssds do not require defragmentibg as the access times are the same drive wide, unlike a traditional hdd. :)
Thanks for the info. :)
 
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