Curses! New Shuttle XPC is Dead on Arrival

I’ve been waiting to build a “super computer” for months, and now that I finally had enough parts to get started, when I put it all together into the ultra-sweet chassis of the Shuttle SD39P2 XPC…the damn thing wouldn’t boot! I had a kick-ass Intel Core 2 Duo Extreme X6800 running at 2.96 Ghz (courtesy of Intel Canada), 4 GB of 800mhz RAM (courtesy of Kingston), 1150 GB of storage (courtesy of Western Digital) – what I didn’t have was an optical drive since Plextor said they’d send me a Blu-Ray burner but never did, and I never did end up sending that email to ATI asking for a card…

At any rate, I cannibalized a few parts from another PC and put it all in the SD39P2. I felt a rush of excitement booting up such a powerful machine, pressed the power button, and nothing happened. @&*$%&^@#!! I spent the next couple of hours trouble shooting it, swapping out the RAM and video card, all with no positive results. @&*$%&^@#!! Then I got in my car and spent 90 minutes driving to and from Memory Express, having bought a ghetto 2.8 Ghz Celeron CPU ($60!) just for testing purposes (I didn’t have a spare Socket 775 CPU sitting around). It was a grim scenario: either the $1300 CPU from Intel was bad, or the Shuttle motherboard was bad…both scenarios sucked for me. Turns out the new CPU didn’t change anything, so it looks like the Shuttle XPC is bad. Damn. Damn. Damn. They’re sending me a new one and I’ll send this one back. That’s going to take at least a week though, meaning this project is on hold.

I guess on the bright side though by the time the new Shuttle arrives I’ll have the new video card I ordered and the new optical drive as well. I just hope that XFX video card fits in the XPC (gulp).

Every time I build a computer and it doesn’t go quite right, I think to myself “Jason, just go buy a Dell…” – but once I fight my way through the problems and I end up with a sweet-ass rig, I know it was worth the effort. I really hope this is one of those scenarios…

  • Yes I have thought that too when building a desktop. Dell are just so great, but building gets better specs, cheaper price, and is fun too 😀 I have my whole build and XP install down to under 90mins I’d say.

    But since I have recently built 8 PCs, 6 of which were for my friends, I don’t fret as much as I used to when something doesn’t start up. eg. One I just finished building a few minutes ago wouldn’t stay on for more than a few minutes. Turned out the CPU cooler wasn’t on properly and the Celeron D would jump to 105C in about 30secs!! No harm done though 😀

    That is so awesome that Intel sent you an X6800!!! That is one ultra-sweet chip. I just picked up an OEM E6300 that I have overclocked to 2.1Ghz. Need to get a new motherboard to get it higher (have my eye on a sweet ASUS one that will fit in my LAN-gaming-friendly mATX case). Don’t really have any money to buy a better CPU atm. Still, it’s better than the Pentium D 805 it replaced 😛

  • Hi there Mitchell – thanks for the comments. I agree in general, though I’m not sure about the cheaper price – I’ve found that it always costs me more money to build the PCs myself than buying from Dell.com, at least on the low to mid range computers.

  • Really? Based on my recent builds, I can built one cheaper. For example this system that I have built for three people.

    * Celeron D 3.06Ghz
    * 1GB DDR2-667 RAM (1 stick, 3 free slots)
    * 250GB Samsung SATA HDD
    * Pioneer DVR-112D
    * nVidia 7100GS 128MB
    * Gigabit Ethernet
    * Gigabyte GA-945P-DS3 V2.0 Motherboard (1 PCEe x16, 3 PCIe x1, 3 PCI)
    * 450W PSU
    * Windows Vista Home Basic 32bit OEM or Windows XP Home OEM

    Total cost of that system is AU$620. Add a 19″ 1440×900 Widescreen LCD and the total comes to $870. These are the specs of the cheapest Socket 775 Dell over here:

    * Pentium D 915 2.8Ghz
    * 512MB DDR2-533 RAM
    * 160GB HDD
    * CDRW/DVD Combo
    * 19″ LCD
    * Intel Integrated 3000 Graphics
    * 10/100 Ethernet
    * Vista Home Basic 32bit or XP Home
    * 1Yr Warranty

    Total Price: $950 delivered

    If you factor in the faster processor into my system (a Pentium 925 is the closest I can get, so its faster) the price comes to $930. As you can see my system is quite a bit better for $20 less, BUT the great thing about Dell is their warranty. In my opinion it just can’t be beat

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