Conclusion: Shuttle keeps bumping the bar up with each SFF release, and the XPC SN25P continues that. While we are not in agreement with all design decisions it is hard to argue with the nForce 4 Ultra chipset. Clearly if you want that chipset now in a small form factor then this is the only option available to you. It is quite a powerful package if you can agree with the larger size, and lack of a PCI slot. More drive mounting options are tempting, and so is dual core support.
Conclusion: Wow.. Just, wow. Just for fun, let's have a look at all my complaints about the last Athlon64 Shuttle XPC I reviewed; the SN95G5: 1) Lack of NVIDIA's GigaE controller, no NV Firewall 2) Not enough USB ports 3) Fit and Finish is lacking on the outside 4) Quite expensive How have these issues been addressed by the SN25P? Well... 1) This time they used NVIDIA's GigaE controller, and although ActiveArmor is not supported, you do get the excellent firewall.
Pros: TeraCube - easy to install over 1 TB of storage in a SFF system, NF4 chipset brings top notch performance, Looks great!, Smart fans are really smart, Excellent fit and finish, Integrated 8-in-1 memory card reader, Wonderful audio controller, Seamless installation, perfect fit & finish inside, Good digital audio options, External CMOS reset is clever
Cons: Expensive, Is getting a bit big for an SFF, No PCI slot, Still no WiFi, Only comes in one colour, No PCI or PCI-E bus lock
Conclusion: The SN25P is yet another winner in Shuttle's highly regarded line of XPC systems. The P-Series chassis, on which the SN25P is based, is definitely a step in the right direction, with its intelligently designed cooling scheme and almost completely tool-less installation (a philips head screwdriver is needed to install the CPU cooler). And the SN25P's well appointed BIOS, good looks, no compromise performance, and near silent operation are also definite pluses.