Summary: I bought a Shuttle SS51 for my daughter back in 2002 and it is still running. I have gone through a couple of computers myself in the meantime and decided I wanted to go the compact route this time while making no compromises. I looked at a number of Small Form Factor cases from different manufacturers but kept coming back to Shuttle because of my previous good experience. The system hasn't disappointed.
Pros: Compact size, Most features of a full size system, Lots of USB3 ports, 6Gb/s SATA III, Quiet (with one gripe)
Cons: There are internal SATA ports for 4 drives but the drive cage has room for only 3 (1x 5 1/2 and 2x 3 1/2 (or smaller) There is internal space for 2x HDD + SDD if they redesigned the cage., The power supply fan has a bit of a whine to it although the CPU and case fan is virtually silent, even at load., A EFI or UEFI BIOS would have been nice
Summary: The shuttle on the other hand has two things wrong ... BIOS issues and Quality control issues. The first unit had to be flashed to the latest BIOS. Done easy enough but the BIOS began flacking out after two days. Loosing parameters (not even showing up), Smartfan setting not working and only spinning on low, then finally the on board video crapped out and so did two of the four dimm slots for memory.
Pros: Small form factor. New Z77 Chipset. Solid build for pressed aluminum. Accepts Sandy and Ivy Bridge CPU. Up to 16 Gb Memory, Room for EVGA GTX 570 or 680, 80 Pluz Bronze 500W PSU. Built in Audio, SATA 6G.
Cons: I normally dont write reviews, but I had to for this one. This is my second unit. The first was RMA'ed. NewEgg as always was fast and professional with returns and rma's, its a pleasure doing business with them.
Summary: The case is small and well-built, and it comes with all the connectors you would want for such a wee setup. It accepts and runs a Sapphire Radeon 7970 with no complaints, and it is always gratifying to see Skyrim suggest "Ultra-High Quality" settings when you fire it up. Building it was relatively painless, except for having to use a substitute processor just to update the BIOS to accept the Ivy Bridge CPU I had waiting for it.
Pros: Small, easy to assemble, sexy-lookin'
Cons: A bit loud, BIOS update required for Ivy Bridge processors, internal cabling a bit finicky