Updated – March 12, 2007. I filed a complaint with the BBB against Shuttle on this issue as they were unresponsive but I’ve decided not to pursue this further. Shuttle is still wrong but it seems that there is also an issue with Microsoft Vista, Nvidia Nforce 3 chipsets, AGP Video Cards, and AMD Dual Core Processor combination (aka Vista Code 43 error.) that may not get resolved. If you have this combination, you can either run Vista in single core mode or get the performance of a PCI Video Card with both cores enabled. As such, there is no meaningfull way to upgrade this machine anymore. I’m just astonished across the board at Shuttle for not standing behind their products and then pile on Nvidia’s lack of support for the Nforce 3 chipset in Vista.
Ughh!!! Upgrading your computer is suppossed to be fun (at least for me). You buy the new parts, you install them, and sit back and enjoy the upgrade. Not so much with my Shuttle SN95G5 Small Form Factor (SFF) PC.
Though my machine is suppossed to be AMD Socket 939 compatible, it appears that only the oldest of AMD chips which are no longer manufactured will work properly. My attempts to go from a AMD 3000+ to AMD X2 4400+ (E6) has led my machine to not be able to power up without clearing the CMOS/BIOS and some random shutdowns. It seems that Shuttle produced the SN95G5v1, SN95G5v2, and SN95G5v3 and while some SN95G5v1 and SN95G5v2 and all of SN95G5v3 are compatible with the latest AMD chips, my SN95G5v2 BOM 21 is not. It also seems I am very much not alone – SFF Tech (a great resource by the way) has a thread on some people’s experiences.
Suffice to say, I’ve contacted Shuttle and it seems like they are trying to blame AMD for the issue. I might be able to understand their argument if any other motherboard maker had the same issues but I haven’t been able to find any. I bought a machine that said it was Socket 939 compatible (there were no notices that this may not be compatible with future sockets or AMD CPUs) and what I got can not live up to that promise. I guess we will see what Shuttle replies with – will they try and work something out and stand behind their brand and product or won’t they?
The unfortunate part, aside from this, I really do like the Shuttle and love having a small, quiet, and powerfull computer on my desk! I really do not cherish the thought of going back to towers but will if need be.
For those who are in the same position – please do email Shuttle and try and get them to take action.
Some technical details on the issue:
AMD E3 and E4 Steppings are not supported at all on the SN95g5v2.
AMD E6 (Toledo) Steppings are only supported for SN95G5v2 BOM 26 and greater.
AMD is no longer manufacturing anything other then E6 steppings so good luck to anyone trying to find a chip that works. SN95G5v3 apparently supports all steppings.
In my experience, I can get the machine to power up after I pull the plug out of the machine and clear the CMOS/BIOS. At that point, if I shut down, I have to repeat the process to get it started again. Try explaining that to my wife when she needs to use my computer! I also get some random shutdowns! Others report that the machine just won’t boot at all!