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Shuttle DS81 Intel H81 Slim PC Barebone

  • Intel Socket LGA1150
  • Intel H81
  • 2 x 204Pin
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  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 3 years
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 3 years

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  • Paul F.
  • 12/8/2014 3:55:24 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsUpdate

Pros: This is an update to my previous review to help clarify some points.

1st point: This system comes with two SATA ports and two mini PCie slots. The mPCie slots are stacked, one on top of each other. However the top slot accepts 50.8mm standard size mSATA SSD drives, while the bottom port is half size (26.8mm). I haven't tried installing a half size SSD drive yet in the bottom slot, but at some point I'll test it too. However the top slot (50.8mm) works perfectly with mSATA SSD's. After optimization I have a 7 second boot time from BIOS to Windows desktop. 3 second shutdown.

You MUST go in to the BIOS and change the boot drive to "mSATA". to get the SSD to boot from the mSata slot.

Point 2: You can have both an mSATA drive and SATA drive installed at the same time. I tested this by first installing a mSATA drive, installing Windows 8.1, and then installing a standard 2.5" SATA spinning drive attached with the cables that come with the system. There are 2 SATA ports so I suspect that you can install a 2nd spinning drive also, but you will need a SATA power splitter.

I guess you could always use the 2nd drive for file storage and swap file space, but if you install 8GB or more RAM the swap file space will likely not be needed at all. I keep 1024 as standard swap file space, turn off hibernation, turn off indexing. Make sure that Windows detects your SSD drive as SSD and if not manually run "WinSat formal" from the command line to enable Win 8.1 optimization. Defrag will then only run the TRIM command and not the full drefrag services on the SSD each week.

Be sure to use a low power (65 watt or under) CPU.

If you have any questions, just ask

Cons: Do not cover the vent holes in the top or this system will overheat.

Other Thoughts: I hope that Shuttle continues to improve this system as it is a perfect size and well constructed.

4 out of 5 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Edward C.
  • 12/5/2014 8:56:52 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsNice box

Pros: Nice system with all the power I need built out with a i7 4790 and 8G or ram. I use them for automated system in hot plants and they stay cool and happy.

Cons: I wish the case would take a full size hard drive.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Jason W.
  • 11/21/2014 7:56:29 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 day to 1 week
  • Verified Owner

4 out of 5 eggsHuge Fan

Pros: 1 - Haswell support (i7 4790S) Perfect for this box.
2 - Dual NICs (recognized by ESXi 5.1)
3 - lots of USB
4 - Really fast build (15 minutes and ready to install)

Cons: Shuttle MUST create a 32G version of this bare-bone. This would be an absolute monster with support for 32Gigs of memory.

... my only reason for leaving off an egg.

Other Thoughts: Great system.

0 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Edward L.
  • 10/24/2014 6:33:03 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: less than 1 day
  • Verified Owner

2 out of 5 eggsDOA

Pros: Nice size, metal case, ability to chose the CPU

Cons: Would not power up. Sounded like a car with a dead battery. Of course Newegg was great handling the return, but now have to wait several weeks for new unit. HDMI only - no DVI port.

Other Thoughts: I probably should have looked more closely. Saw 2 SATA ports and read reviews that said they used mSATA. Assumed could use mSATA with a 2nd SATA drive. 2 SATA ports (not mSATA) and only 1 power connector for SATA, Will have to live with a 7200 RPM 1TB drive (would have ordered differently.

0 out of 2 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Paul F.
  • 9/20/2014 8:33:26 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsAlmost Perfect

Pros: 1) Nice metal case - strong and sturdy feel.
2) Supports a wide variety of Intel CPU's (Celeron, Pentium, i3, i5, i7)
3) Heat pipe/fan combo - very quiet yet cool to the touch.
4) 3 video ports (1 HDMI and 2 Display Ports)
5) Electronic soft-touch On/Off button. Wish all computers had them.
6) VESA mounting bracket for supported monitors included!
7) 8 USB ports!
8) Two mSata ports!
9) Supports any 2.5" slim drive too - easy mounting bracket install.
10) 2 Gb Ethernet Ports

Cons: 1) It would be nice to have a higher wattage power supply to support higher wattage CPU's (*see comment below).
2) Wish it had a second audio-out port on the back and not just the front. When setup as a desktop, all the cables attach to the back except for the audio port, which detracts from the look of the computer. Minor gripe.
3) Wish it had two USB3 front ports.

Other Thoughts: I've always like the quality of Shuttle computers. This is our company's favorite min-size computer. Shuttle did a great design job.
Everyone is blow-away at how small these computers are. A desktop system the size of a paper-back novel.

*Since the Power Supply is only 90 watts, you MUST use a lower-watt CPU for the i5 and i7, such as the i7-4790S, which is only 65 watts.

Go to Shuttle's support list to check the CPU and memory that it supports.

The mSata port(s) are a great bonus! Our mSata SSD boots Win 8.1 in 20 sec. and shuts down in 3. Price is has come down enough to forget about spinning drives - go SSD. But if you need, it easily supports a single 2.5" drive, spinning or otherwise. (Word of advice - if you plan on using an mSata drive, get an mSata to SATA converter or a mSata to USB converter if you need to plug it in to another computer.)
So far, heat has NOT been an issue. Just don't block the vent holes in the top and don't keep it smothered inside a closed area. Clean the fans once in a while to keep cooling at peak efficiency.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Jon S.
  • 9/20/2014 12:05:39 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: less than 1 day
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsNice little rig

Pros: Excellent build quality
Well rounded accessories bundle

Cons: Nothing thus far

Other Thoughts: Plugged in my kit and installed my OS. Centos 7 runs without a hitch.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Matt P.
  • 8/20/2014 5:59:41 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year

5 out of 5 eggsExcellent computer

Pros: I have purchased about 10 of these so far. Fabulous little computers. Small, quiet, fast (if you put in a good cpu and SSD), and relatively inexpensive. Really impressed so far. Been using them going back to the previous version, and I've not had any problems with either model. Even bought one for home for streaming TV. works perfect. Dual nics and serial ports are a nice touch. Video port options are great.

Cons: Really nothing significant. Esata would be nice in place of one of the serial ports, but that's getting pretty picky.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

  • Michael. R.
  • 7/25/2014 8:33:22 AM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 month to 1 year
  • Verified Owner

3 out of 5 eggsGreat form factor- Has limitations

Pros: This is an amazing little computer. I bought it to build a small DAW workstation. It fits WONDERFULLY in the limited space that I had for it.

Cons: This machine is INCREDIBLY picky about RAM and Processors. You have to follow their certified RAM. Don't deviate from it at all. Also watch your TDP. You can't exceed what they list. If you do, your power supply will QUICKLY over heat and then automatically shut itself down...thus quickly ending your computing experience...very abruptly. Honestly this power supply is incredibly under powered for what the internals can handle.

Other Thoughts: I think I'd buy another one...but I might look for something that's a little bit larger and isn't as picky with RAM, CPU, and TDP. They really need to supply a more powerful power supply. I'll likely end up swapping this one out for something that can deliver more power without over heating so quickly.

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • Christopher C.
  • 6/28/2014 10:57:20 PM
  • Tech Level: High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat mobile lab

Pros: DS81 build
Core I7-4790S @3.2GHz
16GB G. SKILL Ripjaws DDR3 1600
Msata Mushkin 240GB SSD
2TB HGST 2.5" 5400 RPM
Kingston 32GB SD card

Dual NICs
8 USB ports

This thing is small, fast & quiet runs, ESXi like a champ, dosen't skip a beat with 10 VMs running also dual boots to Windows Thin PC on the SSD

Cons: Power brick uses a C5 power cable, Not really a con since I've seen allot more of these now days.

SD card doesn't go all the way in it sticks out abt half way
Realtek NIC are tough, couldn't install ESXi 5.5 had to slipstream drivers from 5.1

No audio jacks on the back

Other Thoughts: More ram, it would be nice if they had a model where you sacrifice the m-SATA and mini pci-e slots for more RAM

Internal SD card slot would be nice

Intel NIC options

Fans at full speed are a bit noise.

Do want to try and install PFsense directly to the box but for now its vitalized

I am thinking of using theses little guys at work for a few projects we've got coming up, we'll have to see how this one holds up.

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

  • mark o.
  • 6/1/2014 5:11:23 AM
  • Tech Level: Somewhat High
  • Ownership: 1 week to 1 month
  • Verified Owner

5 out of 5 eggsGreat Design

Pros: Easy to assemble
Lots of USB
Standard size HDMI

Cons: none so far

Other Thoughts: Took 15 minutes to be up and running with a 2.5" drive from my old laptop. Put a Linksys AC580 USB Wireless adapter.
Very quiet!

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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