Despite the diminutive sizes of its machines, Shuttle appears to be getting itself some serious delusions of grandeur.

You can't possibly make a small form factor gaming machine. Can you? Well, with the machines that Shuttle has been putting out recently these delusions have become reality.

Punchy performance

The X38-based XPC SX39P2 Pro had a CrossFire board and, more importantly, the space to use it.

This full-system comes equipped with one of the later 65nm, 2.4GHz Core 2 Quad CPUs and thanks to the mobo also the option to upgrade to 45nm chips later on. There's the currently ubiquitous 4GB RAM coupled with AMD's 512MB HD3870, making this an impressive games machine.

In tests we got well over the 10,000 in 3DMark06 and had Crysis running at playable frame rates, even under DX10. The HD3870 inside isn't going to set any game speed records, but the fact that the Shuttle can happily house a dual-slot card without overheating and sounding like Concorde's spending it's retirement sitting in your front room, makes it a powerful option as a games machine.

Powerful but pricey

The design of the chassis is excellent, giving enough cooling to keep the machine functioning at full load despite the fact that the little case is chock full o' tech.

This XPC would be perfect as a gaming media centre with a slight change of graphics card and a newer, 45nm quad-core chip. The only real sticking point is the price; for £800 you can pick up the P35P2 Pro barebones and fill it yourself with cheaper, but equally powerful components.