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 Post subject: Fit-PC slim, 4-6W Linux system
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:50 am 
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Location: Missing in Finnish wilderness, howling to moon with wolf brethren and walking with brother bears
http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS2102697273.html

That thing is small and fanless, albeit there isn't much horse powers I recon, though I really could think using one of those. 4.3 x 3.9 x 1.2 (109 x 99 x 30mm) inches makes it small but $294 (Linux version ) to $335 (XP version ) seems very steep price. Even the bare bone system without Wifi or 2,5" HDD price is still $220...

I have no idea of AMD's 500 Mhz Geode LX 800 performance which is powering the system. But 4-6 W power usage makes this very low power system... It would sound almost perfect for the your basioc surfboard etc but the price is too tad high IMHO...

And question for avaibiolity for this kind system is big question mark, especially in here, near the wolfbrder behind the back of civilization...

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:08 pm 
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Location: Slovenia
Pretty!

& that seems very small usage indeed....

512/60 GB does seem a bit little, yeah... - & fanless? does it not overheat? :)
I wish programs started to get smaller instead of bigger too!! :)

But it's great to see so many small & energy-efficient computers offered...

They seem to be sold in Norway, that's not so far from Finnland... :)


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:15 am 
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Location: Germany
The Geode LX CPUs have such a low TDP that they can easily run without a fan, maybe even without a heatsink. I'm considering getting one of the ALIX boards from PCEngines to play around with. They're larger but cheaper and nice cases are offered. Plus, the ALIX boards support CompactFlash cards to be directly plugged "onto" them which is a real bonus if you don't need a conventional hard disk.

Performance is another question. These will be fine for light servers or even desktop usage on XP or a lightweight Linux distro I reckon, but more demanding apps may turn the table. I.e. it may well be that YouTube videos, Skype etc. bring the system to its limits.

After all, low power consumption always comes with a price.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:58 am 
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This looks quite good!

Will a standard Linux distro "just work"?

As in can I install the i386 variant of Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora without a lot of hassles? Want to do a small torrent box and this looks ideal.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:34 am 
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I have an alix 2c3 for almost a year; been using it as a firewall/gateway/bitlbee server and am very happy with it: it doesn't get warm even during the summer(30-ish ºC); completely passive(not even an heatsink); and - oh joy - no buzz or whine to be heard.

According to google, you'll have no problems running Linux on it. Don't mind the 'soekris 5501' on the search, it's the alix equivalent and the install procedure is the same.
If you want a more familiar kind of OS installation(no pxeboot for instance), buy the model with VGA and IDE.

The test below would be a lot more meaningful if I did it on my PIII-800 but I'm too darn lazy to take it out of the closet and power it up. Let me add that, for the simple tasks that I use mine for, I never perceived the system as sluggish.

If you do turn one into a torrent box, let me/us know on how well it copes with the duty.

Quote:
GeodeLX@500Mhz
# md5 -ttt
MD5 time trial. Processing 1000000 10000-byte blocks...
Digest = f0843f04c524250749d014a8152920ec
Time = 266.600467 seconds
Speed = 37509311.639728 bytes/second

T5600@1.8Ghz
# md5 -ttt
MD5 time trial. Processing 1000000 10000-byte blocks...
Digest = f0843f04c524250749d014a8152920ec
Time = 39.254051 seconds
Speed = 2547507777.187302 bytes/second

T5600@1.0Ghz
# md5 -ttt
MD5 time trial. Processing 1000000 10000-byte blocks...
Digest = f0843f04c524250749d014a8152920ec
Time = 71.950167 seconds
Speed = 138985083.940111 bytes/second


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:09 pm 
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lowpowercomputing wrote:
Performance is another question. These will be fine for light servers or even desktop usage on XP or a lightweight Linux distro I reckon

I don't see you running XP comfortably on an ALIX board. You're talking about a 500MHz P2 equivalent proc. and only 256MB or RAM. Maybe Windows 98 . . . These boards are good for home class appliances (server, firewall, router, etc.), not really desktop, not even "surfboard" class (unless you never need to watch video).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:37 am 
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jessekopelman wrote:
I don't see you running XP comfortably on an ALIX board. You're talking about a 500MHz P2 equivalent proc. and only 256MB or RAM. Maybe Windows 98 . . . These boards are good for home class appliances (server, firewall, router, etc.), not really desktop, not even "surfboard" class (unless you never need to watch video).

That XP statement was actually referring to the fit-PC with 512MB of RAM but you're right of course. It will run and work for light applications but more demanding things may well be sluggish. If I were getting such a system it'd perform as a server/router/firewall/whatever as well, not as a desktop. For that matter though, I own a Nokia N810 (400MHz ARM, 128MB of RAM, Linux) and it performs very well as a web-surfing machine including flash, YouTube videos etc.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:51 am 
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Does anyone know the comparitive CPU power of the Geode 500Mhz versus the Via Eden C3 533Mhz? I love the 10-watt power consumption of my Via system, but it doesn't support WiFi, DVI, or boot from USB, plus it's about 5x the volumetric size of the Fit PC. Since I already have two PATA 2.5" drives, I'm interested in their $245 model with 512mb ram and no disk.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 2:43 pm 
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lowpowercomputing wrote:
For that matter though, I own a Nokia N810 (400MHz ARM, 128MB of RAM, Linux) and it performs very well as a web-surfing machine including flash, YouTube videos etc.

I'm pretty sure the ARM chip has Flash acceleration built in, something not true for Geode. Also, I guess it is all a matter of expectations. I bet for non-flash heavy websites a 500MHz Geode with 256MB or RAM would feel just fine if you were used to a Nokia N810, but for most people coming directly from a P4 or better class of computer with 512MB or more of RAM I think they'd notice the difference. I think for most people it is hard to go backwards once you get used to something being faster/smoother, especially when you don't even get the trade off of new usage scenarios (like you do with a portable).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:50 am 
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I ordered the diskless Fit-PC Slim with 512 megs RAM will report in later.

My interest is primarily a little Linux server for the closet, to offer a Samba share for the house and maybe some other things. So if I want to download Linux distros I can just run BitTorrent on that, and not have to leave a desktop PC turned on. That sort of thing. So a decent-sized laptop drive maybe 120-160 gigs seems like plenty.

I currently have an old PIII-800 desktop doing this sort of job but it's a lot larger and takes more power.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:33 pm 
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I have placed an order for a Fit-PC Slim on October 16th and still not received any indication from the company of the status of the order. Strange.

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My "quiet PC" build: E7500@stock, Ninja RevB (passive), Gigabyte DS3, Corsair 520HX, Antec Solo, Sapphire 5750 Vapor-X , WD Velociraptor, 4Gb G.Skill DDR2-800.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:19 am 
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vincentfox wrote:
I have placed an order for a Fit-PC Slim on October 16th and still not received any indication from the company of the status of the order. Strange.


Well that's not a good sign at all. Have you tried calling or writing to them? Did you order with a credit card, and if so, did they already charge your credit card, and on what day? I have been thinking of ordering one too, but places like newegg with same-day and next-day shipping have me spoiled for their excellent customer service.

For example, I ordered some bike parts about a week ago and when I got the confirmation email, I noticed it said the expected delivery time was 2 weeks for most of the order and one month for one of the items. Reading online, I've seen stories of some guys waiting 4-6 weeks to receive specialty bicycle items. It's amazing the difference between places like newegg and the tiny, specialty shops.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 11:52 am 
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I just got an email today saying they were surprised by the number of orders for the diskless Fit-PC Slim and are backlogged on filling them. However my order should ship this week.

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My "quiet PC" build: E7500@stock, Ninja RevB (passive), Gigabyte DS3, Corsair 520HX, Antec Solo, Sapphire 5750 Vapor-X , WD Velociraptor, 4Gb G.Skill DDR2-800.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:32 pm 
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vincentfox wrote:
I just got an email today saying they were surprised by the number of orders for the diskless Fit-PC Slim and are backlogged on filling them. However my order should ship this week.


So it's been close to two weeks now, did you ever receive it?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 1:34 pm 
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Item left Tampa yesterday, not sure where it is now. The USPS tracking system is not as good as others. Since it's gotta come across the country I'd guess late next week.

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My "quiet PC" build: E7500@stock, Ninja RevB (passive), Gigabyte DS3, Corsair 520HX, Antec Solo, Sapphire 5750 Vapor-X , WD Velociraptor, 4Gb G.Skill DDR2-800.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 7:23 pm 
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Followup, it was sent USPS Priority Mail and arrived today.

I am quite impressed with the build. Tiny!

I will report more after having loaded OS onto it. I have installed a Samsung 160-gig drive. I have attached a LiteOn USB DVD drive to rear USB port, and keyboard and mouse to the front.

Currently loading OpenSolaris Nevada build 101. I run a lot of Solaris systems at work and am a big fan of ZFS. If it will work acceptably I may go that way although this platform is very minimal hardware for Solaris.

Next up after that Ubuntu 8.10.

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My "quiet PC" build: E7500@stock, Ninja RevB (passive), Gigabyte DS3, Corsair 520HX, Antec Solo, Sapphire 5750 Vapor-X , WD Velociraptor, 4Gb G.Skill DDR2-800.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:00 am 
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One oddity I didn't see anything in BIOS for timed power control. Many PC allow you to set up a timer so if it's off it gets turned on at 4AM or something like that.

Okay this part is COOL, in the BIOS you can underclock the CPU/RAM to lower levels. Went all the way down to 200 MHz. I didn't do power measurements on that yet but I'm guessing if you really have it doing very lightweight jobs you could set for lower speed and save another Watt.

Loaded OpenSolaris, but performance DOG SLOW! Not enough oomph. Also seemed to get pretty hot I guess the OS was taxing the CPU to limits on a long enough timespan for heat to build up.

Reloaded with Ubuntu 8.10 Server. Wow! This is exactly what I'm looking for. Not going to encode video on it after all so the minimal CPU doesn't matter. Boots quickly and runs fine.

Casing just gets warm not hot. Planning to run Apache, RADIUS, Nagios, maybe Samba and a few other things for internal use.

Putting drives in it is easy. Removing drives is a pain due to the short IDE cable and it's tight connector, and I got really tired of it as I swapped in a couple of different drives testing OS.

Sizewise it's smaller than my WRT54GS router and uses a little less power.

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My "quiet PC" build: E7500@stock, Ninja RevB (passive), Gigabyte DS3, Corsair 520HX, Antec Solo, Sapphire 5750 Vapor-X , WD Velociraptor, 4Gb G.Skill DDR2-800.


Last edited by vincentfox on Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 8:31 am 
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Have you tried loading it with XP SP3, Xubuntu or regular Ubuntu?

How does it cope with web-video-content? (Like nfl.com game highlights)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:43 pm 
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Apologies but running Fit-PC Slim as a desktop is not my interest. So I don't plan to load XP or any Linux desktop flavors. I don't think this would make a spectacular HTPC something like Asus EEE Box would be better.

I use a Samsung Q1 Ultra UMPC I picked up off EBay for $450 for watching video on the couch and general email and other duties.

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My "quiet PC" build: E7500@stock, Ninja RevB (passive), Gigabyte DS3, Corsair 520HX, Antec Solo, Sapphire 5750 Vapor-X , WD Velociraptor, 4Gb G.Skill DDR2-800.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 7:01 am 
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vincentfox wrote:
Apologies but running Fit-PC Slim as a desktop is not my interest. So I don't plan to load XP or any Linux desktop flavors. I don't think this would make a spectacular HTPC something like Asus EEE Box would be better.

Okay. Sorry i'm so demanding :).
I'm just curious of how well it would run web-video. Something like You-tube or something similar.
I would never use it for HTPC purposes.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:00 pm 
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Unfortunately the device is already employed as a small server now.

Running Apache, RADIUS, Nagios and a few other things. It performs very well at these tasks and I love the zero noise and low power aspects.

Sorry but I am no longer free to try XP or muck around with desktop testing. Perhaps someone else will buy one and be able to report on that.

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My "quiet PC" build: E7500@stock, Ninja RevB (passive), Gigabyte DS3, Corsair 520HX, Antec Solo, Sapphire 5750 Vapor-X , WD Velociraptor, 4Gb G.Skill DDR2-800.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2008 12:57 pm 
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vincentfox wrote:
Sorry but I am no longer free to try XP or muck around with desktop testing. Perhaps someone else will buy one and be able to report on that.
No problem.
Maybe i'll just buy one to try it out. :)

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