You may have noticed several Phoronix articles in recent weeks using a ZaReason notebook built around Intel's "Sandy Bridge" processor. This is one of the new notebooks from ZaReason that had been in our labs for testing. Here is a last look at the Strata 6880 notebook from this Linux-focused PC vendor.
Last month at XDC2011 Chicago, I managed to get my hands on what should be the production hardware model of the XO-1.75 laptop that is expected to be released in the coming months by the OLPC project. The low-cost OLPC laptop targeted for students is now ARM-based and consumes very little power.
While Hewlett-Packard recently announced they will be killing off their webOS devices, just days prior to that I had ordered an HP TouchPad 16GB to carry out some additional ARM-based Linux benchmarks. Although HP's devices may be going away, I am still fond of webOS and it's a fair environment to carry out performance tests.
Last week were a set of AMD Fusion A8-3850 Linux benchmarks on Phoronix, but for you this week is a look at the AMD Fusion "Llano" APU performance when trying out a few different compilers. In particular, the latest GCC release and then using the highly promising Clang compiler on LLVM, the Low-Level Virtual Machine.
Beyond the new data visualizations and other plans for Lillesand, Phoronix Test Suite 3.4 will contain much greater support for Google's Android operating system and there will also be greater compatibility with ARM tests using our automated testing framework. A horde of ARM-based testing is also just out on the horizon at Phoronix.com. This is all thanks to the cooperation of Qualcomm's Innovation Center; they recently sent over the Snapdragon MDP MSM8660 for doing this work and it is an interesting and powerful phone.
The past few months on Phoronix and OpenBenchmarking.org you may have noticed several Intel Core i7 "Sandy Bridge" mobile benchmarks. This Linux mobile SNB testing was being done from a System76 Serval Professional notebook. Here is a look at this Linux-friendly notebook that ships with Ubuntu 10.10.
This year we have looked at a number of "nettop" and media oriented computers, including the ASRock Vision 3D that was the best nettop we have seen to date but not without a hefty price-tag, there were the MSI Wind Box computers, and even the CompuLab Fit-PC2 that was by far the smallest Atom-based computer we have tested today. None of the nettop computers we have tested though have been specifically designed for Linux usage, except for the one we are reviewing today. The ZaReason MediaBox 4220 is designed for multi-media use, as implied by its name, and of course, coming from this California vendor, it has designed to be used under Linux.
It's been nearly a decade since ASRock was spun off by ASUS as a new OEM vendor and over this time they have transformed themselves from being solely a manufacturer of low-cost, value-oriented motherboards and other products to offering more high-end and enthusiast-friendly products (such as the X58 SuperComputer and 880G Extreme 3). ASRock has also adapted to the market and has begun offering other products like low-power nettop computers. Last year we reviewed ASRock's ION 330 NetTop, which was their first, followed by the ION 330HT-BD, another Atom-based PC earlier this year. In August we then reviewed the ASRock Core 100HT, which was a nettop based upon a more powerful Core i3 processor, but with Intel integrated graphics. The latest nettop though to have been introduced by this Taiwan-based vendor is the Vision 3D NetTop, which incorporates a higher-end Intel Core processor while bringing NVIDIA GeForce GT 425M graphics for making a relatively high-end PC in a very small form factor.
Many interesting things come from Sweden whether it is Tunnbrödsrulle to Glögg to IKEA, but how well are these wonderful people able to create compact, home servers? After reviewing the CodeLathe TonidoPlug and PogoPlug, Excito, a company from Limhamn asked if we would be interested in checking out their new Linux-based home server, the B3. With that said, here is the review of the Excito B3 home server, which is actually a rather exciting device with its capabilities ranging from being a Bit Torrent download server to a home router with web serving capabilities.
Since July we have been testing a Lenovo ThinkPad W510 notebook under Linux and have already published a variety of Linux benchmarks. This Lenovo notebook boasts an Intel Core i7 720QM CPU, 4GB of system memory, a 320GB SATA HDD, and NVIDIA Quadro FX880M graphics. In this review we are taking a closer look at the ThinkPad W510 notebook and have more Ubuntu Linux benchmarks comparing its performance to the ZaReason Verix and an older ThinkPad T61.
Last summer we reviewed the ASRock NetTop ION 330, which was the first Atom-powered NetTop computer that had come out of this vendor known for their affordable motherboards. The NetTop ION 330 combined an Intel Atom 330 CPU with NVIDIA's ION platform to provide a low-power PC while offering modest computing and graphics capabilities. Earlier this year we then reviewed the ION 330HT-BD, which was ASRock's revised nettop with more features and was topped off with a Blu-ray drive for greater media capabilities. Today we are now reviewing the ASRock Core 100HT, which is their newest nettop and it boasts an Intel Core i3-330M processor with 4GB of DDR3 system memory, a 500GB hard drive, and is completed with USB 3.0 and 802.11n wireless network connectivity.
One year ago we reviewed the ZaReason Ion Breeze computer that was built around NVIDIA's ION platform with an Intel Atom CPU, but today we are looking at our first ZaReason notebook and it boasts some very high-end hardware. The Verix 1656 is one of ZaReason's highest-end notebooks and its powered by a quad-core Intel Core i7 CPU (with Hyper Threading to make for eight logical cores in this mobile computer), a NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250M GPU, and a 15.4-inch 1680x1050 display. The ZaReason Verix 1656 also has a very nice brushed-aluminum exterior.
Last month we reviewed the Pogoplug, which was an interesting network attached storage (NAS) device that ran Linux and was unique compared to other devices on the market. Today we are reviewing a device similar to this and that is the TonidoPlug. The TonidoPlug is a low-power home server that runs the open-source Tondio software that runs Linux and costs only $99 USD.
While more and more computer peripherals and gadgets these days are running Linux internally, not many vendors are matching their internal Linux support with external Linux customer support. For the Pogoplug though, which is made by CloudEngines, this is not the case. The Pogoplug is a network attached storage device that is far more than a basic NAS like the Icy Box NAS4220, but the Pogoplug can integrate with social networks like Twitter along with providing a rich web 2.0 interface for accessing the device from anywhere in the world. The Pogoplug device runs Linux and is built upon popular open-source packages, but Pogoplug does not hide this fact and they actually encourage community developers to work on the Pogoplug with complete support for SSH-ing into these devices and making modifications. CloudEngines also offers a 32-bit/64-bit Linux program for interacting with the Pogoplug.
Through Phoromatic you can easily build a benchmarking test farm with minimal effort and combined with Phoromatic Tracker you can monitor the performance of a given software or hardware component over the course of time. We used our own tools to launch a Linux kernel tracker that monitors the performance of the very latest Linux kernel code on a daily basis at kernel-tracker.phoromatic.com. We are also announcing another new, important public tracker coming soon, but first off, we needed a few more low-powered Intel Atom systems. We ended up purchasing two MSI Wind Box NetTops (the 6667BB-003US and 6667BB-004US) that are both based around an Intel Atom 330 dual-core processor within a very low-profile enclosure. The MSI 6667BB-003US utilizes Intel GMA 950 graphics while the 6667BB-004US boasts an ATI Radeon HD 4330 graphics processor. Here is our Linux look at these two Intel nettop computers.
We have tested a few interesting Intel Atom-powered nettop computers lately from the ASRock ION 330HT-BD that bears a Blu-ray drive and an Intel Atom 330 CPU with NVIDIA ION graphics to the ASUS Eee Top that packaged the entire system within a touch-screen monitor. In this article we are trying out the CompuLab Fit-PC2, which is definitely the smallest Atom-powered computer we have tested to date. The Fit-PC2 easily fits in the palm of your hand and it packs an Intel Atom Z530 processor with a Poulsbo graphics processor, a 160GB SATA HDD, and 1GB of system memory.
Back in July of last year we were one of the first to review the ASRock NetTop ION 330, which was the first Atom-based "nettop" computer from this budget manufacturer that worked in conjunction with Pegatron Corp to assemble this compact computer. The original ASRock NetTop ION 330 worked out quite well and packed reasonable hardware (a dual-core Atom with NVIDIA ION graphics), but the latest computer in this series from ASRock is the ION 330HT-BD. This new nettop computer, which we are reviewing today under Linux, comes complete with a Blu-ray player along with 802.11 g/n WiFi, EuP 2.0 certification, and an MCE remote controller.
For the past year my netbook of choice has been the Samsung NC10 as while it shipped with stock Intel Atom hardware like other netbooks such as the Dell Mini 9 and earlier ASUS Eee PCs, the Samsung was built very well and possessed a rather large and well laid out keyboard for only being a 10.6" mobile computer. Catching my attention recently though has been the ASUS Eee PC 1201N netbook, which packs quite a bit of horsepower with offering the Intel Atom 330 dual-core CPU and NVIDIA's ION platform to provide compelling graphics capabilities. The Eee PC 1201N also ships with 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and a 1366 x 768 display that measures in at 12.1". Oh yeah, ASUS claims a several hour battery life for this $500 USD netbook too along with a full-size keyboard. As was alluded to last week, I ended up purchasing the ASUS Eee PC 1201N as soon as it was made available on the Internet. This is now the initial Phoronix rundown on the 1201N for how it works with Ubuntu Linux, including many benchmarks.
In the past we have published OpenSolaris vs. Linux Kernel benchmarks and similar articles looking at the performance of Sun's OpenSolaris up against popular Linux distributions. We have looked at the performance on high-end AMD workstations, but we have never compared the OpenSolaris and Linux performance on netbooks. Well, not until today. In this article we have results comparing OpenSolaris 2009.06 and Ubuntu 9.04 on the Dell Inspiron Mini 9 netbook.
Over the years we have looked at dozens of ASRock motherboards, and as we have noted in recent reviews, over the past year or so they have really ramped up their efforts on providing feature-rich motherboards while still delivering them at very low prices, as they have long been known for their budget status. Two recent motherboards we had looked at that illustrate this trend is the M3A780GXH/128M and the X58 SuperComputer, both of which motherboards had bolstered a nice set of features, were priced well, and carried other unique advantages. ASRock has not only been focusing upon driving innovation into their motherboards, but now other products too. In conjunction with Pegatron Corp, ASRock has released its first Atom-based nettop computer. We have our hands on this new ASRock NetTop ION 330 product and to say the least it is a wonderful system using Intel's Atom processor with NVIDIA's ION platform.
Back in March we reviewed the System76 Serval Professional Notebook and found it to be an excellent contender at the time. This notebook, which shipped with Ubuntu 8.10, had packed an Intel Core 2 Duo P8600 processor with a GeForce 9800M GTS graphics card and other great hardware, but since then System76 has rolled out notebooks with newer and better hardware. One of the new notebooks to recently leave the System76 facilities is the Bonobo Professional, which packs an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9000 processor and an impressive NVIDIA GeForce GTX 280M discrete graphics processor. In this article today we are seeing how this high-end notebook performs with Ubuntu 9.04.
Last week we published an in-depth article looking at the NVIDIA ION Linux Performance using a nettop device that contained this chipset with GeForce 9400M graphics rather than the usual Intel 945 graphics. From video playback to 2D to 3D, the graphics performance with the NVIDIA ION was wonderful. For that testing, the nettop we were using came courtesy of ZaReason and it was their new Ion Breeze 3770. In this review we are taking a closer look at the ZaReason Ion Breeze 3770 hardware.
At Phoronix we have tested out Ubuntu 9.04 quite extensively with a variety of different hardware and have delivered numerous benchmarks, but we had not looked closely at running the Jaunty Jackalope with older hardware. In this article though we have done just that and carried out a number of Ubuntu 9.04 tests using an older VIA-based PC.
While there are many netbooks on the market from a variety of different vendors, for the most part they are composed of the same hardware. They generally carry an Intel Atom processor with a solid-state drive or hard drive, 1GB or so of memory, and an 8" to 10" screen. One area though where these netbooks can differentiate is with the operating system. While Microsoft's Windows XP continues to be used on a large number of netbook computers, when it comes to those vendors deploying Linux each usually has a slightly different flavor. ASUS prefers a spin of Xandros on their Eee PC, there is Linpus, gOS, and many others are out there. When it comes to Dell with their popular Inspiron Mini 9 netbook, they happen to be using Ubuntu but with a few modifications. In preparations for an article later this week where we will be extensively looking at Ubuntu's netbook performance, in this article we are taking a closer look at Dell's Inspiron Mini 9.
ASUS is among the few tier-one hardware vendors that understands Linux. Of the dozens of ASUS products we have tested over the years, it is hard to remember a product from ASUS that did not work well with Linux. ASUS was even the first motherboard vendor to ship with an embedded instant-on Linux environment known as SplashTop and they continued their adoption of this lightweight Linux desktop with their notebooks and a massive number of motherboards. Earlier this year ASUS also struck a deal to put Phoenix HyperSpace on some of their products, which is another Linux-based environment. On top of these other Linux efforts, ASUS also ships a modified version of Xandros Linux on their very popular Eee PC series. Their recently introduced Eee Top series, however, is not Linux friendly at all with the current generation of Linux distributions. The ASUS Eee Top ET1602 is a mighty fine piece of hardware at an exceptional value, but it does not know how to play with Linux without taking some advanced steps.
Finding a laptop that can run Linux is no longer much of a challenge. As we have shared in numerous netbook and notebook reviews, a majority off the shelf PCs shipping with Windows can easily be replaced with Linux and chances are most -- if not all -- of the components will "just work" on this open-source operating system, while ill-supported parts can usually be configured to work in just a few steps. For those looking to save time or avoid a potential headache, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and other major vendors have been offering Linux notebooks for some time now. One of the smaller vendors though that has been offering Ubuntu Linux notebooks (along with desktops and servers) is System76 Inc. This Colorado-based company not only ensures their hardware is 100% compatible with Ubuntu Linux, but they also preload some popular software packages that are not installed by default on Ubuntu. In this review we are looking at the System76 Serval Professional notebook.
When we were looking at the Phoenix HyperSpace instant-on Linux environment, we had a Lenovo ThinkPad T400 in our testing labs for a few weeks. The ThinkPad T400 was introduced in the second half of 2008 as a ThinkPad refresh based upon Intel's Montivena (a.k.a. Centrino 2) platform. The Lenovo ThinkPad T40 has a 14.1" display and is described by Lenovo as "performance meets portability" with a lightweight design, hybrid graphics that allows switching between an IGP and discrete GPU, and superior power management. In this article we have some feedback on the T400 when it comes to Ubuntu Linux compatibility as well as some of the tests we ran on this Core 2 Duo notebook.
Intel has been at the forefront of producing hardware for netbooks and other mobile devices thanks to their Atom processor family, but they are also looking at being a key part of the mobile software ecosystem. Back in 2007 we witnessed the launch of the Moblin project, which is Intel's open-source venture for creating a complete stack of software for these mobile devices. Originally, the Moblin core was based upon Ubuntu, but Intel ended up rebasing off Fedora last year and they have been preparing for the second version of their core operating system. Just this week they released Moblin V2 Core Alpha, which we are looking at in this article. Specifically, we are looking at how fast this Intel software is able to boot!
While there are many different netbooks on the market, one of the models that has been selling quite well and is popular with many enthusiasts is the IdeaPad S10 from Lenovo. The Lenovo IdeaPad S10 can be customized, but is equipped with an Intel Atom N270 processor, a 10.2" anti-glare display, and Broadcom 802.11b/g WiFi. In this latest Phoronix article we are looking at the Lenovo IdeaPad S10 along with providing some Linux-based benchmarks.
As we shared last month, at Phoronix we will begin delivering reviews of retail netbooks and notebooks with all testing (of course) being done under Linux. Earlier this month we looked at the Samsung NC10 Netbook and are in the process of working on a few other reviews currently, but in this review we are looking at Dell's Inspiron 1525 notebook.
103 computers articles published on Phoronix.