For the past several weeks I have been testing out the ALUSA Atom Desktop with Linux. As implied by the name it's an Intel Atom powered desktop/nettop computer, but this Atom system comes out of Portugal from a small Linux-focused start-up company.
Following in the success of the Fit-PC2 NetTop and Tegra 2 Trim-Slice, the latest computer out of CompuLab is the Intense-PC. The CompuLab Intense-PC is a very small form factor (19 x 16 x 4 cm), low-power, fan-less computer that features up to an Intel Core i7 Ivy Bridge processor, 16GB of DDR3 system memory, and a solid-state drive for storage. The Intense-PC is also available with Linux Mint pre-loaded as the operating system.
Here's the latest benchmarks of the low-cost ODROID-X, a $129 quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 development board out of Korea with ARM Mali 400 graphics.
While not as popular as NVIDIA's Tegra 3 ARM SoC, the Samsung Exynos 4412 quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 found on cheaply priced ODROID-X can actually outperform the quad-core NVIDIA ARM processor. Here are benchmarks of the $129 USD ODROID-X benchmarked against the NVIDIA Tegra 3 reference tablet and a PandaBoard ES running the Texas Instruments OMAP4460.
If you are planning to buy one of the new Apple MacBook Pro notebooks with a Retina Display for use under Linux, hold off on your purchase. Running the Retina MacBook Pro with Linux isn't a trouble-free experience and after using even the latest development code and jumping through various hoops, Linux on the latest Apple hardware is still less than an ideal experience. Linux support will improve for the Retina MacBook Pro in the coming months, but it's not likely to see any proper "out of the box" experience until next year.
Last year I published extensive benchmarks of Amazon's EC2 Compute Cloud but now with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS being available, here are new benchmarks highlighting Amazon's public cloud computing platform using all of the major instance types.
Last week I shared results from the Phoronix 12-core ARM Linux mini cluster that was constructed out of six PandaBoard ES development boards. Over the weekend, a 96-core ARM cluster succeeded this build. While packing nearly 100 cores and running Ubuntu Linux, the power consumption was just a bit more than 200 Watts. This array of nearly 100 processor cores was even powered up by a solar panel.
While it's improved a lot recently, in the past setting up a multi-seat computer has been a pain in the ass with a lot of manual configurations needed and other peculiar steps to get the hardware/software combination working right. What if the process were a lot simpler? What if new seats could be added to a computer at a very low cost and the setup was effectively "out of the box" to the point that it's truly plug-and-play? Well, we are now effectively at that point on the Linux desktop and there is a new Kickstarter effort to help in that initiative.
The Trim-Slice from CompuLab is a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 nettop based on the NVIDIA Tegra 2 platform. In this article are our first Ubuntu benchmarks of this low power, fan-less desktop with comparative figures to Intel's older platforms and the OMAP4660-based dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 PandaBoard ES.
The performance of the dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 OMAP4460 configuration as found on the PandaBoard ES is quite commendable and in this Phoronix review the dual-core 1.2GHz ARM system with PowerVR SGX540 graphics is being compared to several Intel Atom, Pentium M, and Core Duo configurations running Ubuntu Linux throughout. To spice things up, the pre-production OLPC XO-1.75 was also thrown into the testing mix with its single-core ARMv7 800MHz Sheeva processor.
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.
113 computers articles published on Phoronix.