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.
Fifteen months ago we exclusively showed off SplashTop from DeviceVM, which was an instant-on Linux environment embedded into ASUS motherboards and since then it has worked its way into products from other OEMs. DeviceVM continues to work on further refining SplashTop by adding in virtualization support and other features, along with a promised developer SDK. Phoenix Technologies, the company producing the BIOSes for many of the motherboards on the market, is today introducing their SplashTop competitor. HyperSpace is the Phoenix Technologies product being unveiled this morning with several distinct differences from SplashTop.
It seems that each and every week there are new netbooks that are introduced, but there are not many differences between most models. Some netbooks will have a slightly longer battery life, a different exterior, or a solid-state drive, but there are more similarities than differences. However, one of the latest companies to join the netbook bandwagon here in the United States has been Samsung with the introduction of the NC10. Is there anything special about this 10.2-inch Atom-powered netbook? We will tell you in this Linux review of the Samsung NC10.
With the Atom-based ASUS Eee PC 901 we have already delivered disk encryption benchmarks and a Linux distribution comparison of Xandros, Fedora, Ubuntu, and Mandriva. This Intel 1.6GHz Diamondville processor isn't the fastest, but it's performing quite well for a netbook. With netbooks and their users often on the go though, for those not using the suspend and resume mode the boot time can be equally important as the in-desktop performance. To look at this we are delivering boot performance benchmarks for the Eee PC 901 from Fedora 9, Fedora 10, Ubuntu 8.10, and Mandriva 2009.
Late last month we published our preview of the ASUS Eee PC 901 and we shared our plans for a number of benchmarks using this netbook with Intel's Atom processor. Following our Linux desktop encryption benchmarks of the ASUS Eee PC 901 and Intel Atom N270 CPU we have a performance comparison of Xandros, Fedora, Ubuntu, and Mandriva on this low-cost netbook PC.
Last year ASUS had christened the Eee PC as a cost-effective but well built sub-notebook that ended up being extremely popular with more people than just computer enthusiasts. The original Eee PC 700 series had shipped with Intel Celeron hardware, a solid-state drive, and a Xandros-based Linux distribution. These units have been selling extremely well but back in June ASUS had unveiled the Eee 901 as well as the Eee 1000 series. These newer models now use Intel Diamondville-based Atom CPUs, which we have been quite fond of for their technological advances. In this article we are providing our first look at the Eee PC 901 along with a few bits of information and sharing some of our plans for the Eee Linux testing in the near future.
This week HP announced the Envy 133 and details surfaced surrounding the Dell E and E Slim. These new notebooks from HP and Dell will each ship with an embedded Linux environment, which the manufacturers have dubbed Voodoo IOS and BlackTop, respectively. Both Linux environments appear to be quite similar in concept and similar to the instant-on SplashTop environment for notebooks, PCs, and motherboards, which DeviceVM Inc had pioneered and then ultimately introduced last year. In this article we have more information on HP's Voodoo IOS and Dell's BlackTop and whether they're actually using SplashTop for powering the system or have developed their own proprietary distributions.
At Phoronix we have looked at a number of Gigabyte products from their motherboards to graphics cards and even wireless adapters. However, today is our first time looking at one of Gigabyte's barebone solutions. The Gigabyte STA Thin Client, specifically the GB-STA-C7V7, is a mini-ITX solution that ships with a VIA C7 1.0GHz processor, UniChrome PRO graphics, is completely fan-free, and it's all packed in a slim yet stylized chassis. However, does the Gigabyte STA Thin Client work with Linux? We'll let you know today.
DeviceVM's SplashTop, a product we had named as one of the greatest Linux innovations in 2007, is sharing a booth this week at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) with ASUS. At their booth we were allowed to check out a SplashTop demo running on an ASUS notebook! This notebook has yet to be introduced by ASUS, but it's intended for high-end gaming and comes with SplashTop Linux as a complementary operating system. This version of SplashTop is slightly updated and has new features too.
Last night at Digital Experience for CES 2008, Intel had on display several new Intel-based Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPCs), which of course happen to be Linux friendly. All but one of these UMPCs are ready for market and use Intel's Menlow platform. Lenovo, and Samsung were among the brands with Intel Menlow UMPCs.
Tomorrow DeviceVM's SplashTop product will be officially unveiled but since posting our original article on this technology and later an ASUS update, we have learned some new details about this instant-on Linux desktop environment. Specifically, yesterday a private briefing was held with David Speiser (DeviceVM's VP of Marketing), Thomas Deng (DeviceVM's CTO), and Andrew Kippen (Stage Two Consulting), where new details were shed on the technical workings of SplashTop and its future.
Earlier this week Intel threw some great events aside from the Intel Developer Forum itself. On Tuesday night was the PCI Express 2.0 launch party, which was a phenomenal event. The PCI Express 2.0 party took place at Jillians across the street from the Moscone Center and featured a few gifts, casino gaming, raffles, and excellent food accompanied by great drinks all for free. It is certainly a great way to celebrate PCI Express 2.0! On both Tuesday and Wednesday evening, Intel had also hosted a reception during their IDF Technology Showcase, which consisted of free food, beer, and wine while browsing the different vendor booths. Thursday marked the end of the Intel Developer Forum with a drop in attendance for IDF on the last day, but we ended it with a bang thanks to a mini Phoronix bash. During that, innovative ways for opening beer bottles were demonstrated. Interested in finding out how you can open a beer bottle (or most any glass bottle for that matter) using a range of computer parts from a motherboard to RAM and even a USB mouse? We documented these steps with plenty of pictures as well as sharing which hardware doesn't convert into a bottle opener so easily.
While retail machines are not our main focus at Phoronix for review, after learning of a new contender in the Linux HTPC arena we decided to give LIX Systems another look. Today we are looking at a moderately priced Home Theater PC that has everything pre-configured to hopefully begin a smooth Linux media experience.
The world's smallest Linux server has entered our labs, and consisting of the package are a mini biometric reader, MMC slot, and USB interface. Powering the system is a 400MHz PowerPC processor, 64MB of RAM, and 256/512MB of flash memory while running up the software side of things is Debian Linux with the 2.6.10 kernel. The server chewing its way into our labs is the BlackDog, which was developed by Realm Systems.
119 computers articles published on Phoronix.