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I was thinking about laying down the couple hundred bucks for one of those mini-itx machines running linux (DSL). Wondering if anybody has had any experience with them?
Specifically: are they reasonably fast? (I realize speed is variable, just looking for general comments) How reliable are they? (something about fanless cooling always makes me suspcious)
Basically any comments from anyone who has had some experience or knows more about them than I do. They seem cool and the idea of a silent box is extremely tempting... and they're so cheap!
Oct 11, 2005 12:26 # 39423
mini-itx machines running linux (DSL).
How reliable are they? (something about fanless cooling always makes me suspcious)
If there are no moving parts inside of the case, you normally can go with passive cooling. Most of the heat is produced by hard disk access, CD-ROM drives, etc. At least this is what I can see or even more, feel at my notebook (the very system I'm typing this post on). Also they (the guys of the DSL store) use the VIA cpus which are extremely power saving (some numbers I've read in ct go near 0.5 Watt!) and thus render fans useless.
Specifically: are they reasonably fast? (I realize speed is variable, just looking for general comments)
Depends for what you want use this thing. If you like to stick with the DSL install, it'll be probably fast enough and even more. I've been running DSL on systems - mainly notebooks - which were waaaaaay less powerful than those mentioned in the DSL store, but didnt have any problems with everyday-tasks like using office programs (eg. Open Office 2.0 beta), browsing the net using the latest GTK+ precompiled binary of Firefox, reading mails with mutt, elm+ or Thunderbird, hacking my sites and programs using Bluefish, Scite and Eclipse, etc.
But if you're planning to use it as a gaming solution, playing games like Counter Strike, Doom 3 etc., I'd suggest buying a game-optimized machine - this one is NOT.
Some other ideas for what purpose you colud use those fanless computers:
a) as a small web server - you easily could add an 2 GB CF card or flash drive instead, and that'll be enough to get Apache + Co. running perfectly well using the FRUGAL install option of DSL plus some fine tuning (eg. installing the latest XAMPP package)
b) as a multi media solution for your living room: you could attach external storage using LAN (Ethernet storage solutions) or USB (eg. 2,5" hdd with USB 2.0 connection) if you need more capacity, add an external soundcard if you're not happy with the sound quality or simply connect it with your already existing hifi amp, so it'll be no problem at all ;)
beards are cool. every villain has one!
This post was edited by ginsterbusch on Oct 11, 2005.