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Meet the 5-Watt, Tiny, fit–PC

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the where-the-watts-aren't dept.

310

ThinSkin writes "Meet the fit-PC, a tiny 4.7 x 4.5 x 1.5-inch PC that only draws 5-watts, consuming in a day less power than a traditional PC consumes in one hour. By today's standards, the fit-PC has very little horsepower, which makes it apt for web browsing and light applications; today's games need not apply. Loyd Case over at ExtremeTech reviews the fit-PC and puts it through its paces, noting that performance is not this PC's strength, but rather its small size and price tag of $285."

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forget today's games (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20962163)

not because it's a lightweight pc but because it's running linux.

Re:forget today's games (0, Troll)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962523)

Re:forget today's games (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20962657)

wow! you named a whole game! that's rad, dude. seriously. heh.

Re:forget today's games (2, Informative)

arashi no garou (699761) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962567)

Actually, yes, because it is a lightweight PC. If you bother to read the article, you'll see that the company provides Windows drivers and you can indeed install Windows on it. The point of the device is not gaming though, it's light internet use or any of a dozen other things small-form-factor computers are good for.

And yes, I know you were trolling, but I can never resist feeding them these days.

Compare it with... (0)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962165)

...the Mac Mini?

At half the price, I'm already sold. :-P

Re:Compare it with... (2, Funny)

peragrin (659227) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962185)

It has half the processor too.

Re:Compare it with... (4, Interesting)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962581)

Mac Mini: 1.83 Ghz Core 2 Duo
Tiny-PC: 500Mhz Geode

Looks like about an eighth the processor and a quarter the RAM, for more than a third of the price.

Re:Compare it with... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20962277)

You can compare it with the Zonbu http://www.zonbu.com/home/index.htm/ [zonbu.com] . The Zonbu PC has no HD, just 4 GB of flash and online storage (for a fee). The Fit-PC has a 40 GB HD; similar pricing for the hardware.

Re:Compare it with... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20962357)

Gumstick -- bit bigger

XO -- XO includes display

I like the form factor. They should sell one with FLASH instead of HD. Wish the price was below $200, of course, with the fall in the Dollar it'll be $300 next year.

Re:Compare it with... (4, Interesting)

RalphBNumbers (655475) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962401)

Actually, the iPhone or the iPod Touch might be a closer comparison imho. The 5watt PC is a good deal less powerful (in both senses of the word) than the mac mini.

Of course, I know which one I'd take, if given the choice. For my money, getting a 5w computer is kinda pointless when I'm expected to hook it up to a desktop LCD which could easily use more than 10 times that much power.

Just for giggles, here's a point by point comparison:
5 watt PC vs iPhone/iPod Touch
$285 and up vs $299 and up
AMD Geode LX800 CPU @ 500 MHz vs ARM @ ~620Mhz
256 MB DDR (non expandable) vs 128MB? (non expandable)
40 GB 2.5" Hard disk vs 4,8 or 16 GB flash drive
Dual 100 Mbps Ethernet vs 802.11b/g, plus GSM/EDGE on iPhone
SXGA controller, 640x480 to 1920x1440 vs 320x480 built in multi-touch display and 480i or 576i video out
Two USB 2.0 high speed ports vs iPod dock port
Speaker and microphone interface vs Speaker and microphone built i on iPhone, plus headphone/mic jack
RS-232 serial port via RJ11 connector vs none
Single 5V supply, 3-5 watt, fanless vs battery operated, fanless?
120 x 116 x 40 mm, 450 gram vs 115 x 61 x 11.6mm 135g iPhone or 110 x 61.8 x 8mm 120g iPod

Re:Compare it with... (3, Interesting)

Trinn (523103) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962457)

one glitch there, the iPhone ARM core is at 400MHz not 620, though it does still perform quite well

Re:Compare it with... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20962771)

Where did you get that figure from? Engadget claimed it ID'd the chip as a Samsung S3C6400, 667MhZ.

Weird comparison (1)

feranick (858651) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962547)

I am curious to see how you can use this tiny PC as a phone, or at least how in the world you can use it by carrying around like a phone. You don;t seem to realize that with that PC you also need to carry around a monitor, a keyboard and mouse.

Re:Weird comparison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20962759)

I think he was suggesting that you could use the iTouch as a limited-use PC, not the tiny PC as a phone.

Re:Weird comparison (1)

feranick (858651) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962831)

Very Limited indeed. With the PC you can edit documents, add applications, "copy and paste". Things (among many others) you can't do with the Apples. The iPhone/iPod touch aren't really proper computers just for this reason. So again, why comparing those things together? I still don't get the comparison.

Re:Compare it with... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20962579)

Of course, I know which one I'd take, if given the choice. For my money, getting a 5w computer is kinda pointless when I'm expected to hook it up to a desktop LCD which could easily use more than 10 times that much power.

Why is that pointless?

When you want lots of power, use your regular computer which probably pulls 100-150W or so. Total power usage including LCD: 150-200W.

When you just want to do some light websurfing, turn on this thing. Total power usage including LCD: 55W. That seems like a significant improvement to me.

Of course, one might ask "Why not get a laptop instead? It'll use about the same amount of power, or maybe less." The answer is that to get a laptop screen of comparable resolution and quality you're going to have to pay a _lot_. Laptops are pricey, and the cheap ones have the lowest-resolution, crappiest screens (think Dell's consumer line), and having a nice big high-res screen is a good thing.

Re:Compare it with... (2, Insightful)

kiddygrinder (605598) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962593)

Yeah, i see what you're saying, it's impossible to use less electricity so why bother trying! there's no point using fluorescent lights, cause that power will be sucked up by my tv anyway! there's no point getting an efficient car cause some fucking soccer mom is driving an suv! and so on.

slashvertisement (4, Insightful)

sh3l1 (981741) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962177)

**cough** slashvertisement **cough**

Re:slashvertisement (4, Funny)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962181)

That hurts Rob's feelings when you say that. ;)

Re:slashvertisement (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962569)

*rolls eyes* If anything in the slashdot comments can still hurt his feelings then he doesn't read them often enough.. in fact if anything on the internet can still hurt his feelings then he's just a pansy

Re:slashvertisement (2, Interesting)

bhima (46039) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962209)

Just curious but where's the line between unwanted advertisement and here's a new gadget you may be interested in.

I do embedded stuff and I was interested for a few seconds...

Re:slashvertisement (2, Informative)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962285)

The line appears to be: if there's a chance anyone anywhere made a buck from something, it's gotta be evil.

Re:slashvertisement (5, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962349)

"**cough** slashvertisement **cough**"

It's a strange coincidence that the things that geeks enjoy reading about are often products.

Re:slashvertisement (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20962741)

Cover your mouth. Actual thinking might be contagious.

*cough*

Fanless... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20962179)

Uses the case for cooling, huh?

I wonder how it'd work if you wrapped it in plastic, stuck it in a bucket of ice, and overclocked it?

Re:Fanless... (1)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962247)

The original ibooks did not have fans either.

Re:Fanless... (2, Interesting)

thaneross (853469) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962761)

It seems to be overlooked by most people, but the fact that this little box is fanless means the laptop harddrive contains the only moving parts. I'm not sure if it would be a good idea, but this might be a good candidate for a cheap air tight sealed industrial-environment box.

Lame (1, Informative)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962191)

No flash. Fewer USB ports than the XO-1. Lame.

(And Gentoo? WTF!?)

Re:Lame (2)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962215)

Apparently they were confused about the Gentoo... TFA says it actually shipped with Ubuntu instead. Probably a good idea since Gentoo peeps would probably rather customize it from the start anyhow, and Ubuntu is easier for the less techie of us.

I had been wondering when a tiny computer with 2 ethernet ports and decent CPU would come out... Too bad I've not got a router I really like and no real reason to mess with it now.

Re:Lame (2, Interesting)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962281)

I sure would like an extra ethernet port on it, though. Would make a GREAT 3 homed firewall box so I can use the box I've got as my router/firewall/dns/dhcp server for something real (it is, after all a low end first gen p4, it could server SOMETHING).

Re:Lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20962595)

I sure would like an extra ethernet port on it, though. Would make a GREAT 3 homed firewall box so I can use the box I've got as my router/firewall/dns/dhcp server for something real (it is, after all a low end first gen p4, it could server SOMETHING).
Why not just pick up something can can run OpenWRT [openwrt.org] ?

Re:Lame (1)

gradedcheese (173758) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962863)

It has two ports. You can have more with USB dongles (I've had pretty good luck with Linksys USB Ethernet interfaces, though make sure you get the USB 2.0 versions, some stores still have the slower models around).

Re:Lame (2, Informative)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962737)

I had been wondering when a tiny computer with 2 ethernet ports and decent CPU would come out.

Some years [soekris.com] ago? The only advantage I see to this unit is that it's black (instead of green), and it offers video output, none of which may or not be useful or appropriate.

That said, it's good to see other product offerings in the market.

Yes, your posting is indeed lame. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20962291)

Dude, you are truely clueless. This isn't a competitor with the XO-1. The is a competitor for the Soekris board (re: http://soekris.com./ [soekris.com.]

The price is right in line with Soekris' new top-end system, though a little underpowered. But it does have a video display.

The real question is whether this new system supports serial console in the BIOS. That's a big plus for the Soekris board. These types of boxes are perfect for secure servers for small outfits.

With OpenBSD, Soekris has been the best firewall around. I also have one as a mail server, running all the RBL add-ons to Postfix, along with spamassasin and recently I added domainkeys. Next up is DKIM.

My Soekris box is a little underpowered at 266 MHz. But this mailserver has been SUPERB for my own needs. I get a couple thousand email messages per day, plus about 1000 SPAM attempts per day. Almost no SPAM gets though, and what little does is about to be tuned out.

I'm thinking about upgrading to the newest Soekris board, which should provide more than ample horsepower for my site. The box that this article is about may be a contender; it's certainly competition.

The big question will be whether it provides a serial console.

But no, the market here isn't the XO-1, or your normal PC supercomputer. It's for small footprint embedded systems.

Re:Yes, your posting is indeed lame. (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962441)

I understood that perfectly, however, it is still interesting to compare the two. They share quite a bit of hardware, even though they are for completely different applications. The processors differ by a speed grade, and they have the same amount of RAM. Where the XO-1 has wifi, the fit-pc has 2 ethernet ports. I'd guess the wifi probably costs a bit more. The XO-1 has 1Gb flash, whereas the fit-pc has a 40Gb hard drive. Again, I'd wager the flash is a bit more expensive than the hard drive. And when you add in the display and other components of the XO-1, it really makes the tiny-pc look over-priced. Also, is seems silly for the fit-pc to have an analog video output instead of digital.

Re:Lame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20962585)

Exactly. Could there be a worst choice of OS for this computer to run?

my Fit-PC experience (5, Informative)

gradedcheese (173758) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962833)

Ooh, I have one of these, and it's kind of a mixed bag. The people who make them don't really seem to have enough Linux experience to really set this thing up so that it makes sense out of the box, definitely buy it only if you're planning to reinstall Linux on it.

I expected at least a serial terminal out of the box so that I wouldn't have to plug in a display. It has an RS232 port (via RJ11 jack and adapter cable), and it is a semi-embedded little box. However they didn't enable it in /etc/inittab. Damn. On to Ethernet though, surely it ships with an ssh server running out of the box? Nope. On to plugging in a keyboard and display...

It does come with Gentoo out of the box (not sure why they picked that distribution), with KDE (ugh) and some various other software. I used UNetbootin (http://lubi.sourceforge.net/unetbootin.html) to install Ubuntu via the network, because the BIOS that shipped on my Fit-PC didn't have working PXE boot (they've since fixed that). Afterward, I enabled the serial console and SSH server, configured the network interfaces, installed the applications I needed (SVN server) and stashed the Fit-PC somewhere and forgot about it, as I had originally intended.

Overall, I like the Fit-PC, but I wish they had taken more care with the out-of-box experience and even the PC itself (the reset button, for example, is not exposed, and there's no soft-power way to shut the thing off since it has no other buttons). I do like the dual network interfaces, RS232, and low power and quiet operation, but there are tons of other similar Geode-based boxes out there, so this isn't too unique.

Finally, the Geode is going away. I wonder what the next semi-embedded x86 chip of choice will be.

hmmm (1)

deftones_325 (1159693) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962205)

Give it Wi-Fi, and i'd buy one. Maybe for just checking email or looking at porn, and other school-related stuff.

Re:hmmm (1)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962233)

It's already got USB. All you need is a tiny USB wifi adapter and you're all set.

Re:hmmm (1)

courseofhumanevents (1168415) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962915)

Maybe for just checking email or looking at porn, and other school-related stuff.
Wow, what school do you go to?

For router use (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962245)

it needs at least one gigabit port.

Re:For router use (4, Informative)

ashitaka (27544) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962297)

it needs at least one gigabit port.

Why? What Internet connection do you have that would come close to maxing out even a 10Mb connection? How many hundreds of machines do you have on your home network that would requires a Gigabit on the inside port?

PCs come with Gigabit Ethernet connections these days because the cost difference is negligible. Having two 100MB ports provides more than enough bandwidth for average home use and may save some power which is the point of this machine.

Re:For router use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20962541)

You can get 300mbit lines here. Still twice the price of usual DSL lines (1 to 16mbits), but a few years down the road such a line will cost the same and the availability will be equally high. Having to replace the hardware, because they wanted to save 5 cents is a bit sad.

Re:For router use (1)

thisissilly (676875) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962605)

it needs at least one gigabit port.

Why?

LAN connections, not Internet. It only has a 40GB internal disk, so you might want to use one network port for iSCSI, ATAoE, or even plain old NFS.

5 watts is good, can be better (5, Insightful)

recharged95 (782975) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962253)

Wow, add a couple of solar panels [rvprotectionproducts.com]

and you could have a lightweight VOIP phone that runs forever. Sweet. Solar power computer FTW!

Re:5 watts is good, can be better (0)

megaditto (982598) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962323)

Five watts spec is bullshit. The two USB ports alone will require 5 W, (500 mA each @ 5 V). Now add another 10 for the CPU, 5-10 for the HDD, 5+ for the RAM and entourage chips, multiply all that by two (or more if the PSU efficiency is low), and you get nowhere hear the 5 W it will consume...

Re:5 watts is good, can be better (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20962431)

I've worked with these Geode-based 'miniboxes' during my day job for the past year or so. Max power draw is more than 5W, but it's not as bad as you make it. The Geode's TDP is 3.5W IIRC, though in average (i.e. not encoding video) use it's more like 1.0-1.5W. The HDD draws ~2.5W while seeking, but 1W while it's idle. The RAM + other goodies on the motherboard are ~1.5W. Even if you plugged in 5W of USB devices you'd still be looking at a total power draw of 10W under all but the heaviest loads. Measured at the wall it's a little higher due to PSU efficiency, but nowhere near the 2x factor you claim - more like 30%.

Re:5 watts is good, can be better (1)

mrcgran (1002503) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962377)

since low power seems to be the main feature, I wonder why they are using a HDD instead of a flash memory.

Re:5 watts is good, can be better (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962497)

Why? Has flash reduced its power requirements recently?

That website is...... (1)

budword (680846) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962267)

That website is hideous....whoever designed it should be fired. I am interested in buying it, but I don't even want to hit the button to see the next page.....can't we have a link to an all in one print page ?

It can play Quake, I'm sold. :) (1)

necro2607 (771790) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962275)

Heh! "the fit-PC has very little horsepower, which makes it apt for web browsing and light applications; today's games need not apply."

Today's games? Pff.. It'll run Quake! Good enough for me. ;) Hell, why not buy a ton of 'em and start the next monthly/bi-monthly/whatever Quake 1 LAN in your area? That would be pretty damn cool IMO.

But then again maybe I'm the only one who considers an install of Quake 1 a required part of installing a fresh copy of any OS... ;)

Re:It can play Quake, I'm sold. :) (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962437)

I have a similar outlook, but I go for an even older product: Duke Nukem 3D, Atomic Edition. And Shadow Warrior. Jonof's Windows ports of those games are remarkable.

Not that I didn't put in my time on Quake too.

Re:It can play Quake, I'm sold. :) (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962549)

Ohhh Quake.... :)

Seen the Koolu? (1)

myalias (172997) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962279)

This architecture is becoming familar. The Koolu is $200 to $300, is a bit more mature (its expandable) and comes from Canada. This architecture makes for a great system as, for instance, a home web, file, and VOIP server. The AMD Geode has a great GPU, but a significant web app (especially with lots of animation) will severely tax the CPU's horsepower.

Re:Seen the Koolu? (1)

arashi no garou (699761) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962603)

The AMD Geode has a great GPU, but a significant web app (especially with lots of animation) will severely tax the CPU's horsepower.


I feel you on that one. My laptop has a 64-bit processor at 1600Mhz, a 3D video chipset and 1.25GB of RAM, and under Linux it's very sluggish on a media-rich page.

No point in this. Get a laptop! (4, Interesting)

linuxguy (98493) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962287)

My core 2 Duo based laptop with 2 GBs of RAM eats 18 watts with *screen turned on*!

Laptops are really really cheap these days. I bought an Acer laptop for a family member, brand new from CompUSA, last month for $350 (It has an Intel CPU I forget which one). It will probably run circles around this thing and costs about the same (once you include the $40 shipping cost on fit PC) and consumes little additional power.

What is the point of this fit PC again?

Re:No point in this. Get a laptop! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20962353)

This machine runs quieter and cooler than your laptops, for one.

Whether that's worth the price/performance difference depends on the buyer.

It would also be more suited to running as a light-duty server or networking device than a laptop would.

Re:No point in this. Get a laptop! (2, Informative)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962527)

I agree. I bought a $CDN 450 laptop a couple months ago. Loaded Mandriva on it and it runs very snappy. When I'm running under a regular load it consumes about 20 watts. That's for a 1.6 GHz P IV Celeron, with an Intel 950 GMA. Much more useful than what you get with this fit PC. Plus you can bring a laptop with you, and use it at the coffee shop and such. I don't imagine you can do the same with this one.

Re:No point in this. Get a laptop! (1)

Degrees (220395) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962813)

This device would actually make a decent firewall. Likely your laptop doesn't have two ethernet ports. And a WRT54 doesn't have a 40 GB hard drive for logging. Throw on SmoothWall or DansGuardian and you have a low power box that sits between the cable/DSL modem and your home network. Seems like a good fit to me. Another poster points out that it would be even better with three ethernet ports, for a DMZ. I don't know how much a WRT54 would cost if they added a 40 GB laptop drive, but I think this is probably near the same price range. Probably a little higher, but not unreasonably so.

Hello? Dectop? (1)

tommy_traceroute (701929) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962295)

This is a joke.

Go out and get a Dectop [dataevolution.com] for less than half the price. Slightly weaker specs, and doesn't come pre-loaded, but does come with a keyboard and mouse. My Dectop is now functioning very nicely as a low-volume, silent (replaced the hd with a CF card & adapter), 5-watt LAMP web server.

And the Dectop looks better, too, IMHO.

Re:Hello? Dectop? (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962455)

Slightly weaker specs, and doesn't come pre-loaded, but does come with a keyboard and mouse.

But doesn't come with an Ethernet port.

I have keyboards and mice floating around, and don't need them for a NAS box or a router.

It's a nice box and all - I have a PIC, which is the first generation of the Dectop, have to boot it off a USB thumbdrive to get it running Linux. But the fit-PC has some points in its favor.

Depends on what you want it for. Hey, choice, what a concept.

I'm Depressed (5, Funny)

Dog135 (700389) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962299)

Man I'm depressed now. This thing has higher specs then my laptop!

True, my laptop's 5 years old. But STILL! I'm now in the process of trying to talk my wife into letting me upgrade.

BTW: yes, works great for going online and writing non-graphical programs. (web sites, CLI) But useless for most action games. Tomb Raider plays fine on it though.

This does point in the right direction (2)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962307)

Given it's stuck at 256MB RAM - which is sad. It's got a few other downsides like probably some bottleneck somewhere beween IO and the CPU. But it only draws 5 Watts and needs no active cooling which is really cool. Considering that this is a small company and they manage to offer their micropc for such a low price it is a really interesting device. 5 Watts ... my Eco-Bulb in my desklamp uses 7. Quite awesome actually.

Similar to XO-1 (OLPC) (1)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962315)

The XO-1 [wikipedia.org] laptop, which also uses the Geode processor and draws 2-3W when running apparently - this system makes a nice desktop equivalent. Since often the screen on a laptop is the biggest power drain of the system, it would be nice to see a low-power screen available to go with it.

Fantastic for solar setups (3, Interesting)

inflex (123318) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962319)

This would be great for a lot of situations where you're using solar power to manage devices and want a WWW frontend or such. Could run this on a 10W ($100) panel without too much trouble.

Re:Fantastic for solar setups (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962859)

http://www.embeddedarm.com/ [embeddedarm.com] is far cooler and cheaper for such use.

Imagine... (4, Funny)

EvilBrak89 (966478) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962337)

Imagine a whole Beowulf cluster of these!

Re:Imagine... (1)

hasbeard (982620) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962453)

That would defeat the purpose wouldn't it? ;)

Re:Imagine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20962481)

But will run Linux?

Re:Imagine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20962627)

Do you mean like this:- http://ainkaboot.co.uk/octimod.php [ainkaboot.co.uk]

MPHC-500 and MPHC-750
  Two Seagate Barracuda hard disk drives with a 500GB or 750GB capacity per drive, running at 7,200rpm.
  Capacities of drives available change rapidly if the capacity you desire is available we can provide a module with the drives in.
  A full populated 42U cabinet could have 144 motherboards or 144 hard drives, 74TB of storage (using 500G HDD), or a trade off between the two. Additionally because of the modular nature of Octimod upgrading or replacing compunents is simple.

mobile-itx and pico-itx are better IMHO (2, Informative)

josepha48 (13953) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962361)

while they may not be as small as this, they offer more flexibility as 256M RAM is not really going to run Win XP very well is it?

Re:mobile-itx and pico-itx are better IMHO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20962461)

while they may not be as small as this, they offer more flexibility as 256M RAM is not really going to run Win XP very well is it?


It's not supposed to run XP, Vistaboy.

PicoTux = Smallest PC in the World (2, Interesting)

Adeptus_Luminati (634274) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962379)

FitPC has nothing on these guys! http://www.picotux.com/ [picotux.com]

Adeptus

Not that slow. (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962387)

500 MHz?

Not sure how the Geode stacks up to the Athlon 64 clock-for-clock, but I have an Athlon 64 laptop with frequency scaling; it throttles down to 800 MHz to save power when not under load?

Guess what?

800 MHz is enough for practically everything.

Re:Not that slow. (2, Informative)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962565)

800Mhz is plenty when you have (relatively) huge caches and fast RAM, as well as the headroom of being able to triple your speed on demand. Have you tried actually limiting the Athlon to 800Mhz? You'll start noticing some really long pauses, especially if you take out all but one of your RAM modules. With a 500Mhz P3 and more 384Mb RAM, Firefox is sluggish even on simple web sites.

SOHO or Small Business Linux Appliances?? (1)

oakleeman (939179) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962389)

On first impression this might be just what I've been looking for to sell as remote sensors to go with EasyIDS [sourceforge.net] . I've been trying to find something with a small physical footprint for less than $350 for quite a while. Granted it doesn't have any Gb nics but chances are someone that is sniffing that much traffic is going to be using a commercial product anyways.

Might also be able to use it for Endian Firewall [sourceforge.net] or Proxmox [proxmox.com] ....maybe even for a proxy server?

WTF? (1)

Annymouse Cowherd (1037080) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962399)

gentoo on this? Imagine updating your kernel :shudder:

Re:WTF? (2, Interesting)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962491)

Compiling a kernel wouldn't be too bad on the fit-pc. It can be done in under 30min on a pc with half the performance. However, given the lack of RAM and how slow the hard drive is, building glibc and gcc would take days, and things like GNOME and KDE would be worse than most slashdotters would joke about.

Re:WTF? (1)

Annymouse Cowherd (1037080) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962545)

What kind of PC crack did the gentoo people invent? it took me all night to build a kernel on my debian box.

Re:WTF? (1)

644bd346996 (1012333) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962629)

Well, admittedly, the last time I compiled a recent kernel on a really old pc, it was without X running and on a non-preemptible kernel, with two swap drives. How bad was that debian box?

Re:WTF? (1)

Annymouse Cowherd (1037080) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962673)

Sempron @1.8Ghz, 512mb ddr400. X was running, it was a 2.6 kernel. I must've done something to f-up the build process (though all i remember doing is apt-get source -b linux-image-xyz)

First post... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20962419)

from a fit-PC!

sounds like a mini-ITX (1)

m2943 (1140797) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962463)

See here [mini-itx.com] .

Thanks ExtremeTech... not. (1)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962495)

Way to write an article about a 5W system and then forgetting to tell us the expected battery life.

Re:Thanks ExtremeTech... not. (1)

_Hellfire_ (170113) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962613)

Way to write an article about a 5W system and then forgetting to tell us the expected battery life.

It doesn't use a battery. The package comes with an AC adapter [fit-pc.com]

Re:Thanks ExtremeTech... not. (1)

DigitAl56K (805623) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962663)

Oh.

Then... Thanks ExtremeTech! ;)

But will it run ... (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962511)

... Vista?

Greener? (1)

das_magpie (1149995) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962537)

I cannot see how this computer would be all that much greener in the long run. Lets face it what is an extra 5-10 watts to have a faster machine, I cannot see that extra 5 watts making a massive difference to the environment, plus I am sure if you wanted to run you're box off the sun the extra $100 for another panel that supplies 5 watts is not going to kill you. I am all for low power greener machines but I think you need to still make more usable machines that are going to keep up with technology slightly better so that the machines themselves do not become junk.

m0n0wall candidate (1)

NFN_NLN (633283) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962615)

Might be a good candidate for m0n0wall w/ dual NIC.

Not $285; try $325. Go VIA instead... (5, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962621)

Another lovely company that tricks you with outrageous shipping costs [fit-pc.com] to artificially drop the "price" of the computer. Also, check out the super friendly support and warranty policies [fit-pc.com] .

Do yourselves a favor and get a VIA-based mini-itx board for that kind of money.

Seems you can get a VB7001G (1.5Ghz) for about $130; add in $30 for 512MB of ram (2x the fitPC), and however much you feel like spending on a compactflash card, USB memory key, or smaller laptop drive. Say, $50 for a 60GB drive (more than the fitPC's 40). $40 for a picoPSU; $30 for a AC adapter. Buy a crap case for $30 if you don't have one you can use already. Install a gigabit NIC for under $20 (dunno if there are any cheap dual-interface gigabit NICs.) That's under $310, and quite a bit more bang for the buck. It probably won't be 5w, but it'll be well under 20w given that board seems to use about 10w.

If you want to go even cheaper, intel is fighting back against via, like with the D201GLY. It's $70, 1.3ghz celeron, DDR2 ram...

Re:Not $285; try $325. Go VIA instead... (1)

hobbesx (259250) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962893)

Another lovely company that tricks you with outrageous shipping costs to artificially drop the "price" of the computer.


I don't suppose you would have noticed that they're shipping from Israel? In which case, $40.00 isn't too bad.

You had me ... (4, Informative)

KC1P (907742) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962625)

... until I saw the shipping cost. $95?!

Too bad, this thing would make an absolutely kickass DOS machine. (I'm serious! As long as the BIOS does USB/PS2 keyboard emulation.)

Re:You had me ... (1)

georgewilliamherbert (211790) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962747)

http://www.fit-pc.com/shipping-cost.htm/ [fit-pc.com] says that the shipping cost is $40 first unit in North America, $20 in Israel, $60 in Europe, and $80 in other locations, plus $10/15/5/20 per additional unit in the same categories.

Where did you get $95 from?

It's the Thin Client (1)

Lisias (447563) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962667)

It's the thin client revisited. A very good, yet old, idea.

HTML, CSS, POP3/SMTP/IMAP, JavaScript and, in some special cases, JRE and Flash it's all the vast majority of the people really need. Damit, it's almost 90% of my home computing usage in work days, and I'm a T.I. professional.

I hope they manage to make it work this time.

I'm still waiting... (1)

hcmtnbiker (925661) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962677)

This is i believe a nano-itx. There is also a pico-itx which is slightly smaller, draws less power, ect. But i'm actually more interested in a Mobile-ITX [wikipedia.org] which should come out next year, but was demoed at Computex [youtube.com] earlier this year. They boasted it could run windowsXP drawing only 0.5Watts.

application? (2, Interesting)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962715)

wonder how well this would do in a car install. Use a smaller lcd touchscreen, hook up a gps thingie and i guess you are set? This way you can find your way around town or watch porn and crash your car at the same time!

Fanless (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962817)

To me, the slight differences in watt consumption aren't the point, for my uses anyway. What I want is a fanless PC. With ethernet and a decent soundcard, and a PII/500MHz or faster, 256MB RAM, and maybe 1GB Flash, and a USB slot. I don't even need VGA: machines for display should be faster and beefier. And of course it should run Linux.

That gumstix looked cool. Are there more or better in its class, preferably under $150?

SBC in a box (1)

Tiersten (58773) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962819)

Its just a small SBC in a box. You can see the place to fit the PC/104 connector. Nothing amazing...

Asus Eee PC (3, Informative)

PineHall (206441) | more than 6 years ago | (#20962853)

The Asus Eee PC [asus.com] is a sub-notebook with a better CPU and a minimum of 2GB of solid state disk space. Prices in the US start at $269.
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