It's been a few months since Next Thing Co's C.H.I.P. computer was successfully funded on Kickstarter as "the world's first $9 computer" along with the PocketCHIP, a C.H.I.P. powered, battery-backed handheld with physical keyboard. Next Thing Co shipped to their backers over the summer whole in November they expects to begin shipping mass production orders on the CHIP and PocketCHIP. Over the past few weeks I've been playing with these low-cost ARM devices.
Last month I shared my thoughts on the ASUS E3 PRO GAMING V5 motherboard as a $140 board supporting Intel Xeon E3 v5 CPUs via the Intel C232 chipset. That motherboard was nice, but if your budget is stretched thinner, the ASRock E3V5 WS sells for a little more than $100 and works quite nicely under Linux.
With recently having upgraded some of the systems in our benchmark lab, commissioned a few new systems, and made some other changes, for your weekend enjoyment are some fresh benchmarks of 40 distinctly different Linux systems various performance tests.
It was just over one year ago that I wrote about turning a basement into a big Linux server room (and then the six month redux). With having just finished tiling the floor and making some other modifications, here is a one-year look at the project where there are more than fifty systems running Linux/open-source benchmarks daily as part of Phoronix, OpenBenchmarking.org, and LinuxBenchmarking.com, among other Phoronix Media efforts for enriching the Linux hardware experience.
The folks at LoveRPi.com recently sent over an Orange Pi One when they had also sent over the ODROID-C2 $40 64-bit ARM development board for review. Here are some benchmarks of the Orange Pi One compared to several other ARM boards.
Hardkernel's ODROID-C2 64-bit ARM single board computer retails for $40 USD and is powered by an Amlogic S905 SoC. While just a fraction more than a Raspberry Pi 3 or the Pine 64+ when factoring in shipping costs, there's very competitive performance out of this board with its four cores running up to 2.0GHz.
As an alternative to the Raspberry Pi 3 for a low-cost 64-bit ARM (AArch64) development board is the PINE 64, which was successfully Kickstarted as a "$15 64-bit single board super computer" that generated more than 1.7 million dollars. The PINE 64 is still shipping out in limited quantities for now, but the folks behind this project were kind enough to send over a sample of their PINE 64 1GB SBC for some benchmarking.
At the end of February I posted my initial hands-on with the passively-cooled Airtop PC that's been exciting many readers over its unique design and being Linux-friendly. As I hadn't written anymore about it in the past few weeks, some Phoronix readers had emailed me and tweeted, curious what the deal was and if it wasn't living up to expectations. That's not the case at all and the Airtop PC continues to exhibit great potential and is yet another solid offering from CompuLab.
Yesterday's Raspberry Pi 3 Benchmarks vs. Eight Other ARM Linux Boards was quite interesting while today I have a complementary data point: the Raspberry Pi 3 compared to the ODROID-C2. The ODROID-C2 costs just a few dollars more ($40 USD) while having a faster SoC and other advantages.
On Friday my Raspberry Pi 3 arrived for benchmarking. For our first benchmarks of this Cortex-A53 64-bit ARM $35 development board is a comparison against eight other ARMv7 and ARMv8 development boards running their official Linux distributions while carrying out a range of benchmarks. Here are those raw performance results along with a performance-per-dollar comparison for additional insight into this low-cost ARM development board.
Since the Airtop PC was announced back in January there has been a lot of interest in this passively-cooled, high-performance line of PCs by the folks at CompuLab. The Airtop isn't some low-end, passively cooled PC but rather can be equipped with a Core i7 or Xeon CPU and a discrete graphics card to deliver very capable performance while having a completely silent PC. Some have been skeptical about the cooling and performance claims of the Airtop PC, but our review sample arrived this morning and have begun testing out this very interesting PC.
Last week I brought up the Talos Secure Workstation as a $3100 USD system that's fully free and open down to the firmware and with an open-source friendly processor design while being high performance. Since then, I've had access to test out the hardware making up this POWER8-powered system to see how fast a fully-open system can be. Here is more information on the proposed Talos Workstation along with a few early Linux benchmarks.
For those interested in small, low-power ARM single-board computers, up for your viewing pleasure today are benchmarks of several different boards from the Raspberry Pi Zero to the Banana Pi M2.
Now that Skylake Xeon processors are appearing at major Internet retailers in sufficient quantities (such as the recently reviewed Intel Xeon E3 1245 v5), prices on older-generation Xeon CPUs are falling further. With prices on DDR3, SSDs, and Haswell-compatible motherboards also continuing to fall, it's possible to build a sufficiently powerful yet cheap Haswell Xeon system.
Last week I published a 7-way Linux laptop comparison with processors ranging from Sandy Bridge to Broadwell. Out of interest from readers in an even larger comparison, I've re-tested a Nehlaem-based "Clarksfield" laptop as well as a "Westmere" laptop to show how the raw performance and performance-per-Watt compare to the Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Haswell, and Broadwell devices.
At the time of writing, the most popular laptop on Amazon.com in the US is the Toshiba Satellite C55-C5241 followed by the ASUS F555LA-AB31. If you are in the market for a new, sub-$500 laptop this holiday season, here are my findings when testing both of these popular laptops under Ubuntu Linux.
For those curious about how Intel's laptop/ultrabook CPUs have evolved over the past few generations and whether it's worthwhile upgrading from one generation to the next, here's a fresh Linux laptop comparison with seven different laptops being tested on Ubuntu 15.10 x86_64 and comparing these laptops from Sandy Bridge to Broadwell on a variety of workloads while also doing some performance-per-Watt measurements.
Now that Xeon Skylake processors are becoming easier to find at major Internet retailers along with supported motherboards, here are the parts I used for assembling an Intel Xeon E3 1245 v5 Skylake system if you are interested in doing a similar Linux workstation build. While my complete Xeon E3 1245 v5 Linux review will come shortly, enclosed are also some initial Ubuntu benchmarks as well.
For those curious about the performance of the $5 Raspberry Pi Zero, here are some benchmarks I've just finished up for this low-end, low-power ARM development board compared to other ARM, MIPS, and x86 hardware.
Here are a few parts recommendations I have if you are looking to build a low-cost Intel Skylake system while achieving decent performance on Linux this holiday season.
While last week we were able to write about the NVIDIA Jetson TX1 development board, at that time we weren't able to share any benchmarks or hands-on experience with this ARM board powered by NVIDIA's Tegra X1 SoC. The embargo on that has now expired and as such this morning there are a lot of benchmarks to share with you. There are many benchmarks looking at different areas of the Jetson TX1 including power consumption and thermal. For kicks I've also done some comparisons against the Tegra 2 and Tegra 3 as well as other ARM hardware like the now defunct Calxeda ARM server and Raspberry Pi 2.
NVIDIA's embargo has just expired on the Jetson TX1: a 64-bit ARM development board that's worth getting excited about for Linux enthusiasts, those wishing to build their own ARM-powered devices, or just wanting a powerful ARM Linux desktop. The Jetson TX1 powered by the Tegra X1 is shaping up to be a splendid device; NVIDIA is even comparing the performance of the JTX1 to that of an Intel Core i7 6700K in certain tasks.
It's been just over six months since I completed construction on the large 60+ system server room where a ton of Linux benchmarking takes place just not for Phoronix.com but also the new LinuxBenchmarking.com daily performance tracking initiative and testing and development around our Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org software. Here's a look back, a few recommendations to reiterate for those aspiring to turn their cellar into a server farm, and a few things I'd do differently next time around.
Last month I wrote about trying to benchmark the MIPS Creator CI20, a low-cost MIPS development board from Imagination Technologies, but sadly those plans were thwarted by stability issues. Fortunately, it was just a faulty board and the replacement board has been running without any faults.
Over the past few weeks I've been testing out the CompuLab Fitlet as a neat little Linux PC powered by an AMD A10 Micro-6700T APU with Radeon R6 Graphics. The model I've been testing features 4GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD with the mentioned A10 Micro APU all while being fanless and being smaller than an Intel NUC. The performance out of this tiny computer is quite impressive and reinforces that good things can come out of small packages.
Last year Imagination launched a MIPS development board that went on sale at the end of last year. In not seeing any significant benchmarks or performance coverage from this MIPS Creator CI20 over the past few months, I finally got around to buying one of these MIPS development boards from Imagination Technology. While the CI20 seemed promising at first, so far I'm very unhappy with this board and it's been even less stable than the Imagination PowerVR drivers on Linux going back to the Poulsbo days.
Since last week I've been testing the Intel Compute Stick, the quad-core Atom Z3735F Atom powered PC that's a little bigger than the size of an HDMI connector. In this article are some benchmarks of this $150 quad-core + 32GB eMMC + 2GB RAM tiny computer in a variety of benchmarks comparing it to other low-power x86 and ARMv7 hardware.
A Red Hat developer mentioned to us at Phoronix that they're seeing "drastically improved battery life" in some cases with the Linux 4.1 kernel to the extent that it's up to 2~4 hours of extra battery life with the kernel upgrade to Git. I've since started some fresh Linux laptop battery tests.
A couple weeks ago I bought the Lenovo T450s, this is my first laptop-upgrade in about three years and I have to say... I am so glad that I did upgrade. Over the last two weeks I've been using the T450s as my daily-driver and its been working almost perfectly under Fedora Linux.
This is a "first impression" review. I've had the system in my hands for all of about twenty-four hours and am still exploring and forming more solid opinions. Also any problems I had likely do have solutions, but as I said: less than forty-eight hours of ownership so I haven't had a chance to. Linux-centric system review will follow this weekend / next week.
114 computers articles published on Phoronix.