Author Topic: New $35 desktop computer released!  (Read 1653 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline windsmurf

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • !
  • Posts: 626
  • Country: us
 

Offline ataradov

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6493
  • Country: us
    • Personal site
Re: New $35 desktop computer released!
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2019, 01:20:59 am »
"Basically"? What kind of reporting is this? $35 RPi is not "desktop" anything, until you add $100's of external hardware. And even after that it sucks as a desktop.
Alex
 

Offline Red Squirrel

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2459
  • Country: ca
Re: New $35 desktop computer released!
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2019, 01:24:37 am »
I read on this today, incredible improvements.  Dedicated gig link, no more tied to USB,  dual HDMI out, and 4k support to boot!  More ram too.  I really don't think you can beat that power and capabilities for the price.  Imagine doing a small blade server or cluster with a bunch of these.   Honestly it's tempting to move all my prod stuff to a RPI setup with one unit per task (ex: DNS, mail etc) and then also have access to NAS storage, then keep VM servers for lab stuff or stuff that has to run Windows.

I'm still using RPI 2's for some things and even have a 1 somewhere.  Even those old ones are decent for what I'm using them for.  Great little devices that's for sure! 

 Even the RPI 1 was a decently capable Kodi box. (xbmc at the time). 
 

Offline ataradov

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6493
  • Country: us
    • Personal site
Re: New $35 desktop computer released!
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2019, 01:40:18 am »
Video playback is not a good benchmark here. It obviously has decent hardware decoders.

I'd be more interested in how it handles web browsing at 4K and other actual desktop stuff.
Alex
 

Offline brucehoult

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1517
  • Country: us
  • Formerly SiFive, Samsung R&D
Re: New $35 desktop computer released!
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2019, 06:20:11 am »
"Basically"? What kind of reporting is this? $35 RPi is not "desktop" anything, until you add $100's of external hardware. And even after that it sucks as a desktop.

Yep. Much as I love boards such as the Pi or Odroid, if someone wants a cheap computer for web browsing or learning to program I always tell them that unless they are planning to attach custom hardware to the GPIO or they particularly need to test on a real ARM processor (because qemu won't be cycle-accurate enough) then they should go to an office surplus disposals place and get a (maybe) small form factor PC with a Core 2 Duo or newer. You can get something with a hard disk, more RAM, a screen, and keyboard and mouse for probably $50 all up.

The Pi4 finally comes close to matching a system like that, but if you're not reusing hardware you already have then, yes, you're likely to end up spending several hundred dollars.
 
The following users thanked this post: Pizzalover

Offline GregDunn

  • Frequent Contributor
  • **
  • Posts: 731
  • Country: us
Re: New $35 desktop computer released!
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2019, 10:55:13 pm »
I have played with my Pi 3B+ before turning it into a dedicated controller, and it is very surprising what it can do.  Yes, I edit photos and video on my desktop, so there's no way even a powerful ARM core like that is going to do the job - but I did a fair amount of web browsing in order to download and configure the Pi, and it would be entirely adequate for many people I know who only do that and email.

And the big plus is that you don't have to do anything to configure it for basic web access, or put up with that bloated POS called Windows.

So yes, a $35 desktop computer for a surprisingly large number of people.  Just because it's not hefty enough for power users here doesn't invalidate it.
 

Offline ataradov

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6493
  • Country: us
    • Personal site
Re: New $35 desktop computer released!
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2019, 11:16:06 pm »
And the big plus is that you don't have to do anything to configure it for basic web access, or put up with that bloated POS called Windows.
Same goes for $200 Chromebook. Except it comes with an actual display and a keyboard.
Alex
 

Online SiliconWizard

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 5318
  • Country: fr
Re: New $35 desktop computer released!
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2019, 03:54:45 pm »
"Basically"? What kind of reporting is this? $35 RPi is not "desktop" anything, until you add $100's of external hardware. And even after that it sucks as a desktop.

Yep. The pricing of those low-cost SBCs is very misleading for people willing to do actual stuff with them, and especially use them as a "regular" desktop computer.

They are great and all but expect the SBC to be only a small fraction of the overall cost of the system you're going to build around it.
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 11970
  • Country: us
Re: New $35 desktop computer released!
« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2019, 04:07:20 pm »
I don't know what people are doing that they're spending hundreds of dollars to get a RPi up and running as a functional computer. Things like keyboard mouse and monitor you'll need for any computer and are easily had for little or nothing, at least around here. If the SD card isn't enough and you want a real hard drive for bulk storage it's easy to find older USB drives for very little. It wouldn't be my first choice as a desktop but I could easily get one into a usable state for <$100 total spend and the big advantage it has over older desktop and compact PCs is the power consumption is an order of magnitude or more lower.
 

Offline brucehoult

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1517
  • Country: us
  • Formerly SiFive, Samsung R&D
Re: New $35 desktop computer released!
« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2019, 07:23:43 pm »
The difference between 1.5W and 15W for the CPU box is unlikely to be significant unless you don't have access to mains electricity. The monitor is going to use at least at the high end of that by itself, if it has a backlight.
 

Offline Red Squirrel

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 2459
  • Country: ca
Re: New $35 desktop computer released!
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2019, 05:26:42 pm »
$100 seems right, by the time you factor exchange rate, shipping, adding a power adapter, keyboard, mouse etc.  Monitor alone will be over $100 so really if you're going for the whole package deal it will be probably closer to $250 or so when all is said and done.  Of course you can save if you have spare stuff lying around, but will that spare stuff have the right interfaces?  I sure as hell don't have a spare monitor that has a HDMI port.  VGA maybe.  Can get an adapter but that's an extra cost too.

But that said you can probably get a cheap used laptop for around $300 so that makes more sense than using a RPI if you just want a small low power PC.  The RPI is great for headless scenarios though.  Like if you wanted to build some kind of blade server that's probably the best bang for your buck for expandable compute power.  You would have a big redundant 5v psu and 24 port switch and at that point all you need is the individual boards. 

A RPI blade server would make a fun project.   Though for raw power I think something like a bunch of Threadripper based systems would make more sense.   Depends how big and how much you want to spend.   A RPI cluster would be a great way to setup a test environment if you are developing a clustered application and want to test on real hardware.
 

Online Mr. Scram

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9220
  • Country: 00
  • Display aficionado
Re: New $35 desktop computer released!
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2019, 05:29:24 pm »
Same goes for $200 Chromebook. Except it comes with an actual display and a keyboard.
Handing your information integrally to Google doesn't sound appealing.
 

Offline ataradov

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 6493
  • Country: us
    • Personal site
Re: New $35 desktop computer released!
« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2019, 05:30:27 pm »
Handing your information integrally to Google doesn't sound appealing.
You can use Chromebook hardware and install Linux, just as you would with RPi.
Alex
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 11970
  • Country: us
Re: New $35 desktop computer released!
« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2019, 05:36:20 pm »
$100 seems right, by the time you factor exchange rate, shipping, adding a power adapter, keyboard, mouse etc.  Monitor alone will be over $100 so really if you're going for the whole package deal it will be probably closer to $250 or so when all is said and done.  Of course you can save if you have spare stuff lying around, but will that spare stuff have the right interfaces?  I sure as hell don't have a spare monitor that has a HDMI port.  VGA maybe.  Can get an adapter but that's an extra cost too.

But that said you can probably get a cheap used laptop for around $300 so that makes more sense than using a RPI if you just want a small low power PC.  The RPI is great for headless scenarios though.  Like if you wanted to build some kind of blade server that's probably the best bang for your buck for expandable compute power.  You would have a big redundant 5v psu and 24 port switch and at that point all you need is the individual boards. 

A RPI blade server would make a fun project.   Though for raw power I think something like a bunch of Threadripper based systems would make more sense.   Depends how big and how much you want to spend.   A RPI cluster would be a great way to setup a test environment if you are developing a clustered application and want to test on real hardware.


Well if you don't have the stuff already then it's not really viable to go out and buy everything to use it as a desktop PC, but there are millions of people who do have spare peripherals laying around. I certainly have spare HDMI monitors, probably 4 or 5 of them if you count DVI which can connect to HDMI with an adapter cable, and then there are several TVs which are pretty much the same as monitors these days. That's not really the targeted use of these things though, they are better as embedded systems or headless servers which is how most of mine operate. They also make a pretty good media center connected to a TV and wireless remote.
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 11970
  • Country: us
Re: New $35 desktop computer released!
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2019, 05:44:04 pm »
The difference between 1.5W and 15W for the CPU box is unlikely to be significant unless you don't have access to mains electricity. The monitor is going to use at least at the high end of that by itself, if it has a backlight.

It's significant for something that is on 24/7, especially if the monitor is not on most of that time or if there is no monitor at all.

1.5W = 13kWh per year
15W = 131kWh per year

Not a huge amount, but then multiply that by the 3 or 4 RPis I have in 24/7 service and that adds up. Not to mention all the other little "insignificant" loads that add up to almost 300W of quiescent draw in my house. A few watts here, a few watts there, pretty soon you're talking significant power, every watt counts.

Also 15W is very low for a "real" PC, even most of the older laptops I have idle at more than that.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2019, 05:46:00 pm by james_s »
 

Offline brucehoult

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1517
  • Country: us
  • Formerly SiFive, Samsung R&D
Re: New $35 desktop computer released!
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2019, 07:52:14 pm »
The difference between 1.5W and 15W for the CPU box is unlikely to be significant unless you don't have access to mains electricity. The monitor is going to use at least at the high end of that by itself, if it has a backlight.

It's significant for something that is on 24/7, especially if the monitor is not on most of that time or if there is no monitor at all.

1.5W = 13kWh per year
15W = 131kWh per year

Not a huge amount, but then multiply that by the 3 or 4 RPis I have in 24/7 service and that adds up. Not to mention all the other little "insignificant" loads that add up to almost 300W of quiescent draw in my house. A few watts here, a few watts there, pretty soon you're talking significant power, every watt counts.

Prices vary, but 1.5W = $3 per year may be close enough for most purposes.


Quote
Also 15W is very low for a "real" PC, even most of the older laptops I have idle at more than that.

My 1.5 year old NUC7i7DNKE with a 15W TDP i7-8650U, 32 GB DDR2400 RAM, and a 512 GB Samsung Pro SSD uses 6W at idle.

796335-0

That's a "Kaby Lake Refresh" which does 4.2 GHz on one core, and 3.9 GHz on all four cores until it throttles (which to be fair is very quickly ... 3.4 GHz is more typical on all four, eventually 2.8 on very long-running intensive tasks)

It's slightly faster in the real world than the 65W TDP i7-6700 I had in a big tower case a couple of years ago.

I'm pretty sure it's a "real PC".

It draws 23W with one core maxed, or 46W with all four cores and 8 threads doing a build of LLVM (fairly RAM and disk intensive too). But 6W idle. It's plugged into one of those gizmos that shows the V, A, W, power factor, and accumulated kWh right now.

Apple Mac Minis have often been rated at 6W idle power too, or older ones at 10W.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2019, 07:54:50 pm by brucehoult »
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 11970
  • Country: us
Re: New $35 desktop computer released!
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2019, 08:57:52 pm »
Yes I have one of those mini i7 PCs also and it's great, consumes 5-6W at idle but it was also close to $400 for just the box, if I needed a monitor/kb/mouse that would be separate. Can you buy a real PC with a 15W TDP for $35? If we're talking similar price range to a RPi then we're talking >5 years old and not top of the line.
 

Offline brucehoult

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1517
  • Country: us
  • Formerly SiFive, Samsung R&D
Re: New $35 desktop computer released!
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2019, 09:37:51 pm »
Yes I have one of those mini i7 PCs also and it's great, consumes 5-6W at idle but it was also close to $400 for just the box, if I needed a monitor/kb/mouse that would be separate. Can you buy a real PC with a 15W TDP for $35? If we're talking similar price range to a RPi then we're talking >5 years old and not top of the line.

We've already established that a RPi you can use as a desktop PC is going to cost you a lot more than $35. Absolute minimum, an SD card big enough to store all the crap people like to download from the internet (a couple of hundred GB, say) is going to cost the same again as the RPi itself.

If you want to do only one thing with it and an 8 GB card will, run it headless, etc then sure it's pretty cheap.

I just took a quick look and here's someone selling an HP Core2 Duo complete working machine with Windows 10 for NZ$70 (US$46) "Buy now" price:

https://www.trademe.co.nz/computers/desktops/lcd-monitor/listing-2244432136.htm

The listing is short on details but it looks like a dc7700 or similar. Any Core2 Duo is going to piss all over a RPi for performance. Assuming it's got a 2.0 GHz E4400 I believe the idle power on those is 12W from a 65W TDP. The system as a whole probably had a decent chance of the idle poewr consumption being in the 15W - 20W range (excluding monitor).

That's just the first thing I found right now. My experience is that's a very typical price for a working system of that kind. Put Linux on it and other than size and higher power consumption it's a better computer than a RPi.
 

Online Mr. Scram

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9220
  • Country: 00
  • Display aficionado
Re: New $35 desktop computer released!
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2019, 10:07:31 pm »
Not a chance a Core2duo has a low idle consumption. Computers weren't built for it back then. Just looking at TDP won't work either, as systems that old have discrete north or even south bridges and IGPs. I'd be surprised if idle power is below 80W.

Looking at reviews it seems a system with what was a high end video card back then did about 150 watts idle with that CPU. These systems were never intended to be frugal at idle. We've come a long way since then with power states and hardware power gating. Old computers aren't as economical as you'd hope.

https://www.anandtech.com/show/2149/7
« Last Edit: July 27, 2019, 10:32:41 pm by Mr. Scram »
 

Offline brucehoult

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 1517
  • Country: us
  • Formerly SiFive, Samsung R&D
Re: New $35 desktop computer released!
« Reply #19 on: July 28, 2019, 12:23:22 am »
Not a chance a Core2duo has a low idle consumption. Computers weren't built for it back then. Just looking at TDP won't work either, as systems that old have discrete north or even south bridges and IGPs. I'd be surprised if idle power is below 80W.

You may be correct about that HP system .. it's hard to find data.

However if you look at this page..

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201897

... you find the following idle power consumption figures:

13W idle: Mac mini (Early 2009) 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB, 320GB 5400 RPM, GeForce 9400M
14W idle: Mac mini (Late 2009) 2.26GHz or 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB, 320GB 5400RPM, GeForce 9400M
10W idle: Mac mini (Mid 2010) 2.4GHz or 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo, 8GB, 320GB 5400 RPM, GeForce 320M

Those are all various flavours of Core 2 Duo.

There was a big power drop once they went to Core i5:

6W idle: Mac mini (Late 2014) 2.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 8GB, 1TB Fusion Drive, Intel Iris Graphics

"Fusion drive" is spinning rust with an SSD cache with dynamic movement of files between them.
 

Online Mr. Scram

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 9220
  • Country: 00
  • Display aficionado
Re: New $35 desktop computer released!
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2019, 01:46:45 am »
It seems Apple could implement a few tricks that others couldn't. I'm not sure whether the self reported numbers are accurate but they'd be amazing for that era. However, my experience with systems of that era definitely mirror the numbers from my previous post. Those systems were burning up energy at awful rates while doing nothing. Energy consumption improved in the years Intel had very little competition performance wise. The early Core i5 and i7 chips weren't exactly frugal either but at around generation 4 things had gotten markedly better.
 

Offline james_s

  • Super Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 11970
  • Country: us
Re: New $35 desktop computer released!
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2019, 11:51:24 pm »
We've already established that a RPi you can use as a desktop PC is going to cost you a lot more than $35. Absolute minimum, an SD card big enough to store all the crap people like to download from the internet (a couple of hundred GB, say) is going to cost the same again as the RPi itself.

If you want to do only one thing with it and an 8 GB card will, run it headless, etc then sure it's pretty cheap.

I just took a quick look and here's someone selling an HP Core2 Duo complete working machine with Windows 10 for NZ$70 (US$46) "Buy now" price:

https://www.trademe.co.nz/computers/desktops/lcd-monitor/listing-2244432136.htm

The listing is short on details but it looks like a dc7700 or similar. Any Core2 Duo is going to piss all over a RPi for performance. Assuming it's got a 2.0 GHz E4400 I believe the idle power on those is 12W from a 65W TDP. The system as a whole probably had a decent chance of the idle poewr consumption being in the 15W - 20W range (excluding monitor).

That's just the first thing I found right now. My experience is that's a very typical price for a working system of that kind. Put Linux on it and other than size and higher power consumption it's a better computer than a RPi.


Yes if you have to go out and buy everything it's going to cost you more than $35, if you already have most or all of the other bits that changes things quite a bit. I have a whole pile of SD cards that have collected over the years, the only time I've actually bought one specifically for one of my RPis is when I wanted a big one for the server I've had going for quite a few years now on a 1st gen Pi.

If you are going to go out and buy everything then no, a RPi probably does not make a lot of sense if you want a desktop PC, but you also keep comparing old used stuff to brand new stuff and I think even with old used stuff you'd have a hard time finding a system unit in that power and efficiency class sans storage and peripherals for just $35. I'm not sure why people latch onto the cost of a new keyboard, mouse, monitor etc since those are the same as you'd use with any system.

Anyway I think the point of the discussion is that it's powerful enough to be used as a desktop and that provides a convenient frame of reference, that's not really what they are designed for. Personally mine are mostly in embedded type applications. I have my original RPi serving as a low power light duty web/ftp server which it has been doing for years now. I have a later gen Pi connected to my weather station providing a web interface and logging for that. One is in my livingroom connected to the TV where it serves as a Kodi media player, one is used as a tiny gaming system, and I have a stack of Pi Zeros set up with looping video players that is shaping up into my "headend in a box" for providing period correct content for vintage TV sets. This is the sort of thing they are made for, the fact that you can use one as a desktop in a pinch is a nice bonus but if you don't already have most of the other bits needed then move along and look for something else because it's probably not the best option for you. Doesn't mean it's not a good option for somebody else who has different circumstances.
 


Share me

Digg  Facebook  SlashDot  Delicious  Technorati  Twitter  Google  Yahoo
Smf