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1103 posts

Uber Geek


#257362 28-Sep-2019 17:50
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I am looking at replacing a few virtual machines with low-power computers. With an increasing number of critical systems now depending on the computer (phones, television, security and soon, automation), it's undesirable to have a single point of failure. While I have backups, a failure would leave a bit of a mess to clean up.

 

In the past I used the excellent PC Engines ALIX boards. These have been replaced by the APU and APU2, which are priced around $US100 (including RAM). This hardware however does seem a little dated compared to the similarly-priced UP and ODROID H2. Does anyone have any recommendations for other x86 boards which are similarly priced? I require amd64 and some form of SATA/mPCIe.

 

These will mostly be shifting data around... phone and TV systems being the most urgent requirements.

 

The Raspberry Pi is not considered a viable option due to software support, and the Atomic Pi has no guarantee of future availability.


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699 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2326445 28-Sep-2019 18:57
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Have you considered a couple of ex-lease Lenovo m92’s, on sale for $250 at the moment at pbtech. By the time you pay for shipping and accessories on a h2 I doubt it’s much more expensive.

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  #2326450 28-Sep-2019 19:20
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What about the udoo boards? They had a pretty grunty ryzen one kickstartered a while back.





Richard rich.ms

 
 
 
 




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  #2326471 28-Sep-2019 20:21
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PANiCnz: Have you considered a couple of ex-lease Lenovo m92’s, on sale for $250 at the moment at pbtech. By the time you pay for shipping and accessories on a h2 I doubt it’s much more expensive.

 

richms: What about the udoo boards? They had a pretty grunty ryzen one kickstartered a while back.

 

Both good suggestions, but not quite what I'm looking for. Both the Lenovo and Udoo x86 boards are considerably more powerful than required and at a higher price point than the lower-spec offerings. The Udoo Ryzen boards seem to be in a completely different league... €318.24.

 

The best value for money I have been able to find are Mini-ITX boards, giving all the benefits of the UP/ODROID (except possibly power usage) in a regular form factor. Larger than I'd like, but possibly the best compromise at the present time. Hopefully PC Engines will release an updated board in the future.

 

 


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  #2326510 28-Sep-2019 21:58
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I use a Up board personally... but i'll be honest... It's purely my 1gbit iperf node...

 

 

 

Anything else sits on my Esxi nodes which are 12V powered MicroITX avlons.





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Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.




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  #2326550 29-Sep-2019 09:24
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hio77:

 

Anything else sits on my Esxi nodes which are 12V powered MicroITX avlons.

 

 

Thin mini-ITX with direct DC power would definitely be an option. There are not too many updated boards available even in standard mini-ITX unfortunately.

 

The Gigabyte GA-IMB4100TN ticks most of the boxes, but I can't find anyone selling it or press releases mentioning price.


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  #2326598 29-Sep-2019 10:12
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SirHumphreyAppleby:

 

hio77:

 

Anything else sits on my Esxi nodes which are 12V powered MicroITX avlons.

 

 

Thin mini-ITX with direct DC power would definitely be an option. There are not too many updated boards available even in standard mini-ITX unfortunately.

 

The Gigabyte GA-IMB4100TN ticks most of the boxes, but I can't find anyone selling it or press releases mentioning price.

 

 

Yeah... my boards aren't the cheapest.. Super micro.

 

I'll have to pull up the model when i'm home for ya. think it costed a good 8~900$ to get it into NZ though (can't complain for a 8 Core that sips power..)





#include <std_disclaimer>

 

Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.


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Ultimate Geek


  #2326619 29-Sep-2019 11:18
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I've got a Asrock J4105-ITX in my HTPC, same SoC as the H2, about $170 delivered off Amazon. Once you add ram, PSU and case its no cheaper than a M92. 


 
 
 
 


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  #2326730 29-Sep-2019 14:34
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Could also look at LattePanda.  Also available via Amazon

 

There's a guy on youtube (ETA Prime) who does a lot of SBC reviews mainly for gaming and emulators but he does a good breakdown of specs and performance. 
An "x86" search on his channel might bring up some other options.

 

 




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Uber Geek


  #2326750 29-Sep-2019 15:48
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NightStalker:

 

Could also look at LattePanda.  Also available via Amazon

 

There's a guy on youtube (ETA Prime) who does a lot of SBC reviews mainly for gaming and emulators but he does a good breakdown of specs and performance. 
An "x86" search on his channel might bring up some other options.

 

 

Thanks for the YouTube recommendation. There is a lot covered on that channel.

 

The original LattePanda looks almost perfect. Only downside is the 100Mbs^-1 Ethernet interface, which won't handle the amount of DVB data the TV system potentially needs to shift. I'll need to look for details of how it performs with a USB 3 Ethernet dongle attached. Had the LattePanda Delta remained at $US129, it would have certainly been a contender as it has the required I/O... at $US188, it's a maybe.




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  #2326769 29-Sep-2019 16:36
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PANiCnz:

 

I've got a Asrock J4105-ITX in my HTPC, same SoC as the H2, about $170 delivered off Amazon. Once you add ram, PSU and case its no cheaper than a M92. 

 

 

I have that model bookmarked on Amazon. The need for an AC power supply or third party DC-DC supply, along with the full rear I/O shield, requires a comparitively large and expensive case, pushing the price up more than it needs to be.


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  #2326791 29-Sep-2019 17:30
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https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F0YROSC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Here we go, this is the one i run. Bought it back in 2017. Price has dropped a bit since then.

 

 

 

Absolutely solid device, and yeah. I run it straight off 12V DC input (Battery backup)





#include <std_disclaimer>

 

Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.




1103 posts

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  #2326827 29-Sep-2019 20:06
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hio77:

 

Absolutely solid device, and yeah. I run it straight off 12V DC input (Battery backup)

 

 

I wouldn't expect any less from Supermicro. Never had an issue with their products.

 

It occurred to me that ESXi allows setting resources limits and graphs usage. I've slashed the resources to well below those available on the APU2 boards. It turns out those CPUs competes favourably with the newer processors, albeit at a slightly lower clock speed, so it's perhaps wrong to dismiss them as being outdated when they are in fact more than sufficient for the job. As it stands, the parts I need are out of stock for another month, so I've got plenty of time to look for other options and determine if the reduced resources are sufficient.

 

I also have four Compute Stick clones which I plan on selling (2x MeegoPad T02 and 2x MeLE PCG02 Plus if anyone is interested). They should help determine what performance is like on relatively comparable CPUs.


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  #2326850 29-Sep-2019 21:02
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What exactly is it about the Atomic Pi that makes it unsuitable? It seems to tick all of your boxes




 




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  #2326873 29-Sep-2019 21:52
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Peppery: What exactly is it about the Atomic Pi that makes it unsuitable? It seems to tick all of your boxes

 

Availability is the biggest issue, not just because they don't ship here. The Atomic Pi is apparently a purpose-built SBC from a failed product. Even if it were to remain in production or a version 2 were released, there is no way it could meet the current price point. The SoC alone costs around $US20.

 

Since I looked a day or two ago, the Atomic Pi store no longer lists the small power breakout board, and the price of bulk purchases (24 units) has been slashed by more than $US50. I believe it's the end of the road for that product.


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Ultimate Geek


  #2327075 30-Sep-2019 12:15
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If you're Auckland based the PBTech Outlet store has a Asrock C2550D4I for $196. If I had a use for it I'd be tempted to buy it myself. Just do some research on the design bug in the Avoton SoC. 


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