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Zotac Enters The PC-On-A-Stick Market

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jtown82

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If you have to ask if it works with Linux you probably don't know enough about Linux to pretend that is what you use as your standard OS.
 

Darkk

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Linux should work fine out of the box. Video drivers always been an issue if you want to take full advantage of the GPU. AMD recently changed the drivers for Linux to be more open source so should narrow the gap in this area. Always fun whenever I update the kernel always have to reinstall the AMD video drivers. Hopefully won't be the case anymore.
 

LordConrad

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If you have to ask if it works with Linux you probably don't know enough about Linux to pretend that is what you use as your standard OS.
If you think every new piece of hardware that comes out is automatically supported by Linux then you don't know linux very well. Linux doesn't get driver support as fast as other OSes.

By the way, I never claimed to use Linux as my main OS, I simply said that I prefer it to Windows 10. You don't know much about PCs if you think these are the only two OSes in existence.
 

yronnen

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I'm trying to understand the advantage of this product. If it's for streaming videos, isn't it better to have a cheaper and working out of the box solution like Roku stick (the 2016 model is fast).

With this type of CPU, can this device even transcode high quality 1080P video? Doesn't look like it could. So I'm not sure that it can be use as a server as well.
 

targetdrone

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I'm trying to understand the advantage of this product. If it's for streaming videos, isn't it better to have a cheaper and working out of the box solution like Roku stick (the 2016 model is fast).

With this type of CPU, can this device even transcode high quality 1080P video? Doesn't look like it could. So I'm not sure that it can be use as a server as well.
I think these are intended to be anorexic clients.
 

Eximo

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Turns any old monitor with an HDMI port into a functional computer. Just add wireless peripherals.

Media playback is not terrible on the Lenovo. Youtube content seems to work well. Kind of bummed they now have one with an ethernet port. The 2.4Ghz limitation does have its disadvantages.
 

And this folks is why Linux languishes at 1% of the desktop market. Because the technocrati who use it actually take pride in knowing that it's difficult for ordinary folks to set up and use, and when they encounter any said ordinary person trying to learn to use it, they see it as an opportunity to demonstrate their technical superiority by openly ridiculing him.

I got fed up with that attitude in support forums and switched back to Windows as my desktop OS. Mind you, I despised Microsoft in my youth and after a couple years using DOS/Windows, switched to OS/2, then Linux. I run an ESXi server with various VMs including FreeNAS, Linux Mint, and a Lubuntu Plex server. So I'm more than capable of figuring this stuff out on my own. But I got tired of getting snarky responses when all I wanted was the answer to a simple question without having to spend 5 hours digging through man pages and HOWTO files. I really thought Linux had the capability to win in the desktop market, but its own authors and champions poisoned the user experience.

The problem is endemic to open source. I totally understand why ordinary users would rather pay $150 for a copy of Office, or even sell their soul to join Apple's ecosystem. If they have a problem, they can call support and they're treated like a paying customer. No snark, just an honest attempt to help (maybe not a very good attempt, but an honest one). Or they can ask on forums where other users who were once in the same shoes are eager to try to help. No programmers who worked on the project waltzing in with a holier than thou (because I wrote the program) attitude and immediately demanding they be treated as intellectual royalty. As a user of commercial software, you pay with money. As a user of open source software, you pay by being relegated to intellectual serfdom.

Everyone started off knowing nothing. If you openly ridicule people trying to learn the tools you like to use, they're not going to want to use those tools anymore, and pretty soon the tools you like to use will no longer have a reason to exist.
 

ikaz

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I wish they would make a compute stick with 4g of ram instead of 2 I have a couple of windows 8/10 tablets and they are far more limited in what they can do because of Ram vs CPU.
 

IInuyasha74

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Right, it is a more rich computing experience than something like Roku, but also can stream videos. Essentially the idea is why just have a video streaming device when you can have a video streaming device capable of typing simple documents, browsing the web, playing simple games, or doing a multitude of other tasks as well.

The RJ-45 port is a major advantage here that I probably should have talked about a bit more. Even though Wi-Fi is seemingly everywhere now, iut is still a common issue for people to have connectivity issues inside of homes due to interference. For example, my bedroom has terrible Wi-Fi so this is the first PC-on-a-stick that I realistically could consider using in here.
 

ledhead11

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Something like this can provide some interesting business LAN options. I work for a small business with small cubicles one of these plugged into a monitor and paired with keyboard/mouse could save a lot of space. Also less heat and power usage. Imagine office w/o laptops or towers, just a server and router.
 

IInuyasha74

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Moderator


I think we are getting close to that, but not quite there. Depending on the business, it could work, but I think the 2 GB of RAM will slow down overall productivity. Of course the reduced equipment and power costs may offset this, I think we are still just one short step away from a perfect device for office usage in that manner. Really, what I think a company needs to do is make a slightly larger one, switch to the Atom X5-Z8700 that has a 2.4 GHz turbo boost and a dual-channel memory controller, then double the storage and RAM.

Those changes shouldn't significantly increase production costs, greatly improve performance, and leave enough space for the basic programs and files that staff need to have direct access to. I'd estimate that they could produce a system with those specs for $200 USD or less based on the cost of notebooks with similar specs and Airmont based SoCs. At that point it would be extremely difficult to argue against them for office systems because for $300 you could get an inexpensive 1080p display, the PC and a budget keyboard and mouse and be all set. Naturally a device with those specs or similar will come eventually as this market grows, it is just a matter of time. Although we may not see it until the release of Apollo Lake.
 

Dugimodo

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I think the NUC and Gigabytes Brix and similar already fill the gap between these and a full size PC fairly well without any real need for something in between again. It's small enough and can be mounted to the back of a monitor so as to take up no desk space in an office and they range from low end Celerons all the way to i7 performance.

I considered an intel compute Stick for my Media PC but went with an i3 powered NUC instead, these are just a bit too restricted in connectivity and performance for my liking. Great concept though, I could see it taking off with a bit more power and maybe a couple of USB C type connectors once they become more common.

An additional note, I have an Acer 10" tablet with the previous generation Atom and for media playback it does just fine, 1080P streaming or local playback stutter free. Just don't expect these to multitask particularly well if any of the tasks are demanding or need much memory.
 

norjms

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@Dugimodo
I too have used the Intel NUC for media streaming both through KODI and PLEX and found them to be excellent choices. I also have one of the bay-trail Intel Compute sticks for streaming duty. I recently moved away from both of them. The NUC was flawless until I hit high bitrate 1080p and it started to drop frames. The Compute stick would only play extremely low bitrate 1080p and sometimes would struggle with 720p. I have since moved to NVIDIA Shield TV devices as clients as it natively supports KODI and PLEX amongst other streaming services. It also has VLC. It had no problems with any content thrown at it to include .h265 4K content. YMMV but, at a $200 price point to me it seems like a steal when you compare it to either the NUC or the Compute sticks used solely for streaming. The device also does not require any hoops to jump through for drivers, setup, or OS installs. The only downside to the device is lack of Amazon Prime streaming due to Amazon not providing a native client for it.
 

Dugimodo

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I Haven't had any issues with my NUC and high bit rate files. I use windows 10 and VLC. I tried Kodi and plex but I prefer just using windows file sharing from my NAS. I also get to use it as a PC for other things and it works really well as a streaming Device for Steam so I can play games on the big screen without needing to be a full blown gaming PC.
 

ledhead11

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I agree with you in all aspects of this. I often explain to those whose don't know, how the higher end tablet/mobile market have reached a performance tier that rivals some of the fastest P4's of the early/mid 2000's and most of those we're huge, power hungry, office heaters. Whether its with this kind of tech or a NUC we're reaching a point where its pointless for the old tower ecosystem for basic office needs.
 

Dark Falz

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Not on a stick maybe, but your old laptop + wireless keyboard makes a superb platform to plug into your big TV for web browsing, youtube, media playback and so on. And doesn't cost you a cent...
 

nycalex

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And this folks is why Linux languishes at 1% of the desktop market. Because the technocrati who use it actually take pride in knowing that it's difficult for ordinary folks to set up and use, and when they encounter any said ordinary person trying to learn to use it, they see it as an opportunity to demonstrate their technical superiority by openly ridiculing him.

I got fed up with that attitude in support forums and switched back to Windows as my desktop OS. Mind you, I despised Microsoft in my youth and after a couple years using DOS/Windows, switched to OS/2, then Linux. I run an ESXi server with various VMs including FreeNAS, Linux Mint, and a Lubuntu Plex server. So I'm more than capable of figuring this stuff out on my own. But I got tired of getting snarky responses when all I wanted was the answer to a simple question without having to spend 5 hours digging through man pages and HOWTO files. I really thought Linux had the capability to win in the desktop market, but its own authors and champions poisoned the user experience.

The problem is endemic to open source. I totally understand why ordinary users would rather pay $150 for a copy of Office, or even sell their soul to join Apple's ecosystem. If they have a problem, they can call support and they're treated like a paying customer. No snark, just an honest attempt to help (maybe not a very good attempt, but an honest one). Or they can ask on forums where other users who were once in the same shoes are eager to try to help. No programmers who worked on the project waltzing in with a holier than thou (because I wrote the program) attitude and immediately demanding they be treated as intellectual royalty. As a user of commercial software, you pay with money. As a user of open source software, you pay by being relegated to intellectual serfdom.

Everyone started off knowing nothing. If you openly ridicule people trying to learn the tools you like to use, they're not going to want to use those tools anymore, and pretty soon the tools you like to use will no longer have a reason to exist.
Very well put sir!

effing geeks that think they are a step above you just because they memorized some lines of codes.
i'm afraid i used to be one of those in the late 80s and early 90s with MS-DOS. none of my friends knew how to use those systems, they all used to use either windows 3.1 or norton shell. i used to go into their autoexec.bat files and make them loop forever, LOL.

 

d10000

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The Intel Compute Sticks and the Lenovo IdeaCentre 300 all have fans. The online specs and teardowns confirm this.
 
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