Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Missing the Point

ExtremeTech reviewed the new Fit-PC Slim.


CompuLabs really needs to step up to a more modern platform if it wants to stay competitive in the rapidly growing market for small, net-top PCs.[1]

They missed the point. It's not a "net-top" or desktop replacement, it's an extremely low wattage home server.

The spec that matters:
Power consumption: 4-6W[2]
Compare that to the 50-100w of typical desktops that are used as home servers & left running 24 hours per day, or the 20+ watts of a typical notebook. Even an Eee PC uses 15 watts.

If what you need is a home server to use as a samba share, a web server or similar always-on device, a 5 watt brick looks pretty interesting. That's 500kwh/yr less power, 400kg less CO2, and $50 less on your electric bill per year than the old desktop-turned-server that you have stuffed under your desk.

And don't whine about the 500mhz processor and 500mb RAM. We ran LAMP stacks that served up more users than your house ever will on a quarter of that.

1 Extreme Tech The Ever Shrinking PC: The Fit-PC Slim
2 Slim-PC Fit Specifications


  1. 5 watts? Holy cow!

    Get one of these, a battery to charge and an inverter and you're in business.

    Finally my linux powered robot of doom will be complete.

  2. As nice as this device is, the cost is quite high. For me in the UK after VAT and postage were added on the Linux version of this came to a whopping £250. It's a bit hard to justify that price for such a weak machine when you can get an Eee Box for less.

    I know the Eee Box couldn't quite compete for the power usage (it's around 20 watts) - but it seems a lot better value for money than the Fit-PC Slim.

    This is the only problem I see with the majority of "green" small computers, the cost is usually too high for such a weak machine. Cut the price in half and it might be more tempting.

  3. @Matt - Yep - that would do it.

    @Alex - I suppose it depends on the price of electricity in your neighborhood. The 15w difference might not make up for the performance hit of the Fit.

    In my case, I simply need a samba share that can run a java process and an rsync process. Anything over 100mhz would work for that.

  4. @alex,

    I built this ( for about £200 all-in about a year ago. It's been great.