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Ubuntu Hardware Linux Games

Linux-Friendly Mini PC Fast Enough For Steam Games 93

Posted by Soulskill
from the tiny-penguins-with-hats dept.
crookedvulture writes "Barebones mini PCs have been around for a while, and the latest one from Zotac is pretty unique. For $270, the Zbox ID42 offers a Sandy Bridge CPU, a discrete GeForce graphics processor, and all the integrated I/O and networking you'd expect from a modern PC. You have to add your own memory, hard drive, and operating system, but the latter shouldn't cost you a dime. The Zbox works well with not only Windows, but also Linux. Ubuntu even recognizes the included remote, which can be used to wake up the system, control XBMC, and navigate Steam's Big Picture interface. Team Fortress 2 for Linux is actually playable, albeit at a relatively low resolution and detail level. The hardware seems better suited to casual games. Zotac also makes a Plus version of the Zbox that comes bundled with RAM and a hard drive, but it costs an extra $130, and you can get much better components if you add them yourself. The user-friendly chassis makes filling out the system a trivial undertaking."
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Linux-Friendly Mini PC Fast Enough For Steam Games

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  • "actually playable" (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @07:01PM (#42814787)

    "albeit at a relatively low resolution and detail level." ... So it doesn't do it well at all, and it will do it worse in the entire future you own the box. Woot, awesome deal dude! Totally worth posting on Slashdot!

  • Flawed review (Score:5, Informative)

    by Guspaz (556486) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @07:17PM (#42814977)

    One quote in particular stands out, and a lot of assumptions in the article are predicated on it:

    The GT 610 should still be quicker than plain-old Intel integrated graphics, however.

    Anandtech's benchmarks show that the Intel HD4000 in a desktop IvyBridge processor are 50 to 75% faster than a GeForce GT 610 (or more specifically, the GT 520 that was renamed the GT 610). In fact, the HD4000 is very nearly as fast as what was renamed the GT 630 in many benchmarks. The mobile version of this iGPU is not much slower, although the ULV mobile version of it is probably roughly on par to the GT 610.

    Of course, the Celeron 847 was a Sandy Bridge part, not an Ivy Bridge part, and the Celeron 847 didn't even ship with a full fledged Sandy Bridge generation iGPU, so the GT 610 is likely still faster than the 847's iGPU. But this should give you an idea about how silly the "fast enough for Steam games" statement is. We're talking about a machine with a GPU that is at best two thirds the performance of a modern Intel iGPU.

  • OMG! (Score:5, Informative)

    by kenh (9056) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @08:02PM (#42815359) Homepage Journal

    You mean I can actually buy a PC for jur just $279 + RAM + notebook HD = $399 that is capable of running Linux?

    That's amazing!

    Prices certainly are dropping through the floor...

    Oh look, Dell has a system on sale for $299 [dell.com] WITH the so-called Microsoft Tax (Windows 8) and an actual DVD drive.

    What was it that made this system special? The novelty of shipping with no operating system? Seriously?

  • by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex@ p ... r e trograde.com> on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @08:54PM (#42815873)

    In other news, 50cc Motor Scooters are able to travel on they same roads as other vehicles. They may not go as fast as other behicles but can still get you fron point a to point b

    This would be an accurate analogy if you said the 50cc Motor Scooter's only cost a tiny bit less than a full sized 8 cylinder automobile.

    I built a starter / mid range machine (3.8 GHz quad core machine w/ 8GB of RAM and Radeon 7660 D) for my little brother to play Steam & indie games on, that can also play Battlefield 3 & Planetside (low/med settings) for less than $500 including shipping and handling, and an oversized PSU, heat sink, blue LED case fans (kids these days), and mobo to support X-fire / SLI (for future upgradeability). Their mini computer is $130 + $270 = $500, and can barely run steam games. Bleh, that's nasty.

    For another $80 or so my bro can add a Radeon 6770 to the current build and run dual graphics w/ the 7660, and about double the graphics power. Also, it's now overclocked to 4.2 Ghz since the big cheap air cooled heat sink is working so damn good it barely gets over 100 F. This brand new rig dual boots Win7 & GNU/Linux Mint just fine, even has surround sound in Linux -- Checked for support of the chipsets on MOBO beforehand. Don't buy pre-built unless you're going mobile. This shit's so easy to assemble 12 year old enjoyed doing it himself, just taught him to RTFM first.

  • by emaname (1014225) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @10:02PM (#42816385)

    I have to echo what the others have said re Ubuntu. Every experience I've had with it has been a disappointment. I've installed it on 4 different systems and always had trouble with something. The most dramatic experience was when I installed it on a Dell Inspiron 1501 AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core with 2GB RAM (admittedly that CPU is weak re cache). After I installed the 64-bit version of Ubuntu, I almost tore the laptop open to see if there really was a dual core 64-bit processor inside because it ran like a 486. Needless to say, I dumped it and installed sidux instead (sidux reorganized as aptosid and then forked to siduction, if memory serves). I used the laptop reliably and extensively for just over two years with sidux and finally aptosid.

    Even one of the more popular and respected Linux columnists did a write-up re the disappointments in trying to use Ubuntu. We both had sent comments to their community, but never received any responses.

    That was 3 years ago. I would have expected that since then things might have improved. As a matter of fact, I just reconfigured an old P4 box for my niece. And the distro I installed on it was Xubuntu. I had tried several. (I typically have several liveCD distros laying around to do installs.) And to my great relief, Xubuntu worked quite well. Now she's happily using her reconfigured P4 (while her husband and his family members have all been hit by a virus on their Windows machines) Sorry. That last bit is a cheap shot.

    So long story short, I have no doubt installing a distro other than Ubuntu would result in better performance. Once more, the availability of choice is shown to be a benefit.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @01:05AM (#42817349) Homepage

    His problem isn't even Ubuntu. His problem is that he's a poser troll. I have various ION boxes and they all run Ubuntu just fine.

    Ubuntu nonsense isn't going to be any worse than the recent desktop nonsense from Microsoft or Apple.

The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it. -- E. Hubbard

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