Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
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."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Linux-Friendly Mini PC Fast Enough For Steam Games

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @07:11PM (#42814905)

    Your problem is Ubuntu, not the hardware. I also have a Zotax box, and all distros I've tried except Ubuntu work great. Ubuntu works like crap unless you remove the stupid desktop texturing and Unity.

  • Re:smoothfirewall (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kenh (9056) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @08:20PM (#42815563) Homepage Journal

    This is really a $300-400 problem? You could do much better with a Foxconn barebones ($130), [newegg.com]4 Gig of DDR3 RAM ($25) [newegg.com] and a $30 add-in gigabit card [newegg.com] and a hard drive ($50) [newegg.com] - all in for about $235.

    Of course, this is an atom-based system, but you won't be paying a premium for a discrete graphics feature you won't use.

  • by ntropia (939502) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @03:49AM (#42817973)
    I still feel a bit of sore, so I'll chip in the discussion.
    Few months ago I read several good reviews about the Zboxes as HTPC, so I bought one, together with 4Gb of RAM and a 160Gb SSD. The GPU was a ION and no, there were no chances to have a decent XBMC experience nor playing 720i videos (1080p? don't even think about it) without having very unpleasant "hiccups" here and there in the playback. Forget about any online streaming with more than 360p resolution (average YouTube videos were enough to put the thing on its knees). No, desktop effects were not on the way (i.e. barebone XFCE). It shouldn't have been a surprise, since it was sporting a crappy Atom D525 processor 1.8GHz, and I blame myself for having bought the positive reviews despite the terrible hardware specs.
    After two frustrating weeks of tweaking trying to squeeze more juice out of it (Xorg.conf, VDPAU, Nvidia drivers...), I've sent it back and with pretty much the same amount of money, I've tried one of the cheap solutions I've found on the XBCM forum [xbmc.org].
    I got a i3@3.1GHz machine that's able to run smoothly Black Mesa, SteelStorm and TF2.
    The box slashvertized here has a Celeron 847 instead of the Atom, but CPU performances are equally poor [cpubenchmark.net], so don't even think about games (or at least nothing more complex than Gchess).

    The rather trivial moral of the story is that if you want a powerful machine you should buy one, and not waste your time with toy computers.
    Be wise with your money and never look back.

Money is the root of all evil, and man needs roots.

Working...