linutup 3

I’m not entirely convinced that nettops are the new netbooks. But it seems like everybody and his kid brother is busy putting out a tiny desktop computer with a slow processor these days. But while you might be willing to put up with below-average performance on a netbook that gets excellent battery life and weighs less than three pounds, I’m not sure there’s a huge demand for underpowered desktops unless you’re super-conscious of your energy consumption or space usage.

Either way, Asus, MSI, Lenovo, and other big name computer makers have launched netbooks in recent months. And now you can add Linutop to the ranks. What, you’ve never heard of Linutop? Yeah, me either, but at least you can tell from the company’s name exactly what it’s selling: A Linux powered nettop.

The Linutop 3 forgoes the usual Intel Atom CPU found in most nettops today and instead uses a 1GHz VIA C7 processor. That’s a low power chip that’s been around for more than half a decade at this point, but in the early days of netbooks (the very early days before the Intel Atom line was launched), the VIA C7-M processor was just as common as Intel Celeron processors.

Linutop’s machine also has 1 to 2GB of RAM, a 2GB solid state disk, VGA and DVI output, 6 USB ports, 2 audio in and 2 audio out ports, 2 SATA and 1 PCIe connections on the inside, Ethernet,  and no wireless to speak of. The computer does weigh just 3.9 pounds and uses just 20 watts of power. Oh yeah, and it runs Ubuntu Linux and comes preloaded with Firefox, OpenOffice and the VLC media player.

via Engadget



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8 replies on “VIA C7 processor makes a comeback… in Linutop 3 Linux nettop”

  1. Any idea what type of video chips is running this thing? That C7 needs all the help it can get.

    1. Probably the newer CX8xx integrated video/system chipset;
      for which you can expect 0 (zip, nada) driver support from VIA;
      unless OLPC goes through with the rumors of using it on their
      next Linux kid machine.

      I see two contradictions in that machine’s description –

      The newer 1.0Ghz C7-M will throttle back to less than 1w tpd –
      why is it called a 20 watt machine?
      You could put the 2.0Ghz C7-M in there and still call it a 20 watt machine.

      Video from the 1.0Ghz C7-M ? – maybe as a picture frame slide-show –
      **unless** they are fully utilizing the chip set’s gpu – –
      But VIA’s track record for releasing gpu information/drivers for Linux
      is dismal, to say the least.

      1. Hello Mikez , the linutop 3 uses a via C7 (not M) , this is why its consumption is 20W.
        GPU accelerate Mpeg2 decompression
        Thanks Brad for the article.

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