Mini LAN PC?

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Profile Dirk Sadowski
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Message 1366172 - Posted: 10 May 2013, 0:48:53 UTC

I don't know if it's possible.
I searched the web, but couldn't find...

I would like to have a 'mini LAN PC':
I would like to search the web, Skype with cam, write & print letters and watch & control the BOINC client(s) of my crunching PC(s) via LAN.
OS Windows (XP?). (Usage of the OS of the crunching PC?)
Low power consumption.
Not much or no heat generation.
Very quiet or noiseless.
Just a CPU.
Very small GPU.
Without HDD. HDD of crunching PC should be used.

I have a DSL Router with 1 GBit/s LAN.
This would be enough speed for HDD communication?

Is such a thing possible?

How much would the HDD communication influence the crunching PC?

Thanks. :-)

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Message 1366176 - Posted: 10 May 2013, 1:51:55 UTC - in response to Message 1366172.

All sort of things are possible

If you just wanted to browse the net and control other PCs remotely you could use a Rasberry Pi stuck the back of your monitor with Velcro. Total power draw is something like 2 watts.

If you want a "real" PC running windows then something like this?

Hard disk speed as almost zero effect on crunching speed. Might affect boot speed, but once the machine is running there is very little disk access.


rob smithProject Donor
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Message 1366204 - Posted: 10 May 2013, 5:38:20 UTC

Cheap net-book?
(You might be able to pick one up with a broken screen for a reasonable price and use your existing screen instead)
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Profile HAL9000
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Message 1366317 - Posted: 10 May 2013, 13:20:29 UTC

You could use PXE to boot an OS from a networked machine. Most NIC's I see these days for normal desktop systems can be configured for this. In the event you find hardware that doesn't support it you could maybe use a small flash drive to boot from and then load your preferred network OS image. I would expect many of the Intel Atom & AMD APU boards would support this. You can download the manual for the board to verify.

Another option would be to use a bootable CD/DVD or flash drive to load up your preferred OS. Then map a network drive to your networked machine for a working directory.

BOINC only writes to the local disc at intervals, IIRC the default is 60 seconds. So I would not expect disc activity to effect it much. I have BOINC on the same drive as all of my OS ISO images at work. With several machines pulling data to install OS's at the same time I have not seen any issues with BOINC on it.
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Message 1366354 - Posted: 10 May 2013, 15:21:38 UTC

These have hd, but that is not really a big deal:

Netbook is an interesting option.

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Message 1366400 - Posted: 10 May 2013, 17:27:09 UTC
Last modified: 10 May 2013, 17:27:39 UTC

Part of me wants to suggest a mini-ITX setup. Boards are full of features but extremely compact. You can get a really cheap CPU to throw on it and just enough RAM for what you need, and you can either get a fanless heatsink, or just get a low-wattage CPU and the fan will hardly make any noise at all, and then you can get a very tiny case for it all to sit in.

but a netbook just sounds like probably the simplest and cheapest solution.
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Message 1367203 - Posted: 12 May 2013, 17:00:57 UTC

Depends what sort of money you want to spend... You could go for an Intel NUC which pretty much would have what youre wanting but being intel arent very cheap (but they are only 4"x4"), you can also get similar type things from Foxconn & Sapphire and many others that are AMD based (and cheaper). Then you have the likes of the raspberry pi like someone else mentioned.

All depends on prices and exactly what you want it to do really!

ClaggyProject Donor
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Message 1367215 - Posted: 12 May 2013, 17:22:33 UTC - in response to Message 1367203.

Zotac do some Mini PCs too: mini-PCs

Then there's


Message boards : Number crunching : Mini LAN PC?

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