This is a follow-up to Fitlet2 Under Load.
My Fitlet2 was fine for daily use - until I added a second monitor. Adding the monitor also had an effect of adding a handful of applications running in the background, and the Fitlet has been CPU-bound for a while. Particularly on Linux with no hardware graphics acceleration, the second monitor took too much CPU time just for rendering windows and interacting with them.
After a couple months of reading specs and reviews, I bought a Lenovo ThinkCentre M75Q on Ebay for $450 from an after-retail dealer. The idea was that these devices are new, but possibly open box or just ordered custom and then declined.
- 16GB DDR4 RAM
- 512GB SSD
- Ryzen 5 Pro 3400GE (35W)
With a 35W TDP, certainly I was heading into higher electricity usage, and a fan. But the fan hardly ever runs, and with a years-more-modern CPU and much more head room, it's able to run at low power most of the time. In fact, the Fitlet was always running at 12-14W - full power because of full load - while the ThinkCentre is able to scale down cores most of the time, so is often running 20-40W and gets down to 10-12W on idle. I also arranged my interactive surge protector so that my speakers and monitors turn off when the computer is off. (Yay, ~4W saved overnight)
The ThinkCentre is fantastic. I wanted an AMD CPU, and all the specs are far above what I need. Low power, small, silent, plenty of resources, connectivity, and expandability. Runs Linux without a thought.
What About the Fitlet?
Like alluded to previously, that little box is perfect for a home server device. I've been downgrading my computers for the last few years, but when I work on home development, I normally boot up an old power-hungry OK desktop that's acting as a server. The Fitlet will replace it as soon as possible.
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