[Soekris] New models?

Bob Camp soekris at cq.nu
Mon Dec 14 01:19:09 UTC 2009


I am running a couple of different Atom boards and a slew of 5501's. They are *very* different animals. 

With a CF card as the "disk", the 5501 is *much* lower power than any of the Atom's that I have here. Even with fans on them the Atom boards get hot to the touch. I have never seen a "hot to the touch" 5501.

With the Atom you get a bunch of extra peripherals like HD audio and video. Nice stuff, but that's more drivers to mess with. Fine if you need them, needless pain if you don't. 

The 330 version of the Atom is a pretty powerful little beast and the boards will take 2 to 4 GB of RAM. They typically will take a number of SATA drives. Most have an enormous number of USB ports on them.

The 5501 will fit in a much smaller space and being fan-less it will tolerate dust and dirt a lot better. Build quality on the 5501 is *much* better than any of my Atom boards.

Cost wise, the Atom + RAM  (2G new) + disk (new) + enclosure (with good fans) + power supply is a bit more than the 5501 + CF.  You could tip it the other way with a used disk and 512 meg of ram.  Either way the cost is pretty similar. 

Bottom line - I expect the Atom's to run for a few years in a dusty corner of the basement. I expect the 5501's to outlast them by a significant margin. On a cost / year basis the 5501 wins out *if* it can do the job you need to do. 


On Dec 13, 2009, at 12:27 PM, Kyle Brantley wrote:

> I have a 4521 that has served me faithfully for years as a personal 
> router. I'm looking to upgrade, and there are two things stopping me 
> from running with a 5501-70.
> 1) Lack of gigabit ethernet
> 2) 586 arch
> Admittedly, my 4521 is a 486, but it is slowly losing linux distro 
> support (centos, fedora come to mind). I'm also running 802.11g, but my 
> laptop has a 300mbit 802.11n card, which I can purchase a matching PCI 
> card for. Having my wired network being three times slower than my 
> wireless is just a bit annoying to me.
> My other option is an Intel Atom board, where the CPU will take 0.7 
> watts, but the board itself takes 30-60W. This is compared to the 
> 5501-70 which maxes out around 20W.
> I'd much prefer a soekris due to power consumption, reliability, small 
> form factor, and flexibility. However, the atom chips are i686 or 
> x86-64, in addition to gigabit.
> The products page[1] says:
> "Additionally, we will introduce more PC based communication products 
> during 2009. Expect to see the following, in expected release sequence:
> net6501, a faster and more advanced mainboard, up to 1.66 Ghz CPU, 2 
> Gbyte DRAM, 4 Gigabit Ethernet ports and PCI Express expansion, 
> production availability in Q1 '10"
> This would be ideal, but we don't have any info on it.
> Has anyone heard anything? (Or have better ideas?)
> --Kyle
> [1] http://soekris.com/products.htm
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