For that price you can probably get a used Dell or Lenovo with the same computing power for less or a lot more power for not that much more, plus expansion slots, non-soldered CPU, and an actual case with hard drive mounts. It’s a standard x86 CPU so your options are wide open.
Shame they’ve given up on making boards with Exynos processors like the HC2. That was actually a really unique thing about them, having an SBC with a proper smartphone ARM chip, complete with package-on-package memory and heterogeneous high and low power cores, energy efficiency optimised to within an inch of its life, as opposed to an underpowered chip relegated to being only for SBCs. Wished they’d (or another company) kept making boards with the actually up to date mobile chips from Exynos, Qualcomm, MediaTek, HiSilicon, etc. I’d buy that.
@HiddenLayer5 @poVoq those odroid PCs also have removable RAM and 2 SATA ports. What models exactly were you alluding to?
Shop around for certified refurbished business computers like Optiplexes or ThinkCentres. The Ivy Bridge-Haswell generations seem to be the price to performance sweet spot right now.
@HiddenLayer5 OK thanks for the names. What is hardware video decoding support in Linux like for these machines? I had read somewhere that hw decoding support of most Intel chips was pretty good
Intel integrated GPUs are supported by Linux mainline drivers as far as I know, so it should work out of the box. H.264 encoding should also work by default too, though with anything Linux your mileage may vary and depends on what software you use.
Both Dell and Lenovo are great about supporting Linux on their professional machines so it should be fine. I’ve personally never run into windows-only driver BS on either.
@HiddenLayer5 OK, thanks. Feedback from personal experiences like that is immensely valuable. I’ll see what’s on the secondhand market in my area
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