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nano pc

Posted on 2012-12-31
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Last Modified: 2013-02-04
Our office having around 150 normal desktop PCs.
We have an idea to replace these desktops with nano pcs (like foxconn)
I would like to know the probelms we may face with nano pcs.
I short please let me know pros and cons of nano pcs.
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Question by:WilsonJohn
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by:web_tracker
ID: 38734029
Are nano pcs similar to thin clients? There are benifit and cons to using or not using thin clients. It can save a company a bundle of money on software and hardware costs. Since all of the clients data is stored on a server of the workstation dies then there is not a problem of trying to recover data from the workstation. If the thin client dies then all the client needs to do is swap to another machine and they can be up and running in no time. Or the client can move to a vacant workstation and continue working.
The cons are since everything runs off a server, if the server dies it can affect a lot of people. Also since everyone is working off a server things tend to be slower than working off a regular workstation.
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by:wolfcamel
ID: 38734038
thin clients and having a terminal server can be very useful in minimising support issues and management, graphical apps such as photoshop and autocad run rather poorly in this sort of environment, but apps such as accounting, database, and office work well.

I wouldn't be in any great hurry to throw out existing PCs as they will work well as clients - just give everyone a desktop shortcut to your new terminal server, and force staff to run 99% of apps that way - then buy thin clients as you need to.
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by:garycase
ID: 38734104
A nano-PC CAN be used as a thin client;  but it's actually a full-featured VERY SMALL PC.   Typically uses a nano-ITX motherboard in a very small form-factor chassis.

As with any tiny PC, the biggest disadvantage is expandability.    With the low-end Nano's, you'll also have very modest performance; but if you get one of the Intel Ivy Bridge based models, that's not an issue.     If you're looking at Foxconn's offerings, I'd go with the AT-7500, which has an i5-3317.    This CPU scores 3316 on PassMark ... a very respectable score for a system that size.   Higher end desktop i5's nearly double the CPU performance ... but for a 17w mobile processor that is VERY good performance.

The most significant limitation is that you can only install a single 2.5" hard drive in the system.     But that's not likely to be a problem with a typical desktop.

As for Pro's & Cons ...

Pros:   VERY low power draw (and thus little heat);   somewhat lower performance than desktop PCs of the same price (but still very adequate);   VERY small footprint ... in fact, can generally be mounted on the back of the monitor if desired.

Cons:  Limited expandability;  somewhat more expensive than desktops with equivalent performance;  no integrated optical drive (you'll need a USB drive if you require this).
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by:wolfcamel
ID: 38734110
also - a lot of people these days like to work with 2 or more monitors - your Nano Pc may not be able to have two monitors. or have room for an expansion card
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garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 38734138
If you go with the Ivy Bridge versions of the Foxconn (as I suggested above), they have Intel HD-4000 graphics, which DOES support multiple monitors.    The Foxconn AT-7500 has both DVI and HDMI outputs, so it should support dual displays with the HD-4000 adapter.

It does, as I noted earlier, have very limited expandability.   It supports a single half-mini-PCIe  card;  but otherwise you're limited to external devices.    I would agree that for all intents and purposes, it is NOT "expandable" ... although Foxconn lists "ample expandability" as one of the attributes.

If you want greater performance or slightly improved expandability, you may want to look at some of the "Nettop" systems -- they're very slightly larger than a Nano-PC, but can have somewhat better performance (at the expense of the very low power draw of a Nano), and can support a full-size mini-PCIe card.     But for what you've indicated you want to do;  I'd think a Foxconn AT-7500 would be an excellent choice.
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