[talk] APU2 post-mortem options

Charles Sprickman spork at bway.net
Fri May 12 14:22:38 EDT 2023

> On May 12, 2023, at 2:09 PM, George Rosamond <george at ceetonetechnology.com> wrote:
> There's been some chatter on IRC and other places about ideal hardware
> options after APU2/PCEngines go away.
> amd64 remains the best-supported architecture, and aarch64 or RISC-V
> especially are not there yet. Oh, the dreams we all had years ago about
> aarch64...
> On that note, what similiar small fanless hardware are others looking at?
> There's the Qotom stuff, which I think ProtectCLI uses.

Of note, the Protectli stuff also seems to have a custom BIOS which supports
console redirection (including getting into the BIOS) which can be handy.

Some of their 4-port units have an odd internal USB to serial setup that
only has support for Linux and Windows (more info on their site about this
here: https://protectli.com/kb/com-port-tutorial/). These use a "Fintek"
chip: https://www.fintek.com.tw/index.php/supports/i-o-controllerdrvuti

Other units use either a real serial port or an FTDI USB/serial that should
be supported under any OS.

> And there's a
> variety of very small desktops (ThinkCentre M600, eg) that are nice and
> cheap, but one NIC and have useless things like HDMI, bluetooth and wifi
> which aren't ideal for servers. Plus idk about db9/serial...
>> 1u in height is very common with those little desktops.

Finding a good "I sell off-lease desktops" seller on Bay is good for this stuff!

> So I guess I have two questions:
> Is it still amd64 or bust for the best stability and support?

I recall in IRC there was some talk that ARM, while in theory is "open", is
chock-full of proprietary stuff when you get down to trying to buy anything
that looks like a commodity mini-PC, right?


> And then, what comes after APU2 for the many who use it?
> g
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