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Build Your Own Mini-PC for $80

Picking an OS for a Low-Powered Platform

This board is underpowered for Windows Vista, regardless of which version of the OS you choose. The single-core CPU is too slow to ensure that the system runs smoothly without stuttering.

With Windows XP installed, the board proved quite snappy, though, as long as we didn’t throw large or memory heavy applications at it.

We also booted the system using the most recent distribution of Ubuntu Linux; as it turns out, the graphics solution was not supported. The result was that the screen was streaked, and the X-Server would crash after only a few minutes. Nonetheless, the board is well-suited to Linux-based router distributions like the current version of IP-Cop. Since the on-board NIC is recognized and installed without a problem, you just have to add a second network card and you’re set to go.