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Garage - Systems

DevServer 1: El Camino

This kit makes a great dev server, using one of the most energy-efficient x86 pocessors availble to deliver good performance for a system you can feel good about having available to you 24/7.

This Foxconn barebones is compatible with Ubuntu 12.04 out of the box all the way down to the wifi - but with Gigabit Ethernet, who'll be using wifi?

It uses the dual-core Atom D2550 to deliver good performance for a test server or even light-duty workstation, burning only 10 watts of power.

The on-board graphics have worked well in the Fourth World offices connected to a 1600x1200px monitor. While the GMA 3650 won't be able to drive Ubuntu's rich compositing options at this time, this isn't the sort of system you'd want to use for high-end gaming anyway. The graphics performance is good with the scalable Ubuntu Unity interface.

As a barebones unit, this Foxconn computer lets you choose your memory and storage options.

The motherboard on this barebones uses a single slot and supports up to 4 GB, very affordable at today's RAM prices. But if you're looking to trim a few dollars off your budget you'll find Ubuntu runs well with 2 GB.

To keep this system as green as possible I've selected an SSD drive over a traditional magnetic drive, which also bosts performance to allow this modest system to boot from a cold start in about 10 seconds. While there are some 30 GB SSDs available for a few dollars less, the 60 GB SSD will provide more than enough room for most common web applications and the sale price brings the cost down close enough to the 30 GB models that it's well worth the extra few dollars.

The barebones unit comes with an opening tool which includes a screwdriver for the four screws holding the case, and a slender wedge to gently remove the case to install the RAM and SSD. Total assembly time for this kit was less than five minutes.

List Price
Current Price
(as of 31 Dec.)
Foxconn AT-5250 Intel NM10 1x 204Pin Intel GMA 3650 Black Mini / Booksize Barebone System
Model #:AT-5250
Intel Atom D2500 (1.86GHz, dual core; 10W TDP)
Onboard Video
Intel GMA 3650
Max LAN Speed
Wireless LAN
802.11 b/g/n
1 x 204 pin DDR3 1066, up to 4GB
1 x SATA 3.0Gb/s
Front USB
2 x USB 3.0
Rear USB
4 x USB 2.0
Front Audio Ports
Mic, Headphone
Rear Audio Ports
1 x Line-out jack (support S/PDIF-OUT)
Video Ports
VGA (1 x Dsub), HDMI (1)
Card Reader
1 x SD/SDHC/MS/MS Pro/MMC 5 in 1 Card Reader
Power Supply
65W, 19V, 3.42A
7.48" x 5.31" x 0.98"
0.99 lbs.
Mushkin Enhanced Essentials 4GB 204-Pin DDR3 SO-DIMM DDR3 1066 (PC3 8500) Memory
Model #:991644

ADATA Premier Pro 2.5" 64GB STATA III MLC Internal Soid State Drive
Model #:ASP900 ASP900S3-64GM-C


Disclosure: Fourth World Systems never accepts payments from any vendor in exchange for reviewing their products, but when we choose to review products such as the ones on this page we use affiliate links which allow us to collect a modest commision to help offset the costs of making these revews available.