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Foxconn nt-A3550-0H0WBANA AMD A45 (Hudson D1) 1 x 204Pin SO-DIMM AMD Radeon HD 6310 Black Mini / Booksize Barebone System
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month

Pros: Small
Light
Powerful...for it's size
HDMI & DVI connector

Cons: Linux? Forget it. (see below)
Runs a bit hot
Wireless card isn't the strongest

Other Thoughts: If you're not thinking of putting Linux on it then you need not bother reading past this.

Basically, it's a neat, extremely small little box BUT...if you're planning on putting some flavor of Linux on it, beware.

The problems?

1) Wireless card drivers are junk. Don't expect to get acceptable speeds with the current, out of the box drivers for Linux.

2) I had the lastest BIOS from their site installed and I noticed it had problems booting and rebooting. First off, you wouldn't see the BIOS screen and I had it set to show it (quiet off). It looked like it would reboot several times before getting to the OS (Linux Mint, in this case). Sometimes you would get a blank screen but the monitor had it's back-light on. Hibernation wouldn't work.

I thought it was the memory and ran memtest from the grub loader. Errors AHOY! OK, that's it, bad memory. Took the memory back and got a different brand. Ran memtest and the same result occurred. I phone their support number and talked to a tech who suggested running it from a bootable CD or USB stick. He was right, it passed the test. But why would memtest from the grub loader fail?!?! That was my first indication of BIOS problems.

(BTW, he said it wouldn't void your warranty to remove the heat sink and apply your own thermal paste. I plan on doing that in the future.)

It would seem that the BIOS' DSDT is faulty for Linux. This isn't the first time that Foxconn has done this either:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=869249

Bear in mind that that article is from 2008 but after extensive testing I can tell you nothing has changed. I pulled the DSHT, decompiled it, had a look at what was going in it then, without changing anything, tried to recompiled it and it wouldn't recompile. 11 errors, most of them stupid. I fixed them with the help of the web and recompiled. This time it was fine. Rebooted into Linux (Mint 12.4) and got the same stuff happening. So back to the drawing board. I made some changes according to suggestions made in the article above and tried again. Some things were improved and some weren't. Sleep via the button would now put you in a constant sleep/wake-up cycle.

Anyway, I decided to try Win 7 on the little box and guess what? It works perfectly. Hibernation, sleep, everything works as it should. Not to sound cynical but I wonder how much Redmond sends to foxconn every month to make sure that new Linux users walk away thinking the OS is garbage because of bad DSDTs?

Still, because it does work well with Windows and is quite powerful for its size I can't give it less than 3 eggs.

Come on Foxconn, Linux is an up and coming OS and you'd better start following ACPI standards in your BIOS or you're going to lose a portion of your business. I know I won't buy Foxconn again because of this even though I'm pretty impressed with what you wrought with this little mighty mouse of a box.

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Kirk M.'s Profile

Display Name: Kirk M.

Date Joined: 02/18/10

  • Reviews: 1
  • Helpfulness: 1
  • First Review: 01/07/13
  • Last Review: 01/07/13
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