Thoughts on the OLPC XO BTest-3 Hardware


I assume that by now most of you have read about OLPC X0's hardware improvements. Earlier today I talked to a fellow colleague at university about these changes and his reaction was something along the lines of "why are you so excited about this, the specifications still suck".

Faster OLPC video chat

So I went on to tell him why I'm thinking that the decision to boost the X0 hardware is a significant improvement over the previous B2 revision hardware. Each one of them will help to improve X0 functionality a lot.

  • CPU: The Geode LX700 provides more performance for less power-consumption and a more potent graphics core that should definitely help boost Sugar and improve longevity and usability for more demanding applications.
  • RAM: 256MB of DDR-RAM running at 333MHz (compared to 128MB at 266MHz) will certainly help a lot in terms of multi-tasking. While some might consider multi-tasking a useless consideration for the X0 I do believe that it's a very important for situations like writing a school paper (e.g. Firefox, AbiWord and instant messaging running at the same time).
  • Flash-Storage: This is probably the most important improvement in terms of usability for the children. Their journal will be able to be significantly larger and they can use more activities and store more music that they've created with TamTam. It should also allow things like the offline-Wikipedia to work much better when the machines are out of reach of the School Servers.
BTW, I assume Bill Gates is also quite happy, a Geode LX700, 256MB RAM and 1GB of storage means that WindowsXP should be able to run without too many issues... ;-)

Related Entries


By the way, in case anyone is interested in benchmarks and performance observations of the Geode LX platform I'd recommend you to read my review of AMD's Geode LX DB800 SDK at:

Don't even joke about Windows XP on the OLPC. While Microsoft products have their place in education and commerce, they shouldn't be on the OLPC.

Wayan, I wholeheartedly agree with you, Windows XP / Vista / IE7 / Office 2007 / etc. shouldn't be on the OLPC.

Having said I am thinking that in the long-run the Sugar monopoly in terms of the OLPC user-interface might actually not be the best idea.

If Microsoft (or any other company for that matter) somehow manages to come up with a better solutions that is a "beautiful thin operating system, Spartan and yet fully functional" then why exclude them?


i am a brazilian software developer and public school teacher.
How can i do to get my own OLPC X0 computer ?

I beg your pardon for my english.


ps: don't even think about put windows in olpc :).

I'm against Windows operating systems purely from their security problems. 100 million new computers on the internet infected with zombie worms causing Denial Of Service scares the hell out of me.
Then again, we now have Vista...

These specifications are better than the machine my mother is currently using (350mhz Pentium II, 128mb PC100 SDRAM, Old slow 13gb HD, 4mb ATi RAGE 128). Guess what? That machine is surprisingly responsive with XP. I tweaked everything as much as possible; visual effects, file indexing, system restore, number of running services, registry tweaks and cleaning.

Using the smallest possible programs helped too. NOD32 for an antivirus, miniAIM or GAIM instead of AIM, K-Meleon over Firefox. It works for everything, my sister uses Abiword, K-meleon, and miniAIM concurrently with NOD32 running and it remains snappy. Even YouTube videos and the majority of flash/java games play nearly full speed.

If the OLPC has intelligently written programs with good process and memory management, it will be a joy to use.