RISC vs. Intel cpus in the Chromebook world

One of the original main advantages of a RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) was that it used less power than a CISC (Complex Instruction Set Computer).  The Intel cpu that is at the heart of most Windows and newer Mac’s is a CISC.

When the Chromebook first came out and began to sell like hot cakes some vendors were taking advantage of the RISC cpu/motherboard to sell systems with longer battery times and lower costs than the Intel/AMD-based cpus.

Intel has been designing lower power draining cpus/motherboards for laptops for years.  They apparently got busy and created something for the Chromebook line(s).  That is why you have Intel-based Chromebooks with 10+ hour battery times and lower costs than the RISC-based systems.

Tom M

Turn your older laptop or desktop into a Chromebook clone

Recently I received great news.  “CloudReady has a Chrome OS platform ready for your non-chromebook hardware”  If that link to the article on Tech Republic doesn’t work, here is the website.  You are probably interested in an individual copy of the Chromebook clone product.  It is free for individual use.

If you have an Intel PC hardware platform (usually a windows laptop) that is 8 years old or younger that you would like to run a fast, robust operating system on but it isn’t up to running say  Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, then this is a turnkey solution.  I have successfully installed it on 2 out of 3 laptops and a desktop I tried.  It failed on a non-standard old SSD netbook.  They have a list of tested hardware that is quite extensive on the website.

The User Interface is exactly like my ASUS Chromebook.  You will experience the Chromebook exactly except for two things.  1) If you are used to the 7 second boot time for many Chromebooks, you won’t get that.  It will boot exactly as fast as a Linux distribution would on the same hardware (around 30 seconds on mine).  2) The hardware-based security features are mostly not present.   For most people, School districts or Companies neither of the above will be deal breakers.

You will need a 8 GB Flash drive to install the Chromebook clone OS from.  The native setup only supports standalone booting and UEFI “dual booting”.  If you choose, standalone booting, all the previous information on the hard disk is deleted during the install.  With UEFI “dual booting” the previous operating system remains and is also bootable.  You will need either a fairly fast internet connection or quite abit of patience to download the operating system.

If you have a Chromebook or a Chrome browser and sign in with a Google id, CloudReady will download/clone all your extensions, applications and allow you to access your Google Drive-based data on your “new” cloned Chromebook.

Because I have an ultra-thin Chromebook I have not been motivated to move over and use this product full time.  I have one very slow (1 GHz) sub-notebook that “barely” runs Windows 10.  I may turn it into a CloudReady notebook again.  I have turned a Dell Optiplex 760 (desktop) into a Chromebook.

If you have been wanting to experiment with a Chromebook or have wanted a Chromebook but couldn’t afford a couple hundred bucks for a new/used on on E-Bay this is your path.  Educational and Commercial licenses and support are available.

If you are a school with obsolete laptops available this is an excellent, very low-cost way to repurpose them into Chromebooks.  Both Educational and Commercial licenses and support are available.

Any questions?  Post a comment.

Tom M