Fujitsu FUTRO S520 (Thin Client) – My experience

Not too long ago, I started looking at PCs that would serve as a web-server for the FM-DX Webserver. My local Czech market was not particularly filled with good options, especially since we don’t have huge marketplaces available locally. I scouted through marketplaces from other countries such as Aliexpress and eBay; however, I couldn’t find anything cheap shipped within Europe.

As a last resort, I decided to visit the Polish marketplace Allegro. Nevertheless, I was positively surprised. I checked the cheapest Mini PCs, and what caught my eye in particular was the Fujitsu S520 thin client at a very good price tag of 56 zł, which equals roughly to 13€. This offer, in particular, also included the original power supply and an extra mouse, which was a nice addition.


The S520 in its full glory.
The S520 came in looking almost brand new.


GPU Radeon R1E

My experience:


Let’s address my first caveat with this machine: the SSD. This one is only 4 GB and lacks an expansion slot such as SATA or another PCI-E slot, posing a significant limitation. However, for my particular usage, it seems to be sufficient. I have installed Debian testing on this machine along with Node.js, ffmpeg, and a few other libraries to run my webserver. I ended up running without swap, as I’m not using any DE, and after installing all the packages, I ended up with about 1.2 GB of free space. The RAM usage floated comfortably at around 300MB, which is incredibly low, so I am comfortable leaving the swap disabled.

I have noticed a Mini PCIe port, but it is most likely only compatible with Wi-Fi cards, as it has been mentioned in other articles on the internet that mSATA SSDs aren’t compatible.

The motherboard shows us a passive cooler, under which the AMD GX-212ZC is located, along with a mini PCIe slot.
The motherboard shows us a passive cooler, under which the AMD GX-212ZC is located, along with a mini PCIe slot.


I was pleasantly surprised to find that there are 4 audio ports in total. Therefore, without an external sound card, I should be able to connect 2 line-in devices without any issues. This is perfect, as the hardware should handle 2 instances of the server without any problems.

A picture of the IO.
A picture of the IO. Plenty for such a small form factor.

Compute power:

Surprisingly, the server handled audio streaming for 80 clients, including serving dynamic web content, without breaking a sweat. Based on this performance, I estimate it could easily accommodate 300-400 clients before maxing out the processor.

Server load with 81 clients:

Load with 80 clients connected.
System Idle 0-1%
Server running (empty) 25% on both cores
Server running (80 clients) 41% on both cores

One unit will be deployed in Slovakia in the future, utilizing Power over Ethernet (PoE). The compatibility with a standard DC jack and the ability to use a 19-20V adapter were pleasant surprises. Along with that, here’s the power draw directly from the wall:

System Idle 4W
Running the webserver + TEF6686 via USB 8W

In conclusion, considering the price of three units of this terminal without shipping, one could only purchase a single used Raspberry Pi 3 in the Czech market. For me, this was a clear choice. This price is also the regular price, for which these units are available on different markets.

  • Price: Unbeatable at 13€ per unit.
  • Low power consumption: Peaks at 10W under load.
  • Presence of a standard DC jack.
  • Line-in audio port.
  • 2x USB3 ports.
  • Upgradable RAM (up to 4GB).
  • Passive cooling ensures silent operation.
  • Compact size: Comparable to an Intel NUC.
  • Lack of SATA port limits storage expansion options to external drives.
  • Absence of HDMI port necessitates DVI-HDMI conversion.
  • 4GB SSD may be insufficient for some users, although it sufficed for my needs.

Additionally, I received my order from Poland within 48 hours, impeccably packaged. Shipping costs amounted to approximately 20 PLN (4.6 €), and the package arrived conveniently at a local box, so I could pick it up right away.


In the end, I am satisfied with my choice. However, if you are looking for a Mini PC that you could use as a home server, I would recommend looking elsewhere. Fujitsu S920 might be a good start at a reasonable price point for you. Other than that, if you are looking for a PC that would run a singular app that is not resource heavy, look no further than the S520, which will satisfy your needs.

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