Love Odroid but...

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Love Odroid but...

Unread postby okenny » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:18 pm

Hello all
I love Odroids, I have several, C2, XU4 etc...I'll probably buy the N1.
Just wondering, however, what is the reason to buy an Odroid instead of a very cheap x86 NUC-like box? The x86 chips are still a bit faster and at about the same price. SSDs cost as much as eMMC.
I'd imagine that ARM does a better job on power, and a NUC does not offer a GPIO. Anything else?
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby okenny » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:20 pm

p.s.
I have a few NUCs too
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby elatllat » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:27 pm

price
$59 ($46 C2 + $8 sdcard + $5 psu)
$209 ($127 NUC + $60 RAM + $22 hdd)

power (long term price)
10W C2
65W NUC (BOXNUC6CAYH)

Community support.

Architecture and performance are other factors.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby odroid » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:49 pm

Good point.
It is very true why most popular ARM boards should have 512MB~1GB RAM with a SD-card slot. ;)
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby okenny » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:16 am

elatllat wrote:price
$59 ($46 C2 + $8 sdcard + $5 psu)
$209 ($127 NUC + $60 RAM + $22 hdd)

power (long term price)
10W C2
65W NUC (BOXNUC6CAYH)

Community support.

Architecture and performance are other factors.


I was comparing to the N1 ....N1 + eMMC compared to NUC + SSD + RAM
My quad-core N3700 CPU NUC pulls about 6w at idle, which is more than an an N1 I'm sure, but not much more.
A NUC5CPYH + 4GB RAM + 32GB SSD is about 175€
N1 + 32GB eMMC + Case? probably 150 or so?
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby okenny » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:20 am

as I said, I'll still buy an N1, don't get me wrong, I like Odroids.

There are some non-Intel NUC-like machines with RAM and SSD to be had for not much more than 100€, or even less, like this one 89€ at time of posting:
https://www.amazon.de/Bqeel-PC-Mini-Bil ... SVWBFQ8EGP
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby elatllat » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:20 am

odroid wrote:Good point.
It is very true why most popular ARM boards should have 512MB~1GB RAM with a SD-card slot. ;)

The Firefly-ROC-RK3328-CC manages 4GB of 2133MHz for $75 but 0 Community support yet.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby elatllat » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:23 am

okenny wrote:...comparing to the N1...

It's not released yet so we don't know the price or popularity.
+ you would have to compare it to a NUC with 2 sata ports ($469+RAM) as that's the target for the N1.
+ part of the point is not having to pay (the $4.50) extra for a case.
Last edited by elatllat on Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby DarkBahamut » Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:53 am

elatllat wrote:The Firefly-ROC-RK3328-CC manages 4GB of 2133MHz for $75 but 0 Community support yet.


With only A53s and a Mali 450 MP2 though.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby okenny » Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:36 am

elatllat wrote:
okenny wrote:...comparing to the N1...

It's not release yet so we don't know the price or popularity.
+ you would have to compare it to a NUC with 2 sata ports ($469+RAM) as that's the target for the N1.
+ part of the point is not having to pay (the $4.50) extra for a case.


Guide price was shared already, little over 100$ as far as I remember w/ 4GB RAM
Yep, two SATAs is useful for NAS type stuff, sure.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby tkaiser » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:13 am

okenny wrote:I'd imagine that ARM does a better job on power, and a NUC does not offer a GPIO. Anything else?


Look at the UP Squared: http://www.up-board.org/upsquared/

If you were not a backer prices start at $145 for the slowest variant with only 2 GB DRAM and only 32 GB fast eMMC. 2 x GbE, 1 x SATA (native SATA -- unfortunately the other SATA port is not exposed), 1 x mPCIe (USB2 and PCIe Gen2 x1), 1 x M.2 key E (USB2 and PCIe Gen2 but no idea whether x1 or x2), a bunch of USB3 ports, a bunch of USB2 ports, dual HDMI, the usual GPIO stuff and a lot of other goodies. Software support is great (know it first hand since backed the original UP board quite some time ago just to run into the usual 'early adopter' issues they resolved in short time).

My opinion on RK3399 hasn't changed much since last year: https://forum.armbian.com/topic/3946-rk ... ment=28776
Last edited by tkaiser on Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby tkaiser » Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:24 am

elatllat wrote:0 Community support yet.


I wonder whether ODROID community will realize that there's something like a Rockchip community existing and that every RK3328 device out there is a much nearer relative to N1 than any of the other ODROID boards? Speaking of software support... all that's needed to run any of the great stuff for Rock64 on the Firefly RK3328 is another bootloader BLOB for DRAM initialization (the board uses way faster DDR4) and a different .dts file. That's it.

BTW: Libre Computer who partnered here with Firefly guys and sells the same board as https://libre.computer/products/boards/roc-rk3328-cc/ is actively sponsoring upstream software contributions (they partially pay BayLibre to maintain upstream mainline kernel support for Amlogic SoCs like the S905X they use on their 'Le Potato' which has a direct effect on ODROID-C2 users since they benefit from BayLibre's and Neil's work already too: http://baylibre.com/category/amlogic/ )

BTW: I would never buy the Libre Computer / Firefly RK3328 since using Micro USB for power.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby elatllat » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:54 am

tkaiser wrote:...every RK3328 device out there is a much nearer relative to N1 than any of the other ODROID boards...

I commented on the advantageousness of that.
Despite the years of linux on N1 relatives we still have a few bugs to fix though (video drm, and wayland drivers).
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby Newfrequency » Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:08 am

1. Odroid himself anwers a rediculous amount of questions and actually cares about his customers and community.
2. Voodik compiled the best version of Android when he realsed lineageos.
3. Odroid magazine is a damn good magazine and you all should agree.
4. Ive bought other boards hoping to get something better but I keep navigating back to Odroid.
5. Im confident that even though the N1 will have its flaws the community is strong enough to help weed it out.
6. There are so many loyal members here that help out and agree with me. Chances of them leaving are slim.
7. My xu4 is used every day by my kids on the touch table and they will grow with this community as well.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby Vasant » Thu Mar 08, 2018 10:26 am

I too have ODROID C1/C2/XU4 and have to agree with your sentiments.
Hopefully they will make a low cost version based on RK3399.
I am looking for SBC that supports the latest Android with a newer kernel.

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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby johnsmith13 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:15 am

I also love Odroid but Hardkernel really have to look at RK3328 seriously.

Given all the Hardkernel advantages over others, a RK3328 implementation does not need to beat others on price, just matching them will be enough to take off in the market.

RK3399 is great but it is just way too expensive for a lot of users and applications.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby DarkBahamut » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:10 am

What does the RK3328 offer that the C2/S905 doesn't?

The only real thing I see is 1 USB 3 port. It's really not worth offering a board where that's the only difference. More so given that HK already offer a solution with USB 3 if needed.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby johnsmith13 » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:10 pm

DarkBahamut wrote:What does the RK3328 offer that the C2/S905 doesn't?


The RK3328 (e.g. Rock64) has few advantages over S905 (e.g. Odroid C2):



1. RAM: 2G vs 4G

2. USB3: 0 vs 1
3. SPI Flash: 0M vs 128M

4. Price: $46 vs $45


A lot of apps are bounded by ram and io instead of cpu, which make the above advantages significant.

I am talking about ONLY hardware price/performance above.

In terms of software, support and community, we all know Hardkernel kills everyone else.
Just that for folks who need 64-bit, 4G RAM or USB3, RK3399 is a big jump in price (especially when large numbers are needed).
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby crashoverride » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:34 pm

For many, RK3328 would be a downgrade from C2. The Rock64 can not do 4k@60 but C2 can (AFBC). The RK3328 GPU is 33% slower (MP2 vs MP3) than C2. The RAM on Rock64 is also much slower than C2 to achieve their price point.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby bronco » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:03 pm

johnsmith13 wrote:I am talking about ONLY hardware price/performance above.


Then looking at Allwinner's H6 would be the better choice than RK3328 ;)

1 x USB3, 3GB DRAM, IOMMU, AFBC, video engine can decode 400Mbps HEVC still playing smoothly, all 4 A53 cores run at 1.8GHz simultaneously, Mali T720 clocks with 624Mhz and can be pushed to 750 MHz, tinymembench numbers from a device with only single channel LPDDR3 configuration (?) and DRAM clocked too low: https://pastebin.com/ubszDSUH

I did not mention PCIe above since seems to be problematic: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!msg/l ... wJe2YoAgAJ
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby johnsmith13 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:59 am

crashoverride wrote:For many, RK3328 would be a downgrade from C2. The Rock64 can not do 4k@60 but C2 can (AFBC).


RK3328 is supposed to support 4K@60 at the hardware level as well, whether it can be delivered by software in Linux/Android is a different matter. Some video do play ok at 4K@60 (especially on Android).


The RK3328 GPU is 33% slower (MP2 vs MP3) than C2.


Don't know what you mean by MP2 vs MP3, both C2 and Rock64 have Mali-450 (MP4 or MP8)


The RAM on Rock64 is also much slower than C2 to achieve their price point.


Both C2 and Rock64 have 32-bit memory buses and both use Samsung DDR3 at approx. 1600Hz.

I am not privy to Hardkernel's design decisions, but I think one of the reasons why C2 is more expensive is not because its memory system is much faster - it is because C2 is using FOUR memory chips to provide 2G, while the Rock64 used ONE memory chip to provide 1G, 2G or 4G.

Imagine the extra costs to Hardkernel in buying, routing and placing those extra THREE chips for the C2.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby crashoverride » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:54 am

johnsmith13 wrote:RK3328 is supposed to support 4K@60 at the hardware level

It does, but Rock64 does not. You can confirm this with the Kodi developers.

johnsmith13 wrote:Don't know what you mean by MP2 vs MP3, both C2 and Rock64 have Mali-450 (MP4 or MP8)

MP2/MP3 refer to the fragment (pixel) processors. Mali-450 is not unified shader so there are separate vertex and pixel processor units. RK3328 has a Mali-450 with 2 pixel shaders. S905 has a Mali-450 with 3 pixel shaders. S905 Mali can process 3 pixels for every 2 pixels that RK3328 can (33% difference). Vertex processing is largely irrelevant since only 4 vertices's are needed to cover the entire screen.

johnsmith13 wrote:Both C2 and Rock64 have 32-bit memory buses and both use Samsung DDR3 at approx. 1600Hz.

I am not privy to Hardkernel's design decisions, but I think one of the reasons why C2 is more expensive is not because its memory system is much faster - it is because C2 is using FOUR memory chips to provide 2G, while the Rock64 used ONE memory chip to provide 1G, 2G or 4G.

Imagine the extra costs to Hardkernel in buying, routing and placing those extra THREE chips for the C2.

There difference is that Rock64 uses single channel DRAM. It is IO clocked at 786Mhz (not 800Mhz). This, and the lack of support for AFBC, is what creates the memory bandwidth bottleneck that prevent it from achieving 4k@60. This memory bottleneck also affects regular program and device operation that do not involve graphics.

[edit]
You can confirm all these claims by posting on the Rock64 forums or visiting their IRC channel.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby bronco » Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:28 pm

johnsmith13 wrote:I think one of the reasons why C2 is more expensive is not because its memory system is much faster - it is because C2 is using FOUR memory chips to provide 2G, while the Rock64 used ONE memory chip to provide 1G, 2G or 4G.


Huh? Rock64 uses LPDDR3-1600 (1866 was too expensive) as usual in a single package (single channel, 32 bit) while ODROID C2 uses DDR3-1866 (no LP --> low power) that requires different packages and routing. No idea whether S905 supports LPDDR3 or even DDR4/LPDDR4... but RK3328 does support much faster DDR4, see Libre Computer Renegade also called ROC-RK3328-CC when sold directly by Firefly.

When talking to the Libre Computer guy he mentioned they chose DDR4 for one single reason: 4K video requiring higher memory bandwidth. But I found no tinymembench numbers for RK3328 with DDR4, only for Rock64 and ODROID-C2:
* https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php ... 9#pid28879 (64-bit only, 4.4 BSP kernel -- most probably better numbers with mainline kernel)
* https://github.com/ssvb/tinymembench/wiki/ODROID-C2 (32-bit and 64-bit but obviously done with 3.14 kernel)
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby johnsmith13 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:08 pm

crashoverride wrote:It does, but Rock64 does not. You can confirm this with the Kodi developers.


I am aware that Rock64 is not playing all 4K@60 perfectly.
As I mentioned above "SOME video do play ok at 4K@60"
e.g. YUV420 output format (Pixel Clk: 594MHz/TMDS Clk: 297MHz):
https://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=5737


MP2/MP3 refer to the fragment (pixel) processors.


I see, so by MP2 and MP3 you meant Fragment Processor (FP) or Pixel Processor (PP), I thought you mean the "MP" as in the MP4 and MP8 used in Mali-450:
https://developer.arm.com/products/grap ... li-450-gpu

Anyway RK3328 does have one less FP.


There difference is that Rock64 uses single channel DRAM.


What do you mean by single/dual channel?
How many bits is one of your "channel" ?

Both RK3328 and S905 have 32-bit memory data bus, do you mean C2 connects all 32-bit to the memory chips while Rock64 only connect 16-bit to the memory chip (so need to multiplex the data over 16-bit) ?


It is IO clocked at 786Mhz (not 800Mhz).


Yes, C2 has faster and more expensive RAM chips. Pine64 "claimed" that the DDR3-1866 is not stable:
https://forum.pine64.org/archive/index. ... -4746.html

So Rock64 does use the slower and much cheaper DDR3-1600 chips and they are definitely not support RAM overclocking like Hardkernel!


This, and the lack of support for AFBC, is what creates the memory bandwidth bottleneck that prevent it from achieving 4k@60. This memory bottleneck also affects regular program and device operation that do not involve graphics.


AFBC is compression for graphics, how does it affect regular program data that goes from processor to memory and back (never touching the GPU) ?
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby bronco » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:25 pm

johnsmith13 wrote:Pine64 "claimed" that the DDR3-1866 is not stable:
https://forum.pine64.org/archive/index. ... -4746.html


If you read a bit more carefully you see that all someone was talking about was prices being stable (1600) or not (1866). It's exactly the same situation everyone else (Hardkernel included) is facing since DRAM prices have started to go crazy last year. See how @odroid talks about DRAM on new N1: viewtopic.php?f=149&t=30318#p217156

But I've to admit that I've not the slightest idea why people now talk here about Rock64 and its LPDDR3 implementation when it's about a proposed RK3328 ODROID that could use DDR4 just like other RK3328 boards to avoid any bandwidth bottlenecks?

BTW: Why do you think LPDDR3 should be much cheaper than DDR3? Why do you think the BOM does affect the retail price of products directly?

Edit: Differences between DDR3 (ODROID-C2), DDR3L and LPDDR3 (Rock64): https://blogs.synopsys.com/committedtom ... its-ddr3l/
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby crashoverride » Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:05 pm

The discussion is getting too far off topic for my continued participation. The facts I stated are the relevant to the premise "why not make a RK3328 board?" even though there seems to be some confusion regarding the actual technical details.

The main points are:
1) Rock64 already exists. What advantage is there to cloning it?
2) Rock64 achieves its lower price point by sacrificing performance in its design.
3) C2 does not sacrifice performance for price.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby saffron » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:18 am

The Rock64 does have a benefit over the C2, it supports 4K HDR, at the moment this is only on Android but LibreELEC is working on HDR implementation and they have recently added Rockchip support.

Anyway, the real comparison should be between Odroid N1 and RockPro64, it has the same SOC and GPU:


It is based on the RK3399 hexa-core SOC consisting of a dual-core ARM Cortex-A72 and a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53. The GPU on the SOC is a quad-core Mali-T860MP4 with support for OpenGL ES1.1/2.0/3.0 and OpenCL1.2

Specs run-down:

40pin GPIO header (I2C/SPI/I2S/UARTs/GPIOs)
128Mb of SPI Flash
Heatsink mounting holes + FAN header
Power Button
Reset Button
Recovery Button
Dual Channel LPDDR3 Memory
Gigabit Ethernet
IR RX
eMMC
micro SD card bootable
SDIO socket for WIFI module
HDMI
eDP connector
MIPI connector + TP connector + backlight supply
2xUSB2
1xUSB3
1xUSB-C (with DP)
PCIe4
parallel CSI
2 x MIPI CSI
ES8316 Audio Codec (Headphone/MIC jack)


It was supposed to be released in two days but has been pushed back until next month because of a new feature being added. The price of the 4GB model is
$79 and the 2GB model is going to be between $59-$65. Bear in mind Odroid boards have a customs charge whereas the boards shipped from China generally don't.

It doesn't have SATA ports but does have a PCIe4 slot, possibly allowing SATA port/SSD expansion cards.
Here are two photos showing expansion cards, at the moment they don't work (maybe they never will):

SATA:
Image

SSD:
Image

Board:
Image


PS: This isn't an attack on Odroid, last year I bought my first SBC and it was a...... Odroid C2. It's still the only board I own.
I started looking at Pine boards because I wanted a cheap board for a project and after comparing local prices with Pine64 prices, I released I could get a more powerful board for not much more. I then started reading about future boards and now I'm in two minds about ordering the Rock64 or waiting for the RockPro64.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby jit-010101 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:51 am

I can only speak about my past experiences with Rockchip SOCs ... e.g. the Minix X7 Neo

Backwards support is NON-existant. They ditched support for their SOCs as soon as the next model is released.

Open-Source? Forget it.

There were so many driver issues related to blobs especially regarding choppy video playback.

I'm glad it works now half-what for what it was intended.

Communication with them was nearly extinct even Minix themselves didn't get to them hardly from the 1-2 years I've followed their communication

(Minix used to communicate pretty openly with their community and told them about their issues with RockChip).

This was from back a few years. This is nothing that HardKernel is going to be able to fix (if it's still the same, which seems like it regarding ROCK64 issues).

Looking at Minix they seem to have no RockChip Boxes in their setup now (?).

Their Neo U1 is driven by an AmLogic 905 as well and aside from that they're mainly using x86 as far as I can see now.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby bronco » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:01 am

jit-010101 wrote:I can only speak about my past experiences with Rockchip SOCs


100% irrelevant today especially since RK differentiates between 'open source' SoCs like RK3328 and RK3399 and those others for which they only provide an Android SDK for their device vendors (like Minix). More info: http://opensource.rock-chips.com/

With those 'open source' Rockchip SoCs software support situation is excellent (both when using their 4.4LTS BSP kernel or already with mainline kernel)
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby bronco » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:13 am

saffron wrote:SATA:
Image


This is exactly the same ASM1061 SATA controller as on the N1. And of course it works, it's all about the SoC and there is not much board makers can do to differentiate their design based on the same SoC compared to any of their competitors except... 'soft skills' like software support, supporting their communities, spending money on development efforts (be it internal or external).

It's funny that in this threads people look at hardware and costs and do not think a single second about software development and such stuff. The reasons why an ODROID C2 is more expensive than a Rock64 with same amount of DRAM... might not only be related to the hardware components! :lol:

BTW: Rockpro64 just like Rock64 uses more expensive LPDDR3 and not DDR3 as Hardkernel seems to prefer. But with RK3399 on the Rockpro64 they use at least a dual channel config.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby PigLover » Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:58 am

bronco wrote:
saffron wrote:It's funny that in this threads people look at hardware and costs and do not think a single second about software development and such stuff. The reasons why an ODROID C2 is more expensive than a Rock64 with same amount of DRAM... might not only be related to the hardware components! :lol:

I might buy that argument if Odroid's software support were actually "all that". But the C2 is still on an ancient 3.14 kernel and anything close to mainline is buggy and crap. And the official Odroid response just blamecasts back to the SoC manufacturer, which is a pretty arrogant and un-helpful approach. There is still no official outlook to a 4.x series kernel from Odroid.

At least with Rock64 they are on 4.4 for their "official" releases and have active/dynamic development through a semi-official community member for true mainline.

For many clustering use cases the 3.14 kernel is useless - which makes the C2 useless too.

Also, I think I'd take a (very) slightly slower platform with more RAM and USB-3 support every time.

I don't like the larger form-factor of the PINE or RockPro64 at all. But that is largely personal preference more than anything else. Being able to use the ecosystem of cases and parts from the Pi world is a big win for both the C2, XU4 (except its too tall) and Rock64.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby bronco » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:16 am

PigLover wrote:the C2 is still on an ancient 3.14 kernel and anything close to mainline is buggy and crap.


Haven't tried it myself but heard from others that the images with 'next' in their name are based on 4.14 and work pretty well: https://dl.armbian.com/odroidc2/

PigLover wrote:At least with Rock64 they are on 4.4 for their "official" releases and have active/dynamic development through a semi-official community member for true mainline.


Mainlining work for those 'open source' RK SoCs happens mostly by RK developers themselves and the 'usual suspects' (for example Heiko AKA https://github.com/mmind and so on), then there's the somewhat inactive #linux-rockchip community and then the Pine64/Rock64 community...

But you're right, RK's 4.4 kernel usually used on all RK3328/RK3399 devices works pretty well :)

With Amlogic and mainline kernel it seems still almost everything is done through contract work by BayLibre and especially Neil? https://baylibre.com/author/narmstrong/
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby PigLover » Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:30 am

bronco wrote:Haven't tried it myself but heard from others that the images with 'next' in their name are based on 4.14 and work pretty well: https://dl.armbian.com/odroidc2/

I have tried it. The Armbian development train - their 4.14/15/16 "next" releases - only work on the C2 if you don't need working eMMC (or at least don't mind tweaking boot params for your particular eMMC chip), working video acceleration (Mali) or consistently working USB. And as long as you don't mind occasional kernel panics. It is a "pre-release" preview only and not usable for anything resembling production work. Armbian does not recommend you use it for anything but testing. Also, BTW, Armbian is not from Odroid or supported by Odroid.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby johnsmith13 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:44 am

bronco wrote:If you read a bit more carefully you see that all someone was talking about was prices being stable (1600) or not (1866).


Thanks for pointing that out, I misread that stable part as in "performance", no realising he meant the "price".

But I've to admit that I've not the slightest idea why people now talk here about Rock64 and its LPDDR3 implementation when it's about a proposed RK3328 ODROID that could use DDR4 just like other RK3328 boards to avoid any bandwidth bottlenecks?


I guess that is because using LPDDR3 vs DDR4 is something that Hardkernel need to think about in the price/performance trade-offs of their designs ?

RK3328 can run up to 2133MHz with DDR4 (as seen in the Firefly ROC-RK3328-CC) but its 4G model is MUCH more expensive at $79 (against Rock64 1600MHz at $45).

Macbook Pro is using LPDDR3 at 2133MHz so I would "assume" that we do not really need to go to DDR4 to get that memory performance ?

Anyway for use cases that need more than 2G of RAM - the market that I was talking about originally (which N1 addresses) - it is better to have 4G at 1600MHz than 2G at 2133MHz, all memory speed advantages of a higher clock are gone once we go to swap.


BTW: Why do you think LPDDR3 should be much cheaper than DDR3? Why do you think the BOM does affect the retail price of products directly?


I think using LPDDR3 is much cheaper than DDR3 because it reduces the number of memory chips from 4 to 1. Even if LPDDR3 is a little more expensive for the same capacity, there are a lot of savings that can comes from having less number of chips - we are talking about a 4 to 1 ratio.

For example
1. incoming material handling e.g. the extra volume they take up in trucks and warehouses
2. material costs e.g. the circuit board need to be bigger (may be even extra layers)
3. manufacturing costs e.g. the extra space and time it takes to pick and place those chips on to the motherboard (probably need to place memory on both sides now)
4. design complexity e.g. the extra time it takes to place and route 4 chips compared to 1
5. quality control e.g. have to test more chips and there is more places for things to go wrong (circuit board or the chips themselves)
6. outgoing material handling e.g. larger means higher storage and shipping to customers

I am not a production engineer but I would have thought the above costs are not insignificant.

Separately from cost, a small board might allow more use cases (so bigger market).
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby bronco » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:27 pm

johnsmith13 wrote:RK3328 can run up to 2133MHz with DDR4 (as seen in the Firefly ROC-RK3328-CC) but its 4G model is MUCH more expensive at $79 (against Rock64 1600MHz at $45).


Why do you still think retail costs would be directly related to BOM (bill of materials -- what the manufacturer has to pay)?

Look at https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/rene ... id-linux#/

1GB version backed: 17
2GB version backed: 77
4GB version backed: 150

The majority of SBC users has no idea at all how virtual memory in Linux and Android works, the majority is also keen on having 'free memory' and so they feel they 'need' as much DRAM as possible even if they only end up with larger filesystem buffers/caches (that's what all the unused RAM will be used for in the end at least on a stock Linux).

So your smallest variant has mini margings or is even 'designed' to be a loss leader and the board with maximum DRAM amount allows for huge margins compensating somewhat for the smaller ones. Prices reflect what people are willing to pay (and such a Kickstarter/Indiegogo is a nice way to find out) and not how BOM costs look like. And the sole existence of DDR3 instead of LPDDR3 or DDR4 on all cheap electronics should already tell the whole story about BOM/manufacturing costs.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby bronco » Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:00 pm

johnsmith13 wrote:Macbook Pro is using LPDDR3 at 2133MHz so I would "assume" that we do not really need to go to DDR4 to get that memory performance ?


You need to look at the whole picture to be able to draw the right conclusions :)

MacBook Pro still uses LPDDR3 since Intel mobile CPUs still lack support for LPDDR4 (and using DDR4 due to higher CAS latency doesn't provide that much benefits but would reduce battery life). Once Cannon Lake is around the corner MacBook Pro will be there with up to 32 GB LPDDR4 (the current 16GB maximum is also just an Intel CPU limitation).

DDR4 compared to DDR3 allows for higher memory bandwidth (needed only for 4K video here) but usually shows also higher latency (bad for everything else than video) so it's a trade-off as usual. For whatever reasons people usually only look at memory bandwidth and ignore latency (see this whole thread here where all the time only clockspeeds were mentioned)

Edit: Quoting Rockchip's TRMs: RK3328 supports 'up to 1066Mbps for DDR2/LPDDR2 and up to 1866Mbps for DDR3/LPDDR3/DDR4' (not mentioned but important: single channel), 'RK3399 has high-performance dual channel external memory interface (DDR3/DDR3L /LPDDR3/LPDDR4)'. The memory controller's dual channel capability provides the extra bandwidth needed for 4K so that even cheap '1600Mhz grade' DRAM will be sufficient on the N1 later: viewtopic.php?f=149&t=30318#p217156

Edit 2: Amlogic situtation: http://www.olmi.tv/files/eshop/download ... d_s912.pdf
Last edited by bronco on Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby jit-010101 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:00 pm

PigLover wrote:
bronco wrote:Haven't tried it myself but heard from others that the images with 'next' in their name are based on 4.14 and work pretty well: https://dl.armbian.com/odroidc2/

I have tried it. The Armbian development train - their 4.14/15/16 "next" releases - only work on the C2 if you don't need working eMMC (or at least don't mind tweaking boot params for your particular eMMC chip), working video acceleration (Mali) or consistently working USB. And as long as you don't mind occasional kernel panics. It is a "pre-release" preview only and not usable for anything resembling production work. Armbian does not recommend you use it for anything but testing. Also, BTW, Armbian is not from Odroid or supported by Odroid.


Both eMMC and USB-Issues should be solved in 4.17 from what I got (http://linux-meson.com/doku.php).

If they were able to run Quake (https://baylibre.com/elc-2017-3d-mainline/) back in last year, they should be able to get video-encoding/decoding working as well ...

------

Edit:
Vide hardware acceleration will also be challenging as Amlogic is currently using a custom software implementation, and it will have to be supported through V4L2 in mainline, so it will take some time. Some Audio features have yet to be implemented including S/PDIF input and output, I2S input, PCM input and output, and the embedded stereo DAC in S905X and S912.

from https://www.cnx-software.com/2018/01/24 ... us-update/

and further in the comments:

As far as I knew Amlogic had contracted BayLibre to upstream their kernel to mainline but the money had run out and Amlogic refused to fund the collaboration any further because they have already moved on from S905 and development had stalled.


Interesting indeed ...
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby bronco » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:16 pm

jit-010101 wrote:If they were able to run Quake (https://baylibre.com/elc-2017-3d-mainline/) back in last year, they should be able to get video-encoding/decoding working as well ...


Those are two entirely different engines (3D/2D/GPU = Mali, video/VPU = SoC vendor's own proprietary video engine) and require individual work. As far as I know there are only BayLibre interns working on mainline (contracted by both Amlogic and 'Libre Computer', no idea whether Hardkernel invests any money here to improve kernel situation with ODROID-C2?)

With Rockchip it's different and also community is already involved, see for example https://forum.armbian.com/topic/4806-the-vpu-driver/ (mainline) and https://forum.armbian.com/topic/6506-tu ... lt-kernel/ (RK's 4.4 kernel)

jit-010101 wrote:Seems like Rockchip is better then I remember then.


You remember correctly, it's just that Rockchip changed few years ago. Most probably direct result of them being 'chosen' by Google to provide ARM SoCs for Chromebooks and Google 'asking' for proper upstream Linux kernel support to stop the usual 'port and forget' mentality all those ARM vendors showed just half a decade ago. Some improved in the meantime, others not (so much).
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby elatllat » Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:18 pm

bronco wrote:...The majority of SBC users has no idea at all how virtual memory in Linux and Android works...

While that is true, they are correct; RAM is the only hard limit (other than architecture), and it's hit often (web browsing, git gc, ext4 shrink, vm's, db indexes, IDEs, backups). Sure vram is not as bad on a NVMe as it was on spinning storage, but still 4GB is really the minimum for a general use computer (sure one could linux and play 1080p in 0.2GB but it was quite limiting).
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby jit-010101 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:26 pm

bronco wrote:
jit-010101 wrote:Seems like Rockchip is better then I remember then.


You remember correctly, it's just that Rockchip changed few years ago. Most probably direct result of them being 'chosen' by Google to provide ARM SoCs for Chromebooks and Google 'asking' for proper upstream Linux kernel support to stop the usual 'port and forget' mentality all those ARM vendors showed just half a decade ago. Some improved in the meantime, others not (so much).


Thanks for that info.

Seems like my next SBC will be powered by an RK-SOC then (if only for being curious) ...
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby elatllat » Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:11 pm

wow the rpi 3B+ has underwhelming hardware/price.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby jit-010101 » Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:21 pm

elatllat wrote:wow the rpi 3B+ has underwhelming hardware/price.


Did you expect anything else from them looking at the RPi 3B / 3 ?

They're trying to prolong this horse as long as they can since when they finally pull the upgrade (anything above 1GB ram requires them to upgrade) they will suddenly lose their USP.

Backwards compability - and suddenly they will have 2 platforms to care for not just one (and that makes a big difference especially regarding compability)

Not saying it will get better the longer they'll prolong this ...

I'm interested how Broadcom will react to it, and if they will still choose Broadcom out of fear of getting the support ball dropped by them.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby PigLover » Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:34 am

jit-010101 wrote:...Both eMMC and USB-Issues should be solved in 4.17 from what I got (http://linux-meson.com/doku.php).

Then I suppose there is hope. Perhaps we'll get Ubuntu 18.04 on mainline for the C2 sometime shortly after its released. Or - based on the last 18 months experience - perhaps not. Tiring, especially when the other options are looking more and more promising.

I actually do love Odroid. I think their products are wonderful. But the C2 software support experience has been painful. And I think they have made some especially poor choices with the N1, apparently leaving their minimalist roots and chasing a few shiny objects in the design - ending up with a product outside the sweet spot on cost.

Hopefully they'll get back to their roots soon.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby rooted » Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:10 am

PigLover wrote:
jit-010101 wrote:... And I think they have made some especially poor choices with the N1, apparently leaving their minimalist roots and chasing a few shiny objects in the design - ending up with a product outside the sweet spot on cost.

Hopefully they'll get back to their roots soon.


The XU3 was $200 and the XU3-Lite was $179, seems you haven't been around since then so perhaps you didn't know. The price has came down on the XU4 due to time and design changes, the N1 is no different.

*edit*
(memeka says $180 and $100 respectively) - Either way much more expensive than now.

So no they haven't left anything and aren't chasing a shiny object.
Last edited by rooted on Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby memeka » Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:19 am

PigLover wrote:
jit-010101 wrote:...Both eMMC and USB-Issues should be solved in 4.17 from what I got (http://linux-meson.com/doku.php).

Then I suppose there is hope. Perhaps we'll get Ubuntu 18.04 on mainline for the C2 sometime shortly after its released. Or - based on the last 18 months experience - perhaps not. Tiring, especially when the other options are looking more and more promising.

I actually do love Odroid. I think their products are wonderful. But the C2 software support experience has been painful. And I think they have made some especially poor choices with the N1, apparently leaving their minimalist roots and chasing a few shiny objects in the design - ending up with a product outside the sweet spot on cost.

Hopefully they'll get back to their roots soon.


which shiny objects did they start chasing?
you do realize the current line based on on XU4 all started with the XU3, which was initially 180$?
also that after the xu3 was a xu3-lite @100$ (like they want to do with the n1), and later the xu4, and the more storage oriented (because of SATA) HC1 & HC2 all using the same SoC as the original xu3.
so why continuing this trend with a new SoC with 2xSATA, at an original price point smaller than the xu3 was introduced at - actually close to the xu3-lite price, and already announcing the n1-lite at a price point similar to what the XU4 was originally introduced at is bad, and "outside the sweet spot"? because it's not $35? If you only consider the RAM cost of the N1, it's more expensive than that. if that's out of your "sweet spot" then look for something with less RAM... don't think you'll find a 4GB board for cheap anytime soon....
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby crashoverride » Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:41 am

There are 2 threads in the main section of the forum. One discusses a future "XU5" (performance). The other discusses a future "C3" (low cost). The N1 appears to be a response to the former. Since HardKernel (HK) has been in business for many years, its not unreasonable to say the N1 will not be the last board they ever make. Based on my experience here in the community, HK does listen to their customers, and N1 is what people asked for in the "performance" thread. The implication is that they are also listening to what people want in the "low cost" thread: viewtopic.php?f=55&t=22070
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby 2ndSeb » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:16 am

As a C2 user,... I am not interested in a RK3328 whatsoever. Yes, the C2 is running an ancient kernel, but it's all working pretty amazing and performance is quite nice. This is a really decent board. Next stop for me is: more performance and SATA = N1.

And coming back to the original post: I am still thinking if I should go Apollo Lake instead of N1 for my mini NAS rebuild. But the odroid boards are really neat hardware, power comsumption is awesome, passive cooling, power supplies were so far pretty cheap*, there's the right amount of DIY for me left, and they feel a bit more exotic. And I like exotic.

*I was pretty shocked what an ITX 100W power supply for Apollo Lake usually costs, unless you buy directly from china.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby halherta » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:21 pm

The LattePanda Delta is a Intel Celeron N4100 (2.4GHz quad core) based SBC with 4GB of RAM, 32GB eMMC, SATA, M.2, USB3.0 and USB type C, one GigaEthernet port, WiFi(802.11b/g/n/ac dual band) and Bluetooth 4.2. This board also has Intel graphics so drivers under Linux will not be a problem. In fact since it runs x86, one never has to worry about whether the CPU/GPU/SOC/SBC will be fully supported in the mainline Linux Kernel...it will always have that support. This boards CPU should offer similar performance to the Odroids-N1's RK3399 in single core mode and perhaps better performance in multicore mode.

It does cost more....$149 vs the estimated $100-$110 for the odroid-N1, but the $40-$50 difference approx is not a major concern at this price point especially when you consider that you are getting a USB type C connector, built-in WiFi and Bluetooth and a Built-in 32GB eMMC...not to mention the better support for the SOC and GPU in the mainline kernel due to it being an x86 Celeron SOC from intel.

I think what's happening here is that as ARM SBC performance/specs hits that of Intel SBC's / NUC e.t.c intel seems to offer more bang/performance/software compatibility for buck. The fact that Linux mainline kernel does not have to be ported to 500 different variations of the CPU in different SOCs and that Intel's GPUs are well supported in the Linux Kernel, makes a stronger case for buying an Intel SBC than an ARM SBC.......at the >$120 price point.

I think ARM SBC's will still dominate the <$50 price point. But once you go above $120 Intel SBC's seem more attractive.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby odroid » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:45 pm

halherta wrote:once you go above $120 Intel SBC's seem more attractive.


Yes! It is very reasonable and understandable.
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Re: Love Odroid but...

Unread postby tkaiser » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:02 pm

halherta wrote:The LattePanda Delta


It's not only this Intel board but users can choose amongst a few, see above: viewtopic.php?f=149&t=30347#p217366
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