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“My name s gary sims. And this is gary explained. When people are looking for for a single board computer with more computing power. They often turn to the rock 64.
And i have one here and say i want to do a review of this board and tell you what you get for your money. So. If you want to find out more please let me explain now i ve actually had this rock pro 64 for about a month. Now and i never quite got around to finishing the review.
Because i always wanted to try something else on it to experiment with a different part of the feature set. But of course now with the announcement of the raspberry pi for getting a review out then this becomes kind of a higher priority for me so i m doing this today and hopefully also this afternoon. My raspberry pi. 4.
Will arrive so in a couple of few days time i should have the review of the raspberry pi. 4. And i ll also be comparing to this board. But let s look at this board to see what it is so the key advantage of the rock pro 64.
Is the hardware in terms of the single board computer. It comes with lots and lots of different features first of course is the rockchip. 3399. Which is an arm based processing.
A hexa core processor. With two quarters. A 72 cores and four cortex a53. Calls and then you have the ram you can have up to 4 gigabytes of ram depending on the model that you buy so.
A hexa core processor. With 4 gigabytes of ram. Now bring this into the area of something that can run more as a server or even as a desktop pc. But on top of that you ve also got gigabit wired ethernet you ve got.
Usb. 3. Support and most..
Importantly you ve got. Pci. Express. Support pci 21.
To be precise with 4 lanes. And that allows pcie peripherals to be connected to the board and talking of pci peripherals. I also got myself a sata card. And i ve got here a 250 mega by d and i was able to connect all of these over sata pci to the rok pro 64.
So while we re talking about the disc actually kicked it all up format at that ssd drive as eht for set up a samba share. So the files were available. My home network and then doing various testes copping files to and from the rock pro 64. I was able to get over a hundred megabytes.
A second peeking sometimes as high as 110 megabytes. A second while copying files. So that s basically as good as i get on anything in my home network. Now that s over gigabit ethernet and i ve also got other servers that manage around about the same speed so i was pleasantly surprised by the io performance you can get over gigabit ethernet using sata using the pci on the roc pro.
64. So that s definitely a big thumbs up for this board one option to boot. The board is using a micro sd card and it slots. Very simply here in to the board.
But there s also the option of booting from emmc module. So that s also a good feature of the hardware of this board. So if we look at the overall performance of this board using various benchmarks. Including my own a threat test tool.
Which you ll find on my github site including things like sis bench. I was able to work out that the cpu performance can be anywhere between two and ten times faster than a raspberry pi. 3. Now as i said earlier when there are 3 pi.
4 arrives to me sure hope should be this afternoon. I ll also do comparisons with that as compared to raspberry pi. 3..
Between 2 and 10 times and the memory speed is about 20 faster when compared to a trois. 3 pi. 3. Plus.
Now when i actually run something like more close to a real world situation for example. I like running this risk. 5. Emulator called angel.
Which you can run inside the browser. And it boots up to linux inside of the web browser now that takes about 44 seconds on a raspberry pi 3 plus. But actually takes about 11 seconds on the roc pro 64. So you can see a 4 times speed increase.
There now when you compare that let s say to a desktop machine a desktop machine can maybe do that in let s say. 4 or 5 seconds obviously depending on the processor and a whole bunch of other stuff so it s not the same as a very modern cpu inside of a desktop. But much much faster than what you get in a raspberry pi. 3.
So when you talk about the hardware. There is so much to like about this board got a good processor got good amount of ram. Available you ve got gigabit ethernet. You ve got usb.
3. You ve got pci express. You ve got the emmc module. There s so much that you could actually really enjoy on this car.
However. You need software and drivers to run on the board. And that is actually the weakest part of the rock pro 64. Now first of all when you go to the rock pro 64.
A web page and you look at all the different versions of software available. It s quite impressive not only can you get ubuntu and debian and arch and centos and there s even some arm beyond. Builds there you could also get android 7..
81. And 9. When i first looked. I thought wow.
This is a great list. What great support they have for this site. However the quality of these different builds of barre is quite a lot for example. I just assumed because i was used to the raspberry pi.
But if i kind of went and got that kind of the leading distro downloading. It installed it plugged in that sata car plugged in all the the the sata drives powered it up that everything would work. But actually i found that when i tried to access the sata drive the whole thing would just freeze and then after searching on the internet and looking around a bit. I found that only some of the distros in that big long list actually support that sata drive.
So finally i found one and i could only find one that when on the command line. So there wasn t a version that ran on the desktop that could have changed. But this is when i was doing it and then you have to run this one and then i was able to use it to run that sata connector. So some of the drivers are missing in some of the distributions and that already puts you on a difficult footing because sometimes you might find that one thing works in one distribution and another thing works in another distribution.
But there isn t one that gives you both and that can be a real pain for example. I also took my adafruit kind of piyo led mini display and i thought i could put this on the gpio pins. And then i found that the kernel. I was running didn t have i squared c.
Support in it and then finally when i did kind of keep trying different variations. I was able to kind of get i squared c. But then it didn t detect. The board.
So you re kind of thinking well from a ecos. Some point of view. This isn t plug and play compatible with the raspberry pi nichols. The raspberry pi s got the majority of all the gadgets out there and if you want to get things working you re going to have to start fiddling with different kernel versions.
Writing your own drivers downloading distributions to find out if the things that you want are supported and that really is the saddest thing for me. It s one thing to have a board and then want to do your own things on it and to experiment as a file server or using the gpio pins. But when there isn t a cohesive ecosystem then actually you end up fighting with the system fighting against the board fighting against the software to do something you can do on other boards actually very simply..
I also finally worth mentioning the price. That s listed on their website for 80 for the 4 gigabyte version and that s important when we come to talk about the raspberry pi for now. The problem is that 80 you have to actually get it from china directly and the country. I live in i have to pay import taxes when something comes from china.
There was also the postage cost is to pay on top of that and then also there was how long it took to get from china to my doorstep. So actually just to get the rock pro 64 board in my hand. I had spent over 100 and on top of that i bought the sata card and the right cables for it. So.
That is a significant amount of money for a small board computer. Like this so. Let s recap. I love the hardware.
Great processor. Gigabit ethernet. Pci express the ability to have that sata connector on there loads of other stuff that you can actually connect up to this board. But it s let down by the ecosystem.
So even taking a simple gadget like display that you can stick on the gpio pins. They didn t work the software didn t work the drivers didn t work if you want to find something that worked with a satellite card you have to try one distribution then another distribution and you end up wasting time and you end up hunting around just to try to get the thing working that you want now if you can get it working relatively easy. Then that s actually a good solution so if you want it just for a file server and you get the right distribution. It s gonna work out of the box.
You want to do more things with it you can end up hunting around scratching your head looking in forums and things like that so hardware good ecosystem software not quite so good you have to pay your money and take your choice. Okay my name s gary sims. This is gary explained already hope you enjoyed this video. If you d please do give it a thumbs up don t forget to subscribe do hit that bell notification icon.
So you ll know when i release the raspberry pi for review. And that s funny i ll see ” ..
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