wtarreau

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About wtarreau

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  1. wtarreau

    Quick review of NanoPi Fire3

    By the way if we start to be numerous to buy the board, it may finally become incentive for someone to design a 3D printed enclosure. I'd prefer a metal one with a thermal pad serving as a heat sink at the same time, but I'd be happy with anything better than cardboard+duct tape...
  2. wtarreau

    Quick review of NanoPi Fire3

    Any "correct" USB power supply delivering more than 1.5A under 5V will work, though you'll have to make you own cable or to solder the wires. But with good quality USB cables, it will also work via the micro-USB port, because the current drawn by this board is not *that* high. I even power mine from a USB3 connector of my laptop which delivers about 1.6A (it's over spec and that's great for this use case). You really need to test. Some reported 1.2A under 5V. It's only 33% higher than the regular USB3 limit (900mA) and may actually work fine with most PCs or chargers due to large enough margins in the design.
  3. wtarreau

    Quick review of NanoPi Fire3

    I'm pretty sure it depends on a number of parameters. Mine starts to throttle at 113 degrees C because I found that it works fine till 120 and I don't want it to throttle for no reason. In your case for a cluster it will be difficult to test all boards and check that they're running fine over time. But it can also be valuable. I seem to remember reading 90 degrees max in the datasheet so that could be a good start but it's very close to the existing limits. I don't know if the stability of your workloads is critical or if you can take the risk to see one board hang once in a while to find the limits. One other important factor to keep in mind is whether you're using the GPU or not. I am not, which is why I can trust the ability to throttle to cool it down. If you are not using it either, you could possibly decide to start with a limit at 105. I'm only concerned by temperatures getting close to the ones causing instability. For most of my hardware, when I focus on performance I don't care if it shortens its life since it will be obsolete before it dies. That's why I searched the limits for my board. You need to keep a bit of margin because it takes some time for the temperature to be reported, then when the board starts to throttle it continues to heat a bit. However at very high temperatures it cools down very quickly. Mine throttles at 113 and it rarely reaches 115. I'm using the stock heat sink, and worse, the whole thing is packed into a cardboard "enclosure" so that it can safely lay in my computer bag. Basically there is no air flow around it, it only adds latency to the temperature raise, and spreads it all around in the cardboard. It's totally horrible, and when I leave it for too long on my desk, the desk gets hot under it :-) For my use cases (mostly network endpoint for development) it doesn't throttle at all. I've run some build tests, and I have enough time to compile for a few minutes before it starts to throttle, but even when it does, it doesn't for too long (it oscillates between 113 and 115 degrees). Oh I know what you're talking about, I also happen to hate fans for the same reason. I've installed a 12cm fan behind my MiQi build farm at work, which is powered by the central board's GPIO when the temperature gets too high. It's a 12V fan running on 5V so it probably rotates at less than 1000 RPM and I almost can't hear it. The one at home has much larger heat sinks and no fan. Small fans are noisy and inefficient, you should really pick a large and slow one for your whole cluster. That's what I'd do if I built one (I'd love to just for fun, it's just that I figured that I have no use case for a NanoPi cluster at the moment!).
  4. wtarreau

    Quick review of NanoPi Fire3

    Well, all these multi-port chargers never deliver up to the amount they claim. You can safely expect 50 to 66% though, which is not bad overall. I removed the current limit detection in mine to stabilize the output for the MiQi farm. That said, I never managed to pull more than 1.6A in peak from my Fire3 at 1.6 GHz under 1.25V, so you have some headroom I guess. You need to consider that when the board is hot, its DC-DC regulators' efficiency starts to drop and to turn the current into more heat. Thus it's more important to measure the current when the board is already hot if you want to be pessimistic (or realistic). That was the case for me at when I measured 1.6A. Quite frankly, you're worrying too much : if when loading all the boards it still works, that's fine. If you want to buy more boards, then buy them and plug them to your charger until you find the limit. The charger will either cut one port or completely shut down. Then you'll know how many more chargers you need to buy depending on the number of boards :-)
  5. wtarreau

    Quick review of NanoPi Fire3

    No, in my experience, the board will either hang, switch off, or reset when undervolted. Usually you need a voltmeter to check the board voltage under load. If you don't have one, you'll need to verify that they're all working fine (ie: ping them). The best you can do is to run cpuburn-a53 on all of them at the same time. If nothing fails, you should be fine.
  6. wtarreau

    Orange pi one plus cluster project

    The need for cluster is quite common in fact, especially in this price range!
  7. wtarreau

    Quick review of NanoPi Fire3

    I tested a miner on it ("cpuminer" I think) to give numbers to a friend interested on the subject (he was impressed by the way). I didn't let it run for hours like this, but after several minutes it started to throttle down to 1 GHz then stabilized, but didn't stop (and keep in mind it's tightly enclosed in cardboard). It's certain that the modified DTB I'm using helps here with the higher temperature thresholds, but I'm suspecting you might have too weak a power supply or micro USB cable if it stopped. That's always the risk with DVFS : it consumes very little in idle but a lot under load. I discovered one bad cable in my stock using which the board would reboot in loops. @tkaiser could tell you hundreds of horror stories about micro-usb based power inputs :-) I find it really awesome and have been asking for it since I got my nanopi-fire2 about two years ago! I'm mostly interested in CPU and network, and this is the only board which comes with a CPU, some RAM, a gigabit connector and nothing else! I'm sure there's plenty of unexploited power in it and am willing to try to push it further! I'm attaching my modified DTB, it adds the 1.6 GHz frequency point and the 113,115,120 degrees critical points which work fine for me and considerably limit the throttling. Save yours before replacing it (variant "rev05"). I have no idea if my values will work on your board or will even kill it, use at your own risks! And please double-check the thermal contact between your heatsink and your CPU. s5p6818-nanopi3-rev05.1g6-1v25-113deg.dtb
  8. wtarreau

    Quick review of NanoPi Fire3

    That's quite different from what I'm seeing given that I had made my own enclosure out of cardboard with no air around it! Of course it heats but not that fast, despite the fact that I overclocked it. If the fan helps, it's probable that you're not having a good contact between the heatsink and the CPU. Verify that the heatsink is very parallel to the board, it's possible that it touches only by one angle.
  9. wtarreau

    Quick review of NanoPi Fire3

    I must confess I absolutely don't remember what I used given that I always have everything I need for this. It's possible that I naturally placed a thermal pad in between. I don't remember having opened a thermal paste tube. Or maybe there was a pad with the heatsink. But definitely I didn't put raw aluminum on top of the CPU die without anything to make good contact in between.
  10. wtarreau

    Quick review of NanoPi Fire3

    I edited the 05.dtb file in /boot!
  11. wtarreau

    Quick review of NanoPi Fire3

    The 3 critical points (in degrees celcius) for the thermal throttling and shutdown. I didn't understand the difference between the first two ones, as the CPU starts to throttle when the first value is reached. The second *seems* to do nothing, the 3rd one is for the forced shutdown. I seem to remember that it starts throttling at 80. IIRC the original values were something like 80, 85 and 105. It definitely is very informative to do so. Do not forget that such boards will heat much more in summer than in winter (you can more or less shift the high temperature by the difference of ambiant termperature). The most important is that your board remains 100% reliable even when it starts to throttle (the temperature can continue to rise a little bit at this point). A CPU's sensitivity to temperature may evolve over time, so keep a bit of margin. Also if you intend to use the GPU, it's not throttled and will definitely add to the thermal dissipation, this will require an extra margin. No the form factor is much smaller, and really well thought, but absolutely not compatible with RPi. Unfortunately there is no enclosure for these boards, it's really the only missing thing. You can stack many of them side by side vertically with just a rear cable for the power supply and a front cable for the network. The overall design is really nice for those who want high power densities.
  12. wtarreau

    Quick review of NanoPi Fire3

    I'd say around 2 weeks. The default heatsink is enough if you're not running at 100% CPU full-time. For my use cases, it's mostly a network endpoint and I can run it at 1 Gbps without problems even with the board confined in a cardboard made enclosure. But if you run with all CPUs saturated, you'll reach around 5W that need to be dissipated one way or another. The default heatsink and the PCB are not large enough to dissipate 5W at a low temperature. I significantly raised the temperature thresholds (113, 115, 120) to prevent it from throttling too early. Note that these thresholds are higher than the datasheet's (85°C in commercial ranges). But the thermal sensor supports up to 125°C so probably there are some industrial/military grade variants with higher ranges. For a personal project I'd say you have some headroom. For a commercial product, you probably don't want to play with this and you may have to use a small fan, or to place a thermal pad behind the board against a metal enclosure.
  13. wtarreau

    Quick review of NanoPi Fire3

    @shaun27, you're pretty close to my measurements. I hadn't noticed your point about the shutdown, but I seem to remember noticing it didn't cut off. Maybe there's no way to completely shut the DC-DC and the CPUs are not stopped but looping in place. At the very least if that's the case, I think we could improve the situation by using a WFI instruction...
  14. wtarreau

    Amlogic still cheating with clockspeeds

    I think you simply didn't read anything in this thread. The whole thread precisely is about Amlogic distributing to SBC vendors firmwares that *pretend* to run at these frequencies but do not. When it reports any frequency between 1.5 and 2 GHz, in fact it's still at 1.536 GHz. And the funny thing is that @tkaiser was precisely saying that it works since a lot of people don't verify and are absolutely convinced that the board runs at 2.02 GHz when it says so. So now thanks to you we have a perfect illustration of what he was saying ;-)
  15. wtarreau

    Quick review of NanoPi Fire3

    I agree with FriendlyElec's USB cables, I've always found they were of pretty good quality. Same for the cables coming with the MiQi by the way. I've had good experiences with a few PSU providing 2.5A under 5.2V and featuring a micro-usb cable. Since there it's not possible to connect any other way, they have to provide a good enough cable and connector. But in my opinion these good ones are almost an exception to the general trend. Regarding the increase of consumption at 90 vs 50°C, I noticed this as well with the RK3288 boards from by first farm. It's in fact due to the lower efficiency of the onboard DC-DC converter. That's another reason for focusing first on optimal heat spreading!