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  1. Like
    NicoD reacted to tkaiser in ODROID N1 -- not a review (yet)   
    Preliminary 'performance' summary
    Based on the tests done above and elsewhere let's try to collect some performance data. Below GPU data is missing for the simple reason that I'm not interested in anything GPU related (or attaching a display at all). Besides used for display stuff and 'retro gaming' RK3399's Mali T860 MP4 GPU is also OpenCL capable. If you search for results (ODROID N1's SoC is available for some years now so you find a lot by searching for 'RK3399' -- for example here are some OpenCL/OpenCV numbers) please keep in mind that Hardkernel might use different clockspeeds for the GPU as well (with CPU cores it's just like that: almost everywhere around big/little cores are clocked with 1.8/1.4 GHz while the N1 settings use 2.0/1.5 GHz instead)
    CPU horsepower
    Situation with RK3399 is somewhat special since it's a HMP design combining two fast Cortex-A72 cores with four 'slow' A53. So depending on which CPU core a job lands execution time can vary by factor 2. With Android or 'Desktop Linux' workloads this shouldn't be an issue since there things are mostly single-threaded and the scheduler will move these tasks to the big cores automagically if performance is needed.
    With other workloads it differs:
    People wanting to use RK3399 as part of a compile farm might be disappointed and still prefer ARM designs that feature four instead of two fast cores (eg. RK3288 or Exynos 5422 -- for reasons why see again comments section on CNX) For 'general purpose' server use cases the 7-zip scores are interesting since giving a rough estimate how fast a RK3399 device will perform as server (or how many tasks you can run in parallel). Overall score is 6,500 (see this comparison list) but due to the big.LITTLE design we're talking about the big cluster scoring at 3350 and the little cluster at 3900. So tasks that execute on the big cores finish almost twice as fast. Keep this in mind when setting up your environment. Experimenting with cgroups and friends to assign certain tasks to specific CPU clusters will be worth the efforts! 'Number crunchers' who can make use of NEON instructions should look at 'cpuminer --benchmark' results: We get a total 8.80 kH/s rate when running on all 6 cores (big cores only: 4.10 kH/s, little cores only: 4.90 kH/s -- so again 'per core' performance almost twice as good on the big cores) which is at the same performance level of an RK3288 (4 x A17) but gets outperformed by an ODROID XU4 for example at +10kH/s since there the little cores add a little bit to the result. But this needs improved cooling otherwise an XU4 will immediately throttle down. The RK3399 provides this performance with way lower consumption and heat generation! Crypto performance: just awesome due to ARMv8 Crypto Extensions available and useable on all cores in parallel. Simply check cryptsetup results above and our 'openssl speed' numbers and keep in mind that if your crypto stuff can run in parallel (eg. terminating few different VPN sessions) you can almost add the individual throughput numbers (and even with 6 threads in parallel at full clockspeed the RK3399 just draws 10W more compared to idle) Talking about 'two fast and four slow CPU cores': the A53 cores are clocked at 1.5GHz so when comparing with RK3399's little sibling RK3328 with only 4xA53 (ROCK64, Libre Computer Renegade or Swiftboard/Transformer) the RK3399 when running on the 'slow' cores will compete or already outperform the RK3328 boards but still has 2 big cores available for heavy stuff. But since a lot of workloads are bottlenecked by memory bandwidth you should have a look at the tinymembench results collected above (and use some google-fu to compare with other devices)
    Storage performance
    N1 has 2 SATA ports provided by a PCIe attached ASM1061 controller and 2 USB3 ports directly routed to the SoC. The per port bandwidth limitation that also seems to apply to both port groups is around 390 MB/s (applies to all ports regardless whether SATA or USB3 -- also random IO performance with default settings is pretty much the same). But this is not an overall internal SoC bottleneck since when testing with fast SSDs on both USB3 and SATA ports at the same time we got numbers at around ~750MB/s. I just retested again with an EVO840 on the N1 at SATA and USB3 ports with a good UAS capable enclosure and as a comparison repeated the same test with a 'true NAS SoC': the Marvell Armada 385 on Clearfog Pro which provides 'native SATA' by the SoC itself:
    If we look carefully at the numbers we see that USB3 slightly outperforms ASM1061 when it's about top sequential performance. The two ASM1061 numbers are due to different settings of /sys/module/pcie_aspm/parameters/policy (defaults to powersave but can be changed to performance which not only results in ~250mW higher idle consumption but also a lot better performance with small block sizes). While USB3 seems to perform slightly better when looking only at irrelevant sequential transfer speeds better attach disks to the SATA ports for a number of reasons:
    With USB you need disk enclosures with good USB to SATA bridges that are capable of UAS --> 'USB Attached SCSI' (we can only recommend the following ones: ASMedia ASM1153/ASM1351, JMicron JMS567/JMS578 or VIA VL711/VL715/VL716 -- unfortunately even if those chipsets are used sometimes crappy firmwares need USB quirks or require UAS blacklisting and then performance sucks. A good example are Seagate USB3 disks) When you use SSDs you want to be able to use TRIM (helps with retaining drive performance and increases longevity). With SATA attached SSDs this is not a problem but on USB ports it depends on a lot of stuff and usually does NOT work. If you understand just half of what's written here then think about SSDs on USB ports otherwise better choose the SATA ports here And PCIe is also less 'expensive' since it needs less ressources (lower CPU utilization with disk on SATA ports and less interrupts to process, see the 800k IRQs for SATA/PCIe vs. 2 million for USB3 with exactly the same workload below): 226: 180 809128 0 0 0 0 ITS-MSI 524288 Edge 0000:01:00.0 226: 0 0 0 0 0 0 ITS-MSI 524288 Edge 0000:01:00.0 227: 277 0 2066085 0 0 0 GICv3 137 Level xhci-hcd:usb5 228: 0 0 0 0 0 0 GICv3 142 Level xhci-hcd:usb7 There's also eMMC and SD cards useable as storage. Wrt SD cards it's too early to talk about performance since at least the N1 developer samples do only implement the slowest SD card speed mode (and I really hope this will change with the final N1 version later) a necessary kernel patch is missing to remove the current SD card performance bottleneck..
    The eMMC performance is awesome! If we look only at random IO performance with smaller block sizes (that's the 'eMMC as OS drive' use case) then the Hardkernel eMMC modules starting at 32GB size perform as fast as an SSD connected to USB3 or SATA ports. With SATA ports we get a nice speed boost by changing ASPM (Active State Power Management) settings by switching from the 'powersave' default to performance (+250mW idle consumption). Only then a SSD behind a SATA port on N1 can outperform a Hardkernel eMMC module wrt random IO or 'OS drive' performance. But of course this has a price: when SATA or USB drives are used consumption is a lot higher.
    Network performance
    Too early to report 'success' but I'm pretty confident we get Gigabit Ethernet fully saturated after applying some tweaks. With RK3328 it was the same situation in the beginning and maybe same fixes that helped there will fix it with RK3399 on N1 too. I would assume progress can be monitored here:
  2. Like
    NicoD reacted to tkaiser in RockPro64   
    (placeholder for a Board Bring Up thread -- now just collecting random nonsense)


    Board arrived today. Running with ayufan's Debian 9 image (using 1.8/1.4GHz settings for the big.LITTLE cores for whatever reasons instead of 2.0/1.5GHz) I checked for heat dissipation with Pine Inc's huge heatsink first. Huge heatsink combined with thin thermal pad shows really nice thermal values:
    below 50°C when running cpuburn-a53 on two A53 and two A72 cores in parallel with a fan blowing above the heatsink's surface Board in upright positition still running same cpuburn-a53 task without fan after 20 minutes reports still below 85°C even if heatsink orientation is slightly wrong  
    Summary: passive cooling is all you need and you should really spend the additional few bucks on Pine Inc's well designed heatsink since being inexpensive and a great performer.
  3. Like
    NicoD reacted to Tido in a Google docs spreadsheet that tabulates the boards’ key features   
    Our June 2018 round-up of hacker-friendly single board computers comprises three resources: an overview of recent SBC market trends; this catalog; and a Google docs spreadsheet that tabulates the boards’ key features.
    I haven't checked the list, well beside sunxi which lists all Allwinner another list..
  4. Like
    NicoD reacted to Xalius in More details on PineH64 (H6) and RockPro64 (RK3399)   
    Just in time for FOSDEM some more infos on the new Pine64 H6 and RK3399 boards are available now...

  5. Like
    NicoD reacted to tkaiser in Banana Pi Zero   
    Whom have you talked to? The UK guy trying to get as much people as possible currently sending him money through PayPal?
    The M2 Zero is just the most boring H2+/H3 device we've ever seen. Since those irresponsible guys do not 'develop' in the open you have to download 'BPI-files/SD/BPI-BOOT/BPI-BOOT-bpi-m2z.tgz', then extract this archive and look into bpi-m2z/linux/sys_config.fex (line 3 already being wrong -- as lousy as expected). They use my recommendation to clock single bank DRAM H2+/H3 boards with 'dram_clk = 408', they use our kernel and all our settings for their M2+ (even 'corekeeper_enabled = 1' we developed last year having a hard time dealing with their crappy other H3 device), if 'pmuic_type = 0' is true then they again moronically 'forgot' to implement voltage regulation (the reason why BPi M2+ so badly overheats, if they use now the same fixed VDD_CPUX voltage setup on this M2 Zero good luck since due to much smaller board size heat dissipation is even more of an issue!).
    But we don't know whether these settings are not as usual just the result of their copy&paste monkey doing something stupid or if these are really settings that match the hardware. In the past they never succeeded to provide these fex hardware descriptions correctly and it would be a wonder if they would do this time. And since they're too ignorant or stupid to provide schematics (still nothing to see here) we'll need to buy the next Banana board ourselves to see which flaws they implemented this time. If we're stupid of course, better ignore hardware that is not supported by its own manufacturer.
    If their fex file would be correct it would take me less than an hour to get this BPi M2 Zero FULLY SUPPORTED by Armbian. We did this with the following other H2+/H3 boards in the past without having them in our hands solely based on CORRECT hardware descriptions provided by the board makers: NanoPi Neo, NanoPi Air, NanoPi M1, Orange Pi Zero, Orange Pi Zero Plus 2, NanoPi M1+ -- if you deal with hardware vendors that do NOT behave like brain damaged retards you get correct hardware descriptions (either fex file or DT and schematics of course -- all correct and not the result of 'copy&paste gone wrong'). That's really all you need as developer and that separates other board makers from SinoVoip.
    But since the SinoVoip guys still behave like brain damaged retards I hope no one will be dumb enough to add this M2 Zero thingie to Armbian's build system ever. Unless they hire someone able to write technical documentation (or at least someone who understands that providing CORRECT information is necessary), they stop censoring their forum and start to support their own hardware nothing will change. You must be stupid as open source community member to try to support their hardware...
    BTW: Since with their 'RPi Zero W' competitor called M2 Zero they completely rely on our underlying work you get at least a kernel patched up to latest 3.4 LTS version (3.4.113 fixing tons of issues). Unfortunate customers buying their 'RPi 3 killer' called M2 Berry suffer from their ignorance/stupidity and get a 3.10.65 kernel only (outdated since over 2.5 years containing a lot of exploitable security vulnerabilities). Community tried to help them by even sending them all the fixes necessary to get to latest 3.10.107 LTS kernel or the fix for the DRAM instability issues:
    It would take them maybe 10 seconds to merge these pull request. They refuse to do since they don't seem to give a sh*t about anything else than selling hardware to clueless people (or maybe the 'responsible' guys over there are simply too ignorant to get the meaning of 'security' just like they don't understand what 'open source' means).
  6. Like
    NicoD reacted to chwe in Which SBC should I buy next? NanoPC T3+?   
    It's just an idea, I've no experience in this field.. 
    I wouldn't call it fake. Fact is we don't support it officially (see: We provide a buildoption as CSC.
    I made ~2 months ago what I understand as csc (I didn't follow every patch around H2+/H3 boards but to my knowledge, currently a CSC build will not boot):
    Some might agree with this statement, some might disagree and 'often' discussions around BPi products tend to be harsh due to issues happened in the past (and progress is for different people not fast/good enough). Their documentation tends to be 'questionable' (sometimes corrections are made, sometimes not and it's not really clear to me why they don't spend more attention to do it properly - IMO, it would be a good starting point clean up their documentation).  If you have a look at our buildscript we it's marked as (GPL 2.0) which means that they are free to fork it and provide images based on the buildscript (as long as they follow the GPL). If you build (or use their Image) an Image you'll see something like (we don't provide support for user-built images, cause we've no clue what the user changed compared to stock images):
    That said, it's a user-built and no official built which would look like (example for a nightly - which is actually also not supported officially, but I don't need support for this image ):
    People often complain, why we don't support it officially. As far as I know, some of the patches which are needed to let it boot can harm other H2+/H3 boards due to a 'questionable' design decision related to the SD-Card. Fact is, there was never a pull-request providing WIP or even sane patches for CSC support for this board, even when we reminded @Nora Lee or @Lion Wang which both work for Sinovopi/Foxconn (I don't know their official title/job description don't pay much attention to that stuff ). @tkaiser showed them a potential starting point to improve the current CSC support (maybe it wouldn't change from csc to wip, but at least csc could be built for their users and it would boot! and it would show they fulfill some of their claims made in public in this forum) but it seems that this isn't a priority at the moment. See here (read the whole thread not only the teaser!):
    but there was no reaction to it.
    They claimed in the past:
    Nora Lee:
    see here:
    or lion wang:
    Things may improve since then or not, I simply have no time to follow their documentation or image quality due to 'other projects' and I have a life besides SBCs  (and it's not my job or 'field of competence' to be their quality control person - IMO it would help them to have a better 'quality control'/ technical writer but it's their decision how they run their company). 
    In the past facebook had something like this (don't care about FB anymore, so no clue if this is still an option ):

    IMO, this describes somehow the relationship between part of the armbian user-base/devs and sinovoip quite good.  Some experienced users/devs avoid to touch any BPi product due to faults made in the past, others simply don't care anymore and some try to improve the situation from time to time but it seems that sinovoip doesn't focus on an improvement at the moment whereas other boardmakers are more willing to improve the support of their boards.  
    In case you want to make a youtube video about the BPi-M2 Zero I strongly suggest that you read/search through all those threads and 'form your own opinion'.  Posts related to their products are often 'colored' due to own experiences and opinions and might be 'not objective' (including mine). I tried to be 'as objective as possible' but I'm quite sure I'm failed on this goal (but at least, I made a 'disclaimer' here ).. 
    Personally I think, we shouldn't make this to a new 'BPi' thread. It's just a 'more detailed' answer to 'is it fake ?' I wouldn't say it's a 'fake Armbian' but it is also not a 'official Armbian'. It's a user-built and therefore prone to break during updates since we don't test updates for user-built/csc boards. Freezing kernel before update or a proper patch so that it doesn't affect H2+/H3 boards we officially support would improve the situation. Even if the board doesn't get wip (it's not my decision whenever a board is wip or CSC), I think, a proper patch from a pull request for it would be merged into armbians github.  
  7. Like
    NicoD reacted to tkaiser in Which SBC should I buy next? NanoPC T3+? and here in the forum you need to search for 'NanoPi M3' (that's the cheaper variant with same SoC and just 1 GB DRAM now replaced by NanoPi Fire3 which should be the fastest el cheapo SBC around with 8 x A53 clockable at up to 1.6 GHz according to Willy Tarreau -- click on 'reviews' here:
    Fascinating aspect is that all the more powerful SBC except the ODROIDs are prone to underpowering by design by using the most crappy connector possible. And also an awfu lot of them show thermal problems since the 'engineers' forgot to allow to mount an appropriate heatsink/fansink. No idea what those 'engineers' thought...
  8. Like
    NicoD got a reaction from JMCC in Tinkerboard Power It using a battery   
    Now I understand, I thought you wanted to use your Tinker in your car. Cool what you've done, for that I also use a power bank. Here a video of me building a simple robot with an Arduino. Keep up the good work. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
  9. Like
    NicoD got a reaction from JMCC in My review videos on XU4/C2/Tinker/Rock64/Rasp3b+/Vim2Max   
    Hi all.
    I've seen a lot of questions here about what sbc to buy. So why not put a few links here to my videos about SBC's.
    The first is my latest video about the desktop experience with the Odroid XU4.

    This video is about the Rock64(with Armbian)
    This about the Rasp 3b+
    Khadas VIM2 MAX
    Asus Tinker Board + Odroid C2

    I also can use the views.
    Thank you. Have a nice day.
  10. Like
    NicoD reacted to tkaiser in Banana Pi M3   
    (Disclaimer: The following is for techies only that like to dig a bit deeper. And if you're not interested in energy-efficient servers then probably this is just a waste of time  ) 
    EDIT: Half a year after this poorly designed SBC has been released just one of the many design flaws has been fixed: Micro USB for DC-IN has been replaced by the barrel jack that was present on the pre-production batches. If you were unfortunate to get a Micro USB equipped M3 please have a look here how to fix this. Apart from that check the Banana forums what to expect regarding software/support first since this is your only source)

    SinoVoip sent me a review sample of the recently shipped so called "Banana Pi M3" yesterday. It's a SBC sharing name and form factor of older "Banana Pi" models but is of course completely incompatible to them due to a different SoC, an A83T (octa-core Cortex-A7 combined with a PowerVR SGX544 GPU). For detailed and up-to-date informations please always refer to the linux-sunxi wiki.
    This new model distinguishes itself from the Banana Pi M2 with twice as much CPU cores and DRAM (LPDDR3), 8 GB eMMC onboard and BT4.0. And compared to the "M1" (the original Banana Pi) it features also 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. Unlike the M2 the M3 is advertised as being SATA capable. But that's not true, it's just an onboard GL830 USB-to-SATA bridge responsible for horribly slow disk access. Unfortunately the GL830 and both externally available USB ports are behind an internal USB hub therefore all ports have to share bandwidth this way and use just one single USB connection to the SoC.
    Since my use cases for ARM boards are rather limited you won't find a single word about GPIO stuff (should work if pin mappings are defined correctly), GPU performance, BT, Wi-Fi or Android. Simply because I don't care 
    Getting Started:
    The board arrived without additional peripherals (no PSU) therefore you need an USB cable using a Micro-USB connector to power the board. Both DC-IN and USB-OTG feature an Micro-USB connector which is bad news since pre-production samples had a real DC-In connector (4.0mm/1.7mm barrel plug, centre positive like the M2). I suffered from several sudden shutdowns under slight load until I realized that I used a crappy cable. Many (most?) USB cables lead to voltage drops and when the board demands more power it gets in an undervoltage situation and the PMU shuts off.
    Same will happen to you unless you can verify that you've a good cable. I did not succeed querying the M3's powermanagement unit (PMU) regarding available voltage (/sys/devices/platform/axp81x_board/axp81x-supplyer.47/power_supply/ac/voltage_now shows always 0). This was a lot easier with the older Banana Pi M1: Here you can watch my cable being responsible for voltage drops under high load (I accidentally used this again with the M3).
    To avoid the crappy Micro-USB connector (limited to 1.8A maximum by specs and tiny contacts) you can desolder it and solder a cable or a barrel plug -- the PCB is already prepared for the latter. Or ask SinoVoip if they can fix this mistake with the next batch of PCBs. On the bottom side of the PCB there are also solder pads for a Li-Ion battery. It has to be confirmed whether the AXP813 PMU can also be fed with 5V through the Li-Ion connector since this is the preferred way to fix the faulty power design other SinoVoip products show.
    One final word regarding power: It seems currently something's wrong with power initialisation in the early boot stages (u-boot). With a connected bus-powered USB disk the board won't start or immediately shut down when the disk is connected within the first 10 seconds. I didn't verify when exactly because if you've a look at SinoVoip's commit log it seems they began to fix many obvious bugs just right now after they already started shipping the board (we've seen that with the M2 also).
    First Showstoppers:
    Since the board came with an unpopulated eMMC (why the heck?) I had to try out the available OS images from the download site. Unlike everyone else on this planet they don't provide MD5/SHA1 checksums to be able to check integrity of downloads and even if you tell them that they've uploaded corrupted images they don't care. From 4 OS images 3 are corrupted (according to unzip) and all failed soon after boot with kernel panics. I tried the Android image to verify FEL mode works.
    But since Android is of zero use for me, I decided to build an own OS image from an Ubuntu distro running on the Orange Pi where I had the SD-card inserted. Since details are boring just as a reference. From then on I used this Ubuntu image and exchanged only the freshly built stuff from SinoVoip's BSP Github repo (3.4.39 kernel, modules, bootloader and also simple things like hardware initialisation since kernel/u-boot they prefer does NOT support script.bin)
    First Impressions:
    Heat (dissipation):
    The A83T needs a heatsink otherwise you won't be able to benefit from its performance. Allwinner's 3.4.39 kernel provides 'budget cooling' using 2 techniques: thermal throttling and shutting down CPU cores. You can define this 'thermal configuration' in sysconfig.fex and have to take care that you understand what you're doing since if throttling doesn't help your CPU cores will be deactivated and you have to can't bring them back online manually the usual way since Allwinner's kernel doesn't allow so:
    echo 1 >/sys/devices/system/cpu/cpuX/online Therefore it's better to stay with the thermal defaults to allow throttling and improve heat dissipation instead. I used a $0.5 heatsink that performs ok. Without heatsink when running CPU intensive jobs throttling limited clockspeed to 1.2 GHz but with the heatsink I was able to run most of the times at ~1.6Ghz under full load. With heatsink and an annoying fan I managed to let the SoC run constantly at 1.8GHz and achieved a 7-zip score close to 6000 and finished "sysbench --test=cpu --cpu-max-prime=20000 run --num-threads=8" in less than 53 seconds.
    This is an example for wrong throttling values (too high) so that the kernel driver does not limit clockspeeds but starts to drop CPU cores instead:

    CPU performance:
    Since the H3 (used on the more recent Orange Pis) and the A83T seem to use much of the same kernel sources (especially the 'thermal stuff') I did a few short tests. When running with identical clockspeed and the same amount of cores they perform identical (that means they're slower than older Cortex-A7 SoCs like eg. the A20 when running at identical clockspeed -- a bit strange). Obviously the difference between H3 and A83T is the process. Both already made in 28nm but the A83T as 'tablet SoC' in the more energy efficient HPC process allowing less voltage and higher clockspeeds. According to sysconfig.fex the SoC should be able to clock above 2.1 GHz but since exceeding 1.6 Ghz already needs a fan this is pretty useless on a SBC (might be different inside a tablet where the back cover could be used as a large heatsink).
    Network throughput:
    I used my usual set of iperf testings and tried GBit Ethernet performance (with and without network tunables it remains the same -- reason below):
    BPi-M3 --> Client:
    [ 4] 0.0-10.0 sec 671 MBytes 563 Mbits/sec [ 4] 0.0-10.0 sec 673 MBytes 564 Mbits/sec [ 4] 0.0-10.0 sec 870 MBytes 729 Mbits/sec [ 4] 0.0-10.0 sec 672 MBytes 564 Mbits/sec [ 4] 0.0-10.0 sec 675 MBytes 566 Mbits/sec Client --> BPi-M3: [ 4] 0.0-10.0 sec 714 MBytes 599 Mbits/sec [ 5] 0.0-10.0 sec 876 MBytes 734 Mbits/sec [ 4] 0.0-10.0 sec 598 MBytes 501 Mbits/sec [ 5] 0.0-10.0 sec 690 MBytes 578 Mbits/sec [ 4] 0.0-10.0 sec 604 MBytes 506 Mbits/sec When I used longer test periods (-t 120) then the "Client --> BPi-M3" performance increased up to the theoretical limit: 940 Mbits/s. Then a second iperf thread jumped in, both utilising a single CPU core fully. And that's the problem: Networking is CPU bound, a single client-server connection will not exceed 500-600 Mbits/sec as it was the case when I started with A20 based boards 2 years ago. Since all we have now with the A83T is an outdated 3.4.39 kernel and since I/O bandwidth on the M3 is so low, I stopped here since it's way too boring to try to improve network throughput and also useless (disk access is so slow that it simply doesn't matter when Ethernet is limited to half of the theoretical GBit Ethernet speed... at least for me  )
    Accessing disks:
    Since there's a SATA connector on the board I gave it a try.
    Important: the SATA-power connector uses the same polarity as older Banana Pis and Orange Pis (keep that in mind since combined SATA data/power cables from LinkSprite and Cubietech that share exactly the same connector use inverted polarity!).
    I started with the Samsung EVO I always use for tests (but due to the old 3.4 kernel using ext4 instead of btrfs) and was shocked: 13.5/23 MB/s is the worst result I ever measured. I then realised that I limited maximum cpufreq to 480 MHz and tried with 1800 MHz again. A bit better but far away from acceptable:
    GL830 USB-to-SATA performance: 480 MHz: kB reclen write rewrite read reread 4096000 4 13529 13466 22393 22516 4096000 1024 13588 13411 22717 26115 1.8 GHz: 4096000 4 15090 15082 30968 30316 4096000 1024 15174 15131 30858 29441 I disconnected the SSD from the 'SATA port' and put it in an enclosure with a JMicron JMS567 USB-to-SATA bridge and measured again: Now sequential transfer speeds @ 1800 MHz exceeded 35/34 MB/s. The GL830 is responsible for low throughput -- especially writes are slow as hell.
    I made then a RAID-1 through mdadm consisting of an external 3TB HDD (good news: the GL830 can deal with partitions larger than 2 TB) and the SSD. First test with the HDD connected to the M3's GL830 bridge (GL) and the SSD connected to the JMS567 (JM). Then I disconnected the HDD from the GL830 and put it in another external enclosure with an ASMedia 1053 (ASM). 
    Obviously SinoVoip's decision to use an internal USB hub and only one host port of the SoC leads in both situations to limited (shared) bandwidth. But in case the internal USB-to-SATA bridge is involved performance is even worse:
    GL/JM: kB reclen write rewrite read reread 4096000 4 17800 17140 14382 16807 4096000 1024 17741 17258 14493 14368 JM/ASM: 4096000 4 19307 18458 22855 26241 4096000 1024 19231 18518 21995 22362 If SinoVoip would've saved the GL830 USB-to-SATA bridge and wired both SoC's host ports to the 2 type-A USB ports directly without the internal hub in between overall performance would be twice as good. And obviously the M3's 'SATA port' is the worst choice to connect a disk to. Any dirt-cheap external USB enclosure will perform better.
    SD-card and eMMC:
    Just a quick check with the usual iozone settings running @ 1.8 GHz:
    kB reclen write rewrite read reread eMMC: 4096000 4 26572 27014 59187 59239 4096000 1024 25875 26614 56587 56667 SD-card: 4096000 4 20483 20855 22473 22892 4096000 1024 20526 19948 22285 22660 LOL, eMMC twice as fast as 'SATA'. The performance numbers of the SD-card (SanDisk "Extreme Pro") are irrelevant since I can not provide performance numbers from a known fast reference implementation. But since I might be able to provide this the next few days, I decided to give it a try. On older Allwinner SoCs there's a hard limitation regarding SDIO/SD-card speed. Maybe this applies here too.
    EDIT: Yes, it's a board/SoC limitation. When reading/writing the SD-card on a MacBook Pro I achieve ~80 MB/s. It seems SDIO on A83T is limited to ~20MB/s
    Other issues:
    If you want to try out the M3 you'll have to stay on the bleeding edge. Don't expect that any of the available OS images are close to useable. They just recently started to fix a lot of essential bugs in code and hardware initialisation. If you want to test the M3 be prepared to compile the BSP daily and exchange the bootloader/kernel/initialisation stuff on your SD-card/eMMC Currently average load is always 1 or above. When we started over 2 years ago with Cubieboards (and an outdated kernel 3.4.x) there was a similar issue. Maybe it's related. I just opened a Github issue Mainline kernel support in very early stage. Don't count on this that soon (situation with Banana Pi M2 was a bit different. All the OS images from SinoVoip based on kernel 3.3 weren't useable but the community provided working distros backed by the work of the linux-sunxi community and existing mainline kernel support for the M2's A31s) Always keep in mind that hardware without appropriate software is somewhat useless. SinoVoip has a long history of providing essential parts of software way too late or not at all (still applies to the M2 -- before you buy any SinoVoip product better have a look into their forums to get the idea which level of support you can expect: zero). Even worse: For the M2 and its A31s SoC there exists mainline kernel support (everything developed by the community while the vendor held back necessary informations). This does not apply to the A83T used on the M3. At the moment you're somewhat lost since you've to rely on the manufacturer's OS images (all of them currently being broken)  
    Still no idea what to do with such a device.
    Integer performance is great when you use a heatsink and even greater with an annoying fan. But where's the use case? If I would use the M3 with Android then everything that's relevant for performance does not depend on CPU (but instead CedarX for HW accelerated video decoding and GPU for 2D/3D acceleration -- BTW: the A83T is said to contain only a single core SGX544MP1 but the fex file's contents let me believe it's a faster MP2 instead).
    Due to limited I/O and network bandwidth the integer performance is also irrelevant for nearly all kinds of server tasks. If it's just about 'SBC stuff' why wasting so much money? Triggering GPIO pins works also with cheap H3 based boards like Orange Pi PC or Orange Pi One that also have 4 times more I/O bandwidth compared to the M3 (due to 4 available USB ports instead of one).
    And if I would really need a performant ARM SoC then I would buy such a thing and not an outdated Cortex-A7 design. I still have no idea what the M3 is made for. Except of selling something under the "Banana" brand to clueless people. Don't know. For my use cases the Banana Pi M1 outperforms the M3 easily -- both regarding price and performance (sufficient CPU power, 3 x USB and real SATA not 'worst USB-to-SATA implementation ever'). As usual: YMMV 
    Maybe the worst design decision (next to choosing the crappy Micro-USB connector for DC-IN) on the M3 is the 'SATA port'. If they would've saved both internal USB hub and GL830 and instead use the two available USB host ports then achievable I/O bandwidth would be way higher. Now both USB ports and the 'SATA port' have to share the bandwidth of a single USB 2.0 connection. Almost as bad as with the Raspberry Pis.
    But most importantly: Check software und support situation first and don't rely on 'hardware features'. Remember: SinoVoip shipped the M2 with OS images where not a single GPIO pin was defined and Ethernet worked only with 100Mb/s since they 'forgot' to define GMAC pins. They fixed that months later but still not for every OS image (the Android image they provide is corrupted since months but they don't care even if users complain several times). Visit their forums first to get an idea what to expect. It's important!
    Armbian support:
    Not to be expected soon. It's worthless when having to rely on Allwinner's old 3.4.39 kernel. I combined loboris' H3 Debian image with kernel/bootloader stuff for the A83T and it worked as expected (even my RPi-Monitor setup matched almost perfectly).
    Unless the linux-sunxi community improves mainline support for the A83T this situation won't change. But maybe someone interested in M3 (definitely not me) teaches SinoVoip how to escape from u-boot/kernel without support for script.bin in the meantime. Would be a first step.
  11. Like
    NicoD reacted to zador.blood.stained in Which SBC should I buy next? NanoPC T3+?   
    And also for the A83T mainlining status and progress (we are not touching the BSP for this SoC).
  12. Like
    NicoD reacted to tkaiser in Amlogic still cheating with clockspeeds   
    Nope, I was talking about 'clueless people' just to outline which challenges those TV box manufacturers face. Unlike premium STB device makers like BroadCom or HiSilicon where the SoCs can be reasonably designed to do the job since no end customer has to 'choose' them based on specs they don't understand (those boxes are given away 'for free' by their broadband provider) those 'el cheapo TV box' SoC makers have to design their devices in a way they look appealing to... clueless people (many CPU cores, high CPU clockspeeds). On the other hand those TV boxes can't be designed well since... clueless customers prefering devices with poor heat dissipation.
    In the 'TV box world' those Amlogic things work pretty well since CPU performance is irrelevant anyway (only exception: exotic codecs the video engine -- VPU -- can not handle). But on SBCs it's something different since there the users expect from a SoC advertised as 'octa-core at 2 GHz' a bit more than the laughable 'octa-core at an average 1.2 GHz' performance they get with S912 in reality.
  13. Like
    NicoD reacted to jkljkl1197 in Tinkerboard Power It using a battery   
    thx @NicoD. yeah maybe later after adding resistor and complete the circuit i am going to use a circuit board.
     Ho yeah it's change something.
  14. Like
    NicoD got a reaction from Rfreire in Tinkerboard Power It using a battery   
    Hi again. I use this for motor controller.
    It's the same pricipe as the l293d but they can handle a bit more power and they don't overheat that easily. Also there is an overheating protection.
    You could use a heatsink on the L293D's, normally they dissipate heat via the solder joints, but you've breadboarded it so it can't do that.
    Are you going to solder the L293d to a circuit board afterwards?
    Don't be aftraid to use resistors. They are safe to use, but you need big enough resistors if you put thru a lot of energy. Christof explained a bit.
    Watch a youtube video about it. There's two things you need to understand, Ohm(resistance) and Watt(power).
    It might look confusing in the beginning, but you'll be happy to know.
    Good luck. I love it seeing people do something like that.
  15. Like
    NicoD got a reaction from jkljkl1197 in Tinkerboard Power It using a battery   
    Hi again. I use this for motor controller.
    It's the same pricipe as the l293d but they can handle a bit more power and they don't overheat that easily. Also there is an overheating protection.
    You could use a heatsink on the L293D's, normally they dissipate heat via the solder joints, but you've breadboarded it so it can't do that.
    Are you going to solder the L293d to a circuit board afterwards?
    Don't be aftraid to use resistors. They are safe to use, but you need big enough resistors if you put thru a lot of energy. Christof explained a bit.
    Watch a youtube video about it. There's two things you need to understand, Ohm(resistance) and Watt(power).
    It might look confusing in the beginning, but you'll be happy to know.
    Good luck. I love it seeing people do something like that.
  16. Like
    NicoD got a reaction from jkljkl1197 in Tinkerboard Power It using a battery   
    Now I understand, I thought you wanted to use your Tinker in your car. Cool what you've done, for that I also use a power bank. Here a video of me building a simple robot with an Arduino. Keep up the good work. Sorry for the misunderstanding.
  17. Like
    NicoD got a reaction from jkljkl1197 in Tinkerboard Power It using a battery   
    If you truly want to do it yourself with battery's. Then don't forget to use a good loadcircuit. Or your guaranteed burn your car down.
    I still advice to use a good power bank, it's got a loadcircuit and power management.
    But do as you wish, but be safe.
  18. Like
    NicoD got a reaction from jkljkl1197 in Tinkerboard Power It using a battery   
    I have used it with the Tinker Board. But I more often use it with my Odroid C2. I've got a self made laptop with that battery, a 7inch 1024*600 display and a Rii i8 keyboard. Very handy. This battery can power 2 sbc's and the screen at the same time.
    The Tinker Board does use more power, so you could choose the other 22000mAh type. That one can give 2.4A per port and 5.8A overal.
  19. Like
    NicoD got a reaction from jkljkl1197 in Tinkerboard Power It using a battery   
    Yes, use something like this.
    You can charge it in your car with a car-phone charger. It lasts for 10 hours. An has voltage regulation installed.
    Looks like too much hassle to make it yourself when it's easy to buy it.
  20. Like
    NicoD reacted to Rfreire in Stability problem Tinker Board   
    Hello there Nico,
    Use both RED pin headers. I mean, BOTH. Usual warnings here: Careful to not short with any other pins, use a high quality (properly filtered) and with at least 2 Amps power supply, etc.
    There's a *lenghty* discussion here about $SUBJECT, look up posts from @TonyMac32. He even discusses how to build a good power supply.
    Good luck :-)
  21. Like
    NicoD reacted to tkaiser in Stability problem Tinker Board   
    Quite possible that different DVFS settings are used. IIRC @TonyMac32 switched with kernel/settings from Tinker sources to upstream Rockchip BSP a while ago. The individual DVFS OPP should be accessible from userspace (sysfs -- but don't know details. I skipped RK3288 entirely so far)
  22. Like
    NicoD reacted to JMCC in Stability problem Tinker Board   
    Do you mean at full CPU usage? No wonder. Just consider that XU4 peaks above 3A, also with nothing connected to it. You need a minimum of a 5V 2.5A PSU to work with the Tinkerboard.
    Powering through GPIO gives you the best power throughput, but if you don't use a filtered PSU or make a tailored circuit for that yourself, you risk to burn your board. I personally use a 5v 2.5A PSU connected through MicroUSB, and never get a crash as long as I don't connect to the USB ports anything more than the keyboard dongle (I tested dual CPU+GPU mining for several days). The key is to get a good MicroUSB cable, with a plug that makes as much contact as possible. If you're only going to do benchmarks, that should be enough.
    You can test the Armbian multimedia package for the Tinkerboard here:
    It will make streaming videos, webGL, and more stuff, work, and will give you a real idea of the Tinkerboard's potential.
    I'll try to make a Blender BMW render (that is your test, right?), and let you know about my results.
  23. Like
    NicoD reacted to Rfreire in Stability problem Tinker Board   
    Hello Nico
    You could use a single header. But by using both, you have more 'copper surface' and less ohmic losses (read: voltage drop).
    Connect GND to any black header and then you will be all set.
    Best of luck :-)
  24. Like
    NicoD reacted to JMCC in Stability problem Tinker Board   
    Hey, don't worry, in addition to releasing my weekly allowance of testosterone in this discussion, I am meanwhile making tests on the Tinker. So far, render is going well, I'll get to you with the results.
  25. Like
    NicoD got a reaction from JMCC in My new video about the Rock64 with Armbian   
    Hello all.
    I've made a video about the Rock64. I've tried different distro's, but Armbian was the best for me.
    The only problems I've found was that Synaptic Package Manager didn't work. It crashes when I press the search button. And sometimes surfing was extremely slow. Otherwise it did fix all the problems I've had with the other distro's I've tried.
    Thank you for all the great work.

    Now I've started my research with the Orange Pi +2, and again Armbian is the best choice.
    Greetings, NicoD

    Here is my video.