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NanoPi NEO2 or NEO Plus2 - Shopping advice needed

Frank F.

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I am new here and searched the forums for an answer to my questions regarding the NanoPi NEO2 and NEO Plus2. Most answers I could find, but a few were left open.


  1. The NEO Plus2 is marked as WIP. Why? What do I have to expect not to work? Both boards are similarly old, from what I could find.
  2. Will the Plus2 move up to "supported" eventually or does it currently more look like the route is going towards CSC?
  3. Do common features like GPIO access, SPI, I2C ... work with current images?
  4. Do specific features where the Plus2 differs from the NEO2 like WiFi, Bluetooth, ... work? I already found out, that the second USB port should work fine.


If someone could answer one ore all of those questions that would be much appreciated. Also if you have any other input towards rather buying one or the other SBC, that would be great.


Thank you!



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Hi @Frank F., interesting...I'm not sure why the Plus2 is still WIP, as IMHO it essentially is at the same level of functionality as the other FriendlyElec H5 boards (e.g., NEO2).  I actually use both boards for several different purposes and they work really well.


I use both GPIOs and SPI on the NEO2 and they work great (multiple LED control as well as interfacing to an nRF24l01-based wireless radio).  I have tried a subset of the I/Os on the NEO Plus2 some time back (e.g., testing interfacing with SPI flash), but haven't used the I/Os on that board since.  I don't know why it all wouldn't work the same on the Plus2 given that the base platforms are essentially the same.


Wi-Fi works nicely on the Plus2 (I use the FE metal case with the included antenna).  I haven't tried BT.  The USB ports work fine on both.  The eMMC on the Plus2 is fairly fast as well (I use btrfs to save space as it is only 8GB in size).  They both overclock nicely to 1.3GHz.


Here's a quick dump of some stuff from the Plus2:

root@nano:~# cat /proc/version
Linux version 4.19.20-sunxi64 (root@armbian.com) (gcc version 7.2.1 20171011 (Linaro GCC 7.2-2017.11)) #5.75 SMP Fri Feb 8 10:29:25 CET 2019
root@nano:~# uptime
 14:20:35 up 49 days, 22:46,  2 users,  load average: 0.04, 0.03, 0.00
root@nano:~# dpkg --list | grep plus2
ii  linux-stretch-root-next-nanopineoplus2 5.73                           arm64        Armbian tweaks for stretch on nanopineoplus2 (next branch)
ii  linux-u-boot-nanopineoplus2-next       5.75                           arm64        Uboot loader 2018.11
root@nano:~# hdparm -tT /dev/mmcblk2

 Timing cached reads:   1078 MB in  2.00 seconds = 538.66 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads: 132 MB in  3.04 seconds =  43.41 MB/sec
root@nano:~# sysbench --test=cpu --cpu-max-prime=20000 --num-threads=4 run
sysbench 0.4.12:  multi-threaded system evaluation benchmark

Running the test with following options:
Number of threads: 4

Doing CPU performance benchmark

Threads started!

Maximum prime number checked in CPU test: 20000

Test execution summary:
    total time:                          7.0618s
    total number of events:              10000
    total time taken by event execution: 28.2335
    per-request statistics:
         min:                                  2.79ms
         avg:                                  2.82ms
         max:                                  8.84ms
         approx.  95 percentile:               2.79ms

Threads fairness:
    events (avg/stddev):           2500.0000/0.71
    execution time (avg/stddev):   7.0584/0.00



As to which one to get, a lot depends on your desired use...  The NEO2 is really nice because of its tiny size; however there is no included eMMC, nor Wi-Fi, and it includes just one USB port.  The Plus2 is a bit larger, but the two USB ports and gigE port are nice (I use one of the boards as a local router), as is the built-in Wi-Fi and eMMC (so no additional uSD card is needed).  The metal case for the Plus2 is really great as well (https://www.friendlyarm.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=93&product_id=203).


I hope that this feedback helps a bit!



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Hi @5kft,

thank you for the detailed reply. I have to admit, both the NEO2 and the NEO Plus2 looked so appealing with their metal cases, that I ended up ordering both. I'm happy to hear, that the eMMC performance is nice. I had not found any benchmarks on that, but found that there's real differences between the various manufacturers and models. :)


I also have a BPI-M2 Berry and was very disappointed, when I found out just how bad the software support is. The stock OS is indiscussable, which is how I came to Armbian. Armbian by itself runs stable out of the box, but I could not get any of the interfaces like GPIOs, I2C, SPI, ... to work at all. I had originally bought it because it's the cheapest board with real Gigabit Ethernet, because I'm using it as a network device, but overall it was still a rather large disappointment. I never wanted this experience again, which is why I was asking about the WiP status of the +2. I thoroughly searched before and after my Post, but I could not find any reason for it being WiP still, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Now I can't wait for the packages to arrive... in a few weeks or so. ;)

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