Best TVBOX for armbian used as micro services server


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Hi, 

I search for a new development the best tvbox for run armbian, docker and microservices if possible around 100$ with 4GB Ram or more and 64 or 128GB eMMC. 

The display and wifi are not important, we run nodejs services only, so only cpu and eMMC performances are important for us. 

I have see a topic where balbes150 advises the ugoos AM6. 

I search a powerful tvbox for Linux usage. 

Thanks for your help 

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For running services with a bit more confidence and just a little more money I strongly suggest you to limit your selection to officially supported boards https://www.armbian.com/download/ (nanopi m4 / rockpi 4 or even NanoPC T4 could be in this range). Even there things are sometimes not perfect, but hardware is usually a class above. Also none of the TV boxes have official Armbian support. In case of troubles, you are limited to "TV boxes" forum only.

 

my 2c

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The rockchip ones are the best, for sure, but they are the most expensive too.

 

i prefer X96 Air for a balance of performance and  value, considering for optimal use you will likely spend an extra $10 on heatsink and new PSU. With some heatsinks it is a very good performer for under $50 and has great I/O and hardware support without modifications on Balbes150 builds. I would also highly recommend replacing the PSU on any of these with a 3A or better if it is going to be doing serious work. You will see much better performance at peak CPU load with a 3A or better.

 

4gb RAM and 32GB eMMC is the bare minimum i will accept.

 

I got a comcast branded 5V 3A power supply on ebay for only $5 shipped, but the catch was the plug wasn't the same size as the X96 Air, so i got a 10 pack of 5.5x2.1 male barrel DC plugs and soldered it on.

 

I got a T95 max+ as well. Cost less than the X96 air, and mostly same specs, but less usb ports & no optical I/O, & no working wifi out of the box.

 

I set up the T95 max+ for my parents as their new web-browsing computer, with auto apt update scripts applied, to replace their aging Mini Mac which is several OS's behind. With a browser, email client, calculator, and nothing else, it serves them fine & is compatible with their HP printer via hplip.

 

Sadly there seems to be no hope for me to use my Canon printer on my X96 Air as Canon drivers are x86 specific.

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For headless application OrangePi boards could be good as well. You could decentralice stuff if possible and invest in a couple of OrangePi One Plus featuring Allwiner H6 Quadcore and 1GB memory. NO eMMC though.

OrangePi3 is available with 2GB and eMMC, but also useless stuff like BT and WiFi. Same SoC.

 

OrangePi4 is available with RK3399 and has 4GB if memory. But in general from what I read RK3399 is still suffering from issues across all kernels so it is kind a gamble.... take note about @balbes150 comment below

 

What about an Odroid N2+? AFAIR most powerful supported SBC atm.

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Even if Balbes makes a great work, I agree with Igor about updates and the use of a supported board.

I'm not a good example since I use a S912 box with a Balbes image for my home server. But I can say that I stay on an "old" 4.19 or 4.20 since recent ones have several issues like GbE and usb even if some patches or hand modifications can be used to solve them.

 

Rk3399 is powerful but heat a lot, so a good cooling is preferable if you plan to have heavy loads.

Odroid c4 with amlogic S905x3 could be a nice alternative, since it is a supported board, you can add emmc and the cpu can be powerful enough for small server tasks.

 

 

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13 hours ago, CHB said:

I have see a topic where balbes150 advises the ugoos AM6. 

This information is already outdated and does not correspond to the current market situation.

 

1 hour ago, Werner said:

But in general from what I read RK3399 is still suffering from issues across all kernels so it is kind a gamble....

Make a mistake, rk3399 now has one of the best support in the main kernel (not to be confused with specific models of SbS or TV boxes, chip support and ready-made device support are not the same).

 

 

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15 hours ago, CHB said:

Hi, 

I search for a new development the best tvbox for run armbian, docker and microservices if possible around 100$ with 4GB Ram or more and 64 or 128GB eMMC. 

The display and wifi are not important, we run nodejs services only, so only cpu and eMMC performances are important for us. 

I have see a topic where balbes150 advises the ugoos AM6. 

I search a powerful tvbox for Linux usage. 

Thanks for your help 

For less than 100$ you can go with Odroid N2/N2+ which is plenty powerful, but as already suggested float around properly supported SBCs and find one that best suits your need.

 

Expensive tvboxes from known vendors usually are good quality, but I would not suggest to buy them to do server jobs.

IMHO SBCs are a couple of notches superior for build quality, support and warranty, tv boxes are for toying around mostly :P

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I run Docker on an X96 Air and H96 Max X3, both headless. Very stable, X96 Air runs a little cooler than the H96 but I can only get 100Mbps ethernet to work (as there is no device specific dtb) vs 1Gbps for the H96. These things are so cheap that you can run multiple of them so it's not a big deal if one fails (which hasn't happened for me yet). I only need HDMI, ethernet, and USB so don't care that sound, wifi, and bluetooth may not work.

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Thanks all for your comments, I have order a Rapsberry Pi4 with 8GB for try thanks @Igor

@mcb777 can you tell me what image you use for your H96 Max X3 because I have try one but can't boot on it with balbes150 images 20.08 perhaps you can help me

I use only the ethernet wire connection (nothing other), I can boot with an old image but ethernet don't work

 

Thanks for your help guys

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1 hour ago, CHB said:

I have order a Rapsberry Pi4 with 8GB


Which nobody recommended to you since its not better then TV box. Its closed corporate controlled hardware and doesn't have an option for reliable storage.

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ok, after reading a lot of post in this forum i saw that the fastest cpu for tvbox was S922X or RK3399, which can advise me the best tvbox with eMMC memory (I will like to install the system on eMMC instead of android)

 

the goal being to find a tvbox that boots with armbian, a network card that works (I only connect to tvbox to the ethernet network, no screen, no sound, no BT or wifi or other, so the graphics are not important, just see in terminal mode) I want to install bionic or focal in server mode.

Thanks for your help

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16 minutes ago, CHB said:

 

ok, after reading a lot of post in this forum i saw that the fastest cpu for tvbox was S922X or RK3399, which can advise me the best tvbox with eMMC memory (I will like to install the system on eMMC instead of android)

 

the goal being to find a tvbox that boots with armbian, a network card that works (I only connect to tvbox to the ethernet network, no screen, no sound, no BT or wifi or other, so the graphics are not important, just see in terminal mode) I want to install bionic or focal in server mode.

Thanks for your help

Then the best idea is to not get a tvbox but a board that is officially supported: https://www.armbian.com/download/

 

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