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What would be the beefiest armv7 platform?


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Hi there,

Yesterday, I asked this question on Twitter, but did not get lots of answers.

I know I could get an aarch64 workstation, run a 64 bits kernel on it and a 32 bits userspace on top of it, but where is the fun?

One year ago or so, I built an armv7 Docker image for me, and I realized only this week that it had been downloaded more than 2 million times. What a pleasant surprise.
I launched the build once again to get everything updated, but I discovered the armv7 CI/CD services I used to run my builds on were ... gone.
I then switched back to my Orange Pi Zero "farm" to get the images built, but it takes ages, and you know how reliable the SDCards are.


So... I was wondering if I could get a beefy armv7 machine before they all become history.
I thought of the SolidRun ClearFog (2 A9 cores, 1GB/8GB eMMC, M.2) and HummingBoard Edge (4 A9 cores, 2GB/8GB eMMC, M.2) platforms, but 2 cores isn't much, and 1GB isn't much either.

I then thought of the A17 Cortex which came later on, but there aren't many implementations, apart from the RK3288 (from 2014). I have not yet found a RK3288-based board/workstation that looks sturdy enough to be used as a CI/CD runner except this one.

Edward Vielmetti told me about the A17 Cortex MediaTek MT6595, but hasn't found any SBC using it.
There are also a few Chromebooks with 4GB/16GB eMMC, but I don't want to go that route.


So... Would any of you know of an armv7 A9/A17 Cortex board/workstation/server/whatever with sturdy storage, 4 cores or more, 2GB or more of memory?

I can't afford a Ampere eMag and use a 32 bits userspace, and I'm trying to buya 2nd hand SolidRun HoneyComb, but it's also a 64 bits machine.




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Thanks. I already have one, with the "gaming console" cover, but it's only sporting 2GB of RAM.
We can connect a USB disk drive, but I would also have preferred sata or M.2.


It looks like there exists a version of the RK3288 SoM with 4GB there, but I don't know yet about the storage.

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If you scroll down to the specs you'll see that this board doesn't support any storage interface (beside of emmc5.1) like pcie or sata, not even USB3 (what the xu4 does).


If you experience RAM constraints (e.g. during compilation), you may try zram which is enabled by default in Armbian.

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On 2/25/2022 at 6:20 AM, gounthar said:

I can't afford a Ampere eMag and use a 32 bits userspace, and I'm trying to buya 2nd hand SolidRun HoneyComb, but it's also a 64 bits machine.



Something to consider for your CI/CD pipeline...




There is always AWS, but that ain't free...

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Today, I discovered the Compulab Utilite Pro which is up to 4GB ram, but only Cortex A9 and no real sturdy storage solution.

I also found the AM5718 SBC which seems to have almost everything on the paper (Texas Instruments Sitara AM5728 dual-core ARM Cortex-A15, 1.5GHz
NEON SIMD and VFPv4mm, Sata, 4GB Ram). Yes, only two cores, bummer! And one can't buy it just like that, there is no store whatsoever.
From the same vendor, there is also the SBC-iMX6 with NXP (Freescale) i.MX6 Plus quad-core ARM Cortex-A9, 1GHz NEON SIMD and VFPv3, up to 4GB of RAM and Sata. Yes, only Cortex-A9, and no way to easily buy it either.

But that's a good candidate anyway (until I get the real price I suppose).

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The Utilite Pro has 2GB of RAM only, the Cubox-i has a variant (4x4) with 4 GB. Both share the same imx6 SoC, which is way slower than the Exynos 5422 from the XU4.

The Utilite Pro uses an internal msata ssd (which can be replaced), the Cubox-i has an esata connector (both with 3.0 Gbps).


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