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Igor_K

What would be a good board with 2 Gb RAM for a bitcoin node?

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Hi there, 

 

I'm going to run a full bitcoin node on ARM board so on the first sight requirements are:  

1) it is in stock now

2) 2 Gb RAM 

3) CPU performance and Stability under high load

4) USB 2.0 (or better) for an external storage 

5) ethernet on board 

 

as for now my short list is 
1) Odroid XU4  or HC1 (C1 was used for bitnodes as far as I know)

2) ASUS Tinker

3) Orange Pi Prime (?)

4) NanoPi K2

5) Rock64 (4Gb)

 

I'm not sure about OPI Prime b/c I've found some reports on the forum about stability issues. Also it is sold out at the moment. 

 

I'm open for your suggestions and thoughts.  Thank you in advince. 

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I haven't had any problems with my XU4 (or HC1)

 

Tinkerboard has micro-usb power input, which would give stability issues.  Powering via GPIO headers bypasses its power input protections.

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Thank you. 

It is a very good point, but in my case, it is not that important. I've decided to buy a switching power supply like Mean Well or something. I've got about 4-5 SBC up and running now.  Apparently, it is worth to invest in a good PSU. 

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After some research on the forum I think the best option is Odroid HC1

 

1) Great support from the community and the vendor

2) Good CPU performance 

3) It has no "power over micro-USB" issue

4) Good HDD performance

 

Rock64 is the second candidate, 4 GB RAM looks appealing.  I'm not sure about CPU performance thou' 
 

Please share your thoughts. 

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I concur with the others about the XU4. I have 3 of them in my home made SBC server rack which uses active cooling. The nice thing is the XU4 has a built in fan and they are rock solid (been running them over a year 24/7). The price is right too. If you plan on maxing out the CPU you will need more than the built in cooling.

 

The ROCK 64 looks promising price wise and the ability to have up to 4G. This will be my next server.

 

IMG_20180121_084309.thumb.jpg.2bc6b5051d3f050ee7de912f81c83622.jpg

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Thank you for sharing. I like the tower what is the enclosure? 

 

HC-1 and XU4 have the same hardware so there is no difference almost. A full node needs storage the size of bitcoin transaction data is more than 150Gb now.  IMO HC1 is just more convenient because of its form factor. 

 

what about CPU performance? Rock64 vs HC/XU4 ? 

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@Igor_K See the post below for the parts list. The HC1 wasn't available when I bought them. I have a 480G SSD connected to one of the XU4s and use NFS for backups and security camera videos. I need to be able to swap things in and out based on needs, so the rack was a better choice for me. I can have 9 decent sized SBCs in that tower.

 

 

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I have XU4 and Tinker and K2,

 

I would also recommend XU4/HCx, for the simple fact that your application needs stable power more than a fancy GPU (unless of course you can actually use the GPU toward your ends)  Keeping it cool is now your biggest concern, and that is something you can scale to your desire (I run PLEX and transcode on an XU4 and just for kicks water-cooled it)

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I can't give you much on the Rock64, development has been slow.  In general I'd expect the a53 cores of the Rock64 to come in behind the 8-core HMP setup, unless memory bandwidth is significantly better on the Rock64 / you have 4GB and need it.  Kernel support is far better for the XU4 at this point, IMHO.  

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2 hours ago, TonyMac32 said:

In general I'd expect the a53 cores of the Rock64 to come in behind the 8-core HMP setup, unless memory bandwidth is significantly better on the Rock64 / you have 4GB and need it. 

Or if your application benefits from the SHA hashing instructions of ARMv8

Bitcoin uses SHA-256 doesn't it?

 

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23 minutes ago, chrisf said:

Bitcoin uses SHA-256 doesn't it?

 

I don't know to be honest.  If so, and ARMv8 is a benefit assuming the bonus cores and higher clock speeds don't offset it.  Remember the a53 is not a particularly powerful core, it's a power-saving core.  I would say, as of today for ARMv8 boards I'm familiar with, that Le Potato is more stable/mature, tradeoffs include no USB3, and no Gigabit Ethernet.

 

At risk of angering the benchmark gods, https://magazine.odroid.com/benchmark-results/

 

This is probably full of various holes, however the difference are large enough to demonstrate my point.  I couldn't give you a good answer for which is more powerful for a given workload given just how different they are.  (The C2 uses a quad-core a53 Amlogic SoC) 

 

 

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4 hours ago, chrisf said:

Or if your application benefits from the SHA hashing instructions of ARMv8

Bitcoin uses SHA-256 doesn't it?

 

My project is for education so I'm not an expert here however from my understanding it is irrelevant for a full node. 

Hashing power is important for miners.

A full node performs transaction validation which does not involve much hashing (or hashing at all) 
http://chimera.labs.oreilly.com/books/1234000001802/ch08.html#_validating_a_new_block 

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I've got HC1.  It works well so far. It runs for about 10 days or so and it is syncing still.  

 

I would say that apparently, any board with 1Gb RAM and 4 cores would work well.  

I'm not sure about storage but seems like USB 2.0 would work also. 
 

Some stats from my HC1, 
 

Grafana - Hosts 2018-03-06 15-19-17.png

Grafana - Hosts 2018-03-06 17-02-16.jpg

Grafana - Hosts 2018-03-06 17-02-42.png

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