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What about H8 SoC?


pancio
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Hi Igor,

 

I'm fresh owner of CB5 (CT2+) board and I'm interesting about your opinion regarding this board. I hope that in near future you will start new branch of Armbian for H8. At this moment, best option for me is still using CT as a production appliance but maybe CT+ will be faster... (instead SATA USB bridge access of course).

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H8

 

...is the same as A83T. Something for people that buy numbers ('Great! 8 cores are more than 4!!!'). Read the wiki page for Banana Pi M3 to get an idea what's wrong with this SoC (without liquid cooling).

 

My personal opinion: The CT+ is nearly as crappy as Banana Pi M3 and pcDuino8 Uno (CT+'s advantage: Cubietech used a barrel plug for DC-IN). They used the same ultra slow USB-to-SATA bridge so even if CT+ is a bit better than Banana Pi M3 it shares nearly all of the disadvantages.

 

Your only hope: wens, one of the more active linux-sunxi devs, recently got also this board. As soon as mainline u-boot is ready for this board you could simply adopt Armbian's most recent fixes for the various H3 Orange Pis (Allwinner's BSP for H3 and A83T is quite the same) for the CT+ too.

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Thanks for your reply.

 

Now my understanding is little bit more completely. I'm not a kernel hacker, so I've only one way... waiting. BTW, you said that H3 and A83T are similar, is possible use the same image for OP2+ (this one work properly) and for CT+?

 

 

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BTW, you said that H3 and A83T are similar, is possible use the same image for OP2+ (this one work properly) and for CT+?

 

Nope. H3 (also called R16), A83T (also called H8/R58) and A64 (also called H64/R18) are pretty similar in these areas:

It seems except of the HDMI issue A64 and H3 are more identical than compared with A83T (this one uses also another 28nm process, which allows higher clockspeeds, A64 seems to be just a variant of H3 with Cortex-A53 cores and less USB ports).

 

Regarding software support there's still one piece missing: u-boot support (if CT+ and Banana Pi M3 would already be included in Mainline u-boot I would have started Armbian support for these two maybe already by accident since all the work for the sun8i platform we did the last weeks to support H3 could've been used for A83T/H8 directly).

 

So if anyone starts to hack together the missing pieces for u-boot (should be rather simple since looking at script.bin regarding DRAM config and GPIO switches necessary at boot and 'translating' them is all that's needed) it would just take a few hours to support these boards in Armbian now that the sun8i work is already done for H3.

 

But no one of the devs really likes these boards since their target audience are clueless people that buy numbers (2 GB RAM! 8 CPU cores!). Two of the available A83T/H8 boards are simply broken by design since they use Micro USB for DC-IN (which does not work with SoCs that powerful) and the CT+ uses the same ultra slow USB-to-SATA bridge as the Banana Pi M3 or Orange Pi Plus.

 

And these SoCs only have two USB host ports so USB bandwidth will always be shared. And so on... If you inform yourself a bit more then there remains zero reasons to buy anything with A83T/H8 since the octa-core promise is also not true unless you use large heatsinks and an annoying fan. On top of that A83T/H8 contain a really slow single core GPU so even Android is no fun.

 

If Xunlong would produce a H3 board with GbE and using a capable USB-to-SATA bridge like the JMS567 for example (they could sell this for $25 and would make more profit than with Orange Pi One/PC) this would be a board that costs not even half of what A83T/H8 vendors charge and that will also show superiour performance even if there are 'only' 4 instead of 8 CPU cores.

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Thanks for your huge explanation.

 

Of course, you have right regarding that CT+ is a marketing trick (I'm little bit disappointed about USB-SATA bridge too) but I'm looking for best alternative for CT because I suppose that it will be discontinued soon. At this moment I using 12 CT as production servers for many client (reason? 60W power consumption max for all of them) and I want to know which one may be a spare part for. Maybe you may suggest something? Sometime I buying these device only for testing, the same was with CT in the past, which has been the black horse (cheap, fast, energy-saving). Do you know about something better?

 

p.s.

Please be forgiving because of my English :-)

 

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I'm looking for best alternative for CT because I suppose that it will be discontinued soon.

 

So what? http://linux-sunxi.org/Sunxi_devices_as_NAS#Requirements_.2F_which_device_to_choose(in my tests for whatever reasons the original Banana Pi always performed the best when it's about Ethernet and SATA performance is identical when identical CPU and DRAM clockspeeds are used).

 

And if I were you I would check footnote 1 on this page and wait. Tsvetan from Olimex said in the meantime that Allwinner planned to release the quad core A20 successor in the 2nd half of 2016.

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Hi,

I would like to ask, if there is some changes or some background hidden answers about new Olimex quad core.

On this page, they've said in comments, that it will be ready in Q4 this year. I hope it'll be in near future, I would like to buy something more powerfull in SATA than it's now on sale.

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On this page, they've said in comments, that it will be ready in Q4 this year. I hope it'll be in near future, I would like to buy something more powerfull in SATA than it's now on sale.

 

First device with Allwinner's R40 is unfortunately made by one very careless vendor. It's called Banana Pi M2 Ultra to confuse customers: http://forum.banana-pi.org/latest (just have a look through the forums to get the idea what to expect).

 

I would better look for this Kickstarter here if you want fast SATA and fast GbE: http://www.cnx-software.com/2016/09/23/marvell-espressobin-board-with-gigabit-ethernet-sata-pcie-and-usb-3-0-to-launch-for-39-and-up-crowdfunding/

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First device with Allwinner's R40 is unfortunately made by one very careless vendor. It's called Banana Pi M2 Ultra to confuse customers: http://forum.banana-pi.org/latest (just have a look through the forums to get the idea what to expect).

 

I would better look for this Kickstarter here if you want fast SATA and fast GbE: http://www.cnx-software.com/2016/09/23/marvell-espressobin-board-with-gigabit-ethernet-sata-pcie-and-usb-3-0-to-launch-for-39-and-up-crowdfunding/

Wow :-O

That Marvell ESPRESS0Bin looks awesome.. :P

 

Thx for info tkaiser ;)

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This looks very nice :) . But - no GPU, make it for server only purposes. I try to imagine, adding external VGA card (or more like - adding device to external VGA :) ) into this mini PCI-E slot, just a joke of course. One cheap mobile GPU - Mali400 class, would turn this into competition killer in this class toys. But looks like Marvell are in other target.

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Are there any information, why they didn't use Armada 38x?

 

Please look at page 3 here: http://www.marvell.com.cn/guide/assets/data/marvell_embedded_processors_psg.pdf

 

The 88F3720 SoC used here is called ARMADA LP (LP == low power?) and pretty featureless compared especially to 38x. Cortex-A9 is high-end, Cortex-A53 is low-end (and also low-power, many people infected by the 64-bit hype totally forget that these bits are pretty much irrelevant and other stuff is more important, eg. being able to make use of ARMv8 instruction set regardless whether the CPU cores are 32 or 64 bit). Please see also: http://www.cnx-software.com/2015/04/09/relative-performance-of-arm-cortex-a-32-bit-and-64-bit-cores/

 

I would assume that ARMADA LP is not only low power but also low price and performance (compared to ARMADA 38x). But that doesn't matter that much since this SoC has been designed for the use case in question and even when silly benchmarks like Geekbench show a lower performance compared to tablet or smartphone SoCs any ARMADA will outperform 'faster' SoCs when it's about IO and network throughput.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if real world performance of this ESPRESS0Bin is lower than existing designs based on 38x but I would suspect that an ARMADA 388 SoC will cost more than the whole board containing the 3720.

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First device with Allwinner's R40 is unfortunately made by one very careless vendor. It's called Banana Pi M2 Ultra to confuse customers: http://forum.banana-pi.org/latest (just have a look through the forums to get the idea what to expect).

 

I would better look for this Kickstarter here if you want fast SATA and fast GbE: http://www.cnx-software.com/2016/09/23/marvell-espressobin-board-with-gigabit-ethernet-sata-pcie-and-usb-3-0-to-launch-for-39-and-up-crowdfunding/

Yes this card seems well targeted for server use cases where there is not much solutions available. But "kickstarter" means "perhaps in 6 months or a year" if I am not mistaken. And "development board" means "use at your own risks" and "we dont provide support for software" ...

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But "kickstarter" means "perhaps in 6 months or a year" if I am not mistaken. And "development board" means "use at your own risks" and "we dont provide support for software" ...

 

Well, we're talking here about Globalscale Technologies and the board is called Marvell ESPRESSOBin. Globalscale are those who made the *Plug computers (SheevaPlug and so on) and can be considered the company doing 'Marvell for normal users' stuff. Everything happens in the open (see especially at the bottom of this page -- block diagram already explains everything) and the ESPRESSOBin is considered a 'community board' (they're doing the same with their way more powerful 8040 SoC but there they partner with Solid-Run and this is a lot more expensive)

 

Agreed, normal orders will take some time but everything else looks really promising. I would suppose they chose Kickstarter to manufacture in high volumes to meet the price tags and maybe also to get some valuable feedback regarding product development.

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