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Jackson

Orange Pi Plus 2e -- pretty much useless

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Hello,

 

I've purchased a 2e recently, in order to replace a RPI3 with a more powerful device (and get graphics acceleration, be able to watch youtube videos, etc). I've tested multiple builds, and even on the legacy kernel, there is just no way to get it to work properly.


The board, when it sits completely idle, is between 48 and 52°. And if I move a window on the desktop, it's all laggy and the cpu jumps to 60+° --the same with a mainlain image in fact, in headless mode... frequently the console would freeze for a couple seconds while the temperature is very high for no reason. It seems there is no hardware graphics acceleration, ever.

 

Currently, the board isn't really usable for anything : with such a heat generation, it consumes power for nothing, cannot just keep it powered on permanently like the Pi, and the performance is miserable.

 

I've searched but didn't find much information about that. Is that a normal behavior for a H3 SOC?

 

Anyone has similar issues? I'm thinking that I possibly got a defective board, too. But if not, I don't quite understand why there aren't any actually functional images, 2 years after the device was released... right now I confess that I'm a bit frustrated. :(

 

(Note : I've tested some other images, non-Armbian, not working any better. I did not test Android, not interested)

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Might seem unrelated to you... But what kind of power supply are you using? You need a good power supply which can easily supply high currents (2A). A standard phone charger will not work reliably. Also the quality of the SD card is very important. Samsung EVO cards have always worked great for me.

FYI My 2E has been running Armbian mainline for the last 12 weeks non-stop, with a EVO 32GB card and a 5A PSU, which is also supplying some other power hungry stuff, but has for sure enough capacity for the 2E... No problems at all stability wise!

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11 hours ago, Jackson said:

The board, when it sits completely idle, is between 48 and 52°

I think it is a good board and ideas of the community were added. It also comes with the SY8106A voltage regulator - but to use it properly it needs software.

You might want to study this site and find other OPi+2e owner to improve the situation.

 

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Hello,

 

Thank you all for the replies, I'll check the links provided.

 

I indeed had initial issues with the power supply ; I was using a phone charger delivering 1A and the board was crashing as soon as I plugged in a usb HDD -- I quickly figured it was due to the lack of power and bought a 3A 5V charger.. works fine now.

As per the SD card, it's a Kingston, class 10 and 32 GB, there should be no problem with that either.

 

Regarding the voltage regulator ; when working on a project with battery-powered Arduino mini pro boards where I needed to save as much power as I could, I ended up removing the voltage regulator altogether. Since the power is controlled by the PSU, would it be an option to unsolder it from the board? Should it help lowering the temperature?

 

 

9 hours ago, martinayotte said:

This is true for most of the SBC with Mainline since it still under development by BootLin people ... ( some reading here : https://bootlin.com/ )

 

That's what I eventually found out, however the Legacy distros don't seem to be much better on that subject (and I confess that I don't have much knowledge of this particular matter yet, I'm trying to get a clearer picture but was hoping for something to work "out of the box" so that I could focus on duplicating the current RPI3 config with better performance). BootLin actually seems promising.

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Jackson said:

I ended up removing the voltage regulator altogether.

This controller is for the SoC only. The lower the tact, the lower the voltage the less heat dissipation. Just read that page again and see what how the code adjust voltage to tact of  SoC.

 

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41 minutes ago, Jackson said:

was hoping for something to work "out of the box"


Well, video acceleration works out of the box on the legacy A10-A20-H3-A64 builds ... unless you use some weird codecs. Just not with Chromium. Making that possible is too complex/resourceful for the nature of our project.

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37 minutes ago, Tido said:

This controller is for the SoC only. The lower the tact, the lower the voltage the less heat dissipation. Just read that page again and see what how the code adjust voltage to tact of  SoC.

 

I searched and read multiple pages, but I didn't find anything about the actual code... what page are you referring to exactly? And is this set through sunxi-tools?

 

6 minutes ago, Igor said:


Well, video acceleration works out of the box on the legacy A10-A20-H3-A64 builds ... unless you use some weird codecs. Just not with Chromium. Making that possible is too complex/resourceful for the nature of our project.

I've just tried to read a youtube video, so yes, with Chromium. I'll try with some mkv or avi files perhaps.

 

The main issue actually is that the board heats way too much. I figured this could be because the CPU does all the work --would explain the laggy desktop--, but perhaps not in reality. Maybe I'd just need to put a heatsink to reduce the temperature spikes, although I'd still be uncomfortable with the power consumption.

 

Yeah, global warming, polar bears, all that, you know. :D

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9 minutes ago, Jackson said:

I've just tried to read a youtube video

 

With HW acceleration this will only work with mpv, smplayer and smtube. Not in any browser due to fragmentation of the ARM VPU ecosystem.

 

Laggy desktop is usually due to crappy SD card (Kingston is a synonym for this, their normal cards are horribly slow wrt random IO which is all that matters -- see here). And no, you can not remove voltage regulators, the OPi Plus 2E has superiour voltage regulation and is not known to overheat badly. Check with 'sudo armbianmonitor -m' for CPU utilization, CPU clockspeeds and temperatures.

 

With a good A1 rated SD card (or after transferring the system to eMMC with nand-sata-install) the system will perform much smoother and as long as you can accept to watch YT videos only in other tools than a browser you can enjoy HW accelerated video too.

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Ha, dammit. Thought kingston did good SDs... ok then, i'll replace it before complaining about the bad performance.

I had checked the cpu usage, freqs (defaults), and completely idle the temperature was still around 50°. Might be somehow related to the SD anyway (causing bottlenecks or something).

 

Ok then, I believe I have enough information to move forward. Thank you all for the tips.

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50 minutes ago, Jackson said:

Thought kingston did good SDs... ok then, i'll replace it before complaining about the bad performance

 

You know that you can transfer the installation to the onboard eMMC by simply calling 'sudo nand-sata-install'? Onboard eMMC on Orange Pis is magnitudes faster than average SD cards wrt random IO.

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I... wasn't aware of the existence of an onboard storage actually.

 

Already ordered a 32 Go Evo+ from amazon, but i'll try this out in the meantime :-D

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I see :) I had overlooked that part.

 

So I moved the system on the onboard eMMC, and the performance appears to be much better actually (the ssh session isn't laggy anymore) :

 

iozone -e -I -a -s 100M -r 4k -r 16k -r 512k -r 1024
                                                              random    random
              kB  reclen    write  rewrite    read    reread    read     write
          102400       4     7513     8042    17319    17196    16637     7915
          102400      16    20329    21262    37387    37446    36626    21243
          102400     512    30637    32131    63106    63107    63214    31666
          102400    1024    32274    31469    68198    68351    68318    30969
          102400   16384    32789    32959    77132    77137    77254    33025

 

Haven't tested the desktop yet but I suppose it's going to be smoother anyway.

 

Idle temperature is also 43°, still a bit high perhaps, but significantly lower than before... 

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Ethernet for now, but i set up the wifi and intend to use it from here... I understand this might not help with the heat though, so I'll consider using the eth for "production" (just need to find a way to hide the cable behind the furniture in order to avoid my wife's wrath).

 

There isn't any cooling device for now, be it passive or active, just a bit of air in the room, but I would at least put a heatsink, yes. Overall it's not bad then, and I'll try to find more information about programming the voltage regulator, maybe tampering with the cpu clock and governor.

 

In any case, thanks for the assist :)

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57 minutes ago, Jackson said:

There isn't any cooling device for now, be it passive or active

 

40°C - 50°C is nothing to worry about. Glue an el cheapo heatsink like my standard one on it and it's usually 10°C less: https://linux-sunxi.org/Orange_Pi_Plus_2E#Pictures (you get them on Aliexpress: 10 piece for 5 bucks in total).

 

Wrt voltage regulation you might want to enjoy our journey from 'H3 is overheating crap' (general opinion in 2015) to 'works just fine': https://github.com/armbian/build/issues/298#issuecomment-223659625 (especially OPi Plus 2E shows pretty good heat dissipation compared to almost all other H3 boards, just check the screenshots above)

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Thanks mate -- just ordered a few heatsinks (from Amazon actually, bit more expensive but won't have to wait a month or so to get them)

 

Another thing ; I've set up some Python scripts on the RPI3 (some kind of alarm system, with a fleet of RPI Zero W with motion sensors and cameras, and a temperature graph)--, using in particular pigpio to handle the attached devices.

 

I intend to port this all on the 2E, but pigpio won't be available so I'll need to use another library and update the code. Is there a Python lib for the H3 SoC that you could recommend? 

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