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littlejeem

Advice on new SBC device

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Hello Folks

 

I'm after some advice. I've been an avid user of Raspberry Pi's for some time and just love how good they are for tinkering around with without breaking my larger main system, helps me learn all the time.

 

I've recently started using my Raspberry Pi (3b+) to automate several task. I have three mono and two python services running, well I say running......

 

Essentially if any more than two of these need to process data together the pi can't cope. Top command tells me RAM usage is often 90-100% and the CPU running at between 115-130% before system starts to error out and SSH becomes inaccessible.

 

I feel like I need a device with more grunt and more memory but the plethora of devices out these to chose from makes it really hard to decide.

 

So far I can't make up my mind between:

 

Banana Pi M3

Odroid XU4Q

Asus Tinkerboard S

NanoPi M4

 

Can anybody help me with some advice?

 

Ideally I want something stable....around the £40-£80 mark. Can run a familiar is such as raspbian, Debian, Ubuntu, armbian.......

 

 

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Welcome!

 

Avoid Banana M3 at all costs. Besides that, all three other devices are good, depending on your budget and how good of a deal you can get.

 

Probably Nanopi M4 is still a bit immature on the software side (too new), but if you plan to use it in the long term, it's a good choice.

 

XU4 is rather old, but it is still a great computer, and software support is excellent. Plus, now you can find it very cheap. I recommend buying in Ameridroid and adding a emmc module.

 

Tinkerboard S is a great machine, with very good software support too. Though, you'll need to find a very good microusb cable for powering, which is not always easy, and also this board will probably be the most expensive of the three.

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Hey JMC.

 

Thanks very much for this. Id read that SD corruption was an issue with the XU4 so was thinking of spending a little more to get emmc support.

 

I'm up for seeing if the NanoPi M4 matures (and therefore getting the benefot of the 4gb ram) and the cost of the tinkerboard has dropped in UK to sub £80.

 

I've not heard of the Ameridroid so will check out.....

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For the tinkerboard, if you have a case that can accommodate it, it is good to either power it with 5.25 volts (and 3 amps) or through the gpio header with 5.1 V of clean power.  

 

As JMCC said, all minus the BPi are good choices.  I use an XU4 for my media server on SD, I've never had any issues with SD corruption (anecdotal I know, but I had far more trouble with Pi's, enough to start trying to port a HAT library to literally any other platform rather than just use the Pi I have on my desk)

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On 2/9/2019 at 9:11 AM, littlejeem said:

Banana Pi M3

Odroid XU4Q

Asus Tinkerboard S

NanoPi M4

1,5 years ago I would have cheered in to Tony & JMCC, but  since then my MicroUSB on the TinkerBoard just stopped working. Well, plus still works, but minus is dead and I was always very carefully, rarely unplugged it. I tried to fix with with re-solder and hotair... dead as a parrot (monty phyton). I must power it via GPIO losing safety features - and a pain cable wise.

 

So POWER is key, good software as well. If you need many cores and not all features software wise, the M3 maybe your choice https://linux-sunxi.org/Linux_mainlining_effort

If you have the time to wait, the RockChip 3399 on the NanoPi gets better every two months - how well the power design with USB-C is done, I cannot judge.

I guess Hardkernel Odroid took care of maintaining their software and so you find a good power/software solution here and some proper cooling options.

 

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On 2/9/2019 at 9:11 AM, littlejeem said:

Banana Pi M3

Odroid XU4Q

Asus Tinkerboard S

NanoPi M4

I would choose the NanoPi M4 with 4GB.
It's the least trouble, en it's very well supported.

As @Tido said. There's problems with the Tinker. I also got a broken one. HDMI doesn't work anymore, something burned out. How and why, I don't know. I bought a new one to never use since unstable and gets too hot.
The XU4 was for long one of my favorites, but the M4 does everything that the XU4 did, and better. The XU4 also had some minor problems the M4 doesn't have.

The M4 has better power with USB-C, the best heatsink so doesn't overheat quickly, the most ram, 64-bit, very very fast... The others have some of those characteristics, but none other has them all.

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On 2/9/2019 at 12:11 AM, littlejeem said:

I've recently started using my Raspberry Pi (3b+) to automate several task. I have three mono and two python services running, well I say running......

 

Essentially if any more than two of these need to process data together the pi can't cope. Top command tells me RAM usage is often 90-100% and the CPU running at between 115-130% before system starts to error out and SSH becomes inaccessible.

 

I feel like I need a device with more grunt and more memory but the plethora of devices out these to chose from makes it really hard to decide.

 

Irregardless of the candidate boards - you might want to look at your applications... PI3, no matter what others might mention, is good enough for a certain load, and all the other *Pi single board machines are going to be similar - if you're pushing a Pi3 that hard, not much more can be done...

 

Hardware will only get you so far...

 

Tinker has a lot of horsepower, as perhaps the NanoPI M4 - but might not solve your ask at the end of the day. That and the Rockchip mess that is with upstream...

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42 minutes ago, sfx2000 said:

PI3, no matter what others might mention, is good enough for a certain load,

 

Mine wouldn't reliably make it through a movie...  :'(  I had to put my media center back to my Pi 2.  That was before some of the "magic" secret VC4 blob updates that limited clock speed, and did who knows what else...  So maybe it works as stable as my Pi 2 now.  :lol:

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