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Lucil

Better suited for (light) desktop

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Which do you think is the current SBC better suited as a (light) desktop? I think it would not be the one with the fastest CPU, but the one with the better software support for graphics acceleration and general usage.

 

I have bee using a Raspberry Pi and it's fine, but it chokes because of insufficient memory.

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The RK3399 boards. They are among the fastest, and best for desktop use. They are also the best supported.

I've got a NanoPi M4 and a Rock Pi 4B. (and 20 other sbc's) They just are the best, no doubt.
They now support 4K video in Linux, it's great to watch youtube, very fast single core performance, ...

I've got a Youtube channel where I review SBC's, also on their desktop capabillities. The software has improved a lot since my review videos of the M4 and RockPi4B.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpv7NFr0-9AB5xoklh3Snhg/videos

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22 hours ago, Lucil said:

but the one with the better software support for graphics acceleration and general usage

I would agree on that

 

Le Potato from Libre Computer,  is less expensive and will offer you better performance than RPi

https://libre.computer/products/boards/aml-s905x-cc/#tabs_desc_684_2

 

Allwinner H3 is also good supported, except for the shutdown part https://linux-sunxi.org/AR100  depending on your know-how you can fix it for you or help others as well.

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Don't forget the Tinker Board, RK3288 with 4.4 kernel supports full hardware video decoding, Mali Midgard, etc.  2GB RAM and available eMMC.  I set one up as a desktop for a usability test, there are no noticeable performance issues in desktop use, and the kernel support is mature, whereas rk3399 is still WIP.

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2 hours ago, TonyMac32 said:

I set one up as a desktop

Me too, but not just for testing while reading in the book and learning C it is a waste of energy running a Tower-PC, so TB was my learning PC for a year,  but 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  and as I am not the only one with a broken connector, I do no longer recommend it.

PS: I had never success with JMCC's MultiMedia script.

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7 hours ago, TonyMac32 said:

Don't forget the Tinker Board, RK3288 with 4.4 kernel supports full hardware video decoding, Mali Midgard, etc.  2GB RAM and available eMMC.  I set one up as a desktop for a usability test, there are no noticeable performance issues in desktop use, and the kernel support is mature, whereas rk3399 is still WIP.

 

Gets to a certain point - and then perhaps a NUC is a better choice...

 

NUC's can be cheap still - NUC5CPYH and it beats the pants off Tinker...

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Fair, however the Tinker S is $85, and you don't have to buy RAM and an SSD for it like the already $130 NUC (OK, a case).  I haven't tried the media script on my RK3328 boards yet, but they are slower than the RK3288 or RK3399 by a wide margin in desktop use.

 

Perhaps https://www.amazon.com/Z83-W-Fanless-PC-x5-Z8350-Support/dp/B07FXL6NLM

No idea how well linux supports those little thingies, I know it can boot, but peripherals, well...

 

 

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I just recently backed the ATOMIC PI (Kickstarter) @ $34, but they will retail for $79 after backers got them

 

 

Just waiting for it to be shipped to me, as it was only available for backers in the US

 

Genuine Intel Atom x5-Z8350, 2GB DDR3L-1600, 16GB eMMC, slot for SD expansion,USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports,

Fast dual band WiFI b/g/n 2.4 & 5GHz WiFi RT5572 IPX connectors on board,Bluetooth 4.0 CR8510 and

Gigabit hardwired RJ45 Ethernet RTL8111G 

 

It comes with a Kubuntu Linux Image.

 

 

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Explaining Computers has published a test somewhat suited to this topic, however I asked here first. :P He does a mix of testing with Linux, Windows and Android, picking what's best for every platform.

 

As I see it, the most important part of a SBC is the C part: computer. Therefore, computer usage would mean computer-like software. If I wanted to use Android, many phones are more powerful than SBCs and Android software is geared towards phones anyway, not TV screens or monitors. So I would exclude Android and focus on the (general) computer part. That would mean Linux or Windows.

 

My conclusion so far is, however, Android is better supported than Linux when it comes to desktop-like performance.

 

I don't find the appeal of SBCs in the hundreds of dollars range. I'm talking home use, not industrial. I the hundreds of dollars range there's a lot of flexibility and you can build your own "SBC" much more powerful than SBCs. For example, I don't see what's all the fuss with the Latte Panda. Perhaps youtubers got it for free and that's why they are singing praises. Back in 2012 I bought an Asus Transformer tablet, it's Atom powered, it has 2 GB of RAM, came with Windows 8 and runs Windows 10 to this day. And it cost as much as a Latte Panda, but I already got 7 years of usage (and productivity and entertainment) out of it, I didn't have to wait 'till 2018. And it has it's own touch screen and keyboard and touch pad so no cables and no extra hardware to purchase.

 

What I'm trying to say is I see the appeal of SBCs only below 100 dolars. Preferably way below.

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@Tido I've cycled the micro-USB on my tinkerboard hundreds (if not over a thousand) times, the resistance has increased, making it more susceptible to power issues, but nothing has broken.  Same for my "S".  In a static situation where the user is going to set it up and leave it with a switch (official Tinker supply, loverpi supply, etc), I don't think this is a real concern.  For a hardware tinkerer, yes.

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Oh my ATOMIC Pi arrived, bit tricky to get power to it since it requires 5V (minimum 2.5A recommended) and supplied via the GPIO header pin. They charged extra for a break-out board.

 

Also since Im not using the break-out board i dont have a power led...

 

It came with a Lubuntu.

 

Im busy installing Pop OS instead.

 

 

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