So we started 2019 with a bang, We have 5 new Single Board Computers. While some of these boards still use the good old A53, Majority of new boards feature A72 and A53 in big.LITTLE configuration. Also most of the boards are based on RK3399 SoC based ARM Board. We also get bumps in the GPU department with Mali-T628 as the minimum available. These Mali series GPU are H265 H/W Accelerated boards, Which makes them great as media-centers installs. Other base features include USB 3.0, 5GHz Wi-Fi support and HDMI 2.0.
Let’s begin the list of what we find are the best SBC’s right now in the market and do a short comparison of each other.
Table Of Contents :
- NanoPi NEO 4.
- Rock Pi 4.
- Orange Pi 3 H6.
- BeagleBone AI.
- Odroid N2.
NanoPi NEO 4 : A Super Tiny RK3399 Board.
It Here, Its Back, Its more powerful than ever ! The new 8 Layer；60*45mm SBC from NanoPi brings high-speed USB3.0, HDMI 2.0, Mali-T864 GPU and super-beefier processors running in Big.LiTTLE configuration. The result is it can run upto Android 8.1, 64-bit FriendlyDesktop 18.04 (Ubuntu based distro) and LUbuntu 16.04.
The NanoPi NEO 4 is a great chip if you want Machine Learning/AI on a low cost SBC.
Price : $45.
From : FriendlyArm.com
Orange Pi 3 H6 : An Update to Orange Pi One Plus .
OrangePi 3 H6 has a 1.8GHz quad-core Cortex A53 processor with gigabit Ethernet and Bluetooth 5.0; 1GB/2GB LPDDR3 RAM (shared with GPU), Double USB 3.0 ports and an eMMC bulk storage module which doesn’t get corrupted when the power is turned off. All for $39.90? Versus $35.00 for a non-Gigabit Ethernet Raspberry PI? The RPi group is in serious trouble.
Oh, wait…but the Pi Foundation prints magazines and stuff…
OrangePi 3 H6 is paired with an ARM Mali-T720 GPU, One of the best SBC GPU unit with support for AI operations and 10-bit H265/HEVC Decoding. We found that the only thing holding back this super board is its limited support for OS. Till date it can run Android 7.0, Debian or Ubuntu, which is mleh…
A great thing about Orange Pi 3 is it has a true mini-PCIe slot, That means you can add almost any PC hardware to it !
Price : $39.90
From : AliExpress.com
Rock Pi 4 : My Beloved Room Heater.
Rock Pi 4 sports Rockchip RK3399 (2x Cortex-A72 at up to 2.0GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 upto 1.5GHz) paired with a Mali-T860 MP4 GPU, Which is better than the T720 on the on OrangePi3 H6. Another great spec is that is has an optional 1/2/4GB Dual-channel LPDDR4 RAM. It also has a M2 port, directly over the CPU. Which means you can attach a NVMe SSD to it and also host a barbecue at the same time !
Rock Pi 4 comes in two variants, While both are identically similar, RockPi4 B features a PoE Support (additional HAT required), 802.11ac WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.0 with on-board antenna.
Other features include the standard features, Such as a couple of USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, eMMC module and HDMI2.0. It runs Android 9.0 and “some” linux distros.
BeagleBone AI : Monster On Board:
If you want to a board for AI and ML, RK3399 SoC’s aren’t that good. That is where the BeagleBone AI comes into play. That latest board to join our list, BeagleBone AI features Dual-Core Arm Cortex A15-based CPU and a dual-core Arm Cortex M4 CPUs that acts as an image-processing unit. On the graphics front, the GPU is a dual-core PowerVR SGX544 3D unit, and there’s also a Vivante GC320 Core 2D accelerator.
Its not released yet so we cannot say what OS it would support, Nor do we have any info on its pricing.
From : BeagleBoard
Pricing : Undisclosed.
Odroid N2 : Upgrade of never-existing N1 :
While Odroid N1 never became a reality, Hardkernel has released an updated N2. N2 is claimed to be the fastest SBC under $100. On The Hardware side it features an Amlogic S922X processor, consisting of a four-core 1.8GHz Cortex-A73 processor, a dual-core 1.9GHz Cortex-A53 processor, and a new Mali-G52 GPU.
It also features a generous four USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, a 40-pin GPIO, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 2.0, a micro USB 2.0 port, two LED indicators, an infrared receiver, an eMMC flash module socket, microSD card slot, and bootable 8MB SPI flash memory.There’s also an cooling fan jack and RTC backup battery connector. Hardkernel says the device’s low power consumption means the RTC should be able to run for over a decade on a tiny CR2032 backup battery.
On the operating system side, the N2 supports Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with Kernel version 4.9.152 LTS supported through to January 2023. It also supports Android 9.0 Pie.
Price : $63 for 2GB version and $79 for the 4GB model.
From : Hardkernel