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Raspberry Pi 3, ODROID-C2 and Pine A64+ Development Boards Comparison

Raspberry Pi 3 and hardkernel ODROID-C2 launched the same day, and together with Pine A64/A64+, are the only ultra low cost (<$40) 64-bit ARM development boards available or soon-to-be available, so I’ve decided to make a comparison of the three boards the same way I did with ~$10 boards with a Raspberry Pi Zero, C.H.I.P, and Orange Pi One comparison.

Raspberry_Pi_3_ODROID-C2_Pine_A64

I’ve used features of Pine A64+ instead of Pine A64 since features and price are closer to the other two boards. Text highlighted in green means a board is clearly better than the other two for a given features, while a red highlight means it’s the weakest of the three.

Raspberry Pi 3 ODROID-C2 Pine A64 Plus
Processor Broadcom BCM2837 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz(4x ~2760 DMIPS) Amlogic S905 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 2.0 GHz(4x ~4600 DMIPS) Allwinner A64 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.2 GHz
(4x ~2760 DMIPS)
GPU VideoCore IV @ 300/400 MHz Penta core (3+2) ARM Mali-450 ARM Mali-400MP2
Video Decoding

1080p30 for H.264, MPEG2* and VC1*

* Extra licenses required

8-/10-bit H.265 up to 4K @ 60fps, H.264 up to 4K @ 30 fps, H.263, VC1, Mpeg1/2, AVS,  Realvideo up to 1080p60

H.265/HEVC @ up to 4K @ 30 fps, H.264, VP8, AVS/AVS+ & MPEG1/2/2 @ 1080p60 , VC1 and MJPEG up to 1080p @ 30 fps

Video Encoding Full HD H.264 video encoding

H.264 up to 1080p @ 60fps

H.264 up to 1080p @ 60fps

RAM 1GB LPDDR2 2GB DDR3
 1 or 2GB DDR3
Storage micro SD card slot micro SD card slot + eMMC socket micro SD card slot
Boot media micro SD card slot, USB or PXE (network boot) micro SD card slot or eMMC socket micro SD card slot
Ethernet

10/100M Ethernet via USB bridge

Gigabit Ethernet Gigabit Ethernet
Wireless Connectivity

WiFi 802.11 b/g/n (2.4GHz) and Bluetooth 4.1 LE

No, requires USB dongle Not included by default, but an optional WiFi 802.11 b/g/n & Bluetooth module can be added
USB 4x USB 2.0 host ports + 1x micro USB port for power only 4x USB 2.0 host ports + micro USB OTG port 2x USB 2.0 host ports
Video HDMI 1.4 with CEC and 3.5mm composite video jack

HDMI 2.0 with CEC

Composite video can be added via unpopulated 2-pin header

HDMI 1.4
Audio  HDMI and 3.5 mm audio jack (Shared with composite video) HDMI
HDMI,  3.5mm audio jack
I/Os and other peripherals

40-pin header with 26 –GPIOs, 1x UART (debugging), 1x SPI, 2x I2C, PCM/I2S, 2x PWM

CSI (camera serial interface)

DSI (display serial interface).

40-pin header with GPIO, I2C, UART, PWM, 1-wire, and ADC

7-pin I2S for audio

Built-in IR receiver

40-pin Raspberry Pi 2 compatible header with up to 27x GPIOs, 1x I2C, 1x SPI, 1x UART.

34-pin “Euler” header with IR, I2S, 1x SPI, 2x UART, S/PDIF

4-lane MIPI DSI connector and touch panel connector

MIPI CSI camera interface 
Power 5V via micro USB
Idle power consumption:
With UI (Raspbian?): 0.31A @ ~5V
Terminal only: 0.22A @ 5.19 V
5V via micro USB OTG port or power barrel
Idle power consumption: TBD
5V via power barrel or 3.7V LiPo battery
Idle power consumption: TBD
Dimensions 85 x 56 mm 85 x 56mm 127mm x 79mm
Linux Support

Official: Raspbian with recent Linux 4.x kernel.

 Many other community supported distros including OpenELEC, OSMC, Ubuntu Matte, Ubuntu Snappy Core, etc…

32-bit user space only (currently)

Mainline Linux support in progress.

Official: Ubuntu 16.04 64-bit images with Linux 3.14 kernel

Amlogic S905 Mainline Linux support in progress (but likely preliminary)

Community: Ubuntu 16.04 64-bit with Kernel 3.10 (No GPU and VPU support)

Mainline support in progress.

Android Support

No (at least not a usable version)

Android 5.1 Android 5.1
Windows 10 IoT Support Yes No Not yet, but maybe later
Community Largest community so far for a development board on Raspberry Pi Forums.

Monthly MagPi magazine

Active community on ODROID forums

Monthly ODROID magazine

Somewhat active Pine64 Forum, but frequency of post should increase once many of the 36,781 Kickstarter backers receive their board
Documentation,  and hardware files. Documentation is available via eLinux RPI Wiki, with little info about Raspberru Pi 3 specifically, but it’s not really an issue, as it’s software compatible with Raspberry Pi 2

Schematics are not available, even in PDF format, and the board hardware is closed source.

Broadcom BCM2837 datasheet is not available, however many of the peripherals will be similar to BCM2835 where the datasheet has been released.

Documentation can be found on ODROID-C2 Wiki.

Schematics (PDF), autocad files, and Amlogic S905 datasheet are not available (yet), but those files were provided for ODROID-C1.

No PCB layout or Gerber files are provided for ODROID boards, so the board is also closed source.

 

Documentation is available on Pine64 Wiki.

Schematics (PDF), and datasheet for all main chips including Allwinner A64 datasheet have been released.

PCB layout and Gerber files are not available, which makes the board closed source.

 

 Listed Price  $35  $40  $19 (1GB RAM) / $29 (2GB RAM) Kickstarter prices
Shipping to US address  $7.99 via MCM Electronics

Total: $42.99

$6.75 on Ameridroid.
Total: $48.70 (Board price is $41.95)
 $7
Total: $26 or $36
Distribution network and Availability Wide sales network, with most online retailers and some brick and mortar shops selling Raspberry Pi boards. Good availability as the foundation produces 300,000 boards before launch Available via Hardkernel, or distributors in US and Europe. Shipping may be costly to some other countries. Currently not available, and it’s not clear which distributions channels will be used. Kickstarter backer s are starting to receive their boards.

Since there’s quite a lot to go through, I may have made some mistakes, or missed some little known features, and corrections are welcome in the comments section. Please note that the prices for Pine A64 is likely to go up a little after the Kickstarter campaign.

Boards are likely to show similar performance in synthetic benchmark, except ODROID-C2 which should show a significant lead. However, I could not find benchmark for Pine A64 right now, and as we’ve seen this morning, Aarch64 improves performance significantly over Aarch32, so current benchmarks are likely to become invalid if/once Raspberry Pi 3 gets a 64-bit port. For example, Pine A64 is currently 15 times faster in sysbench CPU benchmark (prime numner computation) compared to Raspberry Pi 3, and it’s clearly not showing the true performance difference.

As usual there’s no board that is always better than the other two, and depending on your use case, technical ability, and other factors, one board may be better suited to you or your application.

  1. haze
    March 1st, 2016 at 19:23 | #1

    For pine A64, I2S audio with euler “e” connector.

  2. Stephen
    March 1st, 2016 at 19:32 | #2

    I read a blog on the Raspberry Pi web site that the VideoCore 4 GPU is limited to accessing 1GB of memory and there are no plans for a Raspberry Pi with more than 1GB of RAM.

  3. March 1st, 2016 at 19:40 | #3

    @Stephen
    Now they play the backward compatibility card (software and hardware), but one day, maybe next year or 2018, they’ll have to drop it, if they plan on upgrading the hardware and keep up with new technologies.

  4. C
    March 1st, 2016 at 19:48 | #4

    Thank you very much!

    Just this morning (waiting for a A64+ and asking myself if I should also get a C2 ) I was wondering which of these three would be the better device (for certain tasks of course). I planned on checking the net later on in the day if by any chance someone had already made a comparison. Having your site on my RSS feed was really a good choice πŸ™‚

  5. Gabriel Banfalvi
    March 1st, 2016 at 19:50 | #5

    Are there any performance comparisons between the GPUs? I ordered a Pine 64 (before the Pi 3 came out) and now I’m wondering if I should have waited for the C2.

  6. March 1st, 2016 at 19:53 | #6

    @Gabriel Banfalvi
    No benchmark results that I’m aware of, but the penta core Mali-450MP GPU will be significantly faster than Mali-400MP2 GPU. I think you can forgot about 3D games on Pine A64, and 2D games may also feel sluggish in Android.

  7. Nobody of Import
    March 1st, 2016 at 20:16 | #7

    The Pi 3 and the C2 are going to be your preferred choices (And we’re back to the tradeoffs discussion I’ve been having with a lot of people on G+ over these two and a few others… :D) because of the specs. If they keep the price past Kickstarter on the Pine64, it’s going to be all three dependng on what you’re doing.

    Honestly, 1Gb vs 2Gb isn’t as big a deal as you think it. Unless you’ve got applications that USE more than a Gig or a lot of small apps that do, it’s not as important as you’d think. It’s “checkboxing”, more than anything (which the Pi 3 avoids some of this by not trying to do GigE, etc. as these things don’t mater overmuch with this class of device…still…) and I look at more what does the board actually DO for me versus my requirements. If I can’t lay hands easily on a C3…what does it matter if it’s got the faster CPUs (And you may want/need the C3 for just that very reason…)? If you’re not leveraging it, what does 2Gb of RAM matter?

  8. tkaiser
    March 1st, 2016 at 20:21 | #8

    It should be noted that counting USB ports doesn’t tell that much about available bandwidth. Both ODROID and RPi 3 use an internal USB hub, even worse the RPi’s Fast Ethernet is also connected to its USB hub and the BCM2837 still only features one USB2.0 connection to the outside. So expect worst I/O and network bandwidth there (especially when used in parallel). GBit Ethernet is using an own bus on C2 and Pine64 and the Pine’s 2 USB ports do not have to share bandwidth.

    S905 and A64 are throttling candidates and i would suspect the same is true for BCM2837. We should stark taking that into account when talking about performance since Intel’s ‘Turbo Boost’ somehow landet in ARM land (maybe superiour peak performance when a single CPU core runs at 2GHz for 30 seconds but when all CPU cores are busy performance/clockspeeds immediately decrease unless advanced/annoying cooling techniques are used).

  9. Gabriel Banfalvi
    March 1st, 2016 at 20:28 | #9

    @cnxsoft Ah that really sucks, are there any smallish boards with a significantly faster GPU?

  10. March 1st, 2016 at 20:42 | #10

    @Gabriel Banfalvi
    I think ODROID-C2’s GPU is fairly OK, based on my tests of other Amlogic S905 devices.
    It you want something a bit more powerful (GPU), then Geekbox or RK3288-Firefly are options, but they cost a little over $100. What do you want to do with it?

  11. Steve
    March 1st, 2016 at 20:47 | #11

    I’d also take a note of the kernel development.

    As the table shows the C2 is currently shipping with an old 3.14LTS kernel which is EOL in August this year. Lots of problems with newer hardware (like DVB-T2 sticks, newer WiFi adaptors etc.) because the drivers are only in newer kernels, and the AMLogic Kernel headers aren’t quite right for running Media_Build etc. to compile new driver support.

    The Pine 64 is even older with Kernel 3.10…

    ODroid forums are saying that AMLogic and Hardkernel are now agreed to working on 4.4LTS kernel development starting in May – so things may improve. At the moment it’s not a great situation.

    The Pi series have development builds of Kernel 4.5 and are usually current. Can’t comment on the Pine 64.

    (Most kernel development for non-Raspberry Pis is being driven by Android – which can run on top of elderly kernels…)

  12. Armer
    March 1st, 2016 at 20:52 | #12

    Here is more informative sysbench results on C2.
    http://forum.odroid.com/viewtopic.php?f=136&t=19158
    The C2 seems to be 40% faster than others probably.

  13. tkaiser
    March 1st, 2016 at 20:55 | #13

    Small addendum regarding Pine64’s USB bandwidth: The upper USB port is OTG in reality and can be switched to host mode. At least in the current state of Allwinner’s 3.10.65 Android kernel that doesn’t work that good. Tried to measure I/O bandwidth and on the upper (OTG) port this led to a disconnected SSD and ext4 errors almost immediately. So the C2 clearly wins (OTG + 1 host and 4 receptacles through USB hub)

    BTW: Just testing an USB connected SSD on Pine64+ with a well known crappy USB cable to power the Pine led already to a deadlock πŸ™‚ Therefore Pine64 customers should’ve an eye on the RPi Foundation’s new PSU for the RPi 3 (2.5A rated and hopefully low resistance)

  14. March 1st, 2016 at 20:58 | #14

    @tkaiser
    I forgot to mention that in any of my posts, but for some reasons I don’t understand they said the official Raspberry Pi 3 5V/2.5A power supply should not be used with other devices…

  15. Bizz
    March 1st, 2016 at 21:49 | #15

    @Stephen

    Broadcom needs an upgrade to VideoCore V… Rev. IV dates back to 2012! 😐

  16. Patrick Wood
    March 1st, 2016 at 22:19 | #16

    According to the Pine64 web site, CEC is supported on their HDMI port (haven’t tried it yet). The 16.04 Ubuntu distro isn’t “official”. It’s a community release based on the Android linux BSP released by Allwinner, mostly thanks to this guy’s amazing effort: https://github.com/longsleep

  17. Patrick Wood
    March 1st, 2016 at 22:21 | #17

    @Steve
    There’s a very raw 4.4 kernel for the Pine 64 based off mainline. It’s mostly the work of an Arm engineer who’s got a beta board.

  18. tkaiser
    March 1st, 2016 at 22:33 | #18

    @cnxsoft
    Good point. Maybe they use the 2 data lines also for power to overcome the ‘max 1.8A/5V’ Micro USB limitation (according to specs — most of the times undervoltage is the real problem with this crappy DC-IN connector due to USB cables having way too high resistance)

  19. data
    March 1st, 2016 at 22:40 | #19

    pine’s a64 and odroid s905 are 28nm process. I fear bcm2837 of pi3 is still 40nm but it could be 28nm process info should probably be cleared by facts in the coming days .

  20. tkaiser
    March 1st, 2016 at 22:59 | #20

    @data
    In a personal conversation the Pine64 founder cited Allwinner’s A64 PM writing A64 is still 40nm. This would also explain a bit the low clockspeeds (1152 max by default). Allwinner’s A83T (now also called H8/R58) is made in an 28nm process and able to clock up to 2GHz (if the board isn’t already deadlocked due to undercurrent/undervoltage πŸ˜‰ )

  21. bernstein
    March 1st, 2016 at 23:29 | #21

    Thanks a lot!
    Also Pine64+ backer here. imho the only remaining advantages of the pine64+ are the multiple UART & SPI interfaces, the lipo capability and integrated RTC. or DSI/CSI+GbE combo. plus at $19/29 it’s half the price of the others.
    so its still a great allround/tinker or cluster board but for other specific projects i’d get the RPi3, C2+, Pi0, chip or oPi1…

  22. Brian
    March 2nd, 2016 at 00:14 | #22

    @cnxsoft
    Thank you for the interesting posting.
    Please add the information about HiFi Shield at Audio/ODROID-C2 part.

    http://www.hardkernel.com/main/products/prdt_info.php?g_code=G143729448865

  23. tkaiser
    March 2nd, 2016 at 00:39 | #23

    @Armer
    Regarding ‘informative sysbench results’: It should be obvious since yesterday that sysbench is pretty useless to compare different architectures (be it software or hardware). And regarding allegedly being 40% more performant compared to the others: using the silly sysbench ‘benchmark’ we’re talking now about 2.8 seconds instead of 3.25 seconds as published by me yesterday for the Pine64+. What has been ‘optimised’? The code? Nope, just thermal settings. Details in the thread you already linked to: http://forum.odroid.com/viewtopic.php?f=136&t=19158

    BTW: It’s way too early to do any serious benchmarking with A64/Pine64. The sysbench result was just a demonstration that optimised code matters if we’re talking about ARMv8 now πŸ™‚

  24. March 2nd, 2016 at 00:48 | #24

    NOTE: The audio box for C2 should also show I2S for audio.

    • Gisle Dac Artes
      April 4th, 2016 at 14:46 | #25

      Does I2S Dac/sound-card fit the latest Pi 3?

  25. blu
    March 2nd, 2016 at 02:19 | #26

    @tkaiser
    That bit about the 40nm A64 is a bit surprising – I don’t think ARM ever announced A53 on 40nm. From what I recall A9 r4 was already 28nm.

  26. pico bello
    March 2nd, 2016 at 03:15 | #27

    Too bad we only get all this half-baked stuff. The “development boards” completely miss the point by providing wildly mismatching hardware with no solid software basics at all :

    – Raspi3 goes ARM64 with 32bit software, USB2 hub, SnailLan100 slave and a wonderful community πŸ™‚
    – Hardkernel Odroid kicks out another expensive board without any support ( closed source ) for Android fans.
    – Pine64 does not fit anywhere, but if you need another closed-source Android TV-stick, kickstart back.

    Mainline Linux support is in progress for all these heaps of assorted ICs and – learning from history – they will remain in progress. When will some hardware seller have mercy and provide a SIMPLE BASIC BOARD properly exposing the
    capabilities of the sophisticated SOCs in standard FREE software ? ( answer : thanks for asking )

    Developers love boards they do not have to develop first.

  27. tkaiser
    March 2nd, 2016 at 03:16 | #28

    @blu
    Well, the question was “It’s 28nm isn’t it?” and the answer “40nm”. BTW: I had to discover half an hour ago that history will repeat and A64 will be blamed for heat and stability problems just like H3 before: https://github.com/longsleep/build-pine64-image/issues/4

    At least at 1536 MHz A64 will perform ~0.5% better than S905 playing silly sysbench games πŸ˜‰

  28. data
    March 2nd, 2016 at 03:43 | #29

    true allwinner a64 is probably still 40nm as slow frequency indicates… thanks a lot tkaiser for your info.

  29. tkaiser
    March 2nd, 2016 at 03:52 | #30

    @data
    Regarding ‘slow frequency’: Just figured out that A64 can be overvolted/overclocked just like H3 back then. In this mode (at 1536MHz) A64 performs identical to S905 as long as we’re talking about irrelevant sysbench results πŸ˜‰

  30. memeka
    March 2nd, 2016 at 03:54 | #31

    @Gabriel Banfalvi

    no GPU tests it seems, i had a comment on another post (http://www.cnx-software.com/2016/02/29/raspberry-pi-3-board-is-powered-by-broadcom-bcm2827-cortex-a53-processor-sells-for-35/#ixzz41gdJTq4g) with the raw performance numbers quoted for each GPU:

    videocore4 @ 250Mhz (p1,pi2): 24GFlops
    videocore4 @ 400Mhz (pi3): ??? (~38 GFlops?)
    mali450mp2 @ 500Mhz (c1): 30GFlops
    mali450mp3 @ 750Mhz (c2): 56GFlops
    malit628mp6 @ 533MHz (xu4): 102GFlops

    mali400mp2 @600Mhz (pine): 10GFlops

  31. March 2nd, 2016 at 04:04 | #32

    A64 is 28nm according to http://linux-sunxi.org/A64

    don’t think it has cec but if you are going to build a media machine the O-Droid is clearly the better choice and AmLogic has several official and unofficial openelec builds.

  32. March 2nd, 2016 at 09:03 | #33

    I2S is now only listed in the expansion headers part, and all three boards support it.

  33. March 2nd, 2016 at 09:06 | #34

    @data
    BCM2837 is 40nm, as confirmed on Raspberry Pi forums @ https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=138153&p=917200

    Dunno, that part is on 28nm, the Pi3 is 40nm. I think overclocking is going to be limited on Pi3.

  34. blu
    March 2nd, 2016 at 19:25 | #35

    @tkaiser
    Thanks for the elaboration on A64. BTW, that RPi-monitor looks quite nifty. I might start using it sooner than later, once my (cpu-burning) pet project gains speed.

  35. tkaiser
    March 2nd, 2016 at 20:09 | #36

    @blu
    I wrote RPi-Monitor templates for A10/A20/A13, H3, A83T/H8, A64 and Actions Semi’s S500 already and a few more will follow soon. The Armbian teams plans to develop an ‘armbianmonitor’ approach providing on every supported SBC the collection of these monitoring sources at the same place so they can be easily monitored with either RPi-Monitor or via SNMP (or any other solution that can adjust source paths). So we’re not only enabling our users to get a clue what’s going on and provide comprehensive error reports in case something gets wrong but also integration in professional environments might improve πŸ™‚

  36. memeka
    March 3rd, 2016 at 07:21 | #37

    you can easily replicate rpi-monitor … what i did was install collectd – with a lot of plugins for stuff to be monitored and saved in RRD – then exported the RRD in charts using highcharts – i did https://github.com/mihailescu2m/collectionjs – you can have v nice charts like this: http://imgur.com/X4yYXqB

  37. natsu
    March 3rd, 2016 at 20:19 | #38

    odroid seems very nice
    here is the first preview from amiredroid

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJucQCbH3-4

  38. juha
    March 4th, 2016 at 16:18 | #39

    Raspi 3 can boot from network and USB. That is great and usefull and should give it green mark for the boot media line.
    No other board can boot from network.

  39. March 4th, 2016 at 16:26 | #40

    @juha
    Both are clearly nice features to have, but it did not get a green line because ODROID-C2 has its own advantage: eMMC flash support.

  40. March 6th, 2016 at 15:12 | #41

    Raspberry Pi 3 benchmarks vs Orange Pi PC, Jetson TK1, ODROID C1 Plus etc…
    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=raspberry-pi-3&num=1

  41. tkaiser
    March 6th, 2016 at 17:42 | #42

    @juha
    “No other board can boot from network” is not entirely true since u-boot supports that since quite some time. You still need a small portion of storage on the board since u-boot isn’t implemented as part of the SoC but then you’re able to do PXE (network boot) or boot from USB, SATA or whatever. We at Armbian just recently added network boot capabilities to our build system.

    @cnxsoft
    Weird benchmark results as usual. OPi Plus/PC use the same SoC and should behave absolutely identical so he’s testing obviously NOT hardware but something else. Just downloaded Phoronix test suite on OPi PC running Armbian and will give it a try…

  42. mdel
    March 6th, 2016 at 18:07 | #43

    cnxsoft :
    Both are clearly nice features to have, but it did not get a green line because ODROID-C2 has its own advantage: eMMC flash support.

    well that’s not really fair price wise : c2 + emmc 8G (+reader) = 40+18+5 = $63
    whereas rpi pxe or usb boot are included features at no extra cost.

    and i’d really like to see a performance “comparison” between c2 emmc and and rpi3 usb ssd boot for example..

  43. tkaiser
    March 7th, 2016 at 07:24 | #44
  44. March 7th, 2016 at 09:42 | #45

    @tkaiser
    He did check out RPI3 temperature in a new post though: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Raspberry-Pi-3-Warm

    Details with benchmarks + temperature http://openbenchmarking.org/result/1603069-GA-RASPBERRY16

  45. tkaiser
    March 7th, 2016 at 14:32 | #46

    @cnxsoft
    Checking out internal temperatures is nice (and often wrong/uncalibrated), but you also have to monitor cpufreq today since thermal throttling is part of the game. And at least for recent Allwinner SoCs you have to monitor the count of active CPUs cores also since Allwinner chose to kill CPU cores as throttling strategy (that is something that happened to Michael but he didn’t notice and he still uses benchmarks results that are plain wrong).

    The first step is to check throttling behaviour (using cpuburn https://github.com/ssvb/cpuburn-arm for example). Then you know whether you can continue without heatsink/fan or not. Ignoring that and letting synthetic benchmarks run on ‘factory defaults’ you’re just producing a huge amount of meaningless numbers. At least when these numbers are used to compare different systems instead of using them to optimise software or to make clever decisions.

    Using ‘John the ripper’ as benchmark is a good idea when you crack passwords for a living. And then the result can be interpreted as ‘all SBC tested are too slow except of the 2 from NVIDIA since there GPGPU can be used’. Using C-Ray as benchmark might be interesting to study the result of compiler optimisations and see how performance improves if you make use of NEON or ARMv8 optimised code (then both benchmark scores and temperatures might increase a lot). But using a raytracer on different systems where different GCC versions are installed and then drawing the conclusion hardware A would generally be faster than B is weird (and that’s what the Phoronix test suite is always misused for)

  46. tkaiser
    March 7th, 2016 at 16:19 | #47

    And this ‘official’ Phoronix comparison of RPi 3 vs. ODROID C2 is interesting http://openbenchmarking.org/result/1603051-GA-ODROIDPI362 since he’s not testing the difference between two pieces of hardware but his tests show instead

    a) it’s worth to use ARMv8 optimised code on ARMv8 since performance improves
    b) using a fast SD card improves the SQLite performance a lot
    c) wearing a huge heatsink as on the C2 is useful to get better performance

    If he would’ve compared two ODROID-C2 (the other with slow SD card, without heatsink and using the wrong architecture — he even uses ‘-march=armv6 -marm’ for the FFmpeg test!) the numbers he gets would be of any use. But using the RPi 3 all the people comparing the numbers just conclude: ‘C2 is faster than RPi 3’ (without thinking a second about compiler settings, thermal throttling and IOPS)

  47. tkaiser
    March 7th, 2016 at 17:01 | #48

    OMG, he’s even using different cpufreq governors when comparing two pieces of hardware (performance vs. ondemand)! That might also be the reason for the huge difference in the SQLite benchmark results.

    Testing two different SD cards and two different cpufreq governors (maybe keeping the RPi 3 all the time at its lowest clockspeed when doing disk intensive tasks?) and drawing conclusions about ‘boards’ afterwards. The typical misuse of the Phoronix test suite πŸ™

  48. March 7th, 2016 at 17:01 | #49

    @tkaiser
    Since in theory ODROID-C2 is about 66% faster than Raspberry Pi 3, many of his results are actually quite close to what you would expect. The SQLite is a quite ridiculous though and I can see he used different SD cards for both systems.

    What people actually test are hardware + software combinations, and it’s somewhat valid at a given time since for example 64-bit OS is not available for RPi3. In the case of crypto tests, you also have to taken into account whether the software makes use of the crypto engine found in some SoCs.

    Even with active benchmarking there’s never a way to give a simple answer, because people will run different types of workloads, at different ambient temperature (results at 40C are likely to be different than at 20C), and people may get a case – possibly with heatsink and fan – for their board, which may either worsen or improve performance under load.

  49. tkaiser
    March 7th, 2016 at 17:29 | #50

    @cnxsoft
    All true and that’s why these general purpose benchmarks are pretty worthless to compare different boards. If my use case is watching video I should better look whether HW accelerated video encoding is available or not. And then an RPi Zero that looks pretty weak in all benchmarks might outperform a high performing (according to benchmarks) board easily. Something you would never expect if you look at the wrong ‘overall performance’ benchmark scores.

    If my use case is encryption I should take a look whether I can use the encryption engine or not or in case of ‘John the ripper’ whether I can use GPGPU capabilities like CUDA on NVIDIA boards (again: just the availability of drivers matters and not silly general purpose benchmarks that are misused to compare numbers without meaning)

    And if I really care about performance then nowadays I have to take special precautions to get performance (check/improve heat dissipation, check/adjust throttling strategies, check/improve the cpufreq governor and its strategies regarding IO bound workloads). Without having all of this in mind these benchmarks numbers are just worthless.

  50. tkaiser
    March 9th, 2016 at 16:16 | #51

    That happens when you try to benchmark hardware correctly: http://openbenchmarking.org/result/1603083-GA-1603082GA36

    The last three results are Orange Pi PC and Pine64+ with sane settings and not weird ‘factory defaults’ Michael prefers/uses all the time.

  51. March 9th, 2016 at 17:13 | #52

    @tkaiser
    Interesting to see that ARMv8 is always faster than 32-bit code for Pine64 in all the benchmarks shown in this summary.

    By the way, “Factory defaults” testing has its use too since it shows what performance / experience you may expect out of the box. It all depends what you intend to test.

  52. tkaiser
    March 9th, 2016 at 17:58 | #53

    @cnxsoft
    Yeah, regarding ‘factory defaults’ it’s really interesting to compare the benchmark numbers for Orange Pi Plus/PC (factory defaults vs. Armbian settings)

    But to be honest: If I really care about performance I will both take care of heat dissipation (mounting a heatsink if it’s not already ‘factory default’ like with ODROIDs) and compiler settings. Please have a look at the Smallpt renderer benchmark. Michael gets a score of ~1500 for Pine64 and mine was 7 times faster: 215. Just by letting the compiler optimise code and use NEON (-O2 vs. -O3) which is the first thing everyone will do who wants to use Smallpt in productive use. That’s not different hardware but just compiler switches!

    The PTS can be used as a great exercise in optimising code and tuning compiler settings to push the envelope. But as used on Phoronix.com as ‘side by side’ hardware benchmarks it’s just plain bullsh*t. And it misleads the average user who thinks these numbers will tell him how the board behaves in the areas he’s interested in (for example: watching H.265 on RPi 3 might already require overclocking while the same task will run on a dirt-cheap Orange Pi One HW accelerated — at least with Armbian, no idea how ‘factory defaults’ would look like since manufacturer provided OS images are all crap more or less except of RPi’s and Hardkernel’s)

  53. xtcrefugee
    March 11th, 2016 at 20:49 | #54

    @cnxsoft
    “I think you can forgot about 3D games on Pine A64, and 2D games may also feel sluggish in Android”

    It’s the same GPU used in the MT6582, which is clocked nearly the same as the Pine A64 but only uses A7 cores. If you search for MT6582 on YouTube you’ll see smartphones with that SoC happily running Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, Asphalt 8 and plenty of other 3D titles.

  54. March 11th, 2016 at 21:11 | #55

    @xtcrefugee
    That processor is limited to 1280×720 display max, so yes if you lower the resolution it will help.

  55. tkaiser
    March 11th, 2016 at 23:05 | #56

    Just as an example how active benchmarking was already able to improve Pine64 performance a lot: http://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=389&pid=3410#pid3410

  56. XFCEr
    March 12th, 2016 at 01:08 | #57

    @Gabriel Banfalvi There is Odroid xu4 I install first ubuntu and the debian (more stable) I use it for webserver , webradio lighttpd mysql icecast php mintpenguins.com.Is so fast that for browsing and media player can repace my desktop easily.In android odroid xu4 with Samsung 5422 and Mali-T628 antutu score more than 50k and all that around 100$

  57. March 12th, 2016 at 09:19 | #58

    @tkaiser
    I think I should play with RPI-Monitor, it looks like a nice way to remotely monitor a board, and draws pretty and useful charts.

  58. mdel
    March 12th, 2016 at 13:33 | #59

    i don’t want to intrude but i’m a bit skeptical as to the point of focusing on those benchmarks.
    I do understand how benchmarks can be used to compare processing power between similar hardware archs, to evaluate cpu/gpu evolution, however i wonder if it’s as marginal (10%-30%) as with desktop hardware (in a price range)..

    i don’t play games on android or mobile devices so i really can’t say anything about that, to me it’s all mobile “casual” gaming, so performance is mostly irrelevant, either it runs fine or it doesn’t..

    The fact that those “mobile” platforms can be used for desktop use, especially web browsing, is very interesting. But i’d be much more interested to see benchmark comparing somehow those cpu /gpu to desktop hardwares, lets say current intel/amd cpus with integrated graphics.

    As for the price, as mentioned above, at 100e i will get a fairly recent (2012-2014) desktop hardware (that will run win7 perfectly, not my choice) with real storage space..

    OS aside, do you think there will be or see a competition between arm boxes and low end x86 desktop hardware ?

  59. tkaiser
    March 13th, 2016 at 03:11 | #60

    @cnxsoft
    RPi-Monitor or something similar is IMO mandatory to make connections/relationships visible. Just tried it with comparing old/new throttling strategies for Pine64+: http://forum.pine64.org/showthread.php?tid=389&pid=3466#pid3466

    BTW: HW accelerated HEVC/H.264 video decoding and GPU acceleration already possible on A64. So if you choose relevant benchmarks (at least using the stuff the average user is interested in) at the moment the winner is Pine64

  60. rahlquist
    March 14th, 2016 at 21:13 | #61

    @pico bello
    Yeah its rather unfortunate. I am waiting on my Pine64 to get here to play with. My Pi2 I like and it does what I need it for at the moment (its doubling as a cheaper more capable security camera). But the biggest issue I have is so many of these boards have so many OSS issues. The latest blog post on Pi3 http://nullr0ute.com/2016/03/lipstick-on-a-pig-aka-the-raspberry-pi-3/ just wow… Even with the outstanding Pi community you can have issues that go unaddressed etc.

    I would love to see a solid performer with removable ram and some sort of decent bus. Of course the problem there is going to licensing costs etc. GPU are also a sticking point.

  61. April 27th, 2016 at 20:06 | #62

    How well does an Odroid-C2 with Android play back 10bit h.264 with software decoding using MX Player?

    I know MX Player can handle 4:2:0 10bit h.264, but I’m interested in if it can handle the CPU usage on Odroid-C2. (Both 1080p and 720p.)

    No idea if it can software decode 4:4:4 720p 10bit h.264, though…

  62. dogh
    May 10th, 2016 at 18:50 | #63

    I can’t understand why you all are so hot for this cheap devices to be able to play 4K60Hz with 10 or even 12 Bit HDR and Dolby Vision but absolutely don’t care that none of these can be used to play back High Definition Audio. Not even with HDMI passthrough to a potent AVR.

  63. Edy
    May 31st, 2016 at 04:57 | #64

    The Pine64’s HDMI also supports CEC (at least according to their FAQ). They also started taking normal orders AFAIK. But saying Pine64 has got documentation is a joke. They have jack s***. Everything is user-contrib. Everything. Even OS images.

  64. June 10th, 2016 at 04:44 | #65

    Thanks for the 3-way comparison. I can see the effort put in but it will benefit a lot of folks.

    I bought a Pine A64+ 2GB. I wrote up my vendor & installation experience here:
    https://www.element14.com/community/community/designcenter/single-board-computers/blog/2016/06/08/installing-and-setting-up-a-pine-a64-a64-a64-with-2gb

  65. piUser
    July 29th, 2016 at 05:59 | #66

    I’m pretty sure the pi3 only has HDMI 1.3
    HDMI 1.4 adds 4k support, which the pi does not. (you can overclock the pixel clock and force the mode, but it is not officially supported and may not get a stable lock.

  66. B Smith
    August 1st, 2016 at 06:05 | #67

    In your comparison chart you listed C2 Linux support as “Official: Ubuntu 16.04 32-bit and 64-bit images with Linux 3.14 kernel”, however I have not found any 32-bit images for the C2 (official or otherwise). This proved to be a big problem for my project as needed dependencies were not available for arm64 and configuring for multi arch was a problem on C2 (possibly due to missed kernel patches). If you are aware of a 32bit system image for C2 I would really like to know where I can find it!

  67. August 1st, 2016 at 09:05 | #68

    @B Smith
    I can’t find it anymore. So either they dropped 32-bit OS support, or it was a mistake in the table (now removed).
    So I don’t think they’ll be able to provide a 32-bit image, but you could try to talk to ODROID via their forums or IRC about your multiarch issue.

  68. mary
    September 4th, 2016 at 15:22 | #69

    what this space “Quirky boots in 9 seconds on Pi3” http://barryk.org/news/?viewDetailed=00398

    should be an iso forth coming soon

    i am preferring to get odroid-c2 so if you can advise whether the forth coming quirky ARM iso WILL WORK ON THAT IT WOULD BE NICE.
    preliminary inquiry in fortune town bkk didnt have about two months ago

  69. mary
    September 8th, 2016 at 07:59 | #70
  70. mary
    October 26th, 2016 at 11:31 | #71

    Quirky Linux 8.1 for Raspberry Pi2 and Pi3 released 23-Oct-2016 by Barry Kauler

    “This is the first release of Quirky built for ARM boards, specifically the Raspberry Pi2 and Pi3. Brief release announcement:
    Quirky 8.1 is built using Ubuntu Xenial Xerus 16.04 armv7 DEBs and some especially compiled PET packages such as SeaMonkey 2.40.
    Version 8.1 is the first to be built for the ARM platform, specifically the Raspberry Pi2 and Pi3. Note that Quirky will not work on a Pi1. It is expected a build for the Odroid XU4 is coming soon.”

    more at http://barryk.org/news/?viewDetailed=00441

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