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Posts Tagged ‘odroid-u’

Android 5.0 Lollipop Coming to Allwinner A33 & A80, Rockchip RK3288, and More…

November 17th, 2014 14 comments

I can often see questions requesting whether SoC XYZ will support Android 5.0 Lollipop. The good news is that last week, I’ve read lots of news about Android 5.0 support on various devices including Nvidia Shield tablet, Motorola G & X smartphones, and of course the Google Nexus devices. A developer (Nanik T.) also ported Android Lollipop to ODROID U3 development board based on Exynos 4412, and he mentioned that “porting was pretty straight forward as KK and 5.0 does not have a lot of differences in terms of HAL”, which means there’s hope for more recent devices and SoCs getting the update.

Rockchip_RK3288_LollipopChinese SoC vendors are also getting the word out that they are working on Android 5.0. Rockchip announced Lollipop support for RK3288 processor (original news in Chinese) probably coming to tablets first, and Android TV boxes later. They used their reference platforms in the provided pictures, and did not publish ETA for public availability.

Allwinner also showcased Android 5.0 on an Allwinner A33 tablet (see embedded video below), and I’ve been told Android 5.0 and Chrome OS would soon be released for Android A80 too.

XDA Developers also reported some other smartphones got the Lollipop treat.

First Tizen 3.0 Common Milestone Released, Developer Program Announced

June 5th, 2014 No comments

The Tizen Steering Group has announced the first release of Tizen 3.0 Common. Tizen Common is the common subset of development / build / test platform of the Tizen profiles, used by platform developers to develop the next version of the profiles, and a Tizen 3.0 common release is planned every quarter.

This milestone release includes:

  • 64-bit support for both Intel and ARM architecturesTizen Mobile Linux Distribution with HTML5 APIs
  • Crosswalk-based web runtime
  • Multiuser support
  • Systemd
  • Security: three-domain rule system for SMACK and Cynara as authorization framework
  • Wayland display server

Pre-built binary releases for can be downloaded @ http://download.tizen.org/releases/daily/tizen/common/common-wayland-x86_64/tizen_20140602.26/ for Intel Atom 3815 NUC Kit and NEXCOM VTC1010 in-vehicle computer based on Intel Atom 3825. However, Tizen 3.0 Common will also be tested on Intel NUC Haswell (core i5),  Lenovo x230 IvyBridge (core i5) and on the ARM side, ODROID-U3 development board.

If you want to build your own, refer to the developer guide, using tizen_common_2014.Q2 tag.

More details can be found on Tizen 3.0 Wiki, and questions can be asked on the tizen developers mailing list.

Separately, but still related to Tizen, when Samsung announced the Samung Z Tizen phone, they also mention an upcoming special developer program to boost the number of apps available on the Tizen Store at launch. Tizen Experts reports that developers will keep 100% of revenues from the Tizen Store, including in-apps sales for one year, excluding taxes and carrier billing / banking fees, with no signup fees, nor app submission fees. So if you are an app developer, and already have designed Android, iOS or HTML5 apps, it may be worth the effort to port them to Tizen, and sign up to the Tizen Store.

Dedicated Hosting Services on ARM Development Boards (Cubieboard2, Raspberry Pi, ODROID…)

March 12th, 2014 11 comments

At least two companies have recently launched hosting services using dedicated ARM servers based on low cost development boards: NanoXion with its NX-BOX service powered by PiBox (Raspberry Pi) and CubieBox (Cubieboard 2) microservers, and miniNodes with servers based on Cubieboard2 first, then ODROID development boards, and possibly AllWinner OptimusBoard once/if it becomes available.

PiBox Dedicated Server

PiBox Dedicated Server

The PiBox will feature a Raspberry Pi Model B with 512 MB RAM, and 16GB Class 10 UHS-1 microSD card by Samsung, and the dual core Cubiebox comes with 1GB RAM and a Crucial M500 SATA III 120GB SSD. Both NX-BOXes run Linux Debian Server NX distribution, support instant remote reboot, with guaranteed 10 Mbps connectivity for IPv4 & IPv6, and unlimited bandwidth. The boards are all hosted in France.

The company expects their ARM servers to be used as private cloud servers, backup servers, private chat servers, web servers, mail servers, DNS Servers, monitoring servers, and well as some other proprietary solutions their customers may come up with.

Pricing starts at 7.19 Euros per month for the PiBox, 11.18 Euros per month for the Cubiebox, including an IPv6 address, and the service requires a commitment of one year.

miniNodes, which is US based, has just started yesterday to offer Cubieboard2 dedicated server for early adopters and enthusiasts. Cubieboard 2 features a dual core AllWinner A20 SoC @1.0 Ghz, 1 GB RAM, and 4 GB NAND that runs Ubuntu Server 13.04. There does not appear to have any external storage in their microservers at this stage, and bandwidth information is not available. The only option is currently hosting costs $19 US per month, but once they officially launch they’ll offer options to purchase clusters with up to 25 Cubieboard2 and more choices for the OS (Ubuntu or Fedora). If everything goes according to plan quad core hardkernel ODROID boards will be added to the line-up soon, and Allwinner Optimus Board powered by AllWinner A80 octa-core processor might also be considered.

$69.95 NanoPC-T1 by FriendlyARM Features Samsung Exynos 4412 SoC

January 20th, 2014 19 comments

If you like low cost boards by Hardkernel such as ODROID-U3, but the add-ons required, and/or shipping costs put you off, an alternative will soon be available thanks to FriendlyARM NanoPC-T1, a tiny computer designed and manufactured by CoreWind Tech FriendlyARM Guangzhou, and powered by Samsung Exynos 4412 quad core Cortex A9 SoC with 1GB RAM, and 4GB built-in flash.
NanoPCFriendlyARM NanoPC specifications:

  • SoC – Samsung Exynos 4412 quad core Cortex-A9 @ 1.5GHz + Mali-400MP4 GPU
  • System Memory1GB DDR3 RAM, 32bit data bus
  • Storage – 4GB eMMC Flash + SD Card slot
  • Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet (RJ45)
  • Video Output – HDMI
  • Audio –  3.5mm Audio Out jack
  • USB – 1x micro USB OTG, 2x USB 2.0 host ports
  • Expansions and I/Os:
    • UART –  4 x TTL UART
    • LCD –  TFT LCD interface, support Capacitive/Resistive touch driver
    • 2x Digital sensor input
    • CMOS CAMERA Interface
    • MIPI interface – Support HD Camera
    • 30x GPIO
  • Misc – 2x User keys,  2x User LEDs
  • Power Supply – DC 5V/2A input

FriendlyARM_NanoPC_Description

The company will provide support for Linux + Qt, Ubuntu 12.04, and Android 4.2.2, and the source code will be available in a DVD sent with the board.

Compared to ODROID-U3, NanoPC uses a slightly slower processor (Exynos 4412 vs Exynos 4412 Prime), has less RAM (1GB vs 2GB), only 2 USB ports (vs 3 for ODROID-U3), but it does come with 4GB eMMC (only eMMC socket for U3), has much more available I/Os, and the case is included in the price.

NanoPC will be available on the 25th of February 2014 for 399 CNY / $69.95  + shipping?. Accessories (PSU, Ethernet, Serial, and USB cables) and a Universal RS-232 adapter included free for the first orders.  There’s no clear information yet about shipping cost, but checking on CoreWind eStore they have 4 shipping methods: DHL/Fedex ($36), EMS/Post Express ($16), ARAMEX ($31), and “pickup” charged via your courier account. So you may not save much compared to the $25 charged by Hardkernel. When I tried to order an existing board via Paypal it defaulted to $36 on FriendlyARM.

You may also find more information FriendlyARM NanoPC-T1 page, and pre-order via andahammer.com.

Thanks to Dave for the tip.

Radxa Rock and ODROID-U3 Quad Core Development Boards Comparison

January 14th, 2014 24 comments

If you want a quad core development board for less than $100, you only have two choices right now: Radxa Rock powered by Rockchip RK3188, and Hardkernel ODROID-U3 powered by Samsung Exynos 4412 prime. There are also a few Freescale i.MX 6Q boards such as Wandboard Quad and UDOO Quad for around $130 which you could consider because of potentially better software support and features like SATA, but in this post, I’ll compare Radxa Rock and ODROID-U3 to help you decide which one may be right for your application or project.

Radxa_Rock_ODROID-U3Let’s get right to the subject, with a side-by-side comparison table.

Radxa Rock Hardkernel ODROID-U3 Comments
Processor Rockchip RK3188 ARM Cortex-A9 quad core @ 1.6Ghz Samsung Exynos 4412 Prime quad core Cortex A9 @ 1.7 Ghz Slight advantage for ODROID-U3, but it’s basically a draw.
GPU ARM Mali-400 MP4 GPU ARM Mali-400MP4 GPU @ 440MHz Same GPU, that’s a draw.
System Memory 2GB DDR3 @ 800Mhz 2GB LP-DDR2 @ 880MHz Same amount of RAM, but clocked slightly higher on ODROID-U3. Almost a draw.
Storage 8GB Nand Flash, micro-SD SDXC up to 128GB microSD slot, eMMC module socket Radxa comes with internal flash, you’ll have to pay $25 extra to get an 8GB eMMC module with ODROID-U3, unless you use a microSD for booting. eMMC performance should be better than standard NAND flash.
Video Output HDMI 1.4, AV Out micro HDMI
Audio I/O HDMI, optical S/PDIF, built-in microphone micro HDMI, 3.5mm audio out jack
Connectivity 10/100M Ethernet
WIFI 150Mbps 802.11b/g/n with external antenna
Bluetooth 4.0
10/100Mbps Ethernet WiFi and Bt 4.0 can also be added to ODROID-U3 via USB. Any dongle would do, but they cost $8 each on hardkernel website.
USB 2x USB 2.0 host port, 1x micro USB OTG 3x USB 2.0 Host ports, 1x USB 2.0 device for ADB/mass storage
Debugging UART connector for serial console (3.3V) UART connector for serial console (1.8V)
Expansion headers 2x 40-pin headers with GPIO, I2C, SPI, Line in, USB 2.0, PWM, ADC, LCD,… etc 8-pin I/O header Much more I/O pin available in Radxa Rock,. You can connect a U3-IO shield board ($20) to get more I/O pins and Arduino compatibility on ODROID-U3
Misc IR sensor, power key, recovery key, reset key, 3 LEDs, RTC Power switch, power and heartbeat LEDs, connector for RTC back-up battery connector
Dimensions 100×80 mm 83×48 mm
Heatsink No Yes
Power 5V/2A recommended 5V/2A recommended
Enclosure Transparent plastic case shipped with board Optional plastic case available for $4
Android Support Android 4.2.2 Android 4.1.2 Both board should support Android pretty well, although I’m not sure about good I/O control are.
Linux Support Linaro 13.11 Server, and Desktop (Lubuntu) Xubuntu 13.10 with XBMC ODROID-U3 is probably the winner here, not because of the distribution supported, but because of GPU and VPU acceleration, and not all I/O may currently be programmable on Radxa Rock.
Community Radxa is very new, so there are not that many people in the community. There’s a form @ https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/radxa, and IRC chat #radxa on freenode Hardkernel ODROID boards have been around for a while and there’s a relatively active community http://forum.odroid.com, and they even have a magazine http://magazine.odroid.com/
Documentation There’s a wiki in construction at http://wiki.radxa.com/Rock, tools and OS images are available for download @ http://radxa.com/download/, and source code is available in private git.Schematics are available in PDF format. Most documentation appears to be in a section of the forums http://forum.odroid.com/viewforum.php?f=50, but there’s also an older, and possibly outdated, wiki @ http://dev.odroid.com/projects/odroid-xq/, as well as Linux and bootloader source code in github.Schematics are available in PDF format. ODROID-U3 benefits from the work done on ODROID-U2 and appears to currently have more documentation than on Radxa Rock, although it’s not that easy to find…
Price $99 + about $15 to $20 for shipping on Miniand and Aliexpress $59 (Community edition) or $65 (no limit on order qty) + about $25 shipping No winner here as there’s more than meets the eye.

When it comes to raw processing power including CPU, GPU, and RAM, both development boards are equivalent, although ODROID-U3 has a tiny edge, it won’t be noticeable. Radxa Rock comes with 8GB internal flash, whereas ODROID-U3 has none. You can either boot with a microSD card, or purchase an 8GB eMMC module ($25) for optimal I/O performance.

Radxa Rock has more built-in features such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, optical S/PDIF, a microphone, and composite output, so if you need any of these, the Rockchip board may be better for you, although you could had external hardware to provide most of these to the ODROID-U3 board.

ODROID-U3 has only 8 I/O accessible via one expansion, although you can augment that with U3-IO Arduino compatible expansion board. Radxa Rock has a clear edge here with two 40-pin headers giving access to a wide range of I/O. Having said that I’m not sure they are all accessible at this stage due to driver issues. GPIO and I2C is working, but I’ve read there may be issues with SPI for example.

I haven’t really tested Android, nor Linux distributions on either device, but Android support should be decent on both devices, simply because both SoC are quite mature. Radxa Rock has a slight edge here because it supports Android 4.2.2 instead of Android 4.1.2 on ODROID-U3, which may really be important if you absolutely need support for some new features introduced in 4.2. You should be able to run all sort of Linux distributions on both board, but ODROID-U3 should probably be better here because of GPU and VPU acceleration support. Of course, if you’re going to use the board as a server, it won’t matter. The Linux kernel is quite old for RK3188 (3.0.x) whereas ODROID-U3 uses a more recent 3.8.x kernel.  Support is likely to be better for ODROID-U3, at least for now, simply because Hardkernel ODROID-U(2)((3) boards have been around a longer time, and more people are using them so the community is larger, whereas Radxa Rock is newer, and issues may be more difficult to fix at first.

The total shipped price for Radxa Rock is about $115, whereas ODROID-U3 “community edition” costs $84, so with a $30 price different, ODROID-U3 appears to be the clear winner here. It’s not as simple as that, as you really have to look at your project, and depending on the required features, cost may add-up quite a bit with ODROID-U3. For example, adding the enclosure, 8GB eMMC flash, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi brings the total price to $129 which costs more than Radxa Rock.

Both Radxa Rock and ODROID-U3 have their own strengths and limitations, and as always, you have to select the board that matches your application or project best.

Hardkernel Unveils $59 ODROID-U3 Board Powered by Exynos 4412 Prime Quad Core SoC

December 23rd, 2013 23 comments

Hardkernel ODROID board family already features of the most cost effective development / hobbyist boards in the market. But the company has done it again, with ODROID-U3 a quad core board, software compatible with ODROID-U2, that sells for just $59 + shipping.

ODROID-U3

ODROID-U3 specifications:

  • SoC – Samsung Exynos 4412 Prime @ 1.7 Ghz with ARM Mali-400MP4 GPU @ 440MHz
  • System Memory – 2GB @ 880MHz
  • Storage – microSD slot, eMMC module socket
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 Host ports, 1x USB 2.0 device for ADB/mass storage
  • Ethernet – 10/100Mbps (LAN9730)
  • Video Output – micro HDMI
  • Audio Output – 3.5mm Jack, micro HDMI
  • System Console – UART (1.8Volt)
  • DC Power – 5V/2A
  • PCB Dimension – 83 x 48mm
  • Weight – 48g with heatsink
ODROID-U3 Board Description (Click to Enlarge)

ODROID-U3 Board Description (Click to Enlarge)

The company provides images and source code for Xubuntu 13.10, Android 4.x with u-boot 2010.12 and kernel 3.8, as well as the schematics (PDF). Support is available on ODROID-U3 Forums. Compared to the $89 ODROID-U2 board, you’ll get an extra USB port, access to I/Os, a power button, support for external RTC, and better input power protection, but lose the digital microphone. ODROID-U3 is however considerably larger than ODROID-U2 (83 x 48mm vs 48 x 52mm), but it’s still a credit card sized board.

U3-IO Shield

U3-IO Shield

The company is also selling the U3-IO shield ($20) for the board, in order to provide easy access to 36 I/O pins including GPIOs, PWM, and ADC ports. The board has the same size of ODROID-U3, features Atmel ATMega328 and 2 Arduino compatible headers, and schematics (PDF) are available. The board comes with 12 metallic / plastic PCB spacers.

There are actually two version of the board: ODROID-U3 and ODROID-U3 Community Edition. The only difference is the price: $65 for the former, and $59 for the latter, and that you can only order one piece of the community edition version. The company also sell accessories separately for the board including a DC power adapter, a plastic case, a microSD card with Linux or Android, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi modules, a USB-UART board, 8/16 and 64 GB eMMC modules, a micro HDMI cable, a USB IO board, an active cooler, and an RTC backup battery. Shipping is expected for January 14, 2014, and adds $25 to the cost.

You can watch ODROID-U3 presentation video below.

Texas Instruments OMAP5432 EVM Benchmarked Against ODROID-U2, BeagleBone Black, GK802… and an Intel Core i7-2600K based PC

August 17th, 2013 16 comments

Texas instruments and SVTronics announced an OMAP5 evaluation board a couple of months ago. The board features OMAP5432 dual Cortex A15, dual Cortex M4 SoC, 2GB RAM, a 4GB eMMC module, USB 3.0, SATA and more. SVTronics sent a board to Linux.com, where they wrote a short review, followed by an article benchmarking the OMAP5 EVM against AllWinner A10, Freescale i.MX6, Exynos 4412 Prime, and TI Sitara platforms, namely Cubieboard, GK802, ODROID-U2, and BeagleBone Black, all running Linux. Ben Martin, the writer, also benchmarked the board against a Linux PC powered by an Intel Core i7-2600K processor (4 cores, 8 thread, clocked at 3.4GHz, with a turbo frequency up to 3.8GHz).

The board used was an early version, clocked at 800MHz, and later in September, all boards will be clocked at 1.5Ghz, so for benchmarks that stress the CPU, you could expect almost double the performance. With that in mind, let’s have a look at the benchmarks and results.

Octane Benchmark

The Octane Benchmark measures a JavaScript engine’s performance, and it able to leverage multi-core configurations. Here are the results from lower to higher overall scores:

  • ODROID-U2 – 1411
  • OMAP5432 EVM – 1914
  • Intel Core i7-2600K – 9667

Cubieboard and GK802 overall scores were not provided but you can see the different Octane test results for all 4 ARM targets in the chart below.

Octane_OMAP5_Cubieboard_GK802_ODROID-U2

Despite having just 2 Cortex A15 cores @ 800 MHz, OMAP 5 EVM matches and in many cases, outperforms ODROID-XU with its 4 Cortex A9 Cores @ 1.7GHz. Mandreel tests are particularly interestingly, as OMAP5 appears to be much faster. This tests relies on WelGL so the GPU performance should also be taken into account, but probably does not explain the massive difference between OMAP5 and others.

Unsurprisingly, the Intel processor is way ahead with a score about 5 times greater. Once OMAP5 is clocked at 1.5GHz, the difference should only be 3x, which is actually less than I would have expected.

OpenSSL Benchmarks

The first test was to build OpenSSL natively. It took over 7 minutes on OMAP5432 EVM, over 8 minutes on GK802 mini PC, and about 1 minute and 30 seconds on an Intel 2600K CPU.

OpenSSL benchmark were then run on several hardware platforms for Ciphers (DES, AES, Blowfish, and Cast)

OpenSSL_Cypher_OMAP5_BBB_GK802_ODROID-U2

and Digests (MD5, SHA256, SHA1, and RC4).

OpenSSL_Digest_OMAP5_BBB_GK802_ODROID-U2

ODROID-U2 is the fastest device in this particular test. The oddity is the BeagleBone Black (BBB) which can outperform the quad core i.MX6 in all tests, and Exynos 5 in some, with its Cortex A8 processor @ 1GHz. According to Ben, OpenSSL tests only use a single core. This can be part of the explanation, but I can also see Sitara AM355x processors support AES, SHA, and MD5 hardware acceleration, and it may have been implemented in openSSL.

2D Graphics Benchmarks with Cairo

Cairo Performance Demos version 1.0.1 were used to test 2D performance, and based on the test results OMAP5 has not been optimized just yet for this type of task, as the Beaglebone Black vastly outperform the OMAP5432 EVM. For some reasons, GK802 is not doing well either. We don’t know which Linux image was used for the test, and it could an GK802 image without 2D acceleration.

Cairo_Benchmark_OMAP5_BeagleBone_Black_GK802

Storage Benchmarks (Flash and SATA)

Ben ran Bonnie++ to test both flash and SATA performance. Since the system has 2GB RAM and 4GB internal flash, caching strongly skewed the internal Flash read speed:

  • Sequential output – 11.5MB/sec
  • Sequential read – 496MB/sec
  • 3270 seeks/sec.

Command line used:

SATA benchmark performed with a 120GB Sandisk Extreme SSD with an EXT-4 partition are probably more interesting:

  • Write speed – ~66MB/sec
  • Read speed – ~131MB/sec
  • 8558 seeks/sec

Command line:

For reference, Hardkernel did a similar benchmark with ODROID-XU (Exynos 5410, 4x Quad A15, 4x Quad A7) but via a USB3 to SATA 3 adapter, and an OCZ’s Vertex3 128GB SSD. Instead of Bonnie++, they used dd with nocache flag, and found a write speed of 190 MB/S and a read speed of 150MB/s.  Difference interface, different test method, and different SSD drive, so we should not compare these results directly, yet this still gives an idea of SSD performance on powerful ARM boards.

Mini PCs (MK802+, UG802, GK802 & iStick A200) Linux Performance Comparison

March 27th, 2013 11 comments

Ian MORRISON (linuxium) has tested Linux with several mini PCs powered by different processors. The main point of his tests was to evaluate the performance difference between running Ubuntu 12.04 natively, or in a chroot in Android using tools such as Complete Linux Installer. I previously tried Linux on Android in ODROID-X, and found the applications start time when running from an low-end SD card pretty dismal, and the graphics performance poor.  Ian had a different approach, and decided to use a subset of Phoronix Suite benchmarks to compare different hardware / software combination and posted the results in “mini PCs” G+ community. There’s a lot of data, and analyzing the results is not really straightforward without spending some time looking at the data. In this post, I’ll explain how the tests have been conducted, explain the results and try to draw a conclusion.

Mini PCs and other Hardware Under Test

Ian used four mini PC hardware running Ubuntu 12.04 natively or in a chroot installed with Complete Linux Installer, except for RK3066 mini PC where Ubuntu 12.10 (PicUntu) was run natively. Each time, LXDE desktop environment was setup, and Ubuntu was installed in Sandisk Extreme Pro 8GB (micro) SD cards.

mini PC Processor System Memory
MK802+ AllWinner A10 (Cortex A8 @ 1.0 GHz) 1 GB RAM
UG802 Rockchip RK3066 (2x Cortex A9 @ 1.6GHz) 1 GB RAM
iStick A200 Rockchip RK3066 (2x Cortex A9 @ 1.6 GHz) 2 GB RAM
Zealz GK802 Freescale I.MX6 (4x Cortex A9 @ 1.2 GHz) 1 GB RAM

The 3 most common SoC used in mini PCs are represented with AllWinner A10, Rockchip RK3066 and Freescale i.MX6, but he also tested some extra hardware running either Ubuntu in Android, or natively:

  • MK803 mini PC (AMLogic AML8726-M3 Cortex A9) running Ubuntu 12.04 in Android (Complete Linux Installer)
  • Asus Eed Pad Transformer TF101 tablet (Tegra 2 – 2x Cortex A9) running Ubuntu 12.04 in Android (Complete Linux Installer)
  • Hardkernel ODROID-U2 (Exynos 4412 Prime – 4x Cortex A9) running Ubuntu 12.04 natively in its eMMC module
  • Google New Chromebook (Exynos 5250 – 2x Cortex A15) running ChrUbuntu 12.04
  • Intel Core i7-950 PC running Wubi’s Ubuntu 12.04

Selected Benchmarks from Phoronix Test Suite

Phoronix Test Suite is a testing and benchmarking platform written in PHP5 language that can run in Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, Solaris and BSD operating systems on any target which supports php. Since Ubuntu in Android would definitely have poor performance, Ian only considered tests that may be used in a server configuration, to evaluate CPU, RAM and I/O performance:

  • CacheBench – Memory and cache bandwidth performance benchmark.
  • CLOMP – C version of the Livermore OpenMP benchmark developed to measure OpenMP overheads and other performance impacts due to threading.
  • 7-Zip compression – Uses p7zip integrated benchmark feature.
  • dcraw – This test measures the time it takes to convert several high-resolution RAW NEF image files to PPM image format using dcraw.
  • LAME MP3 encoding – This test measures the time required to encode a WAV file to MP3 format.
  • FFmpeg – Audio/video encoding performance benchmark.
  • OpenSSL – Measures RSA 4096-bit performance of OpenSSL.
  • PHPBench – Benchmark suite for PHP.
  • PyBench – Python benchmark suite.
  • SQLite – This test measures the time to perform a pre-defined number of insertions on an indexed database
  • Stream – This benchmark tests the system memory (RAM) performance.
  • TSCP – Performance benchmark built-in Tom Kerrigan’s Simple Chess Program.
  • Unpacking the Linux kernel – This test measures the time it takes to extract the .tar.bz2 Linux kernel package.
  • GMPbench – Test of the GMP 5.0.3 math library

Results and Conclusion

The full results are available on openbenchmarking.org, but the way they are presented might be a little confusing because for some tests, higher is better, whereas for others, lower is better. So I’ve added an up arrow icon on the left of the table if higher is better, and a down arrow if it’s the opposite. I’ve also added Android and Ubuntu logos, depending on whether Ubuntu is respectively run in a chroot or natively.

Linux Benchmark Results for Mini PCs, and some reference hardware (Click to Enlarge)

Linux Benchmark Results for Mini PCs, and some reference hardware (Click to Enlarge)

Let’s take care of the anomalies first. You’ll notice GMPbench results are not available for all devices. That’s because it refused to run in some cases. SQLite test results are up to 10x faster in Ubuntu in a chroot (in Android) than in Ubuntu running natively. MK802 is even reported to be about as fast as Intel PC used as reference. Clearly something is wrong when running this test in a chroot, and SQLite results should be discarded.

For a given hardware, there’s usually about a 5 to 20% performance hit when running Ubuntu in Android. The exception is GK802 where running Ubuntu in Android is consistently faster than running it natively. However, Ian used Geekbuying Ubuntu beta image which is not optimized, and it’s possible the CPU in Ubuntu was clocked at a lower frequency than in Android.

MK802+ (AllWinner A10) and MK803 (AMLogic AML8726) share the lowest score, except for SQLite which runs the slowest on the Chromebook, and CLOMP on ODROID-U2. UG802 (Rockchip RK3066) and GK802 (Freescale i.MX6) has similar performance with an edge for Rockchip RK3066 devices, except for test where all 4-core of i.MX6 can be used such as 7-Zip. Also note that the extra 2GB RAM in iStick A200 does not provide significant performance improvement for most test against the 1GB RAM used in UG802. The extra RAM should only be useful when multitasking.

To conclude, if you want to run Linux on your mini PC, you should always install Ubuntu natively to get the most performance, but if you have no choice (i.e. Linux not currently supported) or want to run both Android and Linux simultaneously, you can always run server applications in a chroot with limited performance degradation. On the hardware side, although Rockchip RK3066 and Freescale i.MX6 mini PC have about the same performance in Linux for (server applications), Rockchip devices clearly have a higher performance / cost ratio at the moment.