If you’re getting tired of seeing companies launch products after products based on Intel Atom Z3735F with 32GB eMMC and 2GB RAM, and mainly changing the casing, Tronsmart Ara x5 provides some changes, as the upcoming mini PC will feature an Intel Atom x5-Z8300 “Cherry Trail” processor instead of the ubiquitous Atom Z3735F “Bay Trail-T” processor.
- SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8300 “Cherry Trail” quad core processor @ 1.44 GHz (Bust freq: 1.84 GHz) with Intel Gen8 HD graphics (2W SDP)
- System Memory – 2 GB
- Storage – 32 GB eMMC + micro SD slot
- Video Output – HDMI
- Audio I/O – HDMI, 3.5mm microphone jack
- Connectivity – Ethernet, dual band 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0 (TBC)
- USB – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x USB 3.0 port
- Misc – Power button, LED on top of device
- Power Supply – TBD
- Dimensions – N/A
- Weight – N/A
If you look at the comparison between Atom Z3735F and Atom x5-Z8300 both processor are pretty similar with four cores clocked at about the same base and burst frequencies, 2MB L2 cache, a maximum of 2GB RAM supported, a 171x17mm package supporting UTFCBGA592 sockets, and a similar “recommended customer price” ($17 vs $20). However the Cherry Trail brings some improvement, including a likely faster Gen8 GPU, USB 3.0 support, PCIe support, support for faster RAM (1600 MHZ vs 1333 MHz), 14nm process technology, and support for AES New Instructions (AES-NI) to enable faster data encryption and decryption.
I could not find benchmarks for x5-Z8300, but the CPU performance is likely to be similar to Z3735F based on the comparison above. However, USB 3.0 and PCIe interface – which could be used for WiFi, Gigabit Ethernet, or SATA – will certainly provide faster I/Os on the hardware platforms that leverage these.