Announced in February 2019, ODROID-N2 Amlogic S922X SBC launched the following month with 2GB to 4GB RAM, HDMI 2.0 output, Gigabit Ethernet, multiple USB 3.0 ports with pricing starting at $63 making very good value for an hexa-core Cortex-A73/A53 processor.
The company has now announced an upgraded with ODROID-N2 Plus SBC featuring Amlogic S922X Rev.C bringing the Cortex-A73 big core maximum clock frequency from 1.8 GHz to 2.2GHz. But Hardkernel also found out they could overclock the processor up to 2.4 GHz in all 300 boards they have delivered a 33% boost over the original ODROID-N2 board. The Cortex-A53 cores are also a bit faster up to 2.0 GHz.
- SoC – Amlogic S922X Rev.C hexa-core big.LITTLE processor with 4x Arm Cortex A73 cores @ up to 2.2/2.4GHz, 2x Arm Cortex A53 cores @ 2.0GHz, Arm Mali-G52 GPU @ 846MHz; 12nm manufacturing process
- System Memory – 2GB or 4GB DDR4 RAM @ 1320 MHz
- Storage – 8MB SPI flash, eMMC flash module socket, micro SD card slot
- Video & Audio Output – HDMI up to 4K @ 75 Hz, AV port (composite video + stereo audio)
- Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 port
- USB – 4x USB 3.0 ports, 1x micro USB 2.0 OTG port
- Expansions – 40-pin GPIO header with 2x I2C, UART, 6x PWM, SPI, S/PDIF, 2x ADC, and GPIOs
- Misc – 2x system LEDs, SPI/eMMC boot select switch, IR receiver,
2-pin header for RTC battery, RTC CR2032 battery holder, 2-pin header for optional fan
- Debugging – 1x UART header for serial console
- Power Supply – DC power barrel jack
- Power consumption – Idle: 1.6~1.8 Watt; Heavy load: 5.9~6.2 Watts using stress-ng –cpu 6 –cpu-method matrixprod; Note ODROID-N2 consumes 5.2~5.3 Watts under the same test.
- Dimensions – Baord only 90 x 90 mm; with heatsink: 100 x 91 x 18.75mm
- Weight – 200 grams
Besides the faster processor, the board also got a CR2032 battery holder instead of a 2-pin header to connect a battery, and the heatsink is now much thinner.
The board is entirely software compatible with ODROID-N2 SBC, and can run Android, Ubuntu 18.04/20.04, and other operating systems listed in the Wiki. One of the advantages of the faster processor is the ability to run GameCube retro games smoothly on 64-bit Android OS.
With the upgrade, ODROID-N2 Plus is about twice as fast as a Raspberry Pi 4 (at 1.5 GHz) with some benchmarks.
While there’s an optional cooling fan, the board can run fanless and the temperature does not go over 80°C under stress in a room with 35°C ambient temperature. If you enable the fan, the CPU temperature drops to around 65°C. You find more benchmarks, metrics, and videos about the new board in the announcement post in the forums.
If you’ve seen enough and would like to purchase an ODROID-N2 Plus board, you can do so on Hardkernel store for $79 with 4GB RAM, and the 2GB RAM model will become available on July 21 for $63. If the shipping fee is a bit high to your country, you may want to wait for the board to become available on Ameridroid, where you can also get a discount using CNXSFWSUPPORTER2 ($2 off orders of $20+) or CNXSFWSUPPORTER6 ($6 off orders of $100+) coupons/
Thanks to T for the tip.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
Nice! Boards with CPUs above 2 GHz are not common at all, this can be competitive for a build farm!
Nice to see something other than Qualcomm clocked this high. I’ll have to look at the overall system, too.
Dang, just when I got the N2…
No, thanks. Still the infamous GL3523 hub between USB3 receptacles and XHCI controller.
One big and valid reason to stay away from it. Get a C4 instead(work in progress, no USB boot yet, uses different USB3 Hub controller, strong quadcore cpu) or a mature Rpi 4 8gb which runs beautifully Ubuntu-Mate(beta 1) 64 bit 20.04 with HW acceleration out of the box.
> Get a C4 instead(work in progress, no USB boot yet, uses different USB3 Hub controller
I’m not that much interested in any SBC putting an USB hub in between receptacles and USB host controller though the VIA VL817 on the C4 is clearly a way better choice than the GL3523 on N2/N2+.
It does seem odd that when you have a known issue with a solution already used on another one of your products that you would not go for it.
They went for need for speed but didn’t think as much about the need to work.
> need for speed
It’s a new SoC revision they got from Amlogic and the higher clockspeeds result in real-world CPU performance increases of around ~20%. Nothing I would get too excited about.
Especially since running the board not with Amlogic’s ancient 4.9 kernel but with a recent mainline kernel reveals issues that might need mitigations harming performance again. lscpu output contains this which could affect several use cases:
Yay for the speed bump and battery holder, nay for the heatsink
If the thinner heatsink does the job, why not?
It does NOT. Look at my comment above. you need to get an active cooling fan from them.
Shouting does not make it so. If you bothered to read the story you would understand that no fan is necessary at 2.2GHz.
IMO, older heatsink is better with air circulation.
It’s fine to have opinions but they should not be mistaken for facts. HarKernels’s engineers have been remarkably transparent in disclosing the analysis and testing that have been taken into account in arriving at their thermal solution. The fact that the new heat sink seems less substantial than the previous one and operates satisfactorily simply indicates that the previous version was overkill. This indication is consistent with my experience of the N2 when overclocked and under stress. What is the basis of your opinion?
The heatsink seems to just bethinner on the sides… not much heat exchange going there either. I guess they lost stackability now.
You probably didn’t notice that the optional fan underneath does not interfere with using the $4 plastic case. Nor does it compromise access/use of GPIO pins in the way that Raspberry Pi fans generally do.
It requires active cooling now. Extra speed bump, more heating. Still just an $4 extra expense.
It’s optional. It works without fan. The temperature is just a bit higher, but no throttling. See charts in the announcement.
In addition, while it can throttle at 2.4 GHz, it’s only because the limit is set to 80°C, which is quite a low temperature for a CPU (for example the S5P6818 in my NanoPI-Fire3 runs stable for 24h at 115°C, which admittedly is a bit extreme). Probably that they kept some margin and that changing this in the DTS is sufficient to avoid any throttling and the need for a fan.
“With the upgrade, ODROID-N2 Plus is about twice as fast as a Raspberry Pi 4 (at 1.5 GHz) with some benchmarks” bit unfair comparing OVERCLOCKED N2+ with stock Pi4.. compare with Pi4 at 2GHz (most seem to do that easily enough)
Yes there are overclocked results in the graph, but there are also out of the box results there as well which are clearly twice the Pi 4 as well. Both are clearly marked.
So how is comparing stock out of the box N2+ against stock out of the box Pi 4 unfair?
Thin skinned raspberry pi fanboys can’t handle the fact there might be something significantly faster out there for $10 more. Does the Pi4 even keep up with a 5 year old XU4 that costs $50?
Sadly, it’s not $10 more if you add the shipping cost + tax. RPi4 readily available at marketplace in my country at about $60 + $2 shipping cost. N2, I must buy from odroid, with ~$20 shipping cost + ~30% VAT.
I’ll very-very happy if I can buy N2 if it available locally and not too pricey. Cause with that price, I might consider used x230 or e6230 for my project.
> RPi4 readily available at marketplace in my country at about $60 + $2 shipping cost. N2, I must buy from odroid, with ~$20 shipping cost + ~30% VAT. Since in my country there are at least 2 Hardkernel distributors I would never buy from Hardkernel directly (4 weeks ‘warranty’ vs. 2 years when buying locally). And regardless whether buying locally or ordering from HK it’s the same: unfortunately ODROID N2/N2+ is almost twice as expensive compared to RPi 4. I never get why people use totally meaningless list prices for comparisons instead of the real sums you as a… Read more »
Bare in mind Odroid N2+ – 4GB RAM with Case is £89
from odroid uk. Thas the case, heatsink taken care of.
I highly doubt this, my Rpi 4 8Gb at 2.147Ghz and USB 3 SSD boot(340MB/sec) runs like a champ on Manjaro 20.06 64 bit, and best of all, everything just works. Until they have an official Mali G52 GPU wayland driver with HW support on official Ubuntu 20.04 desktop image, comparison between them IMHO are irrelevant. Apples to Apples.
The USB 3 SSD probably cost more than the Pi 4 SBC. OTOH Odroid-N2+ has a decently fast microSD interface and a faster eMMC option available for inexpensively boosting storage speed. Apples to Apples.
RPi4 too, has fast microSD interface, IFAIK. And we don’t know whether N2 usb problem has solved or not. OTOH, RPi4 has usb3 conflict with hdmi problem (that looks like solved in newer batch).
According to Christopher Barnatt’s (Explaining Computers) recent article comparing Pi 4 with Odroid-C4, the Pi 4 could only read at 42MB/s when tested with hdparm using Sandisk Extreme Pro.
The same Christopher Barnatt is also the ‘expert’ still using sysbench and after years still being surprised why ARMv8 userland is 15 times faster compared to running an ARMv6/ARMv7 userland on the same hardware (instead of realizing that sysbench’s cpu test is pretty much useless for this purpose). Of course he doesn’t realize this but is constantly thinking about wonders. Same goes for using hdparm to ‘benchmark’ storage. This tool has a hardcoded block size of 128K to access storage which was huge when this setting was defined (most probably already last century) but nowadays is a joke. When testing… Read more »
Wrt random IO and interface speeds the table again hopefully better readable: 1K w/r 4K w/r 16K w/r Ultra HS 449 2966 678 2191 445 985 Ultra SDR104 456 3171 843 2791 548 1777 1K w/r 4K w/r 16K w/r Extreme HS 740 3049 1039 2408 747 1068 Extreme SDR104 833… Read more »
Thomas! You make my brain hurt but I thank you for your insights. I must confess a degree of confusion about micro SD card selection criteria having read the Armbian User-Guide_Getting-Started which expresses some misgivings about the present day advantage of A2 rated cards. Nevertheless, I think I’m safe in believing that an Odroid-N2 or Odroid-C4 should generally perform significantly better than Raspberry Pi 4 using decent micro SD cards such as SanDisk Extreme Pro or Samsung Evo Plus. Of course, Odroid’s eMMC devices are very much better than these micro SDs. USB 3.x SSDs should be much better again… Read more »
Yes, the ‘expert’ who don’t even know the huge differences between Cortex-A55 and A72? He basically consider ARM small core and big core are basically of the same category.
You guys can see for yourself in his latest video: Odroid C4 vs RP4 video
Being delusional here again mijo, a cheap kingston a400 256gb SSD(330MB/sec on OC’d Rpi4) which BTW blows out of the water the fastest eMMC cards for N2(orange box) is only $34. A 64Gb eMMC for N2 is $41.95 from ameridroid and that’s without forgetting how “convenient” is to manipulate eMMC cards by accessing the back of a low price SBC every time you want to flash and try a new OS, without “zero” risk of electrostatic discharge besides the extra wear and tear from eMMC connectors. You may be rich and be able to afford another SBC if things go… Read more »
Note, I don’t know what’s your use case in general, but of course if your goal is to solely test operating systems, the USB SSD might be more convenient (and a USB stick even more). But if you just want to install a machine that does its job and that you can forget, eMMC is by far better than SSD over USB. It doesn’t have flying cables, it doesn’t reserve USB ports, and takes less space. So it really depends on your use case. The only reason I’d be using an SSD over USB would definitely be for testing or… Read more »
One potential advantage to using an SSD over USB is that it can free up the sd card slot for additional storage. I personally would not touch either the PI4 or N2+ as both have shown too many issues to make them value for money when you take into consideration all that you realistically have to spend to get the best and most versatile performance. It does though seem that the N2+ does tend to beat the PI4 for performance but the PI4 has greater versatility, support and user base. So you are correct in what you say with regards… Read more »
Given that the N2+ has not yet hit the street, it seems odd that you speak in the past tense as though you speak from experience. Which N2+ issues detract from the value for money proposition?
Well, if you insist on being delusional, you might like to inform us how you interfaced your amazing $34 SATA SSD to the Pi 4 USB port.
How would your N2+ come so soon? Mine was sent DHL Express from Hardkernel and I won’t have it until Monday or Tuesday
My N2+ has been working 100% stable for almost 48 hours. N2+ is a monster ARM64 CPU,with insane response times and crazy fast loading times under ubuntu-desktop 64bit 20.04 with official 4.9.230-92 kernel. Running smooth at 37 degrees under full load, with 80mm active cooling of course and was easily OC’d to 2.4Ghz(A73) and 2.02Ghz(A53). I’m USB3 booting with a Samsung T5 1Tb and was getting only 275MB/sec because UAS was disabled for compatibility issues. Had to edit the kernel source, built the image to enable UAS and trim and It bumped my T5 SSD reading speeds to 348MB/sec. I… Read more »
> Had to edit the kernel source, built the image to enable UAS and trim and It bumped my T5 SSD reading speeds to 348MB/sec
Why so slow? How do you measure?
sudo hdparm -t –direct /dev/sda1
hdparm for storage benchmarks is plain BS (though the recommended tool of choice in the little weird SBC consumer world). It uses a hardcoded 128K block size for reading which was huge back then when this setting was defined (most probably already in last century) but is nothing today.
If you test with reasonable (today’s) block sizes you should get close to or above 400 MB/s.
You could search this blog for iozone to get parameters to test the influence of the various block/record sizes.
Do share your experience using the board.
My original n2 with emmc runs fine for the TV, my wife and I love it. And it should last years. Its fast enough on android for whatever and doesn’t lag usually ever. It is currently saving me $$$ every day over the PC that was retired.
Their listed on odroid co uk now for pre-order.
With an awesome 3 month warranty, although that is still more than Hardkernel’s own whopping 4 week one.
Be interesting to know how odroid co uk handle the UK Consumer Rights Act 2015 (which replaced the UK Sale of Goods Act). This provides a very high level of protection for the first 6 months (faults developing within that time are assumed to have been present at purchase – the retailer has to prove that they weren’t) and after repair or replacement you can ask for a full refund. Between 6 months and ~6 years the onus is on the purchaser to prove the product was faulty at the time of purchase, but repair, replacement or refund is still… Read more »
It would be interesting indeed to see what a challenge would do, although they hang onto their description of the N2 being a ‘prototyping’ product, which they say changes the legal status of the warranty.
I don’t think that works for individuals (but it might work for businesses). Otherwise it’s too easy, you sell whatever (computer, camera, phone, car) saying it’s a prototyping product and you’re safe. One could argue that individuals don’t use prototypes but final products, so if you sell a product mostly to individuals, it proves it’s not a prototyping product.
I get your argument and agree but with the doubt lingering over who would prevail, it is a red flag when it comes to purchase consideration.
Let’s hope Hardkernel have improved the HDMI output protection on the N2+. There seem to be a significant number of N2s which have had ESD protection failure that has stopped their HDMI outputs working properly, along with other faults that have meant the boards are totally dead.
Harkernel’s very poor warranty is also always a cause for concern.
That’s why is better to purchase it from an authorized HK retailer in your country where you can get from 6 months up to 2 years depending on the store.