Dragonbox is now taking pre-orders for a “Phytium D2000 ARMv8 Mini PC” with an octa-core 64-bit Arm processor, 16GB RAM, a 512GB NVMe, and an AMD Radeon RX550 GPU that makes it powerful enough to play older PC gaming like Crysis through Box64 x86_64 emulator, the 64-bit version of Box86 x86 emulator compatible with Raspberry Pi and other 32-bit Arm platforms.
If the Dragonbox name sounds familiar, it’s because that’s the community that developed the Pyra handheld Linux game console/PC, except now they are offering a mini PC based on Phytium D2000 processor based on the same FTC663 Armv8 cores as found in the earlier Phytium FT2000/4 processor, with both Pythium SoC specifically designed for desktop PCs, contrary to most other Arm SoCs on the market.
- SoC – Phytium D2000 ARMv8 octa-core custom Armv8 (FTC663) desktop processor @ 2.3 – 2.6 GHz with 8MB L2 Cache (2MB per dual-core clusters) and 4MB L3 Cache; 14nm process; 25W TDP; 1144-pin FCBGA package (35×35 mm)
- GPU – AMD Radeon RX 550 MXM 3.0a graphics card with 2GB VRAM
- System Memory – 16GB DDR4 RAM
- Storage – 512GB NVMe SSD inserted into to M.2 slot
- Video Output – HDMI 2.0b 4k/60Hz
- Networking – Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 port
- USB – 5x USB-A 2.0 ports, 1x USB-A 3.0 port
- Power Supply – 60W external PSU
- Dimensions – 225 x 187 x 47mm
HKEPC has more details about the SoC itself with the octa-core processor equipped with 34-lanes for PCIe 3.0 interfaces (2x PCIe x16, 1x PCIe x1), and dual Gigabit Ethernet making it suitable for desktop computers, notebooks, industrial computers, and network security equipment like firewalls. Most of the slides are in Chinese, but I also understand the Phytium D2000 octa-core processor is pin-to-pin compatible with Phytim FT2000/4 quad-core Arm SoC, so existing designs for the older chip should be easily upgradeable.
Back to the “mini PC” that’s not exactly that mini, especially when compared to Raspberry Pi 4 and ODROID-N2 boards, but it’s not surprising considering they had to have a case that can take a graphics card.
The main developer of Box64 and Box32 emulators, ptitSeb, got hold of an early sample, installed Ubuntu 20.04.3 on the computer, runs some WelGL demos, as well as Box64 emulator running Factorio. I also noticed a YouTube account under the same “Boiling Steam” uploaded a video with the mini PC running Ziggurat, Warcraft 3, and Crysis via Box64 with the latter apparently also showing the FPS (16 to 22 fps), CPU, and GPU utilization with MangoHud open-source utility.
If you’re interested you can join the pre-order for 470.59 Euros on the Dragonbox store. Note that it’s more like a group buying though, as if there’s not enough demand by December 10th a refund will be provided. If demand is high enough, then shipping is expected to start on December 17th.
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.