Khadas VIM1S review – Ubuntu 22.04 tested on an Amlogic S905Y4 SBC

Khadas VIM1S review

In this review of Khadas VIM1S SBC, we’ll install Ubuntu 22.04, and report our experience testing the performance such as memory speed and eMMC flash performance, and 3D graphics capabilities.

Installing Ubuntu 22.04 on Khadas VIM1S

Just like Khadas VIM4 and Edge2, the Khadas VIM1S SBC ships with the OOWOW firmware that allows easy installation of operating systems by downloading the images, and flashing them directly to the eMMC flash.  You need just to connect a monitor and a USB keyboard and have an Internet connection through either LAN or Wi-Fi. Let’s start by installing Ubuntu 22.04 on Khadas VIM1S together.

If no OS is installed, OOWOW will boot automatically, but if there’s already another OS installed, you can press and hold the Function button, press the Reset button, and release the Function button. After a few seconds, the OOWOW Wizard as shown in the picture below should show up. If an Ethernet cable is not connected, we can select Network to configure Wi-Fi as the installation process requires downloading an image from Khadas servers.

oowow wizard
OOWOW Wizard on VIM1S
oowow wifi scan
List of Wi-Fi access points on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies

oowow VIM1S OS List Android Ubuntu

After selecting Ubuntu 22.04 with GNOME, we can see the image file has a size of 781.1 MB, and we can select Download to proceed.

oowow ubuntu 22.04 VIM1S
Ubuntu 22.04 image information

 

oowow reboot
Select Reboot to restart the system

Once the download is complete, OOWOW will flash the image to the eMMC of the VIM1S SBC. We can then reboot the device and will be greeted with the Ubuntu login screen with the default username and password both being “khadas”.

Khadas VIM1S Ubuntu 22.04

System information

We can check the information of the system by installing and running the inxi program.


The program says the Khadas VIM1S comes with a quad-core Cortex-A55 processor, but the Amlogic S905Y4 should be a quad-core Cortex-A35 CPU instead. The rest of the information looks correct with a 2.0 GHz CPU clock, 2GB RAM, 16GB eMMC storage, and information about Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity.

General user experience

We’ve tested Khadas VIM1S as a general personal computer doing tasks such as playing YouTube videos, editing documents in LibreOffice, and checking mail with the Thunderbird program. The platform can run a single program fine in most cases, but it is limited by its 2GB of RAM and if we open several programs, the performance degrades severely. But for instance, just watching YouTube videos in the web browser is fine and without lag.

Khadas VIM1S benchmarks

We benchmarked the Khadas VIM1S board with the sbc-bench script:


memcpy, memset, and 7-zip compression results are quite lower than the ones for Raspberry Pi 4 or ODROID-N2+ boards, but it should be expected for a Cortex-A35 system.

3D graphics acceleration

The glxinfo command reports llvmpipe device is used showing a lack of 3D graphics acceleration, and this is confirmed when running glmark2-es2 program.

glxinfo and glmark2-es2 on Khadas VIM1S

Video decoding on Khadas VIM1S

We tried to play a 4K YouTube video in the Chromium browser. The playback was not interrupted, but the CPU usage is quite higher will all 4 cores busy during decoding, albeit not at 100%.

ubuntu 22.04 htop Khadas VIM1S

Support for AV1 codec in Amlogic S905Y4 may have helped.

eMMC performance test

We used iozone program to test the eMMC flash performance.


The performance is pretty good with a sequential read speed of 201.717 MB/s and a sequential write speed of 54 MB/s.

Network Performance Test

Network performance was tested with Ookla using an access point from AIS. Wi-Fi is quite good, and Ethernet can perform at full capacity because the VIM1S board only comes with a 10/100M Ethernet port.

Wi-Fi


Ethernet

Conclusion

Our experience running Ubuntu 20.04 on the Khadas VIM1S board was pretty good and the system is power efficient generating little heat. But considering the $64 price tag, the 2GB RAM is on the low side, and only having a Fast Ethernet is disappointing for a board launched in 2022. The OOWOW firmware is a positive point as it makes installing the OS really easy for newbies.

I would like to thank Khadas for sending us the VIM1S for review. The Khadas VIM1S can be purchased on the Khadas store for $64.90 with 2GB RAM and 16GB eMMC flash. We’ll continue our review with Android 11 soon.

CNXSoft: This review is a translation of the review in Thai first published on CNX Software Thailand by Arnon.

Share this:

Support CNX Software! Donate via cryptocurrencies or become a Patron on Patreon

ROCK Pi 4C Plus
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
The comment form collects your name, email and content to allow us keep track of the comments placed on the website. Please read and accept our website Terms and Privacy Policy to post a comment.
17 Comments
oldest
newest
Johnny
Johnny
1 month ago

I guess for any 3d capabilities one should try Armbian, not Ubuntu.

Willy
1 month ago

> The program says the Khadas VIM1S comes with a quad-core Cortex-A55 processor, but the Amlogic S905Y4 should be a quad-core Cortex-A35 CPU instead.

Maybe Amlogic didn’t remember what cores they were supposed to put in it, sometimes they already don’t remember what frequency they wrote in the datasheet 🙂

A simple “cat /proc/cpuinfo” will tell the truth, with the CPU part (d05 would indicate A55, d04 would indicate A35).

Peter
Peter
1 month ago

CoreELEC-VIM1S:~ # cat /proc/cpuinfo processor       : 0 BogoMIPS        : 48.00 Features        : fp asimd evtstrm aes pmull sha1 sha2 crc32 cpuid CPU implementer : 0x41 CPU architecture: 8 CPU variant     : 0x1 CPU part        : 0xd04 CPU revision    : 0 processor       : 1 BogoMIPS        : 48.00 Features        : fp asimd evtstrm aes pmull sha1 sha2 crc32 cpuid CPU implementer : 0x41 CPU architecture: 8 CPU variant     : 0x1 CPU part        : 0xd04 CPU revision    : 0 processor       : 2 BogoMIPS        : 48.00 Features        : fp asimd evtstrm aes pmull sha1 sha2 crc32 cpuid CPU implementer : 0x41 CPU architecture: 8… Read more »

Willy
1 month ago

OK thanks so it’s clearly an A35, and the “inxi” program seems to fall back to A55 when it doesn’t know.

Tom
Tom
1 month ago

I checked the Spec. of S905Y4 and found that it’s ethernet controller only support 10/100M ethernet. What’s the reason of not using S905X4 instead?

Theguyuk
Theguyuk
1 month ago

Have you asked Khadas?

Tom
Tom
1 month ago

Just want to discuss from an objective point of view

tkaiser
tkaiser
1 month ago

CoreElec guys summarize the software support situation for SC2 (S905X4/S905C2) as ‘shit in a can’. Which pretty much explains why there doesn’t exist a single device with this SoC targeting Linux.

Peter
Peter
1 month ago

This was true 1 year back. But today CoreELEC supports S905X4.

tkaiser
tkaiser
1 month ago

Interesting. Which kernel version is CE using with SC2?

Peter
Peter
1 month ago

4.9.269 and 5.4.125 – if I’m not mistaken both are Android based kernels

tkaiser
tkaiser
1 month ago

Both are Android vendor kernels for sure 🙂

4.9 is now EOL and latest LTS version was 4.9.336 from few weeks ago. And 5.4.125 would probably indicate S905X4 being covered by same Amlogic SDK as S4 and T7.

Peter
Peter
1 month ago

EOL: at least video playback works perfectly 🙂
And yes: 5.4.125 is used for S4 (S905Y4, S905W2) and T7 (A311D2).

Willy
1 month ago

Most likely just the BOM cost hence the final price. Amlogic is one of the vendors who purposely cripple some of their low-end products to make sure the middle range continues to sell. There’s nothing wrong with that, most vendors do this. But if that CPU allows to reduce the board’s price by $5 maybe Khadas found that it was worth being used. I personally think they should stay with middle- and high-end products only, and leave the low-end ones to TV-box vendors on aliexpress, since they will require as much support effort (if not more) on their side, but… Read more »

tkaiser
tkaiser
1 month ago

> with much lower margins

I don’t think Khadas has a single product with low margins… and wrt efforts choosing the S905Y4 over S905X4 made kinda sense since S4 (S905Y4/S805X2/S905W2) shares BSP with T7 (A311D2) so Khadas basically deals with same software stack for VIM4 and VIM1S (both started at 5.4.125 and are now at 5.4.180 which of course is a joke due to a smelly BSP kernel forward ported since ages).

Willy
1 month ago

I’m just thinking that a diff between amlogic and rockchip kernels of the exact same version is probably larger than the whole kernel 🙂

Weller PCB manufacturer