ODROID-M1S review – Part 2: Ubuntu 20.04 benchmarks and features testing

Over one month has passed since our unboxing and quick Ubuntu 20.04 testing of the ODROID-M1S SBC and we’ve now had time to test more features and run benchmarks using the official Ubuntu 20.04.6 LTS release from Hardkernel. One user mentioned Ubuntu 22.04 is supported, but that’s supported by a third party and we used the official image for testing.

ODROID-M1S Ubuntu 20.04 official release

Our test results will show the performance and supported features of the Rockchip RK3566-powered ODROID-M1S SBC when running Ubuntu 20.04. Read on to find out how well the board works.

ODROID-M1S benchmarks

Let’s start benchmarking the ODROID-M1S with Thomas Kaiser’s sbc-bench.sh script:

According to the test results, the CPU temperature reached up to 59.4°C under load and no CPU throttling occurred in a room with an ambient temperature of approximately 29 °C.  The memcpy and memset results were similar to the ODROID-N2+, while the 7-zip performance of the ODROID-M1S was somewhat similar to that of the Raspberry Pi 4.

Web Browsing performance with Speedometer 2.0

We look at web browsing performance with Speedometer 2.0 in both Chromium and Firefox:

  • Chromium

ODROID-M1S speedometer 2.0 chromium benchmark

The test results in Speedometer 2.0 are similar to the results on the Raspberry Pi 4 board with the Chromium values scoring approximately 30% higher than in Firefox.

  • Firefox

ODROID-M1S speedometer 2.0 Firefox benchmark

Again results in Firefox were similar to the ones on Raspberry Pi 4 (tested over four years ago).

3D graphics acceleration on ODROID-M1S SBC running Ubuntu 20.04

We tested 3D graphics acceleration with glmark2-es2-wayland with the board connected to the ODROID-Vu8S 8-inch.

ODROID-M1S glmark2-es2-wayland benchmark

Terminal output:

The score is 496 or slightly lower than the Raspberry Pi 4 and significantly lower than the Raspberry Pi 5’s 2036 points.

We then check if 3D graphics acceleration also working in Chromium with the WebGL aquarium demo.

ODROID-M1S webgl chromium benchmark

The result was a bit disappointing with 1 FPS with 500 fish tested in both Chromium and Firefox. So the official image doesn’t support WebGL, and hopefully, this will be fixed in future releases of the Ubuntu image.

WebGL chromium GPU not support

YouTube video playback

We started YouTube video playback at 4K resolution and 30 fps, and the video was unwatchable. When looking at the statistics, the dropped frame rate was over 50% as a result of hardware acceleration not being supported in the web browser.

ODROID-M1S youtube 4k chromium Ubuntu 20.04

We lowered our expectation and resolution to 1080p30, but the result was not much better.

ODROID-M1S youtube 1080p chromium in Ubuntu 20.04

It was only when we dropped the resolution to 720p30 (1280×720) that the video was smooth with obvious glitches while playing files. There were still over 10% of dropped frames. In any case, that means the CPU decoding should be possible at a maximum resolution of 720p30 (1280×720 @ 30 Hz).

ODROID-M1S YouTube 720p chromium benchmark in Ubuntu 20.04

We also tried the totem program that was pre-installed with the official image and installed Rockchip MPP for H.265/H.264 hardware video decoding:

The video clip shows H.265 video playback is not perfectly smooth either with some dropped frames. The htop command reveals only 1 core of the CPU is being used for hardware video decoding.

totem htop

The Wiki recommends testing hardware video decoding with GStreamer. So we tried that too:

But the ODROID-Vu8S display was just green during video playback. So we asked Hardkernel and initially, they could not reproduce the issue with their own video and it also worked with our test video. But we eventually found out we could play the video fine with hardware video decoding using the command above with HDMI output.

Hardware video decoding also works (sort of) with the MIPI DSI display, but it’s a little more complex. We need to locate the plane number for “Esmart0-win0”:

Now we can add the 115 plane to the command line:

The problem is that the video is rotated and scaled incorrectly. Only the darker parts would show with the video above, so we tested with another video.

So hardware video decoding with the ODROID-Vu8S MIPI display does work, but the video is not rendered properly due to scaling and orientation issues, and Hardkernel has yet to find a solution.

Storage Performance (eMMC, microSD card, and NVMe SSD)

We ran a test with iozone3 to test the read/write speed of each storage. The -i parameter was used to read directly from the disk and avoid reading from the cache:

  • eMMC flash

The read speed is around 174 MB/s and the write speed is 141 MB/s within the limits of eMMC 5.1 flash.

  • MicroSD card

A Sandisk Ultra 32GB Class 10 microSD card was used for testing. The read speed is approximately 67 MB/s and the write speed is 19 MB/s. That’s fine for a Class 10 SD card.

  • NVMe SSD

WD_BLACK SN770 NVMe SSD was used for testing the M.2 socket. The read speed is approximately 389MB/s and the write speed is 402 MB/s. Considering the ODROID-M1S relies on a 1-lane PCIe 2.0 interface that speed is expected, and even Hardkernel claims up to 400 MB/s. That is roughly equivalent to USB 3.0 speeds on the Raspberry Pi 5.

Networking performance (Ethernet and Wi-Fi)

We then used the iperf3 program to test gigabit Ethernet performance:

The data transmission speed was 0.94 Gbps per second, so no problem here.

While the ODROID-M1S does not come with built-in WiFi, it can take USB WiFi dongles including Hardkernel’s WiFi Module 5BK included in the package we received. So we tested the WiFi 5 module at 5 GHz connected to the 3BB modem router:

The average bitrate is 227 Mbps, in line with what we would expect with this setup.

Power consumption

The power consumption of the ODROID-M1S SBC was tested with a USB power meter:

  • Power off – 0 Watt
  • Idle – 1.955 Watts (connected to 8-inch screen, WiFi only)
  • YouTube 4K video in Chromium (full screen) – 4.5 Watts on average
  • Full load test on all four cores – 6 Watts on average

ODROID-M1S power consumption


Our tests of the ODROID-M1S with the official Ubuntu 20.04 image from Hardkernel showed a good performance considering the Rockchip RK3566 SoC used with decent reading and writing speeds of both NVMe SSD and eMMC flash, and networking is working as expected both for gigabit Ethernet and WiiI through the WiFi Module 5BK included in our review kit.

Both hardware video decoding (via HDMI) and 3D graphics acceleration are working with GStreamer and glmark2-es2 respectively, but neither has been implemented in Chromium with both WebGL and YouTube video playback showing poor performance. Hardware video decoding is currently not working properly with the ODROID-Vu8S MIPI display due to scaling and orientation issues. Hopefully, those issues will be fixed in future OS images.

We’d like to thank Hardkernel for sending the ODROID-M1S board and accessories for review. The ODROID-M1S board with 8GB RAM and 64GB eMMC flash reviewed here can be purchased for $59 on Hardkernel website and our review kit also includes the ODROID-Vu8S 8-inch touchscreen display ($39), a $9 UPS module, and the WiFi module 5BK ($8.90) which you can select during the ordering process.

CNXSoft: This review is a translation from the original article on CNX Software Thailand by Arnon Thongtem, edited by Suthinee Kerdkaew.

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5 months ago

Thank you and Arnon Thongtem for the excellent review; the M1S was on my shortlist for a project here due to its very low power usage (which your review has confirmed), but it also needs good graphics performance and functionality, on which it doesn’t seem to be there yet (and without your review, I wouldn’t have known).

I will now stand by and wait for a fix from Hardkernel regarding those issues.

Thanks again!

5 months ago

PS, just reread and found what I believe is a minor inconsistency/typo: “but the video is just rendered properly”, I think you meant “but the video is not rendered properly”.

5 months ago

no prob, “let him who never mistyped throw the first stone” 🙂

5 months ago

Thanks for the review. Is there a an alternative to the Odroid N2+ with a an as low power consumption but better performance?

5 months ago

Power consumption during idle is the important parameter for me. I’m running a VPN server and a myst node so the cpu consumption is almost always close to idle. Both applications require fast ethernet speeds, which the S922X delivers. I was just wondering if there is anything better out there.

5 months ago

Thanks for great reviews. Thanks to 1/2 part I decided to give M1S a try. I would like to use Odroid-M1S + VU8S in campers (RVs) so I bought this combo and tested it with all possible img Hardkernel provides. I need it to be power efficient and usable with touch on screen at the same time. Link to my results If found it interesting or have any idea what could be the best SW combo to this HW, please let me know in comments.

Khadas VIM4 SBC