RT-Thread Vision board review – Part 1: OpenMV on Renesas RA8D1 Cortex-M85 microcontroller

RT-Thread VIsion board vs WeAct STM32H743

I am always interested in real-time operating systems (RTOS) for microcontrollers (MCUs) with my past backgrounds in µC/OS-II, mbed, and FreeRTOS. When the opportunity arose to get my hands on the RT-Thread Vision Board, thanks to the RT-Thread team and CNX Software, I was excited to check it out. This board, a collaboration between RT-Thread and Renesas, packs a powerful Renesas RA8D1 Cortex-M85 MCU and comes pre-loaded with OpenMV firmware. OpenMV’s MicroPython engine lets you jump right into embedded vision development, perfect for experimenting with computer vision tasks. But the real power lies in RT-Thread’s ability to handle tasks very quickly, which we’ll explore with C/C++ development in part two. This first part will focus on getting you familiar with the hardware using the OpenMV firmware, making it a smooth entry point for beginners. Plus, I have a collection of other Renesas evaluation boards, so you can bet I’ll be […]

GEEKOM A8 Review – Part 3: Ubuntu 24.04 tested on an AMD Ryzen 8945HS mini PC

GEEKOM A8 mini PC Review Ubuntu 24.04 Linux

We’ve already checked out GEEKOM A8 mini PC hardware with an unboxing and a teardown, before testing the AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS mini PC in Windows 11 Pro, and we’ll now report our experience with the GEEKOM A8 running Ubuntu 24.04 to see how it performs in Linux. We tested most features of the GEEKOM A8 mini PC on Ubuntu 24.04, ran several benchmarks to compare it to the similar GEEKOM A7 mini PC, performed storage and networking performance testing, ran stress test to check thermal performance, and measured fan noise and power consumption under various conditions. Installing Ubuntu 24.04 on the GEEKOM A8 mini PC As usual, we resized the Windows 11 partition to install Ubuntu 24.04 alongside Microsoft OS using a bootable USB flash drive created with the Ubuntu ISO. But you’ll notice BitLocker is enabled so the Ubuntu 24.04 installation can’t proceed. The installation wizard will ask […]

LattePanda Mu review – Part 1: an Intel N100 Compute Module tested with Windows 11, carrier boards with PCIe slots

LattePanda Mu Full Carrier Windows 11 Review

Last April, DFRobot launched the LattePanda Mu x86 Compute Module powered by an Intel N100 Alder-Lake processor with 8GB RAM and a 64GB eMMC flash along with Lite and Full function carrier boards for evaluation. End customers will typically design their own carrier board without having to take of high-speed signals for the LPDDR5 memory and other complexities during the PCB layout. DFRobot has sent us the LattePanda Mu module for review along with the Lite and Full Function carrier boards, a heatsink for passive cooling, and an active cooler so we can compare both cooling solutions.  Let’s have a look at the LattePanda Mu module and accessories before testing the kit with the Windows 11 operating system, including the PCIe x4 slot. LattePanda Mu kit unboxing The parcel included three retail boxes. The smallest box housed the LattePanda Mu Compute Module, a heatsink, and an active cooler. The second […]

GEEKOM A8 Review – Part 2: An AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS mini PC tested with Windows 11 Pro

GEEKOM A8 mini PC Review Windows11 Pro

In the first part of the review, we’ve already gone through a teardown and an unboxing of the GEEKOM A8 AI mini PC powered by an AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS processor with AMD Radeon 780M Graphics, 32GB RAM (upgradeable up to 64GB) and a 2TB M.2 NVMe SSD. We’ve now had more time to play with the GEEKOM A8, so we will report our experience with the Windows 11 Pro operating system in the second part of the review testing features, running benchmarks, evaluating networking and storage performance, testing the thermal design, and taking measurements for fan noise and power consumption. Software overview and features testing The System->About window in the Settings confirms we have an A8 Mini PC powered by a 4.0 GHz (base frequency) AMD Ryzen 9 8945HS processor with Radeon 780M Graphics and 32GB of RAM running Windows 11 Pro 23H2 build 22631.3593. HWiNFO64 provides more details […]

Arm unveils Cortex-X925 and Cortex-A725 CPUs, Immortalis-G925 GPU, Kleidi AI software

Arm SoC with Cortex-X925 Cortex-A725 Cortex-A520 CPU with Immortalis-G925 GPU

Arm has just announced new Armv9 CPUs and Immortalis GPUs for mobile SoCs, as well as the Kleidi AI software optimized for Arm CPUs from Armv7 to Armv9 architectures. New Armv9.2 CPU cores include the Cortex-X925 “Blackhawk” core with significant CPU and AI performance improvements, the Cortex-A725 with improved performance efficiency, and a refreshed version of the Cortex-A520 providing 15 percent efficiency improvements. Three new GPUs have also been introduced namely the up-to-14-core Immortalis-G925 flagship GPU which delivers up to 37% 3D graphics performance improvements over last year’s 12-core Immortalis-G720, the Mali-G725 with 6 to 9 cores for premium mobile handsets, and the Mali-G625 GPU with one to five cores for smartwatches and entry-level mobile devices. Arm Cortex-X925 The Arm Cortex-X925 delivers 36 percent single-threaded peak performance improvements in Geekbench 6.2 against a Cortex-X4-based Premium Android smartphone, and about 41 percent better AI performance using the time-to-first token of tiny-LLama […]

ODROID-H4 Plus review – Part 2: Intel N97 NAS Kit and fanless SBC tested in Ubuntu 24.04

ODROID-H4 Plus Ubuntu 24.04 review

In the first part of the ODROID-H4+ kit review, I checked out the hardware and showed how to install the Intel N97 SBC into the H4 Type 3 case taking up to four 2.5-inch SATA drives. I’ve now had time to test the ODROID-H4 Plus with Ubuntu 24.04 both as an actively cooled NAS kit and a fanless SBC and will report benchmark results, 2.5GbE and storage test results, 4K and 8K YouTube video playback capability, check IBECC memory support, measure power consumption, and more in the second part of the review. Ubuntu 24.04 installation on ODROID-H4 Plus The ODROID-H4 Plus SBC does not come with any preinstalled OS since there’s no storage by default, so I installed Ubuntu 24.04 on the 128GB M.2 NVMe SSD I inserted into the board. The installation went relatively smoothly, but in hindsight, I would have probably installed the OS before installing the SBC […]

Intel Processor N95 vs N97 vs N100 vs Core i3-N305 benchmarks comparison

Intel N95 vs N97 vs N100 vs Core i3 N305 benchmarks

Intel Alder Lake-N processors have been pretty popular in mini PCs and to a lesser extent in single board computers in the last year or so, thanks to their excellent performance/price and features/price ratios. All processors have more or less the same features, but performance differences do exist and do not always match the increasing part number. Since we’ve reviewed a bunch of Alder Lake mini PCs, I’ve decided to compare the performance of the Processor N95, Processor N97, Processor N100, and Core i3-N305 CPUs to have a better understanding of the differences between each part. For this purpose, we’ll rely on five mini PCs: Blackview MP80 (Processor N95), Blackview MP80 (Processor N97), the Intel N100-powered MINIX Z100-0dB and GEEKOM Mini Air12, and the Weibu N10 with a Core i3-N305 CPU. A summary of the specifications is listed in the table below. Some important remarks: Prices are taken from Amazon […]

GEEKOM XT12 Pro review – Part 3: Ubuntu 24.04 on an Intel Core i9-12900H mini PC

GEEKOM XT12 Pro Ubuntu 24.04 review

We’ve already looked at GEEKOM XT12 Pro specifications and hardware design in the first part of the review and followed up by reviewing the Intel Core i9-12900 mini PC with Windows 11 Pro in the second part. We’ve now had time to review the GEEKOM XT12 Pro mini PC with the just-released Ubuntu 24.04 operating system to evaluate the compatibility and performance in Linux. In this third and final part of the review, we’ll test features in detail, evaluate performance with benchmarks, test storage and network capabilities, check YouTube video playback at 4K and 8K resolution, perform a stress test to check the cooling solution and provide numbers for fan noise and power consumption of the GEEKOM XT12 Pro mini PC. Ubuntu 24.04 installation and system information We’ve resized the Windows 11 by half in order to install Ubuntu 24.04 in dual boot configuration. After that, we inserted a USB […]