Rock Pi X Review – An Atom x5 SBC running Windows 10 or Ubuntu 20.04

The ROCK Pi X is the first x86 SBC (single board computer) from Radxa and resulted from repeated enquiries about running Windows on their earlier ROCK Pi 4. The ROCK Pi X comes in two models (Model A and Model B) with each model having either 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB of RAM and either 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB of eMMC storage. Additionally, the Model B includes WiFi and Bluetooth together with supporting Power over Ethernet (PoE) although this requires an additional HAT. Both Seeed Studio and Radxa provided samples and in this review, I’ll cover some performance metrics from both Windows and Ubuntu and also discuss the thermals. Rock Pi X Hardware Overview The ROCK Pi X is similar in size to a Raspberry Pi board… but with slightly different ports and port locations even when compared to the Raspberry Pi 4. It is physically slightly larger than its specification size (85 mm x 54 mm) as the ports […]

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Linux 5.10 LTS release – Main changes, Arm, MIPS and RISC-V architectures

Linus Torvalds has just released Linux 5.10: Ok, here it is – 5.10 is tagged and pushed out. I pretty much always wish that the last week was even calmer than it was, and that’s true here too. There’s a fair amount of fixes in here, including a few last-minute reverts for things that didn’t get fixed, but nothing makes me go “we need another week”. Things look fairly normal. It’s mostly drivers – as it should be – with a smattering of fixes all over: networking, architectures, filesystems, tooling.. The shortlog is appended, and scanning it gives a good idea of what kind of things are there. Nothing that looks scary: most of the patches are very small, and the biggest one is fixing pin mapping definitions for a pincontrol driver. This also obviously means that the merge window for 5.11 will start tomorrow. I already have a couple of pull requests pending – you guys know who you […]

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Box86 is an x86 Emulator for Raspberry Pi and other 32-bit Arm platforms

Last week, we wrote about Raspberry Pi 4 Vulkan project status and future plans, and one person commented they are currently trying to get dxvk to work Box86, and that CNX Software should write about the latter. Cool, but what does that mean? dxvk is an open-source Vulkan-based implementation of D3D9, D3D10, and D3D11 for Linux,  and Box86 is a Linux userspace x86 emulator that works on 32-bit Arm targets like the Raspberry Pi SBC. Nice, and I remember I ran x86 Linux and Windows on Raspberry Pi a few years ago using a closed-source commercial program called Exagear, but having an open-source solution is even better. That means 64-bit Arm is not supported at all, and Box86 can not even be built for Aarch64 targets. Since many x86 games require OpenGL, as opposed to OpenGL ES, Box86 works best in conjunction with gl4es. By installing Box86 on Raspberry Pi 4, or other Arm boards like many of the Rockchip […]

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Rock Pi 4B or Raspberry Pi 4 based mini PC runs RISC OS Cloverleaf (Crowdfunding)

First released in 1987 by Acorn Computer Ltd, RISC OS was the first operating system designed to run on ARM processors, and specifically on the company’s Archimedes personal computer. I don’t think I had ever heard about the operating systems until it was ported to the Raspberry Pi SBC by RISC OS Open Ltd (aka ROOL) who manage the publication of RISC OS source code. But there’s also a separate project called RISC OS Cloverleaf which aims to further develop the open-source operating systems, and just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund software development, and they also offer two mini PCs running RISC OS Cloverleaf with namely Cloverleaf Puma powered by a  Rock Pi 4B SBC, and Cloverleaf Kitten featuring a Raspberry Pi 4 board. Cloverleaf Puma / Kitten key features and specifications: SBC Cloverleaf Kitten – Raspberry Pi 4 with Broadcom BCM2711 SoC, 4GB DDR4 RAM Cloverleaf Puma – Rock Pi 4B with Rockchip RK3399 SoC, 4GB DDR4 RAM […]

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Giveaway Week 2020 winners announced

CNX Software’s “Giveaway week 2020” took place last week with 7 different prizes including three MINIX accessories (USB-C hubs and USD PD charger), M5Stack Atom Echo ESP32 based programmable speaker,  Miniware DT71 smart tweezers, and two SBC’s namely RockPi 4C and Ryzen Embedded based DFI GHF51. All people had to enter was to leave a comment with the country to which the parcel would have to be sent. With the help of random.org, we now have selected and confirmed winners which all happen to come from the US or Europe this time around: MINIX NEO Storage Plus USB-C Hub with 480GB SSD – Marc, USA Miniware DT71 Smart Tweezers – xdcc_master, GERMANY MINIX NEO C-G USB-C Multiport Adapter – Barnaby, UK RockPi 4C SBC – Garrett, USA M5Stack Atom Echo ESP32 Speaker – Venet, ITALY MINIX NEO P2 100W USB-C Charger – Michal, SLOVAKIA DFI GHF51 Ryzen Embedded SBC – Dean, UK Curious minds may also check out the results […]

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Giveaway Week – RockPi 4C SBC

The first, but not last, SBC of Giveaway Week 2020 is RockPi 4C single board computer equipped with a Rockchip RK3399 processor coupled with 4GB RAM, and featuring HDMI and DisplayPort for dual 4K monitor setups, as well as Gigabit Ethernet, WiFI 5, Bluetooth, USB 3.0/2.0 ports, etc… The board closely follows Raspberry Pi 4 form factor, so without thinking too much about it I thought I could just use it with CrowPi2 Raspberry Pi 4 laptop. However due to small mechanical differences, and a different position of the processor impacting cooling, I quickly realized this would not work. Since I did not have time to review yet another RK3399 SBC, I thought I might as well as give it away, as I’m sure somebody will find a good use for it. Note the board does not come with any accessories, so you’ll have to get a MicroSD card, USB-C power supply, and other usual accessories. You’ll also probably want […]

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Linux 5.9 Release – Main Changes, Arm, MIPS & RISC-V Architectures

Linus Torvalds has just announced the release of Linux 5.9 on lkml: Ok, so I’ll be honest – I had hoped for quite a bit fewer changes this last week, but at the same time there doesn’t really seem to be anything particularly scary in here. It’s just more commits and more lines changed than I would have wished for. The bulk of this is the networking fixes that I already mentioned as being pending in the rc8 release notes last weekend. In fact, about half the patch (and probably more of the number of commits) is from the networking stuff (both drivers and elsewhere). Outside of that, the most visible thing is a reinstatement of the fbdev amba-clcd driver – that’s a noticeable patch, but it’s basically just mainly a revert. The rest is really really tiny (mostly some other minor driver updates, but some filesystem and architecture fixes too). There’s just a bit more of those kinds of […]

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Windows 10 capable Rock Pi X SBC Launched for $59 and Up

Radxa unveiled Rock Pi X intel SBC powered by an Intel Atom x5-Z8350 processor over a year ago with a starting price of just $39 making one of the cheapest Windows 10 single board computer together with Atomic Pi, but the latter is not super convenient to use. What’s new is that you can now buy Rock Pi X SBC, but not quite for $39 since the board has been redesigned, and instead, you’ll find the 4GB RAM/32GB eMMC flash model (Rock Pi X B4E32) for $75 on Seeed Studio, but if you can do with 2GB RAM and 16GB flash storage, AllNetChina has stock for $59 plus shipping. Those are the so-called model B boards with WiFi and Bluetooth, as well as support for an optional PoE module. Rock Pi X model B specifications: SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8350 “Cherry Trail” quad-core processor @ 1.44 GHz / 1.92 GHz (Turbo) with Intel Gen8 HD graphics @ 500 MHz System […]

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