96-Core NanoPi Fire3 Boards Cluster is a DIY Portable Solution to Teach or Develop Distributed Software

96-Core NanoPi Fire3 Cluster

Nick Smith has been messing around with clusters made of Arm boards for several years starting with Raspberry Pi boards, including a 5-node RPI 3 cluster, before moving to other boards like Orange Pi 2E, Pine A64+, or NanoPC-T3. His latest design is based on twelve NanoPi Fire3 boards with 8 cores each, bringing the total number of cores to 96.¬† The platform may not be really useful for actual HPC applications due to limited power and memory, but can still be relied upon for education and development, especially it’s easily portable. Nick also made some interesting points and discoveries. It’s pretty with shiny blinking LEDs, and what looks like proper cooling, and the cluster can deliver 60,000 MFLOPS with Linpack which places it in the top 250 faster computers in the world! That’s provided we travel back in time to year 2000 through ūüôā By today’s standard, it would be rather slow, but that’s an interesting historical fact. Nick …

Vorke V5 Plus Kaby Lake Mini PC Review with Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.04

The Vorke V5‚Äč Plus‚Äč‚Äč mini PC‚Äč just goes to show how initial impressions can be very misleading. Arriving in a plain manila-coloured box with the protection film on the top of the ‚Äčdevice starting to peal‚Äč-‚Äčoff the minimalist contents ‚Äčonly ‚Äčincluded a round-pin (European?) power supply and a small B&W ‘user’ manual. The mini PC ‚Äčhas an Intel Celeron Processor 3865U from the Kaby Lake mobile range which is a dual-core (dual-thread) non-turbo 1.8GHz processor. However this SoC also includes an Intel HD Graphics 610 processor capable of 4K support at 60Hz through DisplayPort, ‚Äčalthough only [email protected] on HDMI (1.4). Additionally ‚Äčthe SoC‚Äč supports DDR4 RAM in dual-channel configuration. The V5 Plus ‚Äčmodel ‚Äčwhich‚Äč comes with ‚Äčboth ‚Äč‚Äčmemory and storage although it is sold without them as a ‚Äčbarebones V5 model. Physically the V5 looks similar to a NUC and the pre-populated V5 Plus ‚Äčincluded a single SODIMM stick of Samsung DDR4 Synchronous 2400 MHz memory and a HOODISK 64GB …

Review of Ubuntu 18.04 on ODROID-XU4Q Development Board

ODROID-XU4Q

Hardkernel released their first Samsung Exynos 5422 octa-core board in July 2014 with ODROID-XU3, which at the time was really a powerful board, but also pricey at $179. Later that year, the company released a cheaper version ($99) called ODROID-XU3 Lite, which I had the chance to review with Ubuntu 14.04 and Android 4.4. The company’s adventure with Exynos 5422 processor did not stop there, as in 2015 they released the smaller and even cheaper ($74) ODROID-XU4 board, and last year launched a fanless version of the board with ODROID-XU4Q featuring a large heatsink. More recently, the company also introduced ODROID-HC1 and ODROID-MC1 solutions for respectively network storage and clusters applications. That’s the short history of Hardkernel Exynos 5422 boards as I remember it, and that means that since 2014, or nearly 4 years so far, the company has kept updating Ubuntu and Android firmware for their board, including the just released Ubuntu 18.04 (MATE) operating system, which I’m going …

Snapdragon 835 based Always-Connected PC Benchmarks Show Performance Similar to Intel Apollo Lake Laptop (in Most Cases)

The first Windows 10 Arm Mobile PCs were announced a few months ago, all based on Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, with products such as HP Envy x2 (2017) and ASUS NovaGo TP370. The new products promised LTE connectivity, very long battery price, a user experience similar to the one on Intel/AMD based laptops, and at price points ($600 and up) that should command good performance. But TechSpot ran some benchmarks on HP Envy x2 (a $1,000 device), and in most cases, the new always-connected PCs come with performance similar or even lower than a Chuwi laptop based on an Intel Celeron N3450 Apollo Lake processor that sells for a little over $400. That appears to be valid for both¬† x86 emulation and native apps. In some case, the Snapdragon laptop does pretty well with performance close to Core m3 / Core i5-5200U processors such as in the Microsoft Excel workload below. However, you may not want to use Photoshop on …

Intel NUC7CJYSAL “June Canyon” Gemini Lake NUC Mini PC Review with Windows 10 and Ubuntu

The hardware specification for mini PCs has recently evolved past the traditional fixed amount of memory and storage. Now mini PCs are shipping with SODIMM slots allowing RAM expansion and a variety of M.2 or SSD combos providing flexible storage options. Recent mini PCs are also coming to market with desktop processors rather than mobile processors because there has been a gradual acceptance of the necessary inclusion of a small internal fan. In doing so not only is this addressing the key limiting factors for mini PCs but it is also redefines the very definition of a mini PC. Until recently Intel NUCs (Next Unit of Computing) were seen as small-form-factor personal computers primarily because they consisted of the traditional motherboard with a processor, included removable RAM and storage and were enclosed in a case with an external power supply. They were also sold as kits meaning they were essentially the ‘barebones’ ready to be build with separately purchased memory, …

Vorke V1 Plus Celeron J3455 Mini PC Review with Windows and Ubuntu

Most Intel based mini PCs use processors classified as ‚ÄėMobile‚Äô as these have lower thermal design power (TDP) ratings which is the maximum amount of heat generated by the processor: However, the new Vorke V1 Plus has incorporated a ‚ÄėDesktop‚Äô processor namely the Intel Celeron J3455. On paper this processor looks like it should perform similar to the Intel Pentium N4200 processor but with a tradeoff between being a cheaper processor to purchase but more expensive to run due to the increased power requirements. Geekbuying provided a Vorke V1 Plus for review so let’s start by taking a look at the physical characteristics. The device comes in a plain box and was supplied with the ‚Äėright AC Adapter‚Äô for my country. The first observation is that it is quite a large device. At just over 6‚ÄĚ square (153mm) and nearly 1.5‚ÄĚ tall (38mm) it is the biggest mini PC I‚Äôve seen with an Apollo Lake processor. It has a large …

Intel Compute Cards Review – Windows 10 and Ubuntu 17.04 on CD1C64GK, CD1P64GK and CD1M3128MK

The Intel Compute Stick revolutionized the mini PC market through the introduction of x86 based processors making Windows available as an OS option. However, for Intel the biggest target market turned out to be business rather than consumer with digital signage being a key user. As a result Intel have responded with the introduction of the Intel Compute Card. So far they have released four versions of card: and they they differ from compute sticks by no longer being standalone mini PCs but dependent on a dock or host device. The card itself is relatively small with a footprint slightly larger than a standard credit card: and is distinguished by the back being printed with details about the card including the model: The lack of emphasis on the consumer market is also evident in the rather unobtrusive plain packaging: On the end that inserts into the dock or host device is a connector which is separated into two sections: a …

Review of GOLE 10 Mini PC with 10.1″ Touchscreen Display – Part 2: Windows 10 Pro

Depending on your point of view, GOLE 10 is a mini PC with a touchscreen display, or a really thick tablet with an inclined display.¬† I’ve already received a sample, and had a look at the hardware in the first part of the review, so in the second I tested the performance and stability, and thought about and test some use cases for this type of products. GOLE 10 (aka F6) Setup and System Info There are various way to use the mini PC, either as a standalone screen without any peripheral connected using the touchscreen, or as a mini PC with USB keyboard and mouse and potential other accessories, or in a dual display setup with the device connected to an HDMI TV or monitor. I decided to connect it to my “test” TV, add a USB 3.0 drive, USB keyboard and mouse, Ethernet cable, and of course the power supply. Note that contrary to other similar model, GOLE …