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PINE A64 - Raspberry Pi's Newest Competitor

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Posted · Original PosterOP

First time posting news. I'm scurred xD

 

PINE A64 is a $15, 'high-performance' take on the Raspberry Pi

 

"PINE64 set out to create a simple, smart and affordable computer that gives people access toward making their next big idea come to life." says Co-Founder Johnson Jeng. "We provide a powerful 64-bit quad-core single-board computer at an exceptional price and remain compatible with multiple open source software platforms to build a community of creativity and innovation."

....

Measuring 3.125 inches by 5 inches, the PINE A64 includes a quad-core ARM Cortex A53 1.2GHz processor, dual-core Mali 400 MP2 graphics, support for up to 2GB of DDR3 SDRAM, a microSD slot (which can handle cards up to 256GB), up to gigabit ethernet, two USB 2.0 ports, one HDMI 1.4 connector offering 4K output and both a stereo mini-jack connector and built-in 3.7V Lithium battery charging circuit.
....

 

pine64.jpg

 

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/12/09/pine-a64-64-bit-4k-maker-board/

 

I always liked the idea of the Raspberry Pi but thought it was under powered and only really useful for educational or test uses. 

 

For $15-$20 this thing has a lot going for it. 64-bit (which Pi currently doesn't have) and 4k. This might actually be my first time backing a crowdfunding campaign. 

 

edit: Just looked at the Kickstarter page and it already reached its ~$35K goal...after a little over 3 hours 


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Posted · Original PosterOP

AFAIK raspberry pi isn't really a business in the sense they want to make a ton of money, I think its just for education motives primarily

 

Still the cost difference alone would make schools and such think of switching over or choosing this next time. There's the Pi Zero but ehh


"Solus" (2015) - CPU: i7-4790k | GPU: MSI GTX 970 | Mobo: Asus Z97-A | Ram: 16GB (2x8) G.Skill Ripjaws X Series | PSU: EVGA G2 750W 80+ Gold | CaseFractal Design Define R4

Next Build: "Tyrion" (TBA)

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First time posting news. I'm scurred xD

 

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2015/12/09/pine-a64-64-bit-4k-maker-board/

 

I always liked the idea of the Raspberry Pi but thought it was under powered and only really useful for educational or test uses. 

 

For $15-$20 this thing has a lot going for it. 64-bit (which Pi currently doesn't have) and 4k. This might actually be my first time backing a crowdfunding campaign. 

 

Interesting, I wonder what kind of emulation performance gains we could see from a chip like that 

Quad Core 1.2Ghz base as the SOC sounds tasty, especially if overclocking is a possibility 

The thing with a lot of these clones and competitors though is the lack of community support

When I have a terrible crash in Debian or an application error, or need some help with wiring, it really helps to have people who help me work towards a solution vs a wiki page with useless information 

 

This also has a full gigabit port, that alone would be nice for network projects, if only a data controller was thrown in :P 

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pretty sure the bulk cost of the pi is the research they put behind it.

EDIT: ps, if this thing can handle 4k video smoothly i'm the pope...

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Posted · Original PosterOP

pretty sure the bulk cost of the pi is the research they put behind it.

EDIT: ps, if this thing can handle 4k video smoothly i'm the pope...

 

haha, well I am suspicious about the 4K claim but for $15 any 4k playback will be impressive. I wouldn't be needing it for 4K anyway just a nice plus


"Solus" (2015) - CPU: i7-4790k | GPU: MSI GTX 970 | Mobo: Asus Z97-A | Ram: 16GB (2x8) G.Skill Ripjaws X Series | PSU: EVGA G2 750W 80+ Gold | CaseFractal Design Define R4

Next Build: "Tyrion" (TBA)

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haha, well I am suspicious about the 4K claim but for $15 any 4k playback will be impressive. I wouldn't be needing it for 4K anyway just a nice plus

well.. my pi2 is also quad core, and 900MHz

 

i highly doubt that 300MHz speed boost will turn choppy 720p into smooth 4k...

EDIT: also, gigabit ethernet is all fine and good, until you realise theres nothing on that board that can even make use of gigabit...

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well.. my pi2 is also quad core, and 900MHz

 

i highly doubt that 300MHz speed boost will turn choppy 720p into smooth 4k...

EDIT: also, gigabit ethernet is all fine and good, until you realise theres nothing on that board that can even make use of gigabit...

you also need memory bandwidth to handle 4k, these machines just don't have that, I have a mini pc like that, that has 1ghz dual core and that can't handle 1080p or even 720p for that matter, but mine has sata2 and connector to power a 2.5" hard drive and gigabit ethernet so it's a bit more useful. I don't really see the point of using os that has gui with these machines, it's fine for running linux and control it though ssh

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you also need memory bandwidth to handle 4k, these machines just don't have that, I have a mini pc like that, that has 1ghz dual core and that can't handle 1080p or even 720p for that matter, but mine has sata2 and connector to power a 2.5" hard drive and gigabit ethernet so it's a bit more useful. I don't really see the point of using os that has gui with these machines, it's fine for running linux and control it though ssh

my pi 2 does really well as a homebrew console. emulating PS1 is about the limit of its capabilities, but its a fun project.

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well.. my pi2 is also quad core, and 900MHz

 

i highly doubt that 300MHz speed boost will turn choppy 720p into smooth 4k...

EDIT: also, gigabit ethernet is all fine and good, until you realise theres nothing on that board that can even make use of gigabit...

the pi 2 has cortex a7 cores, while this has A53. Completely different architectures mate. Clock speeds matter little.


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the pi 2 has cortex a7 cores, while this has A53. Completely different architectures mate. Clock speeds matter little.

i admit being fairly fresh to the whole arm thing, any idea how much difference it'll be in performance?

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i admit being fairly fresh to the whole arm thing, any idea how much difference it'll be in performance?

I am not an expert or anything, but I would not imagine it would be THAT great of a difference :/ Or maybe it is. I don't really know I just thought that stating the fact that they have different architectures would make me seem knowledgeable and all hahaha :P


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This would be perfect for a DIY audio DAC or something

not at all actually. you'd be much better building your own dac/amp out of dedicated hardware.

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i admit being fairly fresh to the whole arm thing, any idea how much difference it'll be in performance?

I am not an expert or anything, but I would not imagine it would be THAT great of a difference :/ Or maybe it is. I don't really know I just thought that stating the fact that they have different architectures would make me seem knowledgeable and all hahaha :P

It depends on the task but on average I'd say there is a ~40% performance difference between A7 and A53. If the program can take advantage of the AArch64 instruction set on the A53 then don't be surprised if you see triple the FP performance on the A53 though.

So the PINE A64 is about ~85% faster, CPU wise, than the Raspberry Pi 2.

 

I don't know how the GPU stacks up but it's the same GPU as the international Galaxy S 2 used, but with half the cores (2 instead of 4).

 

 

 

And if you can't play 1080p video on this then you are doing something wrong. My Raspberry Pi 1 can handle the 1080p videos I tried on it, and that's a single core 800MHz CPU.

That single core is not enough to decode 1080p video, but it does support hardware accelerated decoding so just use that.

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Well it's almost the same specs as the Galaxy S3 or Note 2. But come on guys make a board with more ram or at least make a daughterboard that allows me to put in at least 8 Gigs and a sata port. Otherwise I'm sticking to AndroidX86.

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pretty sure the bulk cost of the pi is the research they put behind it.

EDIT: ps, if this thing can handle 4k video smoothly i'm the pope...

Well my PI 2 cannot play 720p X265 wrapped in MKV at all, it's just a stutter fest for about 5 seconds before a garbled screen then it just stops playing. And my PI is OCed too. I have to use a media encoding DNLA server and stream from my PC to the PI.

There's no chance this thing could handle 4K video smoothly, none whatsoever.


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--

--

should add i've only tried trough kodi, and that my install is *very* frankensteined.

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Well my PI 2 cannot play 720p X265 wrapped in MKV at all, it's just a stutter fest for about 5 seconds before a garbled screen then it just stops playing. And my PI is OCed too. I have to use a media encoding DNLA server and stream from my PC to the PI.

There's no chance this thing could handle 4K video smoothly, none whatsoever.

Thats because it's using .265

 

If it was a .264 video it would be just fine. I'm not going to say that this won't work with 4k video, I just doubt it'll work very well. It's probably best used for 1080p 60fps video.

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Well my PI 2 cannot play 720p X265 wrapped in MKV at all, it's just a stutter fest for about 5 seconds before a garbled screen then it just stops playing. And my PI is OCed too. I have to use a media encoding DNLA server and stream from my PC to the PI.

There's no chance this thing could handle 4K video smoothly, none whatsoever.

As others have said, you're having issues because of using x265, which the pi doesn't have hardware decoding for, switch to x264 and you'll have hardware decode available and playback will be butter smooth.

Back on topic though, this device sounds cool, but as others have pointed out, what about software support? It's all well and good chucking more hardware at a problem, but if the support isn't there then this is dead on arrival.

That Gigabit port sounds tasty though, if it gets a decent streaming media player ported to it then I may pick one up and use it for streaming media from my NAS, otherwise I might just go with a pi2 and be done with it.


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Thats because it's using .265

 

If it was a .264 video it would be just fine. I'm not going to say that this won't work with 4k video, I just doubt it'll work very well. It's probably best used for 1080p 60fps video.

 

Yeah I know, it plays 1080p X264 MKV fine.

 

As others have said, you're having issues because of using x265, which the pi doesn't have hardware decoding for, switch to x264 and you'll have hardware decode available and playback will be butter smooth.

Back on topic though, this device sounds cool, but as others have pointed out, what about software support? It's all well and good chucking more hardware at a problem, but if the support isn't there then this is dead on arrival.

That Gigabit port sounds tasty though, if it gets a decent streaming media player ported to it then I may pick one up and use it for streaming media from my NAS, otherwise I might just go with a pi2 and be done with it.

Thats not easy when its a series I watch that's released in either 576p (no chance) or 720p X265. Like I say I work around it by using an encoding server.

 


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Am i the only Australian who saw this and thought of Christopher Piiiine? lol

 

Seriously though i'm curious as to how smooth this thing plays 4k video.

They are not claiming 4K playback. They are just saying the HDMI port supports up to 4K.

If it was a .264 video it would be just fine. I'm not going to say that this won't work with 4k video, I just doubt it'll work very well. It's probably best used for 1080p 60fps video.

I am not sure it will even play 1080p 60fps smoothly. The GPU itself most likely don't support it, and I doubt they are adding an extra chip to the board just for video decoding.
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They are not claiming 4K playback. They are just saying the HDMI port supports up to 4K.

Click the link and look just under the heading it says

"It has a 64-bit processor, supports up to 2GB of RAM and can output 4K video."

Also if you go down says

"It'll handle Android 5.1 (Lollipop), Ubuntu Linux, openHAB, OpenWRT and Kodi, which offers 4Kx2K output via the H.265 video standard (1080p60 and 4Kp30) and also supports Miracast."

It also says 

"While there are plenty of 4K streamers now available, namely via Amazon and Roku, nothing quite beats being able to build one yourself.The open-source community has already fully embraced the Raspberry Pi and ported powerful media center software so it can run on the Pi's ARMv7 chipset, but video decoding is stable but not spectacular. Sure, you can throw a 4GB Matroska-encoded (MKV) file at it and it'll do the job, but extra performance is always welcome. That's not to say the PINE A64 is a 4K powerhouse, and a lot also depends on the software you're using for the job." Which makes me believe it isn't the best at 4k.

 

@LAwLz To be fair i hadn't looked at the article either i only did when you replied so you could of been right lol.

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