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posted by martyb on Monday January 10, @02:37PM   Printer-friendly

ROCK5 Model B RK3588 single board computer is up for pre-order for $79 and up

Some will say "finally!" After years of waiting for [the] Rockchip RK3588 processor, ROCKPi Trading Limited/Radxa got some samples for their ROCK5 Model B single board computer and has started to take pre-orders with discounted prices starting at $79 through distributors.

But let's check out the specifications first, with the octa-core Cortex-A76/A55 Pico-ITX SBC shipping with up to 16GB RAM, M.2 NVMe storage, 2.5GbE, optional WiFi 6E, 8K video output via HDMI or USB-C ports, 4K HDMI input, and more.

[...] So how much does the board cost exactly? Those are the standard prices:

  • $129 with 4GB RAM
  • $149 with 8GB RAM
  • $189 with 16GB RAM

This is getting quite close to Intel hardware, but ROCK5 Model B has some features not found in most platforms at that price including HDMI input, MIPI CSI camera interfaces, GPIO header, and 2.5GbE.

But as mentioned in the introduction you can get the board for as low as $79 by pre-ordering the board. To get this price, you'll need to pay a $5 deposit (called R3 code "Radxa ROCK5 Redeem") to reserve the board, and then you'll be able to get a $50 discount on the prices above, meaning $79 for the 4GB version, $99 with 8 GB RAM, and $139 for the model with 16GB RAM. This is only valid for one board, and the R3 code is refundable at any time before shipping if you decide you don't want to[sic] board anymore.

Beware the VAT.

Previously:
Rockchip RK3588 Datasheet Available, SBCs Coming "Soon"
CNX Software: Year 2021 in Review


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  • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Monday January 10, @03:09PM (11 children)

    Tom Cubie in the CNX-Software comments is from ROCKPi/Radxa. They plan to manufacture (additionally) in Europe in 2023, apparently, which could alleviate VAT issues.

    This board is a Raspberry Pi 5 (6?) competitor, if you can get your hands on it.

    DisplayPort over USB-C and dual-HDMI is nice. I didn't expect to see HDMI input, which could enable some weird use cases.

    The SoC supports 32 GiB RAM, not just 16.

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    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @03:29PM (8 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @03:29PM (#1211498)

      These SBCs get more and more powerful, and expensive, through feature creep. I think there will always be a need for the $20 SBC that the Pi originally filled, but I wonder whether that niche will go away on the hardware side.

      • (Score: 3, Informative) by takyon on Monday January 10, @03:39PM (6 children)

        Weaker and less expensive options still exist. In the middle, RK3566/RK3568 4x Cortex-A55, below that, various dirt cheap options and microcontrollers. RasPi has kept the $35 price point, although they had to return to 1 GiB of RAM. Then they have the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W at $15, although that form factor and I/O kinda sucks. I welcome larger and more expensive boards that you can actually plug a bunch of things into. It would also be nice to see some (more) Arm boards capable of using SO-DIMM/DIMMs (technically not a single board computer at that point, oh well).

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        • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @05:17PM (5 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @05:17PM (#1211538)

          Do you have any experience or opinion on the Pine SBCs (A64, Rock64, RockPro64)? I have a few things I want to mess around with that I was looking in the direction of the Pi, such as a media server and front end for my "smart TV" (to make it a bit less surveillance-y), but I saw these boards I like the idea behind the Pine people. Problem is I don't see much in the way of tutorials. I assume I could do what I want on these boards running Armbian, but I wasn't entirely sure.

          • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday January 10, @05:29PM (1 child)

            Nope. I run Raspberry Pi OS and LibreELEC (Kodi) on Pi 4.

            LibreELEC supports a bunch of the older PINE SBCs but I don't think it's ready for the Quartz64 [libreelec.tv] yet.

            LibreELEC is likely to be able to accomplish everything you could possibly want for a TV frontend.

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            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @05:39PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @05:39PM (#1211549)

              Thank you. I appreciate your opinion.

          • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @06:03PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @06:03PM (#1211560)

            Pine is OK. Any of the Rockchip boards should work with Armbian out of the box, although I don't think Quartz (the newest) is fully supported yet. Quality isn't much different from a RasPi, accessories are often dodgy. Hardkernel/ODROID make better SBCs, but charge higher prices and are more conservative about pushing out hardware and don't necessarily focus on what's friendly to free software. Remember that USB/PCI slots are often sharing the bus and research+plan accordingly.

          • (Score: 5, Interesting) by epitaxial on Monday January 10, @06:16PM

            by epitaxial (3165) on Monday January 10, @06:16PM (#1211566)

            the oDroid N2+ works great for that. It does 4k 60hz in hardware. I tried it out for a while and the performance was impressive but I hated how limited Kodi or Libreelec or whatever you want to call it was. All the addons were ugly and had tons of bugs. I thought I could use it like a regular linux distro and run a browser for streaming. Turns out you can't because Kodi doesn't use X. I hate all the media library bullshit. Give me a shared folder and a web browser. Kodi could not meet my needs. Right now I use a small i5 box with a GT 710 gpu. My plans are to upgrade to a GT 1030 for the hardware 4k hevc decoding. People talk about the Nvidia Shield but it's basically Nvidia's version of Kodi. More stuff I don't like.

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by driverless on Tuesday January 11, @04:15AM

            by driverless (4770) on Tuesday January 11, @04:15AM (#1211700)

            I've always found the Pine's to be a bit... underdesigned, and not so well supported on some OSes (FreeBSD springs to mind), way too much tweaking required to get things working. I prefer the ODroids, which are also a lot cheaper than these new Pine's, at those prices you may as well go with Intel/AMD SBCs.

      • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday January 12, @03:39PM

        by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday January 12, @03:39PM (#1212131) Journal

        https://www.cnx-software.com/2022/01/12/rockchip-rk3588s-cost-optimized-cortex-a76-a55-processor/ [cnx-software.com]

        They cut out some features and cost in the RK3588S. The PinePhone Pro [cnx-software.com] uses an RK3399S [cnx-software.com], which mostly lowers power consumption vs. RK3399 AFAIK.

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    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @05:44PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @05:44PM (#1211550)

      I'm not sure if the movie studios will like HDMI input!

      But it does offer some intriguing options for Picture-in-Picture. e.g. outputting my laptop's display into a window on my desktop without any need for client-server networking because it's basically acting as a KVM switch.

      That sounds like a cool niche for an open source All-in-One PC/Smart TV.

      Not that entrepreneurs read soylentnews.org but why isn't anyone out of Shenzhen producing an iMac Killer?

  • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Monday January 10, @03:42PM (3 children)

    by hendrikboom (1125) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 10, @03:42PM (#1211504) Homepage Journal

    What does it do for a power supply?

    • (Score: 2) by crafoo on Monday January 10, @03:58PM

      by crafoo (6639) on Monday January 10, @03:58PM (#1211511)

      good question. I wasn't able to find the answer. The older SBC using the RK3566 have a 5V 3A barrel connector input.

    • (Score: 2) by EvilSS on Monday January 10, @05:24PM

      by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 10, @05:24PM (#1211540)
      Sure it's not the only option, but it does support POE: "2.5 Gbps Ethernet RJ45 port with PoE support". Other than that, unless that gold port on the far left of the board is a power jack and not a headphone jack like I think it is, I would guess via the USB C port. There is a mini port on the back but I'm pretty sure that is the micro HDMI in.
    • (Score: 2) by driverless on Tuesday January 11, @04:24AM

      by driverless (4770) on Tuesday January 11, @04:24AM (#1211704)

      They get it right, standard barrel jack DC power so no problems there.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Rich on Monday January 10, @08:11PM (1 child)

    by Rich (945) on Monday January 10, @08:11PM (#1211590) Journal

    I've been waiting for years to see what the 3588 brings us, but it looks like it delivers, and plentiful so. They have the data sheet up, which has a pinout, but no register descriptions or even power consumption numbers. With 1088 balls, the package is definitely above what your usual embedded design would use. Same can be said about the feature list and overall complexity. It's definitely PC class and should easily power more advanced media solutions as well; benchmarks seem to agree.

    It's almost like you wouldn't want to do a maker project WITH it, but rather FOR it. The first thing I imagined was a portable workstation. CNC a unibody case for it, with a 17" 4K screen that not only folds, but also slides up, so you don't get laptop-neck. You might not be able to put it into an A4 envelope, but it will be preferable in the other 99% of use cases, where it sits on a desk :) Also, if it is that big, there's enough space for all the interfaces the others leave out now. Forget wimpy stuff like "headphone jacks", have 16 channel low-latency analog audio I/O for a mobile DAW.

    Fun times, once it arrives "soon".

  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @11:05PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @11:05PM (#1211637)

    You pay VAT both if you buy in a shop or directly. Manufacture location does not matter.

    The issue is that the shop handles the paperwork, or more probably a company does for many shops, so it adds a small bit only and is well know; the sticker has no hidden surprises: VAT, import duties if any, and paperwork fees, all is there. But if you order directly the post office or the courier will milk you, and you have no idea how much until they say "the money or the package gets it". Sometimes they misread the classification (HS / TARIC codes) or fuck up in other ways like applying it to the shipping cost. Anecdata, but I have seen it, and trying to get 10 euros back would be a waste of time. IMO they charge a high % for being a excuse to not have to travel to some remote warehouse yourself, as they take no resposability for anything anyway.

    It should be a "dutty office - customer" relation without extra fees and with options to be ultra smooth instead of physcally based if you want (all digital option: bill to email then pay at estate website with card or do a bank transfer, eg, no visit of remote warehouses, or pen and paper things), but I am sure they lobbied to get in the middle instead of making the estate more efficient (my relation with the courier was also digital until the box was delivered).

    For small transactions (up to 150 euros including shipping, IIRC, so pretty much 100-120 euros, or so, items), foreign companies can handle the paperwork before shipping (DDP, Delivered Duty Paid), removing the courier extortion. That is new as before there was no such plan (IOSS, Import One Stop Shop), but sometimes small packages were not inspected anyway (depended on country, mine checked mostly... because money for the post company). For bigger things, you get hit with the ransom, same than the past. This is not only an EU thing, UK decided to implement something similar.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @11:30PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 10, @11:30PM (#1211648)

    With ARM it is still important to check the video core, in this case Mali G610MC4 GPU [wikipedia.org]. And with that info, what kind of support exists for Linux or the BSDs? I can see in the Mesa git that Panfrost driver supports Txxx (Midgard) and Gxx (Bifrost), but not clear if also Gxxx (Valhall 3rd gen, some Gxx are Vallhall 1st and 2nd). Random pages mention reverse engineering for Valhall is planned or started. Oh well, cross fingers and patience.

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