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posted by cmn32480 on Friday December 11 2015, @04:32AM   Printer-friendly
from the runs-new-linux-distro:-fiord dept.

Tom's Hardware is highlighting a Kickstarter project for the Pine A64, a 64-bit computer board competing on specs with the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B:

Essentially, the Pine A64 can be viewed as a more powerful next-generation Raspberry Pi device. The Pine A64 contains a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU clocked at 1.2 GHz. Compared to the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B that was released earlier this year and uses four Cortex-A7 cores clocked at 900 MHz, not only does the Pine A64 have a higher clock speed, but it also has a more advanced architecture, which consumes less power and achieves greater performance.

For graphics processing, the Pine A64 uses the dated Mali-400 MP2 GPU. Although we cannot compare the performance of the GPU inside of the Pine A64 to the VideoCore IV inside of the Raspberry Pi without testing both devices, Pine64 stated that the Pine A64 will be capable of 4K video playback, whereas the Raspberry Pi is limited to a resolution of 1920x1200. This gives the Pine64 an edge and should help to attract users planning to use it as a small HTPC system.

The two main options, Pine A64 and Pine A64+, cost $15 and $19 respectively. The A64+ comes with double the RAM (1 GB DDR3 vs 512 MB DDR3) and three additional ports for camera, touch panel, and LCD accessories. Other price tiers come with 2 GB of RAM, and 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.


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  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by rob_on_earth on Friday December 11 2015, @08:31AM

    by rob_on_earth (5485) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 11 2015, @08:31AM (#274876) Homepage

    I have had a Zaurus and NSlu2 and a O2 Joggler. Each fine machines with lots of promise and each one had its "community" time where enough people were doing enough to keep the interest alive. Each is still usable today but when basic packages don't get upgraded for years at a time, my and it would appear many others "stickability" wears thin.

    The rate of new Pi hardware and huge (do not under-estimate) community constantly churning out new stuff and revisiting old is making this the platform to cling too. The reason the Pi got so much love was the goal of the foundation was education, the makers things was just a fun side note.

    Any challenger has not only got to be better and cheaper(arguably) but have a bigger and more dedicated community.

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Gravis on Friday December 11 2015, @10:41AM

    by Gravis (4596) on Friday December 11 2015, @10:41AM (#274915)

    they went out of their ways to have a "Pi-2 bus" connector [pine64.org] so hardware and code that uses that interface on the RPI2 would also work on this board.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Knowledge Troll on Friday December 11 2015, @05:19PM

    by Knowledge Troll (5948) on Friday December 11 2015, @05:19PM (#275041) Homepage Journal

    The rate of new Pi hardware and huge (do not under-estimate) community constantly churning out new stuff and revisiting old is making this the platform to cling too.

    Unfortunately you are right about many parts but not the cling to it thing. Well maybe "cling to" is the right phrase after all. Cling as in "oh shit honey don't leave me I can change!!!!!!" not "this is a good technological thing to follow."

    I've got about 4 Pi boards here, a large pile of Arduinos of many models, and Beagle Bone boards. The Pis are the least well thought out boards in terms of connectors and functionality. I don't know if the current Pi boards still suffer from the problem where the USB and Ethernet port don't physically line up. That turns me off so fast and what really blows me away is the problem is ignored by people and in many pictures of Pi models impacted by it the device is very carefully positioned so you can't see it. That is some really epic levels of marketing wizardry from a technical education foundation.

    Open source project but poorly selected system on a chip that can never be fully open source because of vendor driver problems, header pins that don't fit the use case of bread boarding and rapid prototype well, super ultra shitty power regulator on board, all lead by an organization that doesn't see this as a problem.

    Out of all the single board computers I have the Pis are most likely for me to give to a 4 year old so they can play with them. And by play I mean go outside and dig a hole with them because they fucking suck.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by theluggage on Friday December 11 2015, @06:39PM

      by theluggage (1797) on Friday December 11 2015, @06:39PM (#275086)

      I don't know if the current Pi boards still suffer from the problem where the USB and Ethernet port don't physically line up.

      <sarcasm>

      You're right, the face of the Ethernet connector on the original Pi is a good 3mm back from the USB. I can't believe that I allowed a device with such a hideous fault into my house without noticing - I guess it was a marketing conspiracy. I blame those rainbow-coloured cases: they looked cute at the time but now its clear that they used the 'dazzle ship' principle to obscure the heinous misplacement of the ethernet port. I won't sleep tonight, I'll just toss and turn thinking about all the tragic cataclysms that could have arisen from a slightly recessed ethernet port. I guess I'll have keep my fingers crossed over the weekend and call in a hazmat team to remove it on Monday.

      I notice that the model 2 has the ports lined up correctly... but now I just feel so violated that I don't think I can trust a Raspberry Pi again.

      You'd think that this thing had been deliberately designed to be cheap rather than perfect or that the 'better' alternatives were either more expensive or not actually available to buy ('pledge $X to our kickstarter and hopefully get the product in a few months' is not comparable to 'available to buy for $X').
      </sarcasm>

      • (Score: 2) by Knowledge Troll on Friday December 11 2015, @08:23PM

        by Knowledge Troll (5948) on Friday December 11 2015, @08:23PM (#275130) Homepage Journal

        You're right, the face of the Ethernet connector on the original Pi is a good 3mm back from the USB. I can't believe that I allowed a device with such a hideous fault into my house without noticing.

        Yup most people don't pay attention to that kind of detail. Apparently also the people who designed the first generation Pi. There are other things like they don't break out the i2s interface that exists on the SoC itself but is not accessible. Now we get Pi pinout backwards compatible much higher performance devices that live with this and other restrictions because of a bad idea a while ago.

        You'd think that this thing had been deliberately designed to be cheap rather than perfect or that the 'better' alternatives were either more expensive or not actually available to buy ('pledge $X to our kickstarter and hopefully get the product in a few months' is not comparable to 'available to buy for $X').

        And that's why it makes a better shovel than computer. Pro tip: it can be cheap and also not stupid. Being clingy is fun ain't it?