Hardkernel has been selling a line of single-board computers under the ODROID brand for years. So far most of them have featured ARM-based processors. But the company’s next product is a compact PC board featuring an Intel Celeron J4105 Gemini Lake processor.

The company has announced that the ODROID-H2 should go on sale in November and the price will be announced closer to the release date (but expect it to be over $100).

Update: It’s now available from Hardkernel.com for $111.

Hardkernel calls the ODROID-H2 a single-board computer, but I’m going to say it’s more of a mini PC board since it features two SODIMM slots for DDR4 RAM and multiple storage connectors.

In other words, unlike some similar mini PCs you’ll need to supply your own memory and storage — but you should have no problem finding compatible hardware since the ODROID-H2 uses the same kind of components commonly found in modern laptops.

The little computer measures 4.3″ x 4.3″ x 1.7″ which makes it about the same size as an Intel NUC mini computer. But the ODROID-H2 is sold without a case and it’s aimed at developers and enthusiasts.

There are plans to build optional case accessories though.

The computer is powered by Intel’s 2.3 GHz quad-core, 10W Celeron J4015 processor and it supports up to 32GB of RAM, has two SATA 3.0 ports, an M.2 PCIe 2.0 x4 slot for an NVMe SSD, and support for eMMC flash storage.

There are DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 2.0 ports, both with support for 4K/60Hz output, S/PDIF and 3.5mm audio jacks, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, and two USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports.

While the ODROID-H2 will be Hardkernel’s first computer with an x86 processor, the company has been working with x86 chips since 2015 since they tend to be better supported by the Linux kernel and other software including Wayland, Vulkan, OpenGL, and OpenCL. Basically there’s less chance that you’ll install a GNU/Linux distribution on a device like this only to find that there’s no support for hardware-accelerated graphics.

You could also probably install Windows (or even macOS).

The original plan had been to release a model with an Intel Atom x5-Z8500 processor, but the project was hit with a number of setbacks and eventually scrapped.

A year later the company developed an ODROID-H1 with an Intel Braswell N3160 processor and 8GB of onboard memory. It was “used for a dedicated project” but Hardkernel never released that model to the public because its specs were already looking dated by the time it was ready to ship.

So the company went back to the drawing board for the ODROID-H2. After considering the AMD Ryzen 5 2500U processor, the company decided to go with Intel’s Celeron J4105U chip instead. While it doesn’t offer the same level of performance, it’s significantly cheaper… but still much faster than previous-gen 6-10W Intel chips.

via FanlessTech



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25 replies on “ODROID-H2 mini PC board with Celeron J4105 Gemini Lake CPU coming next month”

  1. I hope other vendors start to develop x86 Single Board Computers for low price too.
    In today’s market you can find cheap Single Board Computers like Raspberry Pi, based on ARM Architecture, but there are cases which x86 can be considered better.

    Two years ago, there were a lot of this devices based on Intel Atom x5-Z8500 processor, but unfortunately the market disappeared after a while.

    I would like to know if anyone knows a device based on x86 with similar price tag like Raspberry Pi.

    1. “I would like to know if anyone knows a device based on x86 with similar price tag like Raspberry Pi.”

      Nope.

      I periodically keep a finger on the pulse of small and cheap computer systems, including single board computers. And the cheapest x86 single board computer was $200+, no better than the million 4GB/32GB mini Windows boxes you can get from China. I’d be shocked if this ODROID came in under a hundred, and there’s absolutely zero chance it hits $35.

      1. The original LattePanda was around $120, and the Gole 1, a full system with 4GB/32GB, was $150.
        So, there is some room there for lower priced boards. A company, like the Raspberry Pi Foundation, could probably push the price to the $100 level.

        1. For the sake of being thorough, I’ve seen Atom x5 boxes for about $90 US that seem to be decent enough. That’s about the lowest I’ve seen anything x86 based new. The way Intel and AMD price their chips, I don’t expect they will ever compete on price with Pi and other boards around $35-45 and I don’t think they want to.

    1. Looks like the ASRock board does not have hdmi 2.0 and hdmi is the only digital video output.

    2. ASRock J4105B-ITX Intel Celeron Quad-Core Processor J4105 (up to 2.5 GHz) Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo
      £67.19

  2. I wish they would use AMD, given its resurgence and Intel’s arrogance of late. Does AMD not have a processor for that performance/price point?

    1. Actually, they looked at using an AMD processor. They went into some detail in their forum post about it. They said they looked into using the Ryzen 2500U, but it was considerably more expensive. It sounds like the Ryzen isn’t as cost effective for such boards and small computers.

      1. The new Athlon 200GE may be a good fit. It’s not quite as powerful as the 2500U, but would probably be around half of the price, and would have lowish end GPU support.
        They could also upsell models with a 220GE and 240GE.

        1. Perhaps a board maker will consider that one in the future. I suspect it was not available to Hardkernel when designing this Odroid H2. They’ve been working on an x86 board for a while, as I remember them dropping a hint about a year ago. Also, at 35w TDP, the Athlon might not have been appropriate for their application this time.

        2. Just because the chip itself is reasonably priced, doesn’t mean that the implementation of it in a custom board is equally cheap. Intel makes it very cost effective for companies to use their hardware. I design PCBs, and I’m currently working on a project that is going to use an x86 chip. I can tell you that AMD’s CPUs are not cost effective at all when it comes to overall cost to implement them. They might look better value on paper, but there is more to the cost than just Tray price. Some CPUs have smaller pitch BGA patterns that cost more to assemble, and also cost you more in QC costs.

        3. Thanks for providing more context from your experience. The part about BGA pitch sounded familiar and reminded me that Hardkernel reported the same thing in the post for this product. They were working with the z8500 and the BGA pitch was going to drive up PCB cost just like you said here.

        4. I should clarify, that it’s probably not a huge extra cost for the big players (Asus, Asrock, Foxconn, Gigabyte, etc), because they’re probably already equipped to manufacture things off that calibre.

          But for the small players (like Hardkernel), they probably design their board, go through a prototyping phase, and then they shop around with all the numerous Shenzhen-based medium volume PCB fabrication and assembly shops.

          PCB fabrication is actually a surprisingly cheap thing to do when your design is simple, and doesn’t have too small of clearance and traces. My manufacturer in Shenzhen just made a batch of 20x prototypes for a PCB i designed for $25 shipped. However, one time I had an LFBGA package, and I had to find a fabricator capable of that work, and 5x units costed $150. It gets expensive quickly when things are crammed tightly in there.

  3. I’m not sure I get it. What’s the difference between this and similarly priced mini PCs or nucs already on the market with the same chip and specs? Once you add case, PSU, ssd, memory ecc the odroid will probably be more expensive.

    1. I’m wondering the same thing too. Is this just a NUC alternative/competitor? I believe you can get just NUC boards too.

      I do see a header but looking through the linked to forum post, it probably just has 2x I2C and 2x UART. Not much for Hardkernel’s typical audience. Maybe the main thing going for this vs other x86 SBCs might be that it’s cheaper. Too bad the price hasn’t been announced yet.

    2. I’m wondering the same thing. It seems Hardkernel is trying to enter the existing ultra compact/embedded x86 PC market with this. It doesn’t seem to fit within the market segment their other products are targeting. There isn’t any GPIO (the header just has UART and I2C).

      More options, the better I guess. Although, for just general PC purposes, I’d probably just get a NUC, Brix, Liva, Zotac, Axiomtek, etc.

      For x86 + GPIO, I’d look into Up Squared or Udoo.

      The only thing this might have going for it is if it cheaper than the alternatives.

  4. You said there won’t support for hardware acceleration on a board like this but in the video (0:10) you can see ubuntu recognising intel HD graphics.

    1. That’s the opposite of what I said. Earlier single board PCs from hardkernel had ARM chip and many of them had limited support for hardware accelerated graphics are launch. Since this has an x86 chip, it *won’t* have that problem.

      1. Oops, my bad. There are still some uATX braswell motherboards available from Gigabyte and Asus for around 50-60$. Why are board makers pricing sbc’s like these above 100$ when there are similar options already and that too at half their price. And correct me if I’m wrong, aren’t these mobile celerons just Atoms but intel wants to call them celerons?

        1. There are even some small boards with the same J4105 chip for $70-80. It will be interesting to see how this Odroid will compare when we know the price of the board along with cases and power supply as opposed to one of those boards after the same thing which may be more expensive. Their total prices might be closer at that point. Other than that, some people may just prefer the form factor or ports offered on the Odroid, such as the two ethernet ports. As for the other point, as I understand it, the Celerons and Pentium Silver lines are a continuation of Atom chips. But chips such as these appear to be significantly more powerful than the Cherry Trail Atoms, to the point that, based on benchmarks at least, performance is approaching earlier Core M chips and earlier Core i3 mobile chips. So it looks like the Atoms have improved quite a bit.

  5. If they can sell this board, bundled with a decent case, and a power supply for under $150, I think they will have a real winner.

    Above that, I’d rather buy the J5005 NUC. More powerful, and its $189.

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