The Raspberry Pi isn’t the only single-board computer in town, and the folks at Hardkernel have been making some impressive alternatives for years.
The new ODROID-C4 is a pretty good example. It’s a $50 mini computer with a 2 GHz Amlogic S950X3 quad-core ARM Cortex-A55 processor, 4GB of RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 2.0, 4 USB 3.0 ports, and a Raspberry Pi-compatible 40-pin header.
In other words, it’s $5 cheaper than a Raspberry Pi 4 with the same amount of RAM and according to Hardkernel it scores higher in at least some benchmarks. But there are some trade-offs.
For example, the latest Raspberry Pi computers include WiFi and Bluetooth. You’ll need to use an optional USB adapter to add those features to an ODROID-C4.
And while the Raspberry Pi 4 has two micro HDMI ports and a USB-C port, the ODROID-C4 has just a single full-sized HDMI port and a micro USB port.
On the other hand, all of its USB Type-A ports support USB 3.0 speeds, while two of the Raspberry Pi’s ports are USB 2.0. And the ODROID-C4 has optional support for eMMC storage modules, while the Raspberry Pi series computers use only microSD cards for their primary storage. Hardkernel’s board also comes with a heat sink.
You can find detailed specs for the ODROID-C4 at Hardkernel’s website, but here are some highlights:
- Dimensions: 85mm x 56mm x 1mm
- Weight: 59 grams (including heat sink)
- Processor: Amlogic S905X3 12nm, 2 GHz ARM Cortex-A55
- Graphics: Mali-G31 MP2 @ 650 MHz
- RAM: 4GB DDR4
- Storage: eMMC (8GB to 64GB) and/or microSD card (up to UHS-I)
- Networking: Gigabit Ethernet
- Video: HDMI 2.0 (up to 4K@60Hz with HDR, CEC, EDID)
- Audio: HDMI and optional SPDIF
- USB: 4 x USB 3.0 + 1 micro USB 2.0
- Other I/O: 40-pin header + 7-pin audio expansion header + IR receiver
- Power: DC jack (12V/2A power adapters recommended)
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