Most computer motherboards from companies like Asus, MSI, and Gigabyte feature sockets that let you connect any compatible CPU as well as slots for adding memory, storage, and other components.
Meanwhile, single-board computers like the Raspberry Pi tend to have both the processor and the RAM soldered to the system board.
And then there’s the Gigabyte GA-SBCAP3350. It’s a new board that seems to split the difference: it has an Intel Celeron N3350 dual-core processor built in, but lets you bring your own RAM and solid state storage.
The board measures about 5.7″ x 4″ (146mm x 102mm) so it’s larger than a Raspberry Pi. But it’s also a lot more versatile.
There’s a single-channel DDRL SO-DIMM slot that supports up to 8GB of DDR3L-1333/1600/1866 RAM (the maximum that the Celeron N3350 chip can handle). There’s also a mini PCIe slot that you can use for an mSATA solid state drive and a second mini PCIe slot for a half-length wireless card.
Gigabyte’s little computer features include HDMI and VGA ports, with the former supporting display resolutions up to 3840 x 2160 at 30 Hz, while the latter tops out at 1920 x 1200 pixels at 60 Hz.
Other features include two USB 3.0 ports, dual Gigabit Ethernet ports, and a number of internal headers for USB 2.0, SATA, GPIO, and other I/O connections.
There’s also a large heat spreader covering one side of the board, which should help keep the low-power computer cool without the use of fans. But if you want to use a fan, there’s a system fan header as well.
While I get the feeling this board is designed for enterprise solutions such as digital signage and point-of-sales systems, it could also be an interested option for anyone interested in building a small, quiet, customizable home computer… assuming you’re satisfied with the performance of the 6 watt Celeron N3350 processor, because that’s the one thing you cannot upgrade.
Gigabyte first unveiled the GA-SBCAP3350 earlier this year, but the company just added product details to its website this week. There’s no word on when it will be available for purchase or how much it will cost when it does.
Wow, this is pretty cool. I like the fact that it does NOT have 32gb of storage and 2gb of ram SOLDERED TO THE MOTHERBOARD! It’s actually user upgradable! Even better is the wide range of voltages 9-36 volts DC. You don’t need a honkin ATX power supply with a noisy fan to run it. It could easily run off of 12v batteries or a small 12v power supply. I may buy one of these to put in my car and run Linux on it.
It is an E-Pos main board:
Sim+mPCIe for mobile till as WiFi roaming is unreliable,
4X RS232 (Possibly powers the device as well, i.e. chip+pin)
2X Ethernet to connect via VPN and local print server (i.e. to inform cooks what the orders are)
1x LVDS above the mPCI-e+sim area for an integrated “laptop display” LCD
1x low power SoC so this PCB can run off batteries (i.e. a UPS, either mains or DC-to-DC)
This board is likelier to be seen in the next bar till or local Tesco/Walmart and possibly on a “wireless” trolley pushed by someone chasing you around the isles saying, “Good price! Good price! You Buy!” before you even know what they’re advertising.
To be a RPi killer:
It has to have an RPi compatible GPIO header, even if it was an extended one… the main pins have to be compatible! Then documentation……
I like the concept, but I’m not buying something that low-end. Maybe a quad-core Pentium is in their future?
x86 SBCs with installable memory and storage are common. Been around long before the Raspberry Pi. Liliputing even covered several of them over the years. Although, they were mostly targeting industrial applications and cost much more than the ARM SBCs this is being compared to.
I really don’t understand why this is being compared to the Raspberry Pi though. I guess it does have 8 input and 8 output GPIO pins which many x86 motherboards don’t have although that’s not much GPIO pins.
These are fairly common if you look to China, but less so in the west (and there’s nothing from AMD now the E-350 and its brethren have been discontinued). The two types I find interesting are the ones with 4-6 gigabit NICs on them, or one I found recently with 13 x SATA 2 ports. I dug a bit deeper and found all those ports were hanging off 1 PCIE 2.0 lane so 500MB/s at most, though that’s easily enough to saturate a gigabit port. Shame distributed storage needs memory and CPU horsepower not just SATA ports.
I have had one for years running fedora, it’s 3x a RPi, not counting memory and storage, no new news here.
Do you have a link to buy the Gigabyte GA-SBCAP3350 since you’ve had it for years now?
Almost had me until … Realtek nics.
I wouldn’t mind the quad core version. It’d be nice to use in a media center build.
That was my first thought when I clicked the title. Alas, too good to be true.
It would be good if they put out a board that could be used to create a tablet or smartphone . As it is, the double stacked ports and the useless VGA port make it way too thick to be used in a tablet design.
I think we are in a time now where a number of people would love to have boards they can use to create their own mobile devices.
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