Another day, another tiny computer that looks like a Raspberry Pi, but which has different hardware (and a less robust user/developer community). This time it’s a new single-board computer from Pine64 called the Rock64 Media Board Computer.

The little PC sells for $25 and up, and it’s about the same size as a Raspberry Pi, but it’s powered by a Rockchip RK3328 processor with ARM Mali-450 MP2 graphics rather than a Broadcom processor.

It’s also available with up to 4GB of RAM and with optional eMMC storage.

The entry-level price gets you a model with 1GB of RAM, Or you can pay $35 to get a 2GB model or $45 for a 4GB version of the Rock64.

Each model has an HDMI 2.0a port with support for 4K/60 Hz video output, a composite video port, Gigabit Ethernet, a USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, 40-pin and 22-pin connectors, and a microSD card slot for storage.

There’s no onboard WiFi or Bluetooth, but you can use a USB dongle to add those fatures.

Pine64 also sells a 32GB eMMC add-on for $19 if you’d prefer that to removable storage. Another optional accessory is a $7 IR remote and receiver.

While the Rock64 may not have the same kind of community/developer support as the Raspberry Pi line of products, it does support Android 7.1 or Debian or Yocto Linux. And as LinuxGizmos notes, this is an “open spec” device, meaning hardware schematics and other details are available for download.

via CNX Software

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17 replies on “Rock64 is a quad-core, 4K-ready single-board PC for $25 and up”

  1. Mali == Hope you like an unaccelerated 2d framebuffer + blobs to allow video decode.

    So many people stamping out cute little boards, nobody trying to find ONE chip vendor willing to make an SoC with a video section that can be supported by open drivers.

    Except the pretty much obsolete at this point Pi. It has accelerated video but is so dated it really doesn’t matter since you aren’t going to use it in projects that benefit from it.

    1. Don’t need open drivers for accelerated 2d framebuffer, all you need is the blob. C2 has had acceleration for over a year now. I would expect ROCK64 to be the same. Yes Mali may never be open source, but lots of boards with a Mali GPU have accelerated 2d.

  2. I nedd power on button and setup in hardware how using it.
    I need normal fan socket for procesor or other elements
    I need booting from usb

  3. This actually looks great. The eMMC storage actually compliments, does not replace, the microSD card slot. All the official open-source software provides a good support for new and seasoned devs. Hell, this could be used as a decent quality Android TV Box for technically lacking customers.

    The pricing of the add-ons and accessories are quite high, but I think that’s to cover some extra handling fees and used more of a “donate” feature than anything else.

    SDIO 3.0 is UHS type 1 (50MB/s), this could be twice RPi3 and Odroid C2 sd card speed. Usb 3.0 is a great addition too.
    This is what Pine64 should have launched with.
    CPU clock expected to be 1.5GHz, with GPU at half that. Should be identical in performance to Odroid C2.
    From my experience with C2, I would not recommend the 4GB option if you are only buying it for more web browsing. It is much faster than RPi3 but not suited for more than 6 tabs.
    I had issues with C2 being a file server with an external usb drive.

      1. RK3328 has a mali-450 mp2 GPU vs C2’s mali-450 mp3 (I believe the shader count is the difference). Also C2 comes with a large heatsink that is mounted with thru holes on the board. As both the RK3328 and amlogic s905 are 28nm HKMG, I would expect similar thermals. ROCK64 is missing the heatsink and even adding one it probably would not be as good as C2’s heat sink. C2 does thermal throttle after 1minute on full load. File serving from the ROCK64 will hit thermal throttling, but I don’t know what the impact to throughput would be.

      2. RPi 3 overclocking to SDIO 3.0 speeds is just hoping to destroy your SD card. The standard is to drop to 1.8 Volts for a *very* good reason.

        I’m not sure there is a good direct comparison between the s905 and RK3328, they are different in terms of software support, internal peripherals, etc, it’s about a lot more than merely the cores.

  5. Any benchmarks yet ? It’s a very very very good product and price point. I was looking for a tiny usb 3 ready system, if the USB chip bandwidth is adequate and TDP isn’t bad it’s a win.

  6. Omg this is a great move from Pine. The Pin64 sucked since they used an Allwinner processor and we know how they are with community support. Rockchip has active github sources available that can be built without too much of an issue, Mali450 graphics isn’t much of a bump but hey at least we get hardware acceleration now!

      1. the graphics blobs were only released a few months ago from Allwinner however due to licensing issues they currently cannot be distributed in linux images. Sunxi does not have a driver for Mali cores which leaves us at the mercy to chip manufacturers for support.

  7. Up to 4GB of RAM & USB 3 while keeping the price reasonable; this actually looks quite interesting. I’m looking forward to the reviews when it comes out!

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