Tuesday, June 28, 2016

SBCs: And so it begins

Over the past year or so, I have invested money in a number of different Single-Board Computers (that's Raspberry Pi-like things or credit-card size computers). I Kickstarted both the C.H.I.P. and the Pine A64. I also ordered an Orange Pi recently and ordered a Raspberry Pi Zero as soon as it became readily available. It seems the delivery dates all magically converged. While the CHIP and the Orange Pi are currently in transit, I received both the Pine and the Zero today.

Let's start with the Pine A64.

The Pine A64

I hadn't realized quite how big this board is. I mean, a Raspberry Pi (a normal one, not the zero) fits in it twice!

Raspberry for scale
It's a pretty powerful board that was pretty cheap as well (though once you added shipping it was comparable in price to a Raspberry). When I backed the project, I thought that I would perhaps be able to use its hardware supported HEVC decoding to my advantage, but I learned later that it will be a challenge at best to get a grapics driver with hardware support working under linux.

The case does look really good, if you ask me
And once again, it's big...
That pen easily fits on top of the case

But of course the better known product is the Raspberry Pi. I didn't quite realize how small this thing was! (Well, not until a coworker showed me his Zero this morning.)

The Raspberry Pi Zero
That's the same pen, by the way

I don't know what I'll do with the Zero, but I definitely had to have it. And besides, I have to add to the comparison I wrote late last year once my CHIP arrives.

Raspberry for scale. I just love being able to say that.

Alright, I guess I'm off to see if I still have two SD cards lying around. And, more importantly, whether I can still find my card reader.

The Raspberry Pi Zero and Pine A64 side by side

1 comment:

Aardvark said...

Hey Jasper,

Really cool that we got to see the Pine in real life! After just having recovered from how small the RPi Zero *actually* is one day earlier, my mind was boggled again by the realization of just how big the Pine *actually* is! Those two SBCs are really in two completely disjunct areas of usability. But, that is one beautiful casing indeed. Will look very nice in your display cabinet after you realize there really is no practical use for it ;-p