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ODROID-X brings the SBC fight to the Raspberry Pi

ODROID-X brings the SBC fight to the Raspberry Pi

The ODROID-X might cost nearly $100 more than the Raspberry Pi, but its performance is pretty astounding.

Korea-based Android specialist Hardkernel has announced a new entry in its ODROID family of products which should get those still waiting for their Raspberry Pi boards sitting up in interest: a low-cost quad-core ARM-based development board.

Built around the Samsung Exynos 4412 quad-core Cortex-A9 (ARMv7) implementation running at 1.4GHz and boasting a high-performance Mali-400 MPCore graphics processor, the ODROID-X certainly has the edge over the Pi's 700MHz ARMv6 chip. Memory, too, enjoys a significant boost with 1GB of LP-DDR2 to the Pi's 256MB. A micro-HDMI connector joins a specialised LCD interface port for 1080p video output, while a 10/100MB Ethernet jack provides connectivity to the outside world.

As with the Pi, the ODROID-X includes a MIPI CSI camera connector, an SDHC card slot, and a general-purpose input-output (GPIO) port which carries the LCD signal, I2C, UART, SPI, ADC and GPIO capabilities. Six USB 2.0 ports are included to the Pi's two, while the device cal also operate as a mass-storage device through an included micro-USB connection. Finally, the board includes both input and output analogue audio jacks.

All those extra features do mean an increase in size and power draw, however: unlike the credit-card size Pi, the ODROID-X is a chunky 90mm x 94mm and demands a dedicated 5V 2A power supply. For those with projects where the Pi's relative lack of power means it's a no-go, however, those could be prices worth paying. That goes double for anyone who is looking to run Android or Ubuntu Linux, both of which demand an ARMv7 instruction set - present in the ODROID-X and missing from the current-generation Pi.

The boards are available to order now, priced at $129 (around £84) - a significant premium over the $35 Raspberry Pi. Buyers do, however, get Android 'Ice Cream Sandwich' 4.0.4 thrown in for good measure, with source code to be made available for download shortly.

If you're not quite convinced that the ODROID-X is worth the premium, perhaps a video of the device running a four-player knock-off of Mario Kart 64 at full speed via an emulator will help seal the deal:

10 Comments

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Aracos 13th July 2012, 13:14 Quote
So now I can basically buy my phone motherboard without the phone casing? Is this the future? XD
quack 13th July 2012, 14:57 Quote
But can it play Crysis?!
mi1ez 13th July 2012, 15:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by quack
But can it play Crysis?!

*sigh*
dancingbear84 13th July 2012, 15:52 Quote
Pay 4 times the price and get something 4 times more powerful.
That is kind of the same throughout the computing world. Where the pi is different is that it was aimed to be cheap and educational. This is aimed at a different market my opinion.
That said it is good to see innovation
schmidtbag 14th July 2012, 03:44 Quote
are all those usb ports from a hub or are they all dedicated? because beagleboard used a hub for its 4 ports and that was extremely disappointing to me.
CampGareth 14th July 2012, 11:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
are all those usb ports from a hub or are they all dedicated? because beagleboard used a hub for its 4 ports and that was extremely disappointing to me.

If you click through to the product information page there's a chip structure diagram (I don't know if it has a technical name) and it looks like there's a hub providing ethernet and many USB ports.

I'm thinking of buying one of these along with a Motorola Lapdock so I can have essentially a full ARM laptop for £145 ish. Only problems are that this board would have to be taped onto the Lapdock somewhere and to extend battery life it's gonna need a separate power supply. The FAQ does say that the device draws about an Amp under most circumstances but can draw 3 if a lot of USB HDDs are spinning up at once.
Gareth Halfacree 16th July 2012, 07:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by dancingbear84
Pay 4 times the price and get something 4 times more powerful.
More like "pay four times the price and get something conservatively eight times more powerful." Remember, the Pi is a single-core 700MHz ARMv6 chip; the ODROID-X is a quad-core 1.4GHz ARMv7 chip. That means each core is twice as fast, as there are four times as many for 'eight times the performance' (yes, I know these things don't scale linearly.) Add in the newer and more efficient instruction set - which allows the ODROID-X to run Ubuntu, Android and other operating systems that the Pi can't - along with the additional ports and you're potentially looking at a serious upgrade for your cash.
dancingbear84 16th July 2012, 10:57 Quote
True, but they are different target markets. The pi was aimed at education with "hackers/tinkerers" jumping on them like a plate of hot cakes. The pi is nothing new, it is just cheap and powerful (relatively speaking for what you get)
Whilst this is vastly more powerful it is also more costly. I have a pi sat on my desk, currently doing very little, I don't mind that it isn't getting a lot of love at the minute, I will play with it in time, and learn Linux and python basics and tinker and hack and make some leds flash and have fun with it. If it spent 80 odd quid though I would feel I had to use it all the time.
Don't get me wrong it is impressive and would be a great media client or something like that with its low power consumption and high spec, i just don't see it as any real competition for the pi. Until something comes along at a similar price the pi has a safe place in my opinion.
Bindibadgi 16th July 2012, 11:07 Quote
Hmm...

1. Buy OHYAs for $99 each
2. Take off the box
3. Sell to hacker market for $130
4. $31 profit!
Gareth Halfacree 16th July 2012, 11:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
1. Buy OHYAs for $99 each
If that thing hits the market at anywhere near that price, I'll eat my hat. It's the Phantom all over again.
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