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Raspberry Pi 2 launches with quad-core ARMv7 chip

Raspberry Pi 2 launches with quad-core ARMv7 chip

The Raspberry Pi 2 retains the layout of its Model B+ predecessor, but packs a quad-core ARMv7 CPU and double the memory - and all without a price increase.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has officially launched its latest single-board computer, the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B+ 1G, which boasts an upgraded quad-core processor and double the memory of its predecessors.

It's no secret that the Broadcom BCM2835 system-on-chip processor found in the original Raspberry Pi was outdated, even when the device first launched. It had been designed by Broadcom for use in set-top boxes and other media devices, and while its - closed-source - graphics processor was beefy the single-core 700MHz ARMv6 CPU was slow and lacked compatibility with many operating systems. Since then, numerous models of Raspberry Pi - the Model B Revision 2, Model A, Model B+ and Model A+, not to mention the Compute Module computer-on-module (COM) industrial variant - have launched, but all retaining the outdated and out-classed single-core processor.

The Raspberry Pi 2 is the Foundation's answer to complaints regarding the weedy nature of the original. The BCM2835 has been replaced with a BCM2836, which bumps the stock clock speed to 900MHz and packs four physical processing cores where its predecessor had but one. More importantly, it is also based around the ARMv7 microarchitecture - which means, in theory at least, wider compatibility with mainstream Linux distributions like Canonical's Ubuntu, especially when the more capacious 1GB of RAM is taken into account.

That new microarchitecture could spell trouble for the project as a whole. The good news is that ARMv7 is backwards-compatible with ARMv6: Raspbian, the recommended Linux distribution for the Raspberry Pi, can boot on a Raspberry Pi 2 without modification so long as a new ARMv7 kernel is loaded onto its micro-SD card. Backwards compatibility does not make full use of the benefits of the ARMv7 architecture, however: only applications compiled for ARMv7 will see the full performance of the new chip, and if Raspbian - or any other Pi-oriented distribution - wants to take advantage of that it will mean having to maintain two separate binary distributions, one compiled for ARMv6 and for use with the original Pi and one compiled for ARMv7 and the new Pi 2.

That's not to say that the Pi 2 isn't going to sell like hot-cakes, of course. Thanks to a higher stock clockspeed and four times the processing cores, the chip will outperform its predecessor by anything up to six times even when running ARMv6 applications, and the additional memory is welcomed. Better still, the new model retains the layout of the Model B+ - meaning it's immediately compatible with all the various add-ons and cases designed for its predecessor.

The biggest surprise of the launch comes not from the Foundation, but from Microsoft: the new Raspberry Pi 2 will, the company announced this morning, be able to run a special variant of Windows 10 designed for Internet of Things (IoT) developers. This will be released as a free download for all Raspberry Pi 2 owners, the company confirmed, in a clear move to address the popularity of Linux as a platform for low-cost embedded development and experimentation - especially in education, where the original Raspberry Pi running the Raspbian Linux distribution has proven extremely popular.

The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B+ 1G is available now from the usual retailers, including low-power computing specialist New IT, priced at the same £30-or-less level as its predecessor - the final selling point that will likely see the new Pi 2 blast past its quad-core rivals in the market.

44 Comments

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Gareth Halfacree 2nd February 2015, 09:21 Quote
Seriously, though: Microsoft isn't bringing Windows 10 to its ARMv7-based Surface RT product line, but it is bringing Windows 10 to the ARMv7-based Raspberry Pi 2? For free? Just goes to show how panicked the company has been by the idea of kids learning computing on Linux...
GuilleAcoustic 2nd February 2015, 09:23 Quote
Holly sh!t yeah ! I'm glad I've waited a little.
andrew8200m 2nd February 2015, 09:52 Quote
It is a great way to get into programming and im glad that Microsoft and Apple are having their share slowly but surely eaten away by Linux. This added competition through the development of new programming talent is exactly what is needed to push innovation and to hopefully drive costs down whilst expanding compatibility. Its not like there isn't enough money in Microsoft of Apple to be able to do this..
GuilleAcoustic 2nd February 2015, 10:03 Quote
Build a cheap cluster from them and learn distributed computing.
Corky42 2nd February 2015, 11:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Just goes to show how panicked the company has been by the idea of kids learning computing on Linux...

Or how much a waste of time the Surface RT was.
Byron C 2nd February 2015, 12:06 Quote
Microsoft are trying to keep themselves relevant; the last thing they want is for a new generation of engineers to bring their Linux experience to the enterprise market. It's a bit desperate, but perfectly understandable. As for not giving Surface/SurfaceRT tablets an upgrade when they'll do it for the Raspberry Pi 2: lol. marketing. :)

Microsoft aside, my flabber was indeed gasted when I first heard about this. I've got one on the way from RS already (along with an A+ so that I can hopefully kick off a project that's been on the back-burner for so long that it burnt to a crisp years ago).

Some may reckon that this is a long overdue upgrade, but the Raspberry Pi Foundation isn't quite as small a project as it once was. Back when the original Pi launched Broadcom were basically doing them a massive favour by giving them access to the BCM2835 in such low quantities - companies like Broadcom don't tend to give you the time of day unless you're committing to an order of several tens of thousands of units. Now however they're able to negotiate with Broadcom as a fairly major customer. There couldn't have been a much more powerful Pi 2 if it wasn't for the massive success of the Pi.

Really looking forward to putting this board through its paces.
Gareth Halfacree 2nd February 2015, 12:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
Back when the original Pi launched Broadcom were basically doing them a massive favour by giving them access to the BCM2835 in such low quantities - companies like Broadcom don't tend to give you the time of day unless you're committing to an order of several tens of thousands of units.
The latter half of your sentence is broadly true, but you've got the first half backwards. The Raspberry Pi Foundation was doing *Broadcom* a favour when the original launched, as people had long stopped buying the BCM2835 ('cos it's as slow as a very slow thing) and Broadcom had a warehouse full of the piggin' things. Then, when the Raspberry Pi was a success, Broadcom began making more BCM2835's - just for the Pi. Now, the BCM2836 is a chip specifically made for the Raspberry Pi 2; it exists purely to provide a compatible upgrade path for the Foundation.

Remember: Eben Upton's day job is as a chip architect at Broadcom; he's the chief executive of Raspberry Pi Trading on the side.
meandmymouth 2nd February 2015, 12:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuilleAcoustic
Build a cheap cluster from them and learn distributed computing.

I have slowly been gathering parts to do this but I haven't started buying the pi's so I'm chuffed to bits at the release. Now I'll have a 16-20 core cluster across 4-5 nodes, instead of just 4-5 cores. No extra cost either.
Byron C 2nd February 2015, 12:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
The latter half of your sentence is broadly true, but you've got the first half backwards. The Raspberry Pi Foundation was doing *Broadcom* a favour when the original launched, as people had long stopped buying the BCM2835 ('cos it's as slow as a very slow thing) and Broadcom had a warehouse full of the piggin' things.

....

Remember: Eben Upton's day job is as a chip architect at Broadcom; he's the chief executive of Raspberry Pi Trading on the side.

True enough, but the fact that Eben (and others) also worked for Broadcom was probably the leverage they needed in order to get access to that unused stockpile. Especially considering they weren't even sure whether they were going to sell even 10,000 units to start with. It's hard to imagine Broadcom giving A. N. Other access to that backlog of unsold components when the maximum number of units that they might possibly sell is only 10,000.
Gareth Halfacree 2nd February 2015, 12:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
True enough, but the fact that Eben (and others) also worked for Broadcom was probably the leverage they needed in order to get access to that unused stockpile.
Again, you're thinking backwards. It was less "can I have those chips, please, Broadcom" and more "hey, Eben, can you find a use for this warehouse full of crap the accounts department is getting antsy about?"
Byron C 2nd February 2015, 13:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Again, you're thinking backwards. It was less "can I have those chips, please, Broadcom" and more "hey, Eben, can you find a use for this warehouse full of crap the accounts department is getting antsy about?"

....In which case the fact that Eben works for Broadcom gave them an advantage that no one else would have had. So my point still (sort of) stands - we just quibble over semantics :D
Votick 2nd February 2015, 13:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree

Remember: Eben Upton's day job is as a chip architect at Broadcom; he's the chief executive of Raspberry Pi Trading on the side.

That's when he's in the office. It's only taken me 4 weeks to replace his Blackberry and get the darn thing back :) - Nice guy tho. ;)

Most of the Rasp chip design is now done is Bristol rather than Cambridge although a few of the team are still here including the FGPA guys for the team.
Gareth Halfacree 2nd February 2015, 14:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
[...] we just quibble over semantics :D
Isn't that what the forum is for? :p
schmidtbag 2nd February 2015, 15:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Seriously, though: Microsoft isn't bringing Windows 10 to its ARMv7-based Surface RT product line, but it is bringing Windows 10 to the ARMv7-based Raspberry Pi 2? For free? Just goes to show how panicked the company has been by the idea of kids learning computing on Linux...

I think the problem is MS sells Windows RT as Windows, yet it doesn't work with [traditional/x86] Windows software even though it looks, acts, and is called "Windows". So people bought it thinking they could install their normal programs and games only to find it won't run. However, RT isn't going to get anywhere until they get enough people willing to develop for it. Due to the immense popularity of the Pi, this is a great opportunity for MS to get a huge userbase to help refine RT and make it a worth-while OS. I still think people will choose linux though, since it will perform better, have more apps, and will have better support.


Anyway, I see this product as a response to the ODROID-C1. That's a pretty tough competitor.
RedFlames 2nd February 2015, 15:49 Quote
Somewhat related - Gareth, did you get to play with the free [to devs] 'Internet of Things' version of Windows they released for the Intel Galileo?
Xlog 2nd February 2015, 16:00 Quote
Not bad, still needs proper Ethernet or USB3, or ,at least, dedicated USB2 line for it.
Votick 2nd February 2015, 16:03 Quote
Quote:
SoC : Broadcom® BCM2836 (CPU, GPU, DSP, SDRAM, and single USB port)
CPU: 900 MHz quad-core ARM Cortex A7 (ARMv7 instruction set)
GPU: Broadcom VideoCore IV @ 250 MHz, OpenGL ES 2.0 (24 GFLOPS), 1080p30 MPEG-2 and VC-1 decoder (with license), 1080p30 h.264/MPEG-4 AVC high-profile decoder and encoder
Memory: 1 GB (shared with GPU)

http://blog.broadcom.com/raspberry-pi/love-to-get-your-hands-on-a-raspberry-pi-2-hat-tip-to-broadcom/
Gareth Halfacree 2nd February 2015, 16:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedFlames
Somewhat related - Gareth, did you get to play with the free [to devs] 'Internet of Things' version of Windows they released for the Intel Galileo?
Sadly not. I signed up to the "we'll give you a free Galileo v2" programme, but wasn't selected. I do have an original Galileo, but I blew it up: turns out that I'd put it away with a 12V PSU instead of its 5V PSU when I reviewed it, so the next time I got it out and plugged it in it got very warm. Annoying, that, and doubly so when the new Galileo v2 is happy with voltage input up to 18V so would have been absolutely fine!

If anyone cares, I've been doing a bit of benchmarking this afternoon, comparing the Raspberry Pi 2 to the Model B+ at stock and a clockspeed-matched 900MHz.
SysBench results.
PigZ results.
Power draw.
Bunch of photos.
RedFlames 2nd February 2015, 16:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xlog
Not bad, still needs proper Ethernet or USB3, or ,at least, dedicated USB2 line for it.

The Pi was always intended to be a cheap but functional widget for kids to learn to code on... The fact geeky types who love to thinker with something jumped on it and bought boatloads of them is more of a nice side-effect for them... Adding Faster Ethernet, USB3 and/or other feature creep to please the geeky types would [imo unecessarily] bump the price up and stop it being the cheap kiddie-code widget it was intended to be.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Sadly not. I signed up to the "we'll give you a free Galileo v2" programme, but wasn't selected. I do have an original Galileo, but I blew it up: turns out that I'd put it away with a 12V PSU instead of its 5V PSU when I reviewed it, so the next time I got it out and plugged it in it got very warm. Annoying, that, and doubly so when the new Galileo v2 is happy with voltage input up to 18V so would have been absolutely fine!

That's a shame, I imagined the 'free' pi version being somewhat similar to the version they had for the Galileo but not having seen/used the cut-sown Galileo version I wasn't sure what windows features it had [or didn't have]...
schmidtbag 2nd February 2015, 16:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
I do have an original Galileo, but I blew it up: turns out that I'd put it away with a 12V PSU instead of its 5V PSU when I reviewed it, so the next time I got it out and plugged it in it got very warm. Annoying, that, and doubly so when the new Galileo v2 is happy with voltage input up to 18V so would have been absolutely fine!
.

I know the feeling - I had a Due that burned up from a 12V source too. The "native" USB port still works but the programming port is fried. Not sure why the programming port died and nothing else, but that's how it went.

I think the problem is amps, not volts. I had an ARM board that operated at 5v and when I used a computer PSU the power regulator burned up even though it was a constant 5v source. I soldered something to override the power regulator and the device started working fine after that. Anyway, most arduinos only need a few hundred milliamps to operate.
Byron C 2nd February 2015, 16:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree

If anyone cares, I've been doing a bit of benchmarking this afternoon, comparing the Raspberry Pi 2 to the Model B+ at stock and a clockspeed-matched 900MHz.
SysBench results.
PigZ results.
Power draw.
Bunch of photos.

I care, thank you! :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedFlames
The Pi was always intended to be a cheap but functional widget for kids to learn to code on... The fact geeky types who love to thinker with something jumped on it and bought boatloads of them is more of a nice side-effect for them... Adding Faster Ethernet, USB3 and/or other feature creep to please the geeky types would [imo unecessarily] bump the price up and stop it being the cheap kiddie-code widget it was intended to be.

Precisely. USB3, SATA, Gb ethernet, none of these things are really compatible with low cost and low power.
Gareth Halfacree 2nd February 2015, 16:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
I care, thank you! :)
You're more than welcome.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
Precisely. USB3, SATA, Gb ethernet, none of these things are really compatible with low cost and low power.
I dunno... The Banana Pi is £34.95 from a UK stockist (or cheaper if ordered from China and VAT dodged) and boasts a dual-core processor of equal single-threaded performance to the new Raspberry Pi 2, same RAM, gigabit Ethernet and SATA 2.0 - and that's a mere £5 premium over the new Raspberry Pi 2.
RedFlames 2nd February 2015, 17:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
You're more than welcome.I dunno... The Banana Pi is £34.95 from a UK stockist (or cheaper if ordered from China and VAT dodged) and boasts a dual-core processor of equal single-threaded performance to the new Raspberry Pi 2, same RAM, gigabit Ethernet and SATA 2.0 - and that's a mere £5 premium over the new Raspberry Pi 2.

£5 might not be a lot if you're only buying one, but if you're buying a few [the rPi was aimed at schools after all], an extra £5 per device adds up...

Plus if you wanted those features, chances are you've already bought the Banana Pi...
Gareth Halfacree 2nd February 2015, 17:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedFlames
[the rPi was aimed at schools after all]
No, the Raspberry Pi was aimed at hackers and tinkerers. It found success in schools, but that was far from the original launch target.

Yes, an extra £5 per device adds up if you're buying in bulk - but schools don't need SATA or gigabit Ethernet. I was responding to calls from individuals that it would be nice to have those features, and pointing out that those features are available for a smaller premium than was being tacitly suggested.

(Incidentally, the Raspberry Pi isn't the cheapest educationally-focused single-board computer around; it's just the one with the best PR.)
RedFlames 2nd February 2015, 17:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
No, the Raspberry Pi was aimed at hackers and tinkerers. It found success in schools, but that was far from the original launch target.

I honestly thought it was the other way round - aimed at schools and caught on with tinkerers. Rather than aimed at tinkerers and caught on with schools.
Byron C 2nd February 2015, 17:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
I dunno... The Banana Pi is £34.95 from a UK stockist (or cheaper if ordered from China and VAT dodged) and boasts a dual-core processor of equal single-threaded performance to the new Raspberry Pi 2, same RAM, gigabit Ethernet and SATA 2.0 - and that's a mere £5 premium over the new Raspberry Pi 2.

I'd suspect there's very little profit in the Banana Pi, potentially even a loss leader. There's probably very little profit in the Pi too (4.5 million sold certainly helps with that), but the Banana Pi is (likely) designed and (very likely) made in China, so it's easy to achieve savings there. They're probably buying the parts down the road in a Shenzen market and carrying them up to the factory on foot! :)

Knowing that the majority of the production of Raspberry Pi boards is done just down the road in Pencoed gives me warm and fuzzies, even if the individual components are all imported from China.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
No, the Raspberry Pi was aimed at hackers and tinkerers. It found success in schools, but that was far from the original launch target.

I thought the original goal was to get a disposably cheap computer into the hands of kids who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford it? I remember reading comments from Eben at one point that said they didn't initially anticipate the interest from the hacker/maker market, but it is a fair point to say that that market drove (and still drives) a hell of a lot of sales.
Xlog 2nd February 2015, 17:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedFlames
The Pi was always intended to be a cheap but functional widget for kids to learn to code on... The fact geeky types who love to thinker with something jumped on it and bought boatloads of them is more of a nice side-effect for them... Adding Faster Ethernet, USB3 and/or other feature creep to please the geeky types would [imo unecessarily] bump the price up and stop it being the cheap kiddie-code widget it was intended to be

Imo, that point became moot then they announced compute module. Also, without geek interest there wouldn't be such an active software development and rpi would have died a long time ago

Then comparing rpi2 to odroid-c1 (wich costs £3 more, but has a faster cpu/gpu/ram, proper gig Ethernet, rtc, 2x usb), rpi2 looses in everything but camera and analog video output. Hell, odroid supports more codecs and doesn't need you to buy licences for any of them.
schmidtbag 2nd February 2015, 17:17 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
I thought the original goal was to get a disposably cheap computer into the hands of kids who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford it? I remember reading comments from Eben at one point that said they didn't initially anticipate the interest from the hacker/maker market, but it is a fair point to say that that market drove (and still drives) a hell of a lot of sales.

I was about to say the same thing. I thought the original RPi board was really just a bunch of ATMega chips crammed together (but then that project was abandoned after they realized Broadcom's chip was better, cheaper, smaller, and more power efficient).
Gareth Halfacree 2nd February 2015, 17:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLC
I thought the original goal was to get a disposably cheap computer into the hands of kids who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford it? I remember reading comments from Eben at one point that said they didn't initially anticipate the interest from the hacker/maker market, but it is a fair point to say that that market drove (and still drives) a hell of a lot of sales.
The Raspberry Pi as a project was founded with that goal in mind, but as a design? The first batch of 15,000 Pis (which was originally going to be a batch of 5,000) was launched specifically for hackers to play with, which is why they went live on Farnell and RS rather than an education-specific supplier. The idea had been to sell off the first 15,000 and revise the design based on feedback from the hackers before hopefully coming up with something a little better-suited to education. Selling out in the first five minutes changed that plan, and production of the original design began in earnest.

If the Pi's design had really been built with education in mind, they did a terrible job. The GPIO is fragile and easy to break (just short out of a couple of pins and poof, no more Pi) and the operating system is no different to what you could run on the desktop PCs the schools already have - except slower. Talk about the £5 differences adding up in bulk - instead of buying 60 £30 Raspberry Pis (then 60 power supplies, micro-SD cards, and cases if you don't want 'em to get broken) you could just install Debian as a dual-boot on the school's existing PCs for free and run all the same software. Want to interface with hardware? An Arduino is far more capable, and far cheaper, than the Raspberry Pi - and you don't need a power supply for that.

(I used to work as a network manager in a school, and I did exactly that years before the Pi was launched. Worked a treat.)
Byron C 2nd February 2015, 17:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
The Raspberry Pi as a project was founded with that goal in mind, but as a design? The first batch of 15,000 Pis (which was originally going to be a batch of 5,000) was launched specifically for hackers to play with, which is why they went live on Farnell and RS rather than an education-specific supplier. The idea had been to sell off the first 15,000 and revise the design based on feedback from the hackers before hopefully coming up with something a little better-suited to education. Selling out in the first five minutes changed that plan, and production of the original design began in earnest.

If the Pi's design had really been built with education in mind, they did a terrible job. The GPIO is fragile and easy to break (just short out of a couple of pins and poof, no more Pi) and the operating system is no different to what you could run on the desktop PCs the schools already have - except slower. Talk about the £5 differences adding up in bulk - instead of buying 60 £30 Raspberry Pis (then 60 power supplies, micro-SD cards, and cases if you don't want 'em to get broken) you could just install Debian as a dual-boot on the school's existing PCs for free and run all the same software. Want to interface with hardware? An Arduino is far more capable, and far cheaper, than the Raspberry Pi - and you don't need a power supply for that.

(I used to work as a network manager in a school, and I did exactly that years before the Pi was launched. Worked a treat.)

http://i.imgur.com/4pwyiVV.jpg

;)

I know the idea of the initial production run was to get it out there in the hands of people who could write the software, but I didn't know that they had initially planned to revise the hardware design. It did strike me as odd that something so sensitive as the GPIO pins would be left exposed like that.

I do sometimes wish I hadn't been such an early adopter; my Pi is one of the very early ones (probably not one of the first 10k, but very close to it) and has the power supply niggles that plagued early models. Though I never had enough of a use for it to consider replacing it when the various revisions were released...
Chicken76 3rd February 2015, 08:16 Quote
The biggest gripe I had with the Pi was the ethernet performance. It topped around 40-ish mbits.
I see the Pi 2 uses the same USB-hub-ethernet the Pi B+ had, the SMSC LAN9514
This probably means ethernet performance is identical, doesn't it?
Gareth Halfacree 3rd February 2015, 09:32 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chicken76
The biggest gripe I had with the Pi was the ethernet performance. It topped around 40-ish mbits.
I see the Pi 2 uses the same USB-hub-ethernet the Pi B+ had, the SMSC LAN9514
This probably means ethernet performance is identical, doesn't it?
I've tested this, and I've got good news for you: while Ethernet performance when the Pi was first released was absysmal¹, software updates since launch have greatly improved matters. I ran a raw throughput benchmark² on both the Model B+ (overclocked and non-overclocked) and the Raspberry Pi 2, and all three tests resulted in 89Mb/s throughput - which is pretty fairly the most you're going to ever get through a 100Mb/s connection, thanks to overheads. Now, that's best-case: if you're writing data to a USB storage device, you can expect throughput to drop as there's (still!) only one USB channel from the SoC to everything - so your USB storage device and Ethernet port are all sharing the one channel.

¹ Actually, USB performance in general was abysmal. It's a lot better now, but even on the Raspberry Pi 2 don't be fooled into thinking those are USB ports. They might look like USB ports, they might even act like USB ports, but they're not. You're limited to 1.2A maximum power draw across all four ports, for a start - which is significantly below the 500mA per port (2A combined) required of the USB specification.

² Throwing a 100MB chunk of /dev/random through netcat to /dev/null. This gives you an absolute best-case result for network throughput, as there's none of the traffic or CPU overhead you'd get using protocols like FTP, SCP, CIFS or what have you. You're also avoiding slowdown from writing the data anywhere; as soon as it hits the Pi, it's discarded.
Chicken76 3rd February 2015, 10:09 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
I've tested this, and I've got good news for you: while Ethernet performance when the Pi was first released was absysmal¹, software updates since launch have greatly improved matters. I ran a raw throughput benchmark² on both the Model B+ (overclocked and non-overclocked) and the Raspberry Pi 2, and all three tests resulted in 89Mb/s throughput - which is pretty fairly the most you're going to ever get through a 100Mb/s connection, thanks to overheads. Now, that's best-case: if you're writing data to a USB storage device, you can expect throughput to drop as there's (still!) only one USB channel from the SoC to everything - so your USB storage device and Ethernet port are all sharing the one channel.

¹ Actually, USB performance in general was abysmal. It's a lot better now, but even on the Raspberry Pi 2 don't be fooled into thinking those are USB ports. They might look like USB ports, they might even act like USB ports, but they're not. You're limited to 1.2A maximum power draw across all four ports, for a start - which is significantly below the 500mA per port (2A combined) required of the USB specification.

² Throwing a 100MB chunk of /dev/random through netcat to /dev/null. This gives you an absolute best-case result for network throughput, as there's none of the traffic or CPU overhead you'd get using protocols like FTP, SCP, CIFS or what have you. You're also avoiding slowdown from writing the data anywhere; as soon as it hits the Pi, it's discarded.

That sounds quite good.
I wonder what the actual real-world performance is when transferring a big file through CIFS to a ramdrive. Having 1 GB of ram now, it would be possible to create a sizable ramdrive, say 500 MB, share it through Samba and write to it from another host. A 400 MB file would be big enough to achieve a meaningful figure for sustained traffic.
GuilleAcoustic 3rd February 2015, 10:23 Quote
Tempted to buy one, put it inside a keyboard and throw Risc OS at it. Closest thing to an Amiga.
Gareth Halfacree 3rd February 2015, 13:14 Quote
I did some updated power draw benchmarks this morning, using every Raspberry Pi release (bar the Compute Module) since the original Model B. The figures are different this time, as I used a different method which had no peripherals at all connected - nothing but the power and SD card. Interesting to see how much the Pi improved with each revision - and how the new quad-core version is barely any more power-hungry than the original release (which, granted, had an error in its layout which made the LAN/USB chip act as a 3.3V regulator and suck down power like a very hungry thing.)

EDIT: Oh, one other thing to note: the 'load' figures are for CPU load, not GPU load. Running a heavy GPU workload will see the power draw increase above what I've recorded here, but that's more awkward to automate on a headless setup.

Updated Power Benchmarks.
runadumb 7th February 2015, 14:40 Quote
Be careful of newit. They sell fake sdcards.

EDIT:It was my mistake, this is not true.
Nexxo 7th February 2015, 15:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Or how much a waste of time the Surface RT was.

It would have been great if Microsoft just opened the desktop. When it was jailbroken I had software like Audacity and Paint.Net running on it, with Rainmeter adorning the desktop. It was perfect: an Office capable hybrid tablet laptop with really good battery life. Then Windows 8.1 update came along and Microsoft broke the jailbreak, thus significantly gimping its functionality again. Because that's what Microsoft does: create decent products, and then gimp them for some cynical commercial boardroom decision which inevitably backfires on them. Every. ****ing. Time.
RedFlames 7th February 2015, 15:36 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
It would have been great if Microsoft just opened the desktop. When it was jailbroken I had software like Audacity and Paint.Net running on it, with Rainmeter adorning the desktop. It was perfect: an Office capable hybrid tablet laptop with really good battery life. Then Windows 8.1 update came along and Microsoft broke the jailbreak, thus significantly gimping its functionality again. Because that's what Microsoft does: create decent products, and then gimp them for some cynical commercial boardroom decision which inevitably backfires on them. Every. ****ing. Time.

Or 'here's this awesome thing... what do you mean you want to buy one?... lol we're not going to sell it to you...'

*cough*Zune*cough*
Nexxo 7th February 2015, 16:17 Quote
Yeah. Zune = iPod killer. Let's create this awesome .MP3 player with a beautiful interface, and one of the best accompanying desktop applications, but then not sell it outside the US. And then when it becomes a success despite our best efforts, let's can it, and lay off the talent pool just before we try again with X-Box Music.
Gareth Halfacree 7th February 2015, 17:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by runadumb
Be careful of newit. They sell fake sdcards.
Really? I've reviewed loads of stuff from New IT over the years, and none of it has been anything but genuine and fully-working. The only glitch was when the GlobalScale Mirabox came with a "WARRANTY VOID IF REMOVED" sticker over a case screw, despite the fact that you had to remove the screw to get at the internal mPCIe slot - but New IT explained that the sticker had been put on by mistake at the factory, and nobody's warranty would be harmed by removing it.
runadumb 8th February 2015, 13:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Really? I've reviewed loads of stuff from New IT over the years, and none of it has been anything but genuine and fully-working. The only glitch was when the GlobalScale Mirabox came with a "WARRANTY VOID IF REMOVED" sticker over a case screw, despite the fact that you had to remove the screw to get at the internal mPCIe slot - but New IT explained that the sticker had been put on by mistake at the factory, and nobody's warranty would be harmed by removing it.

Yeah my Pi 2 turned up with an 8gb card that was in reality 200 odd meg. They also left out part of my order but I've contacted them and see how they resolve it.

So far so good with the pi2 and OSMC. Despite its alpha status.

EDIT: I am an ass. OSMC was partitioning the drive and only showing me the smaller partition in windows. The card was not a fake and they even sent me a replacement. I have told them of my error so best I do it here too instead of putting their name through the mud for my mistake.

They also posted out the missing part of my order.
IanW 8th February 2015, 13:48 Quote
Slashdot are reporting that flash photography can make a RasPi2 freeze and reboot itself.
Gareth Halfacree 9th February 2015, 08:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by runadumb
Yeah my Pi 2 turned up with an 8gb card that was in reality 200 odd meg. They also left out part of my order but I've contacted them and see how they resolve it.
Boo. Let me know how you get on - I'm on good terms with Jason, the owner, and I'll be having words with 'im if you don't get sorted!
Quote:
Originally Posted by IanW
Slashdot are reporting that flash photography can make a RasPi2 freeze and reboot itself.
Aye, and laser pointers - any strong light source, basically. Here's the forum thread about it - looks like the factory cheaped out and used an uncapped component where a capped component would have been better. Hadn't noticed it m'self, 'cos I don't tend to use flash when doing product photography (I use a pair of lights in a soft-box setup instead) and I haven't taken any pictures of the thing running. Can be quickly solved by sticking something opaque over U16, but it's an embarrassing issue nevertheless - though nowhere near as serious as the 3.3V problem suffered by the original 256MB Model Bs. Now *that* was a monumental mess-up...
runadumb 10th February 2015, 04:01 Quote
Ah cheers Gareth
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