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R0b0t1
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:22 am    Post subject: Cheap ARM(64) Boards? Reply with quote

Hello,

Is anyone aware of any cheap ARM64 boards? How cheap have server processors become?

I have a preference to Allwinner parts as they are quite open (no bootlocking by default for most manufacturers). Most of the hardware I see is more expensive than I would expect from a few years ago.

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wswartzendruber
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in the market, too. I don't really care about CPU, but I want to be able to have 8 GB of RAM at a minimum.
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notageek
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=arm+motherboard&N=-1&isNodeId=1
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erm67
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

for a server or a desktop?
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notageek
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For chip in the head form factor.
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R0b0t1
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wswartzendruber wrote:
I'm in the market, too. I don't really care about CPU, but I want to be able to have 8 GB of RAM at a minimum.
SoftIron offers the Overdrive-1000 and Overdrive-3000. But 96boards has a new "Developer Box."

The developer box is probably the cheapest desktop/server class system I have found for the performance. There are 24 A57 cores. This might be the to-buy item. If price is more important you can halve the cost and reduce the core count by a factor of 6 with the Overdrive-1000. That does not seem like a good deal, and at that point you should probably consider something else:

erm67 wrote:
for a server or a desktop?
I am looking for both. My use for more powerful hardware is more or less to serve as a build server for lower power systems. To this end I might be able to buy cheaper boards and use distcc. In that case I am looking for the cheapest ARM64 board available.

Using multiple low cost devices seems like it can beat the price of the developer box. A multiboard build system would almost assuredly beat the Overdrive-1000 in everything but memory capacity. There are Cavium Thunderhead boards, but they are not very open, and they are extremely expensive.
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erm67
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The problem for a desktop is that most ARM 3D graphics chips are not supported by free drivers, so at the moment the situation it is not ideal. 2D acceleration is usually supported so a DE like gnome or KDE should be usable on the more recent and faster boards. Consider that, according to many reports, Gnome 3 is not usable on slower board like the raspberry PI.

Basically the current choices are (there are other sellers not listed of course):

AllWinner chipset : http://www.orangepi.org/ https://www.pine64.org/ http://www.banana-pi.org/
Samsung Exynos: http://www.hardkernel.com/main/main.php
Marvell Armada: https://www.solid-run.com/marvell-armada-family/
Kirin 960: https://www.96boards.org/
Freescale: https://www.variscite.com/

Recently rockchip release a new SoC the RK3399 used in many boards see https://www.cnx-software.com/2018/02/06/hardkernel-unveils-odroid-n1-board-with-rockchip-rk3399-processor-4gb-ram-dual-sata-and-more/; I am seriously considering the odroidN1 as soon as it comes out..... for my nextcloud server.
4G ram is barely enough for my nextcloud server, including elasticsearch fulltext search engine, emerge sometimes requires lots of memory and the the OOM handler most of the times killed the elasticsearch engine .... so I am using fedora 28 now.

Hardkernel and pine64/Rock64 have large communities of hobbists supporting the boards.
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