Tuesday, 3 May 2016
NanoPC T3 Octocore fun
Now this is an interesting new system. I rather like Friendly Arm machines, now that I have actually worked out a nice effective way to get non Raspberry kits set up. (a series of updates and installs) This is a company that seems hell bent on producing a range of really low cost decent featured machines. Its a real shame they are not really well known in the west. Its a small company, with a tiny user base that deserves a lot more recognition.
I have 3(actually 4, as I bought 2 M1's) of their machines already but the recent launch of an octoccore system a tiny fraction over my self imposed 50euro limit (ignoring post) I had to purchase.
The other octocores on the market, are the Odroid XU4, which is a monster machine I can find no faults with really, and the less impressive Banana Pi M3 which has all kinds of overheating issues but is fun to mess with..
The XU4 is the power machine of the group and no doubt, but it uses a Big.Little arrangement of cores which I don't totally understand, though will investigate, that suggests I can't run all 8 cores at once, whereas the M3 has 8 standard cores, all of which can run an app's threads, if the machine does not shut them down when the get hot that is.
So I don't have a simple 8 core unit that I can use to fully explore multi core coding.....until now.
I don't have my hands on the T3 yet, but considering it has a lower clock speed, but more efficient A53 cores than the M3's A7's, and has a heat sink fitted, it should be a more effective and reliable multi core system.
It does have a few issues, it seems to only have a single core Mali 400 GPU, So graphically its nothing special at all, dual or quad core Mali's would have made this a mega machine, (the XU4 has a 6 core GPU) Also its USB/Networking is apparently all hooked up to the same internal systems, so its not going to be as fast as it could be.
This annoys the purists who use these as control systems, but for game coders, it makes no difference tous
There are also a few issues with their webstie and ordering system, but as I say this is a small company and sometimes they don't get things set up, so ordering the 2Gb version is hit and miss, and at the moment there is no way to download the OS, but am sure that will be resolved by the time someone else buys one :D
There's a link here
I'll let you know how it performs when I get hold of it.