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News BeagleBone Black looks to dethrone the Raspberry Pi

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 24 Apr 2013.

  1. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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  2. yuusou

    yuusou Well-Known Member

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    There's no mention on the GPU in the article. What kind of GPU does this baby pack? This could be an interesting replacement for my XBMC Pi if it can handle 1080p Hi10.
     
  3. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    It's a PowerVR SGX530. Not sure what decode capabilities will be enabled in the drivers by default, though - media playback isn't a priority for the team, I don't think.
     
  4. Byron C

    Byron C *psst!* This guy is a loser!

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    Here's where the Raspberry Pi tends to crap over other ARM-based SBCs - media playback. Despite the puny and outdated ARM SoC, it still manages to crank out 1080p video without breaking a sweat. That may not matter when you're using it as an embedded appliance that needs raw processing power, but it certainly helped the R-Pi foundation ship a few extra hundred thousand of them.

    For me the biggest let-down with the Pi is the networking implementation - specifically the fact it hangs off the only high-speed bus available, the USB port. When you're trying to shunt lots of data to/from a USB hard drive attached to a Pi over the network, the transfer speed really suffers (as I've been discovering lately - and yes, I'm already using EXT4 instead of NTFS).

    I was considering the Odroid U2/X2 for a long time, but they're well over £150 once you get all the extra gubbins you'll need... Might be time to look at the BeagleBone Black.
     
  5. Blackshark

    Blackshark New Member

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    For the money, it is hard to bear the Pi. Mine all chug along very well. RaspBMC one pulls all its media from one running Rasbian connected to 2 HDDs (NFS, FTP and SMB - I can get about 8MB/s on NFS and SMB, a little more on FTP), another one running Munin and a final one giving my iplayerget and deluge. Four Pis for the same price as an ODroid.

    I would add that I am sorely tempted to get an Intel NUC. Having set one up at work, it would make a fantastic replacement as a HTPC. I managed to get 85MB/s out of the gigabit network port - something I could never hope to achieve with the Pi.
     
  6. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag New Member

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    I really hope you wouldn't actually consider buying this for XBMC. That's like buying a server to play games - you can do it, but the cost and data processing grunt are in all the wrong places.


    Anyways, I never understood why the Beagle products were always so expensive. Their price points were... acceptable when they first came out because there wasn't much competition, but now they have some of the worst valued ARM products and they don't change their prices. Even the Pi is a little on the expensive side considering how weak the system is. You can get an MK802II for the same price as a Pi and nearly everything about that is better for media purposes (worse for development). With the cost of the old Beaglebone you could get a full Cubieboard kit. For the cost of Beagleboard xM, you can get an odroid-x2, which is, IMO, better in every way possible.
     
  7. Tyinsar

    Tyinsar 6 screens 1 card since Nov 17 2007

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    Looks interesting.

    I've been looking at playing with such and ran into the Udoo on Kickstarter. Does anyone here have experience with Beagleboards and Arduinos? What are your reactions to the project in the article and the Kickstarter project?
     
  8. yuusou

    yuusou Well-Known Member

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    I currently run 2 Pis.

    One which acts as a SOCKSv5 proxy (suck it, work internet filters), NFS/Samba share (NFS for the other Pi, Samba for Windows because Win can only get 3MB/s on NFS), Transmission Remote torrent client, IRC DCC downloader, PPTP Server.

    The other Pi runs RaspBMC. The matter of fact is, if it can handle 1080p Hi10, it's a deal breaker. Seeing that Hi10 is decoded CPU-wise, a better CPU would make the difference. RaspBMC simply doesn't handle OCs well.
     
  9. [USRF]Obiwan

    [USRF]Obiwan New Member

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    Isn't there a faster/more ram/more oomph RPI available for a little more expense?
     
  10. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    No. Thus far, there have been three models of Raspberry Pi:
    The Model B: The original. Includes 700MHz ARMv6 chip, 256MB of RAM, 2x USB & Ethernet.
    The Model A: Cheaper alternative. Same 700MHz ARMv6 chip, 256MB of RAM, 1x USB.
    The Model B Revision 2: Identical to the original Model B, but with 512MB of RAM (and an altered GPIO header.)

    The processor is identical across all three versions: a 700MHz ARMv6 BCM2835. While it's likely there will be a new Raspberry Pi launched in the future - possibly called the Raspberry Pi Master, if they're continuing with the Acorn-inspired naming convention - with a faster chip, those are your only options right now. Well, two of those, anyway: the original Model B no longer exists, and I think everyone has cleared out their inventory by now.
     
  11. dyzophoria

    dyzophoria New Member

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    unless it has the same graphics and media capability as the PI, I don't think its going anywhere, technically the cubieboard is similar to what this was suppose to achieve, faster ARM with the price of the PI, the only problem is the graphics system.
     
  12. ch424

    ch424 Design Warrior

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  13. Fizzban

    Fizzban Man of Many Typos

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    PowerVR... Isn't that related to the tech we often find in our smart-phones?
     
  14. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I disagree. This is aimed at a totally different market, one which doesn't care about graphics and media playback. Heck, look at the original BeagleBone: it didn't have any video output at all, and cost nearly three times as much as the Pi, and still sold in impressive numbers. The BeagleBone Black isn't designed as an Xbmc box, or a games box - if you want one of those, buy the Pi. It's designed as a powerful, programmable platform for hacking electronics - which is why its developers have put considerable effort into the GPIO side of things. The BeagleBone has two 48-pin GPIO headers - that's 96 pins in total, not counting extra pins that aren't brought out by default. In contrast, the Pi has a single 26-pin header - and a big chunk of those pins are DNC, or Do Not Connect. That's why the BeagleBone Black will sell.
    As is ARM; the ARM processor was originally developed for Acorn's BBC Micro as a secondary and more powerful processor, then fell out of favour on the desktop and found a home in the embedded market, and more recently smartphones and tablets. Imagination Technologies, the company behind PowerVR, got its start designing chips for add-in graphics cards on early Windows desktops, then made a fortune creating the GPU for the ill-fated Sega Dreamcast which it then ploughed into the early days of mobile graphics. Now, it concentrates solely on mobile and embedded graphics, holding multiple patents that mean its implementations tend to be 'smarter' than those of its competitors - although the company is also branching out into the world of real-time ray-tracing, with a view to developing a chip that can do real-time ray-tracing on a smartphone within the next five years. (If you want to learn more, I interview one of Imagination's big-high muckety-mucks in this month's Custom PC.)
     

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