Few technical questions

I plan on order several vim3l for differant utilisations, but there is a few interogations i need to answer before.

I will use the first one with the kksb case, i was looking to build a mpd player for my home hifi system and it will look great ! I will put my music on a 500gb nvme ssd, but this case seems thin, i hope the m.2 ssd will fit ?

Secondly i want to use one with the tone board to use it change the sound system of my car. It’s a long time i am working on this project and i never took the time to finish it… I was looking for an all-in-one player and dac of good quality, and the tone looks pretty. But i have two questions :
Do you know of the volume control is working ? Is there a hardware mixer on this board ? I don’t like software mixer and it would be good if the volume control is easily accessible (i mean if it could be externalize).
Also my amp have balanced input, so i would prefer to stay balanced for all the chain. The tone has two unbalanced rca but i saw on the shop that khadas will sold balanced 3 pin rca soon. I don’t understand however how this will work, the tone doesn’t seems to have the footprint to these connectors ?

Lastly, i want to build a classic kodi box, but i want to put my film collection on it (don’t need to share it, no need for the nas thing), and everything must be arround 6TB of data… I own two 5tb hdd but i want to switch to ssd for some times, and there is a new 8tb sata ssd at a decent price now…
So i am looking for a m.2 to sata board, found this : https://fr.aliexpress.com/item/32858659048.html
But will it work with the vim ?

Best regards

Hello @atohmdiy
and welcome to the community

here is some answers to your question

the KKSB case will not accept the usage of the M2X board, but you can 3D print your own enclosure or get it printed from a service, 3D design files for such a case are available and for example you can get them here :slightly_smiling_face:

these questions can be answered by the upcoming Tone board v2 release, @Gouwa has given us leaks where volume control knob and balanced RCA plugs have been observed, stay tuned for that :wink:

sadly SATA SSDs will not work with the onboard NVMe slot as it is a PCIe 2.0 1x and is not compatible with AHCI/SATA

I hope these answers solve your questions :slightly_smiling_face:


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Ok thank you !

Just one thing that is not clear. Is it impossible to directly connect a m.2 nvme ssd to the m.2 port in back of the vim 3 ? Do we obligatorily need the M2X ?

Hello, Electrically it can be directly connected to the VIM3(L). However, there is no way to secure the drive and almost the whole drive will stick out the side. Might be possible to find an NVMe extension cable, but that is speculation.
FYI The new M2X board is lower profile and considerably less expensive. However, it does not have all the function of the original M2X, it has the NVMe mount.

The problem is that in my point of view, there is not much interest in nvme ssd for something with a x1 pcie 2.0 lane…
I mean most of the nvme ssd are expensive and are pcie 3/4 x4 with big performance. You buy nvme ssd for performance and small capacity (or you are very rich). In that regard the vim is a little pointless, i don’t see anyone doing AAA game or heavy workload with it.
For data sata is sufficient. The sata ssd i want can be found for 700$ and 8 tb, with nvme… well… it’s 1.5-2k$. It has 500mo/s speed, it’s enough for movie / music, and it’s also the debit of a pcie 2.0 x1 lane… The vim really need a m.2 to sata adapter (or accept sata m.2 ssd, but the problem is a little the same as with nvme ssd).
The M2x look really useless to me in that regard, two m.2 slot to share a 2.0 x1 pcie, it will be 250 mo/s for each ssd, you will be happy with your two 3000 mo/s shinny and expensive nvme ssd. :upside_down_face:

we don’t give much heavy heavy load to the VIM3, but CPU wise it can handle comparable tasks
eg. things like programming and compiling code, running some light games and playing emulators… etc.

the PCIe lane is dedicated towards the SSD slot, you will be getting your maximum bandwidth there,
the second slot is for a Cellular modem, you cannot use that for any other purpose

that is the decision taken by the chip manufacturer, we may see future chips with more PCIe lanes, but Amlogic lacks much in I/O,

its correctly advetised as PCIe 1x lane, and nothing else, as told before SATA SSD’s rely on AHCI or “sata emulation” to use the m.2 slot as a SATA port, that is mostly done by chipsets of x86 PC’s

but when you really think about it, you have a PCIe slot that you can mostly do anything you want, if you know what you were doing, for example you could even attach a GPU to it, but you need to modify some boot configurations files etc…