Is the VIM3 a suitable desktop replacement?


As the title says, I’d like to try the VIM3 as my daily driver. I don’t play games, my workflow is mainly focus on email, youtube and software development.

Is anyone using a VIM3 as a regular desktop? I’d love to know your stories.


@manuel-arguelles welcome to the community,

if you are looking for a lightweight desktop alternative, then the VIM3 pro should do the best contender for such case.

4GB of RAM ensures that you can have many programs running at the same time and the fast A311D should let your workflow run smooth.

but do note the differences you will face when switching over from a normal desktop device.

  1. the device is using the ARM64 architecture, not x86 like a normal desktop, this means that all your programs won’t be available as some won’t be compatible with ARM cpus

you say you work on some software development, make sure that what ever you are working with can run on ARM too, if you need any IDEs for development, rest assure, things like VScode, CLion and Pycharm will work

  1. onboard eMMC storage has a max of only 32 GB, if you need more, you can use an external USB drive with fast USB3.0 or even go for m.2 NVMe SSD with the M2X extension board.

  2. Graphics has just started getting better on the device with the mainline linux kernel, so the best beginner setup would be having mainline ubuntu with a simple xfce desktop. this would the best setup I’d suggest. if you need a more versatile desktop KDE is even better and moving from any other desktop PC would be a breeze.

I use the VIM3 as a thinclient computer when I am not using my main desktop, and it works very well, no problems at all,
if you know what you are going to be using and know if it works for sure then you can definitely go ahead and get a VIM3 :slightly_smiling_face:


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I’m mostly worried about the linux’s support of GPU and IO. I have read that there are issues with wifi while using usb3 devices.

Also which accessories should I get for a better experience?

mainline kernel offers the best support of the available hardware, and all GPU works much better there, as far I/O, the mipi dsi and csi only work in legacy(but that is coming fast to mainline). but those shouldn’t really be much of a problem for your workflow.

as for the wifi/usb interference, the VIM3 received a hardware revision just a while back fixing various issues and titbits, I presume they solved that problem in that while, I even asked, but I didn’t get any official confirmation, but I haven’t really faced such a problem because of it,

as for accessories, its really what you’d like to have to improve your experience, monitor, mouse, keyboard, and a USB-C powersupply greater than 12w is best, you can go for the official khadas powerbrick sold in the store (24w) if you don’t have that around.

I also suggest purchasing the case,and the passive heatsink if you want to packaged solution. (if you work becomes intensive, the regular VIMs heatsink and 3705 fan, would be better than the passive heatsink)

I’d also suggest you to pick up 1 or 2 SD cards for extra storage, or better use an SSD for better, faster, more reliable storage. also since it switches the USB3.0 to PCIe, and hence you won’t get any problems from the wifi interference.

If you go for the SSD, pickup the size of SSD you want, but the type should be NVMe, other types won’t work, some of the working SSD’s are available in this list. and you also need the M2X expansion board to mount the SSD.

I hope this finds you useful. :slightly_smiling_face:
stay safe, good day!

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