That was precisely my point. With a negligible difference in performance and the fact that I’ve got to mess around with a case now, I would have just gone with the VIM-3 had I known. I regret my Edge-V purchase now and I haven’t even been able to use it yet, still got to doctor that damn case…
So you know the final VIM3 prices already?
The final price was given in another thread:
So the basic version should be 99$ and the pro 139$.
I always wondered which use case justifies spending those huge amounts of money for a tiny ARM thing (where you need to add an additional 50 bucks for enclosure, heatsink and fan). Especially now that the RPi 4 is available and still sells at below 40 bucks…
Great discussion topic! Don’t want to derail your performance thread, but I think the point is that SBCs/SoMs are used for all sorts of things, not just file servers and routers.
Your VIMS proposal would clearly be a market success for NAS at the price point you propose, whereas it’s difficult to justify a fuller-featured and more expensive board like the VIM3 or Edge V in that role. Most of a full-featured board’s strengths would be unused for a server.
But for some applications, price is less important than oodles of GPIO, quality construction, and a shape that works for integration.
An example: I’m designing a livestock feed system full of sensors, heating elements, motors and solenoid valves. I’m planning to use an Edge as controller and to drive the interface. These machines cost $15-20k+. A $100 SoM is still cheaper than just one of the solenoid pinch valves; even a $250 SoM would be cheaper than each precision gear pump.
What I like about the Edge:
- plenty of CPU and RAM for future software expansion
- loads of GPIO & SPI, not constrained by trying to squeeze onto a 40-pin DIP header
- built-in eMMC so I don’t have to deal with MMC on my own board, or use SD cards
- built-in wifi so I don’t have to plonk an external wifi module on my own board
- RSDB is really handy for infrastructure internet + ad-hoc net between parts of machine
- module form factor: separate RPi style board and 1.27mm ribbon cable looks amateurish
- support for decent resolution eDP touchscreens
Build quality is where some of the competitors really let themselves down. For example, I went through three Rock Pi 4 boards before I got one that was tidily soldered and not a mess. Users on the forum complain about connectors falling off, and certainly on the board I have here, there’s hot glue reinforcing the headphone jack from the factory because the attachment points aren’t up to the job. (I wondered if I’d be disappointed by Edge too, but actually I’m very impressed with the quality — which is quite unusual for me!)
Proper mainline kernel support really, really matters too, at least to me. I’d happily pay double not to be stuck in some board-specific kernel cul-de-sac, and similarly for u-boot. This horrible habit of so many ARM vendors turns long-term development/maintenance of a product into a complete nightmare!
Honestly doing this now is unfair, since nobody knew until today that Raspberry Pi 4 was to be released now or that it would have a 4xA72. Until today if you wanted a good SoC you had to go with +100bucks boards, with a few exceptions. Not that I’m going against RPi4, on the contrary I love that we finally got a powerful SoC for so cheap and will get the 4GB one once it’s in stock again. But it’s basically what ChrisW said. Khadas make good form factor boards that can be suited for commertial or even industrial products, whereas an Raspberry Pi is a general purpose computer with a jack of all trades form factor to please a big ammount of users. They also include eMMC. And if you were already complaining about the cooling system Khadas has, now imagine the nightmare it will be to properly cool a RPi4 having all that tiny space for general heatsinks/fans.
One of the more disappointing things from the Raspberry Pi 4 announcement from my personal perspective (wanting to integrate boards into low-volume but high-end products) is that it still has that horrible form factor.
Having all manner of random connectors plonked higgledy piggledy along two perpendicular edges is practically guaranteed to make it a nuisance and untidy to integrate… and other designers then copy the same mess in order to be compatible with cases, add-on boards and the rest of the RPi ecosystem. Argh!
I’m glad at least some boards are designed with better taste.
Honestly if they released a RPi Compute Stick 4 with the 4xA72 that would be perfect for me since it would still cost 30-35 bucks and then you can design your own board to fit your product, but the normal RPi form factor doesn’t fit my needs and has many connectors that I won’t be using (not a problem in general, but they would lie in the outside part) and the Compute Stick 3 isn’t powerful enough.
I was also looking the Rock960 which was really similar to the Edge-V but I didn’t even got a response from them, so I prefered to go for the one that has an active community instead of finding myself in a dead end without any help.
Yes, I agree: Rock960 has a nicer form factor than the RPi. I had one here to play with last year. Because of 96boards compatibility, it brings far fewer GPIO lines out on its connectors than Edge does on the MXM3 fingers; no ethernet, no eDP, etc. My conclusion was that Edge was a better board to work with.
The previous generations of Compute Modules were more bare-boned than Rock960 or Edge. Sometimes an advantage, especially when cost is paramount, but it can be a pain to run all the impedance controlled traces, matched pairs and high speed connections on your own board just to add (say) a standard wifi module or a DP/HDMI socket. Rock960 and Edge sit in a nice halfway house.
Thank you for this feedback. Highly appreciated since me not being a hardware guy at all always having a hard time to understand why users choose this or that SBC which looks just overpriced based on my (rather primitive) use cases
Which is a mistake according to the RPi Trading Ltd ‘experts’!
Since when it’s a mistake when you get eMMC plus an SD slot? It would be if they didn’t include the SD slot, which is not the case. Also considering the ammount of corrupted SD posts and how to prevent SD corruption (having to do some trickery like disable swaping or changing mount types) I wouldn’t say relying only on an SD card like RPi does any good.
Yup, that’s why we have an eMMC in all our SBCs.
Just to pick up on their claim: the Samsung KLMBG2JETD B041 eMMC on the Edge board has an on-chip flash translation layer which handles wear levelling, bad block remapping and error correction. It’s a good quality choice.
It is true you can also buy cheap-and-nasty eMMC without wear levelling, just as for SD cards. I doubt anyone would solder a chip like that down on an expensive SBC/SoM, although maybe the RPi guys use something at the cheaper end of the market on the Compute Modules to bring the price point down? Don’t know I’m afraid, as I’ve never used one.
Then we’re not talking about eMMC any more but about raw NAND flash. Citing a document I already had open: ‘eMMC encloses the MLC NAND and eMMC controller inside as one JEDEC standard package, providing a standard interface to the host. The eMMC controller directly manages NAND flash, including ECC, wear-leveling, IOPS optimization and read sensing’.
eMMC is all about not having to care about stuff like wear-leveling and so on, it’s software compatible to SD cards which also always have their own FTL inside. What the RPi guy stated is just pure incompetence.
Wow. I just went through exactly the same experience with the Rock Pi 4B, + M.2 extender, + 1TB NVMe SSD, + Heatsink, + Noctua cooling fan, + PWM temp controller, + Power switch, + barrel jack, + 2 x DIY aluminum cases. =~$400 + labor, only to end up with a less than functional OS.
Really had to think twice about purchasing another RK3399. But, the connectivity of the EDGE-V was irresistible. I could even salvage the 1TB SSD from the Rock Pi 4b. For 2 months, it beckoned me. The EDGE-V is a far superior design and build quality. It’s a much more mature and full featured product, including power options (like a power button). With the heatsink and M2x extender board, the EDGE-V is still only half the height of the Rock Pi 4b.
You’re absolutely right about the form factor of the EDGE-V (it’s so cute). It’s much easier to package with other devices inside a case, with all of the external connections along one side. And, as you have mentioned, there’s less desktop clutter of cables.
I’ll be using my EDGE-V as the central environmental controller/security camera for an aquaponic greenhouse. It will communicate over WiFi with remote ESP32 sensors. So, $200 is a small price to pay for such a device.
Also purchased a RPi 4B for evaluation purposes. It could probably do the same job, at half the price. Hmm, then I could keep the EDGE-V on my desk, having fun with the stereoscopic cameras, gesture controls, IR features, etc. Why should it sit on top of a pole, instead of the RPi 4B?
I really love this SBC!
Linux performance wise the difference its quite big.
VIM3: really feels like a PC replacement, I am serious about this. LIbreOffice writer opens in a about a second, internet browsing its surpringsingly smooth even on demanding pages and youtube is also smooth.
Edge V: opening writer takes more time and even when opens you can see the different icons not being displayed at the same time. Menus have lag.
Hope this helps
Which OS and kernel version are you using?
Official khadas firmware
This old video that came out about the time VIM3 was released shows the linux performance of the board: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsojYBLjH08