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Rock Pi 4
#1
While we all wait for the Raspberry Pi4 which, if it exists won't be announced until Pi Day   (14th March)
A possible contender for best SBC ever, has come up, and almost immediately gone down in my estimations.

[Image: ZxgRW6ZIAFOqQEXJuob55uwKq4J6rYrKHl97-asG...mFYcg=s0-d]

the Rock Pi 4,  visible at  http://rockpi.org/

Looks like a total beast of a machine, a Raspberry config but based on a Rockchip 3399..... that's a beast...

At first glance I was salivating, I'm already falling in love with my T4 and Neo4 from Friendlyarm, and a $39 RK3399 equiped chip with full ports is a bargain. 
But nothing about the company behind the launch of this newcomer inspires me, its touted in the press releases as costing $39 up...nope, after a few days of being unable to find a retail supplier, it turns out the base price is closer to 68euros, excluding postage, or heat sinks that almost certainly will be needed for an RK3399.

So its going to be around twice the price of a 3B+, but  you will get about twice the power in theory, the hexacore RK3999 is extremely fast and smooth to use, and the GPU is also wonderful, though I have fears about the drivers not being fully implemented yet.

In short this is a sexy beast, but it looks like they announced it a couple of weeks too early. The sites are basic , the retail is non existent, and no idea what the final cost is going to be. And who knows how effective performance really is until we see an OS running.

Its locked itself into its own drawer of shame, but I'll check back in a month or so to see if they've got the price, the supply, and most important the software under control
Brian Beuken
Lecturer in Game Programming at Breda University of Applied Sciences.
Author of The Fundamentals of C/C++ Game Programming: Using Target-based Development on SBC's 



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#2
So checking back on progress, there's still no effective way to get hold of one of these unless you are a wholesaler.. retail distribution seems to be locked to a few sellers only stocking a limited range at a high premium. You'll only get this for $39 if you live in China. The OS's is also still at a very early stage and I don't think from reading the forums they have all the GPU drivers in places yet. So for now its still not really ready for us.

It'd be great if I could get a freebie to try out...hint hint??
Brian Beuken
Lecturer in Game Programming at Breda University of Applied Sciences.
Author of The Fundamentals of C/C++ Game Programming: Using Target-based Development on SBC's 



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#3
Ah no I may be wrong...
https://wiki.radxa.com/Rockpi4/Debian

They do seem to have a version of Debian with OpenGLES2.0 on it, at least.....I'm back to salivating again, but still the only supplier I can find in Europe who will ship wants 80euros for it (2GB version) and thats without Heatsink or USBC power unit.. So it breaks my 100euro spend limit.
I really only need the base 1GB no wifi/bt model, but its not just not available.

I hope that the supply situation improves.
Brian Beuken
Lecturer in Game Programming at Breda University of Applied Sciences.
Author of The Fundamentals of C/C++ Game Programming: Using Target-based Development on SBC's 



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#4
and I have to correct my self again....

https://www.reichelt.nl/Computer-met-n-b...d94b17a538

Reichelt in NL do indeed have the 1GB model A's listed, though not all available, at around 55 they have the 1GB B model at 65..hmmmm
Brian Beuken
Lecturer in Game Programming at Breda University of Applied Sciences.
Author of The Fundamentals of C/C++ Game Programming: Using Target-based Development on SBC's 



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#5
Very happy to report one of these babies is on its way to me now, I'd better start writing some proper OpenGLES3.2 demos to try out these new boards and put them through their paces.
Brian Beuken
Lecturer in Game Programming at Breda University of Applied Sciences.
Author of The Fundamentals of C/C++ Game Programming: Using Target-based Development on SBC's 



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#6
First looks, as I don't have time to really play...

Nice, I have a 2GB version with onboard eMMC which has Android on it, but burning Debian to SD card makes it boot from that without issue
GLmark2 is frame locked, but running it offscreen gives a score of 249. Hmm not outstanding but workable

It needed an apt-get update before it would install Bullet,  as well as apt-get install build-essential as well as apt-get install gdb  

This really is a slim image but these things are easy to install, and after the keyboard hack is also entered into the terminal
sudo chmod  a+r /dev/input/*
Maze project builds fine.

Not exactly blinding speed, on a par with a Raspberry,doing mostly 60fps, with some slow downs. But do remember that the Maze project is seriously badly done and with optimisation and some OpenGLES3.2 featrues can easily get 3-4 times faster Also I don't currently know how to set the framebuffer on standard Linux systems to less than full screen, on Raspberry I tend to run a half screen size framebuffer.
Its interesting to note that the NanoPi  RK3399 boards reported a much faster GLMark2, but were rather sluggish running the demo, averaging 30fps.. Not sure why the RockPi is making a better attempt at keeping up the frame rate.. would like to find out. I thought GLMark2 was supposed to be the premium test project?? I guess Im not using some features that are poorly implmented. 



Oh yes, did I mention, OpenGLES3.2 Mali-T860Mp4

This is nice.....this is very nice, I'm sure there are issues with it, it does get hot which must have an impact on its speed, but for the moment I'm very pleased.I'll stress it out a bit soon as my code reviews are done and try to put together something in OpenGLES3.2 to really show it off.
I have to say my initial negativity was misplaced, Tom Cubie was very kind to respond  to my mail and provide a test unit and give a little insight into future plans which is very encouraging. I hope they get it out to the market place in numbers soon. This board will certainly give the RPi a run for its money.


It does seem to have hardware drivers though, which is nice to see. Here's its list of extensions.

GL_ARM_rgba8 GL_ARM_mali_shader_binary GL_OES_depth24 GL_OES_depth_texture GL_OES_depth_texture_cube_map GL_OES_packed_depth_stencil GL_OES_rgb8_rgba8 GL_EXT_read_format_bgra GL_OES_compressed_paletted_texture GL_OES_compressed_ETC1_RGB8_texture GL_OES_standard_derivatives GL_OES_EGL_image GL_OES_EGL_image_external GL_OES_EGL_image_external_essl3 GL_OES_EGL_sync GL_OES_texture_npot GL_OES_vertex_half_float GL_OES_required_internalformat GL_OES_vertex_array_object GL_OES_mapbuffer GL_EXT_texture_format_BGRA8888 GL_EXT_texture_rg GL_EXT_texture_type_2_10_10_10_REV GL_OES_fbo_render_mipmap GL_OES_element_index_uint GL_EXT_shadow_samplers GL_OES_texture_compression_astc GL_KHR_texture_compression_astc_ldr GL_KHR_texture_compression_astc_hdr GL_KHR_texture_compression_astc_sliced_3d GL_KHR_debug GL_EXT_occlusion_query_boolean GL_EXT_disjoint_timer_query GL_EXT_blend_minmax GL_EXT_discard_framebuffer GL_OES_get_program_binary GL_OES_texture_3D GL_EXT_texture_storage GL_EXT_multisampled_render_to_texture GL_OES_surfaceless_context GL_OES_texture_stencil8 GL_EXT_shader_pixel_local_storage GL_ARM_shader_framebuffer_fetch GL_ARM_shader_framebuffer_fetch_depth_stencil GL_ARM_mali_program_binary GL_EXT_sRGB GL_EXT_sRGB_write_control GL_EXT_texture_sRGB_decode GL_KHR_blend_equation_advanced GL_KHR_blend_equation_advanced_coherent GL_OES_texture_storage_multisample_2d_array GL_OES_shader_image_atomic GL_EXT_robustness GL_EXT_draw_buffers_indexed GL_OES_draw_buffers_indexed GL_EXT_texture_border_clamp GL_OES_texture_border_clamp GL_EXT_texture_cube_map_array GL_OES_texture_cube_map_array GL_OES_sample_variables GL_OES_sample_shading GL_OES_shader_multisample_interpolation GL_EXT_shader_io_blocks GL_OES_shader_io_blocks GL_EXT_tessellation_shader GL_OES_tessellation_shader GL_EXT_primitive_bounding_box GL_OES_primitive_bounding_box GL_EXT_geometry_shader GL_OES_geometry_shader GL_ANDROID_extension_pack_es31a GL_EXT_gpu_shader5 GL_OES_gpu_shader5 GL_EXT_texture_buffer GL_OES_texture_buffer GL_EXT_copy_image GL_OES_copy_image GL_EXT_color_buffer_half_float GL_EXT_color_buffer_float GL_EXT_YUV_target GL_OVR_multiview GL_OVR_multiview2 GL_OVR_multiview_multisampled_render_to_texture GL_KHR_robustness GL_KHR_robust_buffer_access_behavior GL_EXT_draw_elements_base_vertex GL_OES_draw_elements_base_vertex
Brian Beuken
Lecturer in Game Programming at Breda University of Applied Sciences.
Author of The Fundamentals of C/C++ Game Programming: Using Target-based Development on SBC's 



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