View Full Version : [all variants] Recommend small ARM system

August 19th, 2012, 08:08 AM
I bought a couple Raspberry Pi and then sold them because it wasn't powerful enough for me. (I made $75 off 2 RaspPis, cha ching) Also RaspPi doesn't run Ubuntu (yet?) No offense to Debian, but I like Ubuntu a little better.
I caught the bug for tiny ARM systems and I want nice one for $100 - $150
So I have found:
Cubox http://www.solid-run.com/products/cubox
Odroid-X http://www.hardkernel.com/renewal_2011/products/prdt_info.php

I leaning towards the Cubox, because it has eSata and Gb Ethernet and there seems to be a nice budding community for it too.
Which platform do you think is more Promising? Any other platforms?
Not worth mentioning Gooseberry, they are just a China Brand Android tablet motherboard. They only run Android.

August 19th, 2012, 04:17 PM
I'm also interested in hardware to power a custom media player. I'm in the process of converting all my Bluray and DVDs to digital files and about to start looking for inexpensive hardware to run a media player on all my TVs.

I'm looking at XBMC as my player of choice but I have not yet started looking at the hardware that is available out there.

I have found the following articles of interest in this regard:

Build a silent/standalone xbmc media center (http://lifehacker.com/5391308/build-a-silent-standalone-xbmc-media-center-on-the-cheap)
- Acer Nettop 1.8GHz (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883103629) ($230)
- ASUS Eee Box 1.6GHz (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883220144R) ($173)
Pandaboard (http://pandaboard.org/content/resources/getting-started)
Igloo Snowball board (http://www.igloocommunity.org/)
Versatile Express board (http://www.arm.com/products/tools/development-boards/versatile-express/index.php)
Origen Board (http://www.origenboard.org/)
Xtreamer Ultra2 Delux (http://www.xtreamer.net/ultra2/) ($300)

As I find other hardware options out there that run Ubuntu, I'll update this post.

The Odroid-X won't work for me since it does not have HDMI output.
The CuBox seems to sold out and may or may not be able to handle HD.


August 19th, 2012, 04:50 PM
Hi bakegoodz.

There are starting to appear ARM-based Android set top devices, both very affordable and able to play 1080p.

The only piece missing was XBMC, but now it is in the near future (read here (http://xbmc.org/theuni/2012/07/13/xbmc-for-android/)).

I've recently learned about this device: Pivos Xios (http://www.pivosgroup.com/xios.html), currently at $114.99 at Newegg (here (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815645003)).

Just a few thoughts.

August 19th, 2012, 07:05 PM
Like the RaspPi both devices have a few weeks lead time. Does the Pivos run Ubuntu? A bunch of Odroid-Xs are use used by the Raspbian distro leader to recompile Debian packages. It has more ram, but I can't even find a case to house it. I also found the Mele A 1000, but you have to buy from China from questionable website. http://liliputing.com/2012/03/mele-a1000-is-a-70-hackable-linux-friendly-arm-based-pc.html

August 19th, 2012, 08:45 PM
If you have the tools, you can make your own case.

Example (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71S9fek0FKA) (1 of a few thousand examples out there)

August 19th, 2012, 09:49 PM
Oops, I see you already found the Odroid-X.

August 20th, 2012, 02:06 AM
There is a list of supported devices here (http://www.linaro.org/downloads/)

August 24th, 2012, 02:46 AM
I'm going to try to make my project work with a RaspPi, maybe it can optimised enough not to run too slow. The Cubox was going to be $160 with shipping and a Pandaboard with a case is about $200. It is just too costly, you can get a booksize PC for less. A book size PC use more electricity, but are more powerful. All but the RaspPi all over priced and oversize for many embedded projects.

August 24th, 2012, 07:59 AM
The Raspberry Pi (Model B) for $35 USD certainly does look like a great choice.

You'll just need a case ( ~$7 ), USB power supply ( ~$8 ), SD Flash memory card (4+ GB) ( ~$8 ) and USB hub (at least during setup) ( ~$6 )...USB mouse and keyboard also needed.

So for about $70 you could have yourself a nice little server to play with.

There are quite a few OS Distribution images (http://elinux.org/RPi_Distributions) to choose from and several are XBMC-based which is perfect for my needs.

According to the FAQ (http://www.raspberrypi.org/faqs), the GPU is also supposed to be able to handle 1080p movies (Bluray quality). With the HDMI output for video and audio, that would be perfect for TV or AV systems that take HDMI input.

I happen to have several 5V USB power supplies laying around because of the amount of iPod and iPhones we have so I'll won't need to buy that particular component...although PoE would be an awesome feature for this board.

EDIT 2012-08-26: I just ordered my 1st Raspberry Pi model b. It is on backorder and may take some number of weeks to get here.