Multi-system case

    • Hi All

      Just wanted to say hi and thank you all for this post. I've been looking for a place like this for quite a while. Call it a place for lateral, post-RPi (as in something like post-modernism, maybe?), energy-efficiency discussion.

      Like seemingly a few of you, I've got myself lumbered with a bunch of SBCs as of a few years back and found myself frustrated by, and / or wanting to move beyond, them.

      Looks like some of you feel similarly in here: SBCs are great in theory but we've hit some limitations with them that are annoying.

      Absolutely love the ingenuity shown in this multi-SBC case. I've been wondering if I could do similar ... 'migrate' from the cable-spider, often case-less, mess that SBCs can be, to a more solid, generic footing that more closely resembles the flexibility of traditional PCs. Instead, I've found myself poking around the interweb wondering if this SBC or that accessory, that is different to the Pi (but may lack software / "community" support), is 'the answer' to a more-functional, less 'educational' and reliable SBC experience.

      If I've had one fried RPi SD card experience, I've had one too many! Not to mention how often they seem to simply lock up and need manual power cycling. That's not to say they've not been very valuable in many respects though.
    • inspector71 wrote:

      I've got myself lumbered with a bunch of SBCs as of a few years back and found myself frustrated by, and / or wanting to move beyond, them.

      I've been through the R-PI "cycle" and have dealt with SD-card issues. And while a bad PS can be a source of a lot of headaches; even with a good PS, the various models of SBC's don't have enough market share to even get an idea of reliability. That includes the R-PI. The sample size is too small to for meaningful statistics.

      With that said, I'm really interested in the Atomic Pi. The Atomic Pi is one of a few SBC's with genuine BIOS, an Intel processor (passmark 1266 - decent for an Atom), and a nice list of features for $35.71 . Even with an additional $25 for a high quality power supply, the price point is still very good. Essentially, it's a very small form factor X86 with a handful of prebuilt, ready to run, images. And while it's tight for resources, it's capable of running Win10. (Here's a YouTube Vid of a Win10 install with older games.)

      In any case, there are numerous options for an OS, as there is for any X86. That's what I like about it. SBC efficiency, with the flexibility of the X86 platform.
    • crashtest wrote:

      The Atomic Pi is one of a few SBC's with genuine BIOS, an Intel processor (passmark 1266 - decent for an Atom), and a nice list of features
      People interested in this Atomic Pi should be aware of a few things:
      • It's not a real product with long term availability but it's a board designed to be included in a product that never shipped. That explains the liquidation price and that there were only a few thousand available (the first 500 Amazon had stocked were gone in 24 hours and this was 10 days ago)
      • People who don't buy one of the extension boards might struggle with powering the board
      • The Passmark score for random Z8350 designs are irrelevant since the Atomic Pi's UEFI/BIOS limits the CPU cores to 1680 MHz (while Passmark displays a value most probably for 1900 MHz). Anyway: overall performance of these x5 Atoms is pretty low for today's standards
      • USB3 storage with Linux sucks regardless whether the CPU is x86 or ARM or something else (but at least the OMV ARM images partially take care of this by automagically UAS blacklisting specific problematic USB-to-SATA bridges or tweaked kernel settings, see here or there)
      TL;DR: For people not experienced in powering embedded electronics and with OMV as use case in mind choosing one of the great supported ARM SBC like ODROID HC1 or HC2 Is the way better idea since less hassles and higher performance at the same time.

      BTW: With embedded devices in mind always looking at CNX Software for the thing in question is a great idea (especially the comments section):

      The post was edited 2 times, last by tkaiser ().

    • Addendum to the Atomic Pi: My buddy Frank thankfully tested USB3 storage performance and I stand corrected (all the storage performance results I found on the net so far for the X5 Atom platform are obviously rubbish -- made with disks/SSDs that were the bottleneck).

      Frank achieved up to 430 MB/s sequential transfer speeds with a great JMS578 USB3 disk enclosure and IRQ affinity at least with Debian 10 is already tuned for reasonable NAS performance: (Google Translate version)
    • As far as the Atomic Pi being a real product with long term availability, few if any of the SBC's are. Among the numerous models out there, there's no apparent rhyme or reason behind their production runs. OEM's make them, until they don't.

      But when it comes to software support; X86 platforms (Atomic PI and the Udoo X86, as examples) can use OS offerings from multiple sources, well after their production runs have been discontinued.

      The results from Frank's test, versus others, underscore why I'm skeptical of loosely correlated, anecdotal tests found in an internet search. These results usually apply to only one use case, and a small set of devices. I'm guilty of the doing the same for personal use, but I don't publish numbers with the implication that they universally apply.

      In any case, I sincerely appreciate the record being set straight.
    • jollyrogr wrote:

      macom wrote:

      Electricity is far too cheap in the US.
      You misspelled expensive. Our energy costs are artificially inflated by boneheaded socialist policies.
      Oh bugger. Forced to go off topic here ... but a right of reply is only reasonable.

      Another privileged Ahhhmericain whose language skills, when correcting the 'spelling' of any post with which they disagree, have stopped at socialist and thus failed to read the definition of sustainable as the dictionary or laptop is thrown across the room in aggravated rage at the very notion of anybody daring to challenge 'free' (under-regulated) enterprise.

      How do they get from bonehead to socialist without reading conservation, environment, pollution and more?

      Dig it up, burn / split it, shove the emissions in the too hard basket / someone else's backyard ... this just in, it's been tried and created a lot of pollution, waste we can only hope to bury for centuries, killed a lot of people (outside America) and has fuelled the terrorism we may never escape ... oh yeah, and it will run out sooner or later.

      Meanwhile, free market economics constantly fails but we just accept this as the "boom / bust cycle".

      Too expensive? Agreed. The cost of producing this unsustainable, illogical energy has been too high. Resource wars, environmental destruction and the legacy we leave to future generations.

      Sorry, it's been tried. Profligate nations subject to knee-jerk, immediate-term, crowd-pleasing urges of 'democratic' pressure from the hordes of selfish, short-term, price-obsessed hordes whining with their pitchforks and keyboards have had their turn.

      We can do better!

      Some of us reckon it's time to work with nature, not against it. Nature provides us with cheap / free, perpetual energy. All we need to do is get off our lazy, ignorant human arses and tap that energy.

      Unfortunately it's actually easier to just complain about broad economic matters, under the delusion that 'democracy' - or the sad minority electing the greatest bonehead as dictator joke parading as the "world's best democracy" - will make a difference, rather than take the initiative to implement our own solutions. After all, free marketers who complain about 'socialist' influence on markets have one very easy free market choice: demand and buy you own personal power stations!
    • inspector71 wrote:

      Another privileged Ahhhmericain
      Did you read that he said "our energy costs"? I don't think jollyrogr is American. But thanks for the rant on my NAS Build and stereotyping Amercicans...
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    • (While it's way off topic.)

      Despite common belief, there's no energy crisis and there never will be unless it's artificially induced. For now, the powers that be (all of them - Internationally) are fond of hydrocarbons and the economies that had sprung up around them.

      MSR's have been around since the 60's. They're very safe nuclear reactors and their power source, "Thorium", is a byproduct of rare earth's mining. It's abundant, there's a vast mount of it in nature, and there are great mounds of Thorium in China. Thankfully, it's not water soluble which is another factor that adds to safety. Another benefit of MSR's is that they can utilize all the nuclear waste that currently exists - almost completely consuming it, getting rid of it altogether.

      Will we see this old/new reactor tech used in our lifetimes, given the obvious ecological benefits? Probably not. Despite their claims of supporting "green initiatives", our politicians (all of them) want to play power games.

      Short of wanting a lower electric bill, it's even arguable that there's no need to conserve power. Until oil supplies get tight, eventually they will, nothing will change. Until then, each and everyone of us are setting the cost of our power bill (and the taxes layered in it) at the ballot box.

      The post was edited 1 time, last by crashtest ().

    • askthecableguy wrote:

      The only thing I wanted to add to my build was a hardware firewall on an SBC (banana Pi).
      Well, adding a packet filter to any setup doesn't improve security. Doesn't matter that much that Bananas usually only feature a single Ethernet interface. You might want to check Xunlong, FriendlyELEC and GlobalScale options with more than one NIC once you anticipated security best practices :)
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