Raspberry Pi 3 left in the dust? Six-core Odroid-N1 is '6x faster' but 3x the price

The Odroid-N1 is for people who want faster CPUs and GPUs, faster storage, and more memory.

Video: A guide to Raspberry Pi in 60 seconds

Rockchip's RK3399 is shaping up to be a favorite for single-board makers looking to satisfy demand for a high-powered take on the Raspberry Pi.

Last week Pine64 announced the $60 RockPro64 that comes with Rockchip's six-core RK3399 system on chip. It was notable because other RK3399 boards unveiled last week cost between $100 and $200.

However, Pine64 was able to cut costs by skipping out on storage and a wireless module. Pine64 also announced a $99 RockPro64-AI model that comes with RK3399 SoC, as well as a neural-network processing unit.

Now Hardkernel, the maker of Odroid single-board computers, has announced the Odroid-N1 with similar specs to the RockPro64.

As with the RockPro64, the Odroid-N1's RK3399 SoC has a six-core processor consisting of a dual-core ARM Cortex-A72 2GHz processor and a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 1.5GHz processor. It also features a Mali-T8640 MPF GPU, and 4GB RAM.


The new Odroid-N1 comes with a Rockchip RK3399 SoC.

Image: Hardkernel

There are also two SATA3 ports, an eMMC flash storage module, a microSD slot, two USB 3.0 and two USB 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, an HDMI 2.0 port for a 4K display, and 40-pin GPIO port with GPIOs. The board measures 90mm x 90mm x 20 mm (3.5 x 3.5 x 0.8 inches), excluding the cooler.

Hardkernel expects the Odroid-N1 will cost around $110, depending on the price of DRAM when it goes into production, which may get underway in May or June. Pine64's RockPro64 won't be available until March while the AI variant should be available in August.

Read: IoT security: Keeping users on their toes means staying on yours

Other RK3399 boards recently announced for $100 or more include the AAEON RICO-3399, Orange Pi RK399, and the Rock960.

Hardkernel says that the Odroid-N1 may not go into production if testing over the next few weeks turns up too many issues, or if it can't come up with an affordable design. It is also considering a 2GB RAM Lite model without the SATA ports for around $75.

The board will support Ubuntu 18.04 or Debian Stretch with Kernel 4.4 LTS, and Android 7.1.

As for the recent interest in the RK3399, CNX-Software notes Hardkernel also vetted the Amlogic S912 and Realtek RTD1295, but found the RK3399 best suited its community, which has been clamoring for "faster CPU, more DRAM memory, faster GPU, faster storage IO, and more Linux-friendly".

To show the Odroid-N1 meets the community's demands, Hardkernel ran benchmarking tests of it versus the Odroid-XU4, which it released in 2014 with a Samsung Exynos5422 SoC.

For applications that use all cores in parallel, there was little difference in performance, according to a UnixBench test. Both models have a six-fold performance lead over the Raspberry Pi 3.

On a one big core test, the N1 was 20 percent to 30 percent faster. The N1's GPU was also nearly twice as fast as the XU4's GPU.

Hardkernel notes that it will offer one board with an active cooling fan for those running head applications continuously and another model with a passive heatsink that should suit most uses.

Previous and related coverage

Raspberry Pi's latest competitor RockPro64 brings more power plus AI processor

The RockPro64 developer board is a Rockchip RK3399-powered alternative to the Raspberry Pi.

Mozilla's Raspberry Pi gateway helps connect up your smart home

Mozilla has released its Things Gateway, with a host of new features for controlling smart home devices.

Kali Linux 2017.3 hands-on: The best alternative to Raspbian for your Raspberry Pi

The latest release of this excellent security, forensic, and penetration testing Linux distribution is everything I have come to expect from the software and more, with both PC (32 and 64 bit) and Raspberry Pi images.

Raspberry Pi cranked up to 11? New Odroid-N1 has Android 7.1, six-core chip, 4GB memory, 4K support (TechRepublic)

The Odroid-N1 packs similar specs to the $449 Samsung Chromebook Plus into what is promised to be a $110 board.

Turn an old monitor into a wall display with a Raspberry Pi (CNET)

Have an old monitor and Raspberry Pi lying around? Put them both to great use with this DIY wall-mounted display.


You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
See All
See All