Raspberry Pi alternative: New Odroid-C4 undercuts 4GB Raspberry Pi 4 by $5

Raspberry Pi 4 gets a cheaper rival, but the two boards don't have equal features.

Hardkernel, the maker of Raspberry Pi-like Odroid single-board computers, has released a direct and cheaper rival to the top-end Raspberry Pi 4 4GB model, arguing its new board outperforms the Pi on speed and performance.   

The new Amlogic-based Odroid-C4 packs a quad-core Cortex A55 processor with a new-generation Mali-G31 GPU and 4GB of DDR4 memory. 

The A55 cores run at 2GHz, which Hardkernel says operate without thermal throttling and use the stock heat sink, allowing for a robust and quiet computer. 

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The Odroid-C4's CPU is about 40% faster and the DRAM performance is 50% faster than the four-year-old Odroid-C2, but it's more energy efficient too, thanks to the 12nm Amlogic S905X3 CPU. 

While the $50 Odroid-C4 is a big upgrade for fans of the Odroid-C2, Hardkernel is really gunning for the $55 4GB Raspberry Pi 4 and it makes it known in several benchmarks. 

The new Pi-rival comes as the Raspberry Pi Foundation saw a big uptick in sales of the Raspberry Pi 4 this March, which it attributed to people seeking cheap computing projects while staying at home due the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.   

In Hardkernel's CPU tests, the Odroid-C4's Amlogic S905X3 unit outperforms the Raspberry Pi 4 on two of four performance benchmarks and is about equal to it in two other tests. 

The Odroid-C4 is not as fast as Hardkernel's Amlogic S922X Odroid-N2, but the N2 is considerably more expensive than the Raspberry Pi 4 and the Odroid-C4.

The Odroid-C4 also outperformed the Raspberry Pi 4's Broadcom VideoCore VI GPU in a GPU performance benchmark and beat it in a memory benchmark.  

But the Odroid-C4 doesn't have the same features as the Raspberry Pi 4, so users will need to weigh up what works for their application.

The Odroid-C4 features four USB 3.0 host ports, an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port, one HDMI 2.0 display port up to 4K@60Hz, a Micro USB 2.0 port and a power jack. 

Notably, unlike the Raspberry Pi 4, it doesn't come with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Instead, optional adapters are available for this connectivity. Also, the Raspberry Pi's Broadcom Coretex-A72 runs at 1.5GHz.  

The Odroid-C4's eMMC storage connector supports 8GB, 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB and there are green and amber networking LEDs for indicating data traffic at 100Mbps and 1Gbps, respectively. 

SEE: Raspberry Pi sales jump: Here's why the tiny computer's in demand in coronavirus crisis

Two more red and blue system LEDs respectively indicate whether DC power is connected and show kernel activity. There's also a 40-pin expansion header and a seven-pin audio expansion header. The computer measures 85mm x 56mm and weighs 59 grams with the heat sink.    

There's an Ubuntu 20.04 LTS 64bit image available with Linux kernel version 4.9.218 LTS. It also supports Google's Flutter UI framework on Ubuntu for building home-automation applications. And there's support for LineageOS, CoreELEC, and Android 9.  

Hardkernel is offering discounts for volume purchases. Buyers who want 25 to 99 Odroid-C4 units get a 4% discount. Those who want 500 or more get a 7% discount. 

odroid-c4-a.jpg

The new Amlogic-based Odroid-C4 packs a quad-core Cortex A55 processor with a new-generation Mali-G31 GPU and 4GB of DDR4 memory.   

Image: Hardkernel
c4-cpu-bench1.png

Odroid-C4's Amlogic S905X3 unit outperforms the Raspberry Pi 4 on two of four performance benchmarks and is about equal to it in two other tests.

Image: Hardkernel

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