Raspberry Pi: Banana Pi maker touts this new rival board with Amlogic chip and 4GB RAM

New Banana Pi BPI-M5 takes on Raspberry Pi and Odroid-C4 single-board computers.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Chinese SinoVoip has teased a Raspberry Pi-style single-board computer, the Banana Pi BPI-M5, with an Amlogic S905X3 four-core Cortex-A55 processor.

The Raspberry Pi rival features a system on chip with 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM, 16GB of eMMC storage, four USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, an HDMI port, and just like its fruity rival, a 40-pin GPIO (general-purpose input/output) rack to connect other devices. 

As noted by Liliputing, this forthcoming little computer from SinoVoip is a major upgrade on last year's Banana Pi BPI-M4, bringing double the storage, quadruple the memory, faster Ethernet, and the new Amlogic processor. 

SEE: 10 ways to prevent developer burnout (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The good news for buyers is that it's likely to be a cheap computer, given the M4 costs under $40 at online retailers.

Embedded-computing news site CNX-software notes that Banana Pi BPI-M5 follows the Raspberry Pi form factor, but is also similar to the Odroid-C4 from South Korean open-source hardware designer Hardkernel.  

The Odroid-C4 is cheaper than Raspberry Pi's 4GB model by about $5. It too has an Amlogic quad-core Cortex A55 S905X3 processor with a Mali-G31 GPU and 4GB of DDR4 memory. The A55 cores run at 2GHz and aims to support users who don't want thermal throttling. 

Both the Odroid-C4 and the Banana Pi BPI-M5 are gunning for the $55 4GB Raspberry Pi 4. All of them, including the Raspberry Pi, can be used to create media centers, file servers, games consoles, routers, ad-blockers, or just to play Minecraft with a connected TV display.  

The Odroid-C4's Amlogic S905X3 unit outperformed the Raspberry Pi 4 on two of four performance benchmarks and is about equal to it in two other tests. However, it also didn't come with come with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The Banana Pi BPI-M5 also lacks built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi support.

SinoVoip says the computer will support Android and Linux-based operating systems. 


The Banana Pi BPI-M5 has double the storage of its predecessor, quadruple the memory, faster Ethernet, and a new Amlogic processor.  

Image: SinoVoip

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