Raspberry Pi-like price, tiny six-core NanoPi NEO4 could be the perfect pocket server

The NanoPi NEO4 is the cheapest board based on a Rockchip 3399, but the catch is there's only 1GB RAM and you may need a separate heatsink

FriendlyELEC, a maker of Raspberry Pi-like boards, has announced the NanoPi NEO4, the smallest and cheapest board powered by the popular six-core Rockchip RK3399 system on chip.

Many of the boards launched earlier this year with the RK3399 cost north of $100, until Pine64 brought the price down with its $60 the RockPro64.

FriendlyELEC meanwhile launched its RK339-based NanoPC-T4 for $129, which had 4GB of RAM, 16GB of eMMC flash storage, and NMVE SSD support.

The NanoPi NEO4 by contrast costs just $45, coming with a smaller printed-circuit board measuring 60mm x 45mm. But with 1GB of RAM, buyers will need to make sure it fits their planned usage.

According to FriendlyELEC's wiki, the NanoPi NEO4 supports Ubuntu Desktop 18.04 (64-bit), Lubuntu 16.04 (32-bit), Ubuntu Core 18.04 (64-bit) and Lubuntu Desktop with GPU and VPU acceleration.

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It also features a 2.4GHz wireless module, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.0, one USB 3.0 port, one USB 2.0 type-C port, and a USB 2.0 type-A port. There's also a PCIe x2 to connect an SSD, and a 40 pin GPIO.

As noted by CNX-Software, it is probably worth buying the $5.99 heatsink or else the board's performance will drop significantly.

As per this review by Thomas Kaiser, the NanoPi NEO4's PCB is too small to act as a heatsink so the only case where a separate heatsink isn't needed is if the NanoPi NEO4 is idle all the time.

With the addition of a 3D printed enclosure that doesn't cover the heatsink, Kaiser reckons the NanoPi NEO could be the "perfect pocket server".

The NanoPi NEO4 will be available for $45 until the promotional period ends, after which it will cost $49.99.

nanopineo4.jpg

The NanoPi NEO4 is the smallest and cheapest board powered by the popular six-core Rockchip RK3399 SOC.

Image: FriendlyELEC

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