Author Topic: Orange Pi 5 Mini Review  (Read 466 times)

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Offline Andrew_DebbieTopic starter

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Orange Pi 5 Mini Review
« on: March 18, 2023, 03:44:10 pm »
I've been using an OrangePi 5 (OP 5) as my primary desktop computer for a few weeks. 

Despite the name, the OP 5 is NOT a RaspberryPi4(RP4) clone.  It is a different form factor.  RP4 operating system images do not work.  It can do many of the same things as a RP4 and more.

The Hardware is impressive considering the price. I paid just over $100USD including tax and shipping to the UK.

Rockchip RK3588S  SOC with 4 A76 Cores, 4 A55 cores and a Mali G610 GPU.  2.2GHz clock rate.
4, 8 16 or 32GB of LPDDR.   My ~$100 board has 8GB RAM.
16MB SPI flash with u-boot.

The 100x62mm OP5 board is slightly larger then an RP4. 
Full Size HDMI Port. 
Two USB C ports, one is used for power input.
One USB 3.0,  two USB 2.0 but one is shared with the USB-C port.
Gigabit Ethernet
Micro SD Flash
M.2  NVME SSD slot  (2242 maximum size)
3 Camera Ports
3-pin audio.    On board microphone.

3-pin serial TTL debug port
26-pin general purpose I/O header.  The I/O header is not pin compatible with RP4 hats.

2 LEDs.    In normal operation the red LED is power and the green is heartbeat.

Power Switch, recovery swtich, mask rom switch.

No WiFi. I normally run with Ethernet. I tested a USB WiFi dongle which worked. There is a supported M.2 PCIe WiFi card but then you can't use the slot for an SSD.
My board is in a heatsink case and does not need a fan. Hardly gets warm. Power consumption is around 5W when streaming 4K video.   Most of the time it is lower. 

The RP5 is new.  I think the first round of boards on AliExpress shipped  December 2022 or January 2023.   
The vendor supplied "Ubuntu" is useless. The root user is enabled with no way to change the password.  You need to load up their OS once to reconfigure the boot loader to enable the M.2 slot.  I haven't used OrangePi "Ubuntu" since then. 

I've been running Armbian 23.02  The most recent stable build is decent.   It can play 4K YouTube videos that choke an overclocked RP4.

Armbian 23.02 for OP5 is built around a vendor hacked kernel 5.10. Hardware accelerated video needs Chineese panfork-mesa and G610 drivers.
Support for the RK3588S is in mainline Kernel 6.3 and maybe 6.2. Eventually there should be an Armbian that is free of the frozen 5.10 kernel supplied by OrangePi.   Until then I'm not 100% comfortable with the security.

Most or many apps just work. I was able to install KiCad 6 through the usual apt install commands. 

 Having the OS on an M.2 SSD is so much faster then an SD card.

I tried using an RP 4 as an everyday desktop PC and it was painful.   The OP 5 is fine.  It is faster then the 6 or 7 year old Apple computers I normally use for linux.

OrangePi 5 left,  RP4 right.  Different form factor.  Different GPIO header.

« Last Edit: March 20, 2023, 04:16:41 pm by Andrew_Debbie »
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