Rock 5 Model B: Single-board computer with eight-core CPU and HDMI 2.1

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Radxa’s Rock 5 Model B single-board computer will be among the first hardware to use the Rockchip RK3588 System-on-Chip (SoC). You can hardly get more power in a small 100 mm × 72 mm board format: there are eight Cortex-A76 and -A55 cores with clock frequencies of 2.4 and 1.8 GHz respectively. Samsung manufactures the SoC with 8-nanometer structures. For comparison: The somewhat more compact Raspberry Pi 4 only has four 1.5 GHz fast Cortex-A72 cores.

The integrated ARM Mali GPU G610MC4 with four shader clusters can handle numerous codecs for efficient video display: Radxa names in the announcement Decoder for AVS2, H.265 (HEVC) and VP9 in 8K resolution with 60 frames per second, as well as H.264 in 8K and 30 fps. But the RK3588 can also decode with AV1 in 4K resolution and 60 fps. This covers all modern codecs, for example to be able to watch high-resolution videos on YouTube and Netflix without jerking. Encoding is possible with H.264 and H.265, which is useful for NAS systems for private streams, for example.

Feature overview of the Rock 5 Model B. Attention: “Support” for Wi-Fi 6(E) means that you have to retrofit a suitable module.

(Image: Radxa)

Two real HDMI 2.1 with a sufficient transmission rate for 8K displays with 60 fps and one DisplayPort 1.4 as a USB-C port are available as image outputs. The latter also charges connected devices, but only with a few watts in view of the small power supply provided. There are three USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 Gbit/s, formerly called USB 3.0) type A peripherals.

Radxa solders either 4, 8 or 16 GB of LPDDR4X DRAM as RAM. An M.2 slot with four PCI Express 3.0 lanes accommodates an SSD, an M.2 E-Key slot accommodates a WLAN module, for example for Wi-Fi 6. Realtek’s RTL8125BG controller is included ex works for NBaseT Ethernet up to 2.5 Gbit/s. There is a GPIO bar with 40 pins for programming. The manufacturer is currently releasing operating systems with the Linux kernel 5.10.

Sales of the Rock 5 Model B are scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2022. The version with 4 GB of RAM costs $129, the 8 GB variant costs $150 and the 16 GB variant costs $190. In addition, there are the costs for an SSD, possibly a WLAN module, a cooler and a power supply unit. Since the Rock 5 Model B has holes for a cooler and a fan connection, suitable coolers should appear in the future.

the US-Shop Ameridroid and Allnet. China currently offer pre-order codes for $5 that will give you a $50 discount when you buy them in a few months. In Germany, traditionally Innet Radxas single-board computer to the program.


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