Cool Pi 4 Model B – A much faster alternative to the Raspberry Pi 4 SBC – CNX

The Cool Pi 4 Model B is a solid alternative to the Raspberry Pi 4 SBC with mostly the same form factor and interfaces but with a Rockchip RK3588S octa-core Cortex-A76/A55 processor that will run in circles around the Broadcom BCM2711 SoC found in the Raspberry Pi board.

We’ve already reviewed the Rockchip RK3588 / RK3588S single board computers and mini PCs like the Rock 5B, Khadas Edge2 Pro, and Mekotronics R58, and were impressed with the performance, but if you’d rather have such a board in a form-factor Raspberry Pi 4, then it might be Cool Pi 4 Model B is for you.

Coolpi 4 Model B Specifications:

  • SoC – 8-core Rockchip RK3588S processor with 4x Cortex-A76 cores @ up to 2.4GHz, 4x Cortex-A55, Arm Mali-G610 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 3.2, OpenCL 2.2, Vulkan 1.1, 8Kp60 video decoder for H.265 / AVS2/VP9/H.264/AV1, 8Kp30 video codecs, 6 TOPS NPU
  • System memory – 4 GB, 8 GB or 16 GB LPDDR4
  • Storage – 32GB, 64GB, or 128GB eMMC flash, MicroSD card slot
  • video output
    • Micro HDMI 2.1 port, up to 8Kp60
    • miniDP 1.4 format up to 4Kp60
    • MIPI DSI connector
  • Camera I / F – MIPI CSI connector
  • Audio – 3.5mm headphone jack
  • networks
    • RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet with optional PoE support
    • WiFi 6 Dual Band and Bluetooth 5.0 Module (AIC8800) with Ceramic Antenna
  • USB – 2 USB 3.0 Type-A and 2 USB 2.0 Type-A ports.
  • Expansion – Raspberry Pi 40-pin compatible GPIO connector with GPIO, I2C, SPI, UART, CAN bus, etc…
  • Power supply – USB Type C port
  • Dimensions – 85 x 56 mm (close to Raspberry Pi 4 form factor)

Raspberry Pi 4 Rockchip RK3588S

Cool Pi 4 eMMC MicroSD Flash CardNote that the specs above are for the V11, and there was a V10 with an AP6256 wireless module without internal antenna, and a different eMMC flash module connector (GB042 vs. BM20B). The Cool Pi provides Debian 11 and Ubuntu 22.04 desktop images to either a microSD card or eMMC flash storage. The board is supposed to support Android 12 as well, but I couldn’t find the image on the forums (note: the website is very slow and requires email registration even just to browse the forums). The source code for the U-boot bootloader and Linux kernel can be found on Gitee.

As far as I can tell, the Cool Pi 4 supports all of the hardware features of the Raspberry Pi 4, but it replaces one of the micro HDMI ports with a mini DisplayPort connector. Additional features include support for eMMC flash units, 8K video playback and output, WiFi 6, and a built-in 6 TOPS AI accelerator. Performance-wise, the Rockchip RK3588S will be in a class of its own, as we found it to be three times faster with 7-zip and four times faster for web browsing (speedometer) in Linux than the Raspberry Pi 4, as well as having a GPU that offers Four times the 3D graphics performance of the Amlogic S922 SoC found in the ODROID-N2+ SBC. The GPU is also 12 times faster than the Raspberry Pi 4 using the 3DMark results but I’m not sure how much Android can improve the Pi.

SBC Khadas Edge2 Raspberry Pi 4 Rock 5B Seat
SBC seat results. Khadas Edge2 and Rock 5B (Rockchip RK3588(S)), Raspberry Pi 4 (Broadcom BCM2711), Khadas VIM4 (Amlogic A311D2), ODROID-N2+ (Amlogic S922X)

The main question will be software support as we still had some issues during the reviews, but whether or not this affects you will depend on your use case and/or skill set. Pricing will also play a major role since the Cool Pi 4 Model B is priced quite higher, currently starting at $142 including shipping on Aliexpress for the model with 4GB of RAM, and no eMMC flash module. The company is also working on a Cool Pi 5 on a Rockchip RK3588S-based unit, but no details are available yet.

#Cool #Model #faster #alternative #Raspberry #SBC #CNX

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