Raspberry Pi rivals: This Hardkernel Odroid-C4 could give your Pi a run for its money

With a powerful quad-core CPU and wallet-friendly price point, the Odroid-C4 makes a tempting alternative to the Raspberry Pi 4.

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Hardkernel has launched a new version of its Odroid single-board computer that looks to give the Raspberry Pi 4 a run for its money.

The Odroid-C4 features an Amlogic S905X3 SoC powered by a quad-core Cortex-A55 processor, packing up to 4GB of DDR4 memory. The A55 cores run at 2.0GHz without thermal throttling using the stock heat sink, allowing for a robust yet quiet computer, according to the South Korean manufacturer.

Coming in at $50 including shipping, this puts it on a par with the Raspberry Pi 4, which comes with a more powerful – though lower frequency – 1.5GHz 64-bit, quad-core Cortex-A72 CPU. The Pi 4 features either 2GB or 4GB RAM depending on whether you opt for the $35 or $55 model, respectively.

Hardkernel reckons its latest generation single board computer (SBV) performs up to 55% faster than the previous generation Odroid-C2 , launched back in 2016. The C4 also features a Mali-G31 clocked at 650MHz – again around 50% faster than Mali-450MP in the Odroid-C2.

"Thanks to the modern 12nm fabricated S905X3 CPU, the power consumption and heat dissipation are relatively very low," read Hardkernel's product notes.

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"Therefore, we can enjoy a quiet and powerful computer with high energy efficiency."

The Odroid-C4 supports Linux, Android, LineageOS and CoreELEC operating systems.   

odroid-c4-a.jpg

Hardkernel

Additional features include:

  • 1 x eMMC connector (8/16/32/64GiB)
  • 1 x Micro SD slot
  • 1 x GbE LAN ports (10/100/1000 Mbps)
  • Realtek RTL8211F (Ethernet transceiver)
  • Optional WiFi USB adapters
  • Video 1 x HDMI 2.0 (up to 4K@60Hz with HDR, CEC, EDID)
  • Audio 1 x HDMI digital output
  • 1 x Optional SPDIF optical output
  • 4 x USB 3.0 Host ports

The Raspberry Pi 4 is a firm favourite amongst DIY hackers and hobbyists. With impressive power and a competitive price point to boot, the Odroid-C4 looks ready to challenge the Pi 4's prized position, albeit with a couple of trade-offs, including the lack of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth by default.   

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Single board computers have enjoyed an explosion in popularity in recent weeks, with Raspberry Pi recording record shipments of 640,000 units in March.

Company Founder Eben Upton told TechRepublic that demand appeared to be driven by people looking for cost-effective solutions for remote working amid global lockdowns. At the same time, the company has also been fielding requests from people from the medical community who are interested in using the company's low-power Raspberry Pi Zero to power ventilators for COVID-19 patients.

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