Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Cubieboard, another $49 Linux board, but could this be the best one yet?

Fantastic little computer systems are like buses, nothing for years an then three come past my desk at once.  First the Raspberry PI, then the Android based APC and now introducing the cubieboard which has one major advantage over the others, a SATA port.
Any of these boards could be used to build a decent desktop computer, but which should you choose? For me the key will be in the mass storage.
Both the PI and APC boot from an SD Card, which is slow and will have relatively small storage, but with a bit of Linux tweaking they could quite quickly handover to a USB connected device which will be faster and have considerably more storage space. For most applications this will be more then enough.The SATA port on the cubieboard however, elevates this system to the next level, as it can boot from a high speed device, store terrabytes of data and access them considerably faster than a USB device, and for me this makes the cubieboard an extremely exciting prospect.
And there is one final feature that makes this the most attractive to me yet, it claims to run Ubuntu.

Full spec

  • 1G ARM cortex-A8 processor, NEON, VFPv3, 512KB L2 cache
  • Mali400, OpenGL ES GPU
  • 1GB DDR3 @400MHz
  • HDMI 1080p Output
  • 100M Ethernet
  • 2 USB Host, 1 USB otg, 2 MMC slot, 1 ir
  • 96 extend pin including i2c, spi, lvds 
For more details goto http://cubieboard.org/

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