ARM has legs. Real world use.

Discussion in 'SBC, ARM, Home Automation' started by drmike, Dec 4, 2015.

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  1. drmike

    drmike 100% Tier-1 Gogent

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    In fussing with my Raspberry Pi's yesterday, I realized it really is an ARM computing universe now.  ARM for a desktop still is a hacker thing and performance is blah unless using embedded eMMC.  I haven't splurged for eMMC modules for gear (often cost is prohibitive relative to the cheap aspect of the boards).


    For hobbyist nerds and professional back office people like me, ARM gets second class status as it doesn't have 12 cores and 32GB of RAM...   Nor does it excel at massive bus throughput.  It's niche and mocked as phone chipset.


    For the past 4~ months I've been running an Odroid U2 (http://www.hardkernel.com/main/products/prdt_info.php?g_code=G135341370451) here to centralize network gateway.  It runs Ubuntu with a full blown desktop (which sits there mostly unused).  I use it for the underlying Linux stack and keep the GUI since it is the distro I have working and not inclined to mutate it into broken.  It's an 'old' model Odroid now with a quad core @ 1.7Ghz CPU and 2GB of RAM, ho hum.


    The network gateway runs OpenVPN, DNSMASQ, encrypted DNS tunnels to remote better behaved DNS servers, Squid (but currently not running in the solution stack -- love/hate squid), some iptables rules and a freaking HUGE block list (millions of rows of block data) to scrub requests.


    All of that back ends into a switch that does NAT and that goes long cable to cable modem and their insanity.


    Now everything goes through that little Odroid, streaming, Skype, video, set box, tablets, etc.  It's a busy little device.  Only traffic that doesn't go through it is proper LAN traffic.  Anything online goes through it though.  Use through it is pretty much 24/7 pushing and moving packets from multiple users.


    I tapped the power block which is a wall wart that does 110-120V to USB with ~ 5V output... Forget what the plug outputs... 2A I do believe or maximum of 10 watts.


    Tapped the power block into a Kill-a-Watt-like meter. 


    THREE watts.  


    Seriously...  Been running for 12 hours+ and I see 2.4 watts on low side and maybe 5 watts high now and then if I smack the device on the desktop GUI side good.


    3 watts x 720 hours in a month = 2.16 KwH 


    Even at 15 cents per KwH = 32.4 cents per month.  Less than 2 quarters a month.


    Very very very impressive.  Plus there is still plenty of CPU and resources to do more.  Sure it will use more power, but what? 2 more watts?  3?  Not a whole lot more.


    I am off to test the quad core Pi.  I know we can go lower on power, however the performance with the Pi's for real world has prior in testing just stunk.  I tried this setup initially with a Pi B and it was so bad that I scrapped it and moved to the Odroid.


    This I'll put here for the power sippers: PowerNap   http://linuxplumbersconf.org/2011/ocw//system/presentations/105/original/PowerNap.pdf
    I need to muck with PowerNap. It is in the Ubuntu repos.
     
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  2. drmike

    drmike 100% Tier-1 Gogent

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  3. raj

    raj Active Member

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    Recently I installed odrobian on my ODROID-C1 and am really enjoying the Debian 8 Mate desktop experience. I've completely replaced my desktop needs at home with the -C1.


    I still have a RPi Model B sitting around as my home NAS with a pair of 3TB Seagate SATA drives in software RAID1 config running Raspbian with no issues. 


    I have an ODROID-XU4 in transit that I plan to power up over the holidays and replace the C1 as the primary machine.


    I have a RPi Zero on the way that I have no current use for, but for $5 it was a toy to play with.


    I'm all in on this ARM device kick!
     
  4. willie

    willie New Member

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    Drmike, I'd be interested in a power measurement of that Odroid C1 with the cpu busy (4 processes in busy loops) if you could try that sometime.  Similarly on the Pi2 of course.   If it matters, the new XU4 should be around 2x as fast as the C1.  I might get one sometime.  Meanwhile I'm happy using a Scaleway C1 but have no way to measure the power consumption.  It seems about 1/10th the speed of an i7-3700, not bad for 3 euro per month.
     
  5. KuJoe

    KuJoe Well-Known Member Verified Provider

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    Shameless plug: http://blog.jmd.cc/technology/my-raspberry-pi-b-raspberry-pi-2-and-odroid-c1/

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 11, 2015
  6. willie

    willie New Member

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    Thanks KuJoe!  I posted a comment on your blog and then realized it was yours :).
     
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  7. KuJoe

    KuJoe Well-Known Member Verified Provider

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    I plan on getting the XU4 next month. This month I ordered a Banana Pi Pro, ODroid U2, and ODroid C1+ (this way I can free up my RPi2 and use my C1 for network monitoring). I'm setting my price point to under $50 (excluding case, storage, power, and accessories) and want to see how they fair against each other. I wish I snagged up a RPi Zero when I had the chance just for comparison sake. I'll need to get my bro to ship me back my RPi B+ also just to see how it fairs.
     
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  8. KuJoe

    KuJoe Well-Known Member Verified Provider

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  9. GIANT_CRAB

    GIANT_CRAB New Member

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  10. KuJoe

    KuJoe Well-Known Member Verified Provider

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    Orange Pi Plus ordered... going to bed now
     
  11. HalfEatenPie

    HalfEatenPie The Irrational One Retired Staff

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    HalfEatenPie
    Please please PLEASE give us a picture of them all together once you do get them :)


    Also man, what do you do with all these ARM devices?  I mean nowadays they're all the same specs, so I find them fairly redundant and I can't find any major/good application of them besides for small nitch things.  
     
  12. KuJoe

    KuJoe Well-Known Member Verified Provider

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    One of them will go in my living room as my HTPC.


    One of them will go to my 4 year old so she has a desktop of her own (basically whichever one performs best as a desktop replacement I'll get a 2nd for her, she already uses the C1 for games and videos).


    One of them will be my 24x7 home server for things my NAS can't do (Observium, network performance testing, and anything else the single core ARM in my NAS can't handle).


    One of them will be my desktop replacement for when I'm not gaming since my desktop uses over 220 watts at the wall (which is overkill since all I do is RDP into my Windows 10 VPS to do any real work) and generates a ton of heat in my office. I basically keep my desktop in sleep mode any time I'm not sitting at the desk so it'd be nice to have a (or a few) 24x7 ARM device(s) that I can mount to the back of my monitor(s)


    One of them will be a travel desktop since my netbook is on it's last leg battery-wise and these all perform better than the dual-core Atom in it anyways (I plan on getting a small screen and battery for it since I already carry a wireless mouse and keyboard with me anyways).


    It's also really useful for me to have a lot of low powered devices like this since I have been doing a lot of network engineering at home and it gets extremely loud and hot in my office if I have a bunch of full size desktops connected to a switch just to do iperf/ping/traceroute since all of the actual engineering is on the switches and routers and the clients are just there to test the routing/switching.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2015
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  13. raj

    raj Active Member

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    Take a look at Odrobian for the C1 and XU4 (when you get it).  I've found the Odrobian "desktop replacement" experience to be slightly snappier on the C1 than the standard HardKernel Ubuntu image.   


    I should get the XU4 next week.  Anything you want me to take note of and forward along?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2015
  14. willie

    willie New Member

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    I have a few benchmarks that I'd be interested in XU4 results for.  I think these things should have an M.2 SSD connector instead of EMMC.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 12, 2015
  15. HalfEatenPie

    HalfEatenPie The Irrational One Retired Staff

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    Wowza.  Alrighty fair enough.  I honestly could never replace my desktop with an ARM device.  I need the software that only run on Windows for work related items.  I would probably use an ARM device for RDP if my latency to my dedicated servers were bearable and not at minimum 75 ms away (that's to Singapore, it's 140 ms to San Jose, California).  However the latency and a few other things just doesn't make RDP a perfectly viable thing to use daily.  I do use a X2Go Instance in Las Vegas regularly.  
     
  16. raj

    raj Active Member

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    The board arrived and I've got it powered up and running.  What would you like to see?
     
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  17. souen

    souen Active Member

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    @raj: how's video playback (and video editing, if you do any basic edits) on it? Are you using a micro SD card? Any caveats as a desktop machine one should be aware of?


    I'm happy with the C1 and thinking of getting the XU4 as a desktop replacement. Wished it had a little more RAM, but the small form factor and energy draw is still amazing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2017
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  18. souen

    souen Active Member

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    Any comments on the Orange Pi Plus 2 or its siblings?  Anyone have one?


    drmike mentioned it in the ARM device for disk performance thread, thought I'd continue discussion here to not derail the question.


    2GB RAM, putting it closer to the ODROID XU2/XU4 market. The built-in wifi module would be handy as it'll free up one of the USB ports where I often have an adapter. A little worried about the Allwinner SoC in terms of hardware openness, but interest piqued. 
     
  19. KuJoe

    KuJoe Well-Known Member Verified Provider

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    I completely forgot about this thread. I haven't even powered on my Orange Pi Plus or my Banana Pi Pro since I got them. I'll make a point of setting them all up tonight for testing. :)
     
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  20. drmike

    drmike 100% Tier-1 Gogent

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    Which OrangePi did you pick up @KuJoe?  The models are a bit confusing / not obvious...  Did you find a US supplier that ships quick that you can recommend?  Finding the OrangePis is pointing to China and I have no patience with slow boats.