Orange Pi 5 Is A Great & Very Fast Alternative To The Raspberry Pi 4

Written by Michael Larabel in Computers on 23 March 2023 at 01:00 PM EDT. Page 1 of 5. 100 Comments.

With an 8-core Rockchip RK3588S SoC, the Orange Pi 5 is leaps and bounds faster than the aging Raspberry Pi 4. With up to 32GB of RAM, the Orange Pi 5 is also capable of serving for a more diverse user-base and even has enough potential for assembling a budget Arm Linux developer desktop. I've been testing out the Orange Pi 5 the past few weeks and it's quite fast and nice for its low price point.

Orange Pi 5 packaging

The Orange Pi 5 single board computer was announced last year and went up for pre-ordering at the end of 2022. The Orange Pi 5 features an upgraded Rockchip SoC, up to a 32GB RAM model, faster WiFi, and other improvements over earlier versions of the Orange Pi ARM64 SBCs. Several Phoronix readers inquired about the Orange Pi 5 and then the Orange Pi folks were kind enough to send over a review sample for testing on Phoronix.

Orange Pi 5 single board computer

Making the Orange Pi 5 interesting from the performance perspective is the Rockchip RK3588S that features eight Arm Cortex-A76 cores running at 2.4GHz plus four 1.8GHz Cortex-A55 cores. That's a lot more potential right there than the current Raspberry Pi 4 series relying on four Arm Cortex-A72 cores running at 1.5GHz...

Orange Pi 5 side view

The Rockchip SoC also features a Mali G510 MP4 graphics processor, which has open-source driver hope via the Panfrost driver stack. There is also an NPU with this Rockchip SoC too but I haven't seen any activity on the open-source front.

Orange Pi 5 Ethernet + USB

The Orange Pi 5 comes in four different versions with 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB of RAM using LPDDR4 or LPDDR4X. With up to 32GB of system memory the Orange Pi 5 is quite attractive for anyone wanting to make their own ARM64 Linux desktop and striving for the 32GB capacity. Plus this single board computer has HDMI 2.1, Gigabit LAN, M.2 PCIe 2.0, and USB3 connectivity. There is a 26-pin header on this SBC for those considering adapting this SBC for other purposes.

Orange Pi 5 SoC

When it comes to the software support, among the officially available options for the Orange Pi 5 are Orange Pi OS, Ubuntu, Debian, Android, and Armbian. Other ARM Linux distributions will surely see varying levels of support while even the readily available ISO selection offered by Orange Pi is off to a great start. For my review purposes so far I was using the Ubuntu image on the Orange Pi 5 while with time I look forward to carrying out an ARM64 Linux distribution benchmark comparison on this SBC.

Orange Pi 5 hands-on

Pricing for this higher-performing AArch64 SBC is quite affordable. Orange Pi uses (affiliate link) as its official store in the US. The Orange Pi 4GB retails for ~$88, the Orange Pi 5 8GB version retails for $108, and the Orange Pi 5 16GB version retails for $138, while as of writing the 32GB version wasn't in stock. Considering that the Raspberry Pi 4 boards on Amazon can retail for $100~200 USD due to the inflated prices and short supplies, the Orange Pi 5 pricing is very competitive especially when you get to looking at the benchmarks. So with that said, let's move on to looking at some performance numbers.

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