ASUS Tinker Board Is An Interesting ARM SBC For About $60 USD
Written by Michael Larabel in Computers on 24 September 2017. Page 5 of 5. 41 Comments

With the Phoronix Test Suite I also ran a few benchmarks while our benchmarking software was automatically recording the reported CPU and GPU core temperatures. The stock passive heatsink was used.

If you are running demanding workloads on the Tinker Board, you may want to consider adding a small fan or using a larger heatsink, but overall the temperatures weren't too extreme. Better cooling is also wise if planning to run the Tinker Board within a closed chassis. More details on the thermal results within this OpenBenchmarking.org result file.

Also, via this OpenBenchmarking.org result file are also some more benchmarking results with a variety of tests. If you want to see how your own Linux system(s) whether they be ARM/MIPS SBCs or x86 systems compare to the $60 Tinker Board performance, simply install the Phoronix Test Suite and run phoronix-test-suite benchmark 1709241-TY-TINKERBOA13 or for the larger comparison in this article, run phoronix-test-suite benchmark 1709242-TY-TINKERBOA18.

From a performance perspective, the ASUS Tinker Board is a capable ARM SBC for its price tag of only $60 USD. The performance is very good against the inexpensive (sub-$100) boards while obviously if needing greater performance there is more to find with the NVIDIA Jetson line-up.

The stock Debian 9.0 image for the Tinker Board is quite capable and useful while for those craving an Android environment there's that too. The GPIO pin layout and PCB board form factor compatibility with the Raspberry Pi 2+ is nice. Though what the Tinker Board doesn't have is quite the developer community around this ARM SBC that the Raspberry Pi has built over the years. We'll see over the months ahead how the Tinker Board community grows and if it can rival that of the more popular ARM developer boards.

Via ASUS.com there are the board schematics, 2D/3D drawings, GPIO API for various languages, and other documentation and downloads to help developers get started in adapting the Tinker Board for their desired use-cases.

The Rockchip RK3288 SoC on this board is quite capable as shown by the benchmark results. Though some users will be disappointed by the lack of USB 3.0 connectivity. Additionally, the use of Mali T764 graphics may be a blocker for those desiring something more open-source friendly. But then again there are currently no strong SoCs out there with good CPU performance and good graphics capabilities on a open-source driver stack besides Qualcomm / Vivante / Broadcom VC4. Tegra frankly would be the only good match at this point, but will be interesting to see where things lead with next-gen Broadcom VC5 hardware.

Thanks to ASUS for providing this Tinker Board for testing at Phoronix. I'll be working on some follow-up benchmarks on Phoronix soon. Those interested in the Tinker Board can find it stocked at Internet retailers such as Amazon.com.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.


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