16-Core HoneyComb LX2K ARM Workstation Looks To Offer A Decent Performance Oomph
Written by Michael Larabel in Arm on 16 September 2019 at 11:34 AM EDT. 30 Comments
ARM --
When it comes to ARM-powered workstation boards there hasn't been a whole lot to get excited about with the likes of the Socionext 96Boards Developerbox being quite expensive and not yielding good performance or featureful boards compared to alternative Intel/AMD/POWER workstation/enthusiast boards. One of the more promising ARM workstation boards we have been following is the HoneyComb LX2K (formerly the "ClearFog" board) and it's looking like it could end up being a decent offering in this space.

The HoneyComb LX2K / ClearFog is the 16-core mini-ITX workstation board we have been following since earlier this year. They have been aiming for this 16-core ARM workstation board for $500~750 USD and it looks like they will actually strike on the lower-end of that price-range.

While still in the pre-production / early access state, they are listing this board for $550 USD with the LX2160A SoC that features 16 ARMv8 cores at 2.0GHz. Sixteen ARM Cortex-A72 cores at 2.0GHz should yield some decent performance (the Socionext Developerbox for reference was 24 Cortex-A53 cores at 1.0GHz) for an ARM Linux workstation.


This mini-ITX board also offers dual DDR4 slots up to 64GB capacity, M.2 slot, PCIe x8 (sadly no x16), dual USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, dual SFP+, and four SATA ports. It's looking quite decent and seeing they are hitting around $550 USD at least for now. Details on the board in its current state can be found at Solid-Run.com.

They shared some new benchmark figures using the Phoronix Test Suite and compared to some of our older benchmark results. Keep in mind these are vendor-supplied benchmarks but we should be getting the HoneyComb LX2K in our labs in the not too distant future for running our own benchmarks. With these benchmarks they ran, they compared them to some older Intel/AMD CPU test results of ours and also keep in mind those results are on an older software stack (Ubuntu 17.10) while this Solid-Run board was running Fedora 30. So take these results lightly, but they are looking promising:






In comparison, the Socionext developer box with its 24 lower-power cores was more in-line with the Core i3/i5 CPUs back when we were able to run benchmarks on it last year. So the HoneyComb LX2K is looking like at least for some workloads will be able to stand its ground against some Intel/AMD 8c/16t processors and open up possibilities for those that have been wanting to build a capable ARM Linux desktop/workstation. The only downside of the board is particularly PCIe x8 rather than PCIe x16, but we'll certainly put it through its paces once having our hands on the board for testing.

About The Author
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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 10,000 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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