Introduce ROCK 5 Model B - ARM Desktop level SBC

this is only a coil so no problem but i recomend removing the yeatsink and backplate from the ssd because it could damage the ssd (but if you dont want to remove it it sould work anyways)

mine finally arrived in Sydney Australia

I slapped the latest rolling ci Armbian image on a microsd/tf card and it booted up fine with this zyron usb pd charger I got off ebay. It’s definitely a fast soc compared to just about any other devboard, the i/o flows easily, the ethernet does 2.5g, even the tf slot writes 40 megabytes/s on the netac 250gb card I have in it currently. I tried stressing it out with ffmpeg software encoding, no heatsink, and it crashed. So I dug around and found an old Thermalright HR-05 Northbridge Cooler and it popped straight on very easily, so I added some paste and off I went, stress test no longer crashing it, been running for 5 hours or so now and CPU temp is 49C

I have the metal case on pre-order from ameridroid but i’m thinking maybe something more open might be better and keeping this heatsink on it permanently might not be such a bad idea

So far the only major thing i’ve stumbled on that’s a bit concerning is the bottom USB3 port appears to be less stable/limited in some way than the top USB3 port at least with this Armbian build. Basically when plugging in a rtl8153 or ax88179 1gbe ehternet adapters it doesn’t take long to have them crash running iperf but they work flawlessly in the top port straight away. So far it seems like the bottom port may be safe for storage, but network adapters maybe stick to the top port. I may be totally wrong on this and just bumped the board in testing or something i’ll have to confirm more later.


i have problems with dvi displays on the onboard hdmi connectors but with a usb-c to hdmi dongle it works through the dongle (i need 2 dvi monitors and they dont have an native hdmi port) and i tested the onboard ports with a native monitor and they worked fine

DVI is very old digital/analog connector and as You can see bit problematic. Your monitors are at least 15 years old and probably will fail soon anyway. You can waste Your time trying to get right cable or converter (and maybe some good docking station), but it’s just death end and sooner or later You will have to replace old, obsolete hardware. Today You can easily get used hdmi monitors for just few bucks, many people are replacing their stuff to something with uhd, usb-c, merging two monitors into one widescreen. You bought board that is capable of three 4k.

my minitor is about 8 years old and uses the digital version and it looks still very good (and if it fails it is most likley just a cap that i wiil simpley replace)

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DVI is dated back about 1999 and in 2010 all big companies decided to not support it anymore soon after in favor of hdmi and dp. If You really made so wrong decision to still buy it - then You are now on Your own with such problems. This can be several things, starting from wrong cables/converters, very old monitor modes in edid or even having only analog side of DVI. I won’t expect that anybody will fully support dvi today and like I said I saw many very cheap FHD with hdmi for sale at low price or even for free. It’s like trying to run old flat scanner via LPT port - still may be possible, but it’s just easier to get something decent with usb (if You really need such hardware today instead of just taking picture via smartphone).

ok so maybe i try to only use 2 monitors and try to get the third running some day

Just get a hdmi to dvi adapter they will likely just not have sound.

They are $ on ebay

The DVI connector on a device is given one of three names, depending on which signals it implements:

  • DVI-I (integrated, combines digital and analog in the same connector; digital may be single or dual link)
  • DVI-D (digital only, single link or dual link)
  • DVI-A (analog only)

Usually on monitors its dvi-d as the audio is the 4 pins extra on DVI-I


i have exactley this adaptor but from and local electronics shop
and my monitor is an Fujitsu B22W-6 LED proGREEN i think the port is dvi-d single link it also has vga so it wouldnt make sense for it to be an dvi-i and certanly not a -a because i use it on my pc with a dvi-d to dp adaptor and on the rock with a dvi-d to hdmi and then a cable then a usb-c hub from pine64 included with my pinephone beta and the os i use on the rock is armbian and on my pc is archlinux with gnome 43 and it has a 1060 (one of the dvi monitors is connected to dvi on the gpu and the other two to dp)

Dunno hannes as I have a OrangePi5 that for some reason doesn’t like my older 2nd monitor set up the same but its not the monitor its the OrangePi5 as works fine with other sbc.

Its digital and should work dunno why on some boards they don’t but its the boards not the monitor as it will be digital as likely it has a dvi-d dual (digital)

If someone have a NUC or similar and would like to trade for my rock 5B 16gb I’m all ears. In eu only.

why? it is a great sbc

What NUC do You expect to get? I have few of them and their prices are ranging from about $100 to something like $1500.

I’m probably going to offload mine too unless someone shows me a sane kernel will eventually be built for this thing. Have you seen the kernel tree? 2.6 mixed with 5.10??? :face_vomiting:

The kernel tree is the Android kernel tree that has always been Rockchips main market.

But what do you think a kernel tree is though? As of course code that hasn’t changed is still from older kernels as is 6.1.5 mainline that only conatains submissions and uprades and fixes and a whole history of linux versions!!!?

They do call it a development board…

I believe it will be a matter of time before it is supported in mainline kernel.

I haven’t use my Rock 5B much either after receiving it, though I am not going to sell it (yet); I could simply try it out with not so common OSes like IPFire and see if it could work, and sell my Pi 4 instead.

There are still lots of possibilities with Rock 5B, just that it is not easy to realise them at least for me. Perhaps Radxa may put up some tutorial pages that help ppl customising Android and Debian / Ubuntu for Rock 5B?


You could waste time in better ways :wink: Even if you glue it together to boot, it will be yet another.

Radxa design and sell (nice) hardware around SoCs … but can’t do everything that came to peoples mind. IMO adjust expectations.

If you want custom Debian or Ubuntu. Also around Rock 5.

Will try to find a local buyer first. Thanks!

OnT: I would be happy to purchase also the sw for the board, not just the hw.
Donations to community developed sw is great but does not come with any obligation to the donor of producing anything, when and at what quality.

I used to waste my time with compiling my custom OpenWRT back in the days, so no worry :slight_smile:

Not really interested in Armbian, and not interested in Debian / Ubuntu either if I am going to use my Rock 5B as desktop (my primary aim). If server I will go for Ubuntu as long as I “can”, since I have all my machines running Ubuntu anyway (with Windows 11 VMs etc), though I may also think about Alpine if I have time, which I don’t for the time being. Currently I don’t see a desktop env I wanted that’s available in aarch64, e.g. Elementary OS, Ubuntu Budgie or Kylin

Personally I think Android is best for my “desktop usage” on Rock 5B, so I do hope there would be good instruction / tutorial available on how to get Android AOSP works with Rock 5B, instead of just “get the image”. It is because most likely, as other has mentioned, that drivers etc. are available “over there”.

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