Introduce ROCK 5B - ARM Desktop level SBC

oh ok that would be still interesting to know but i think for now ameridroid is faster with the preorders:

My is on the way since yeaterday.

oh cool is it a 16GB model, i have orderd a 16GB model

The more I know. So… ESXi fling, huh?

@hannes-campidell, I was wrong.

The acrylic case sold at Allnet. There’s space for a nvme card?

What wifi/BT module do you recommend?
Local store has a great price of the intel AX200 2230. My APs dont support ax but that is another story.

Look for a card with 6E, so you can benefit from the 6 GHz band as well. Like the AX210.

i thougt that it would be a bit wierd because there exists a relativley good uefi for the raspberry pi 3 and 4

and i have found on github a uefi for RK3399 and another for RK3568 and they want it to port it to the rock 5b

i dont want to run any shitty oses like windows

@ameriDroid i noticed the rock 5b on the ameridroid site are still marked as preorder on all models

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Yes, the ROCK5 is going to remain on preorder until we have them in stock and ready to ship the same day.

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so it will be in preorder to about the end of october right?
if yes cool system

Not specifically linked to preorder though made one in april and looking forward to receive email for ordering

Correct me if I’m wrong, but as this board doesn’t include wifi, I was wondering , if available I/Os would allow adding all these modules together

  • Wifi module
  • NVMe drive
  • additional 4G module

Looking to another rk3588 board (Mekotronics R58X) which already embeds Wifi 6, we can see following ports are still available:

  • M.2 (M-key) PCIe 3.0 4xLane
  • SATA 3.0 port

meaning It could be possible to also add sata drive, and 4G module in addition to Wifi.

you cant add
wifi (m.2)
4G (m.2)
and nvme (m.2) at the same time but with a littlebit of trics you can (if you dont mind looing one of the usb ports)
wifi (m.2)
4G (usb)
nvme (m.2)

In response to your question, it depends on when the factory gets us some units to have in our inventory. Right now, they are only working on fulfilling preorders. I imagine it will take at least a few weeks after they are done filling preorders before we can have some in stock. Maybe longer, depending on parts and production schedules.

that sounds cool (hopefully no part shortage)

Its very likely you can get cheaper and more cost effective elsewhere as nothing here is Rock5b specific as they are standard m.2/usb product.

Ebay from ultra cheap 2nd user to where ever you prefer to pick up your gear, even eMMC can be purchased elsewhere at least for now until things stabilise more than just a pre-release early adopter order.

Mine is also on the way.
Ordered from Allnet China. I forgot to add the heat sinks to my order and had to email the store to find a solution. I am very satisfied with how sympathetic and professional their service is. We literally wrote back and forth for an hour, to make sure, that everything will be by sent the same day I placed the order. So Radxa made a good decision, partnering with distributors that take their customer service seriously. (Thanks to Norbert and his “busy hands” team!)

So far, so good…

I just had one of the funniest phone conversation with our customs office. I’m not a noob, but installing pi hole and Nextcloud server on a Raspberry Pi is as high as my pedigree goes. After my little 3 minutes monologue about the content of the package, the answer I receive is:
Her: okay… Excuse me, so what is it you are using for? Li-hooks!?
Me: LI … NOOKS! Ubuntu is a version of it.
Her: can you tell me again how much RAM they are.
Me: 8GB and 16GB.
Her: “Okay… So what you are telling me is that, you need this little Chip to put it in your computer to help you install all Linux.
Me: No, it IS a computer. RAM, CPU, GPU, AI engine are on the same PCB. It’s just that it’s as small as a credit card.
Her: Okay… So, what do you want to do with it?
Me: well it’s small, and I can have it running all the time in the Background taking care of multiple backup tasks. Without worrying too much about power consumption. Smart home, Nextcloud server, printer server…
Her: Okay, I got the information. I am not sure, I understood everything, but in case we need more information your number is… and in case we don’t get you on the phone your email is…”

I wonder how a marketing guy would explain it better than I did. She seemed very interested after I said it runs without fans in the background and is as small as a credit card. I’m sure it was a good idea to stop after “Nextcloud server” and not go into details about VPN Server + Open Source and data stuff… It didn’t even come to my mind to say “surfing the web”, “writing emails” or “Removing pimples with darktable”… At the end of the day, it’s just a computer…

That’s it, a little feedback and retrospect from a call with the customs office! I’m curious what experiences you have with customs and your orders. Mine was bitter-sweet. I hope they don’t think I’m doing dodgy things. :upside_down_face:

FYI: I’m planning to replace my old Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air 13.3 from 2016. If the radxa lasts for as long (6 years), I’ll be very satisfied with my purchase. Thanks to the radxa team (the debug-party people too) for building this right in-between pandemic and lockdown!

One average thankful user.

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Ok so that means with Rock5b we get two m.2 ports available and then we need to use USB.
Unfortunately the 4G module I was targetting is m.2 so will need to make a choice.

Mekotronics, as can be seen on pic below, managed to embed wifi (probably using one of two m.2 ports)


and still provide following IOs
at bottom: m.2 empty slot which could be used for my 4G module
on the left: sata connectors which I believe could be used for pluggin hard drive but not in M.2 format (so not NVMe?)

EDIT: after further search, seems like we find very similar 4G dongles, to the one I was initially looking for. So probably going that way and keep NVMe + Wifi on m.2 slots.

M.2 is a mechanical connector able to carry tons of different protocols. It’s not a protocol like PCIe, SATA, SDIO, USB and so on (all of which can be carried by an M.2 port).

  • Mekotronics use a single PCie Gen2 lane for their soldered AP6275P Wi-Fi (same chip many other RK3588 device vendors use)
  • they use zero PCIe lanes for Gigabit Ethernet since those are RGMII attached while Radxa chose to use a 2.5GbE controller that eats another PCIe Gen2 lane
  • except the four PCIe Gen3 lanes available in the M.2 key M slot the remaining three possible PCIe Gen2 lanes are all multiplexed with SATA/USB3 so a device maker always has to make compromises. It’s impossible to expose all protocol variants RK3588 is capable of due to pinmuxing (RK3588 has not infinite balls to connect to the SBC --> many of these pins have more than one function). Details:
  • When it’s about WWAN modems (4G) please keep in mind that many/most for M.2 or mPCIe slots do not rely on PCIe but on USB instead so better check which protocols which M.2 slot carries. Rock5B’s key E slot carries PCIe Gen2 or SATA. No idea about USB…

Thanks for precisions.
If I understood well what you explained, Rock5b m.2 slot would not automatically support 4G devices? Good to know then.

Some 4G devices I was looking at were:

  • quectel EC25 like this one
  • sim 7600G-H like this one

Both are Mini-PCIe form-factor but not sure if they use USB protocol behind as you seems to suggest.
BTW, I found out, USB dongle variants exists with same 4G chips so may go that way then as it will make more sense if they use USB protocol to use them directly on USB port and leave M.2 slot for other device requiring PCIe/SATA protocol.

EDIT: After further reading module description, seems like you were right:

You can easily insert a Mini PCIe module in Base HAT then start using cellular internet with your Raspberry Pi. Both UART and USB communication with modules are available.

Only if the M.2 card is not relying on USB for the data communication since USB in the M.2 key E slot is NC (not connected):

In other words: G4 M.2 cards that use PCIe/UART might work.