Hats on the Rock!

Hats on the Rock!

Bret from bret.dk recently explored the capabilities of Radxa’s new Rock 5C and 5C Lite boards, which introduce a budget-friendly option for users. These boards feature a 16-pin FFC PCIe connector, compatible with the Raspberry Pi 5, indicating a potential new standard across single board computers (SBCs).

The Radxa 5C boasts an eight-core Rockchip RK3588S SoC, while the 5C Lite operates on a six-core Rockchip RK3582 SoC, designed without a GPU and two fewer A76 cores. This design choice reflects the usage of lower yield RK3588S chips, maximizing resource efficiency.

In his testing, Bret experimented with various Pineberry Pi PCIe hats, including the Pineberry Pi HatDrive with a 256GB M.2 NVMe SSD, and the Coral Edge TPU Hat featuring a Google Coral TPU for potential AI enhancements. These hats demonstrated compatibility and performance improvements on the 5C models, with the HatDrive achieving substantial speed over traditional storage methods.

Bret also evaluated network enhancements using the Pineberry Pi HatNET! 2.5G, discovering initial compatibility issues that were resolved with driver updates, although some limitations in network speed were noted. This is a common thing with various Raspberry Pi alternatives, the drivers are often not present by default and we expect it to improve it the upcoming months.

The exploration concluded positively, highlighting the Radxa 5C models as valuable for users and beneficial for companies like ours. We will be purchasing various new SBCs to test how our lineup performs on different platforms, you can expect new compatibility documentation from us in the upcoming months.

You can find more details and test results in the article on bret.dk here: Radxa 5C PCIe Hats!

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