This Tiny Single-Board Computer Offers Insane 4K Video Power For Its Size
Stephan Jukic – December 8, 2017
The tiny but crazy powerful Rasberry Pi 3 was launched in 2016 at a price of just $35 but since then, rival models from other brands have emerged on the market to offer an even more stunning range of specs packed into their tiny form factors. Their prices are no shame either.
The latest of these mini single-board computers is the “Renegade” from Libre Computer, which promises better than ever 4K video performance and packs into its compact body some remarkable hardware specs. It comes with a DDR4 memory, Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 connectivity, HDMI 2.0a and 4K video handling at a price that’s similar to that of the 2016 Pi at $35.
These specs make the Pi from 2016 almost look weak, since it only managed DDR2 RAM and lacked Gigabit Ethernet while only offering USB 2.0. The new specs greatly enhance performance since DDR4 is much faster than DDR2, while USB 3.0 can move data roughly 10 times faster than USB 2.0. And Gigabit internet is obviously and massively superior to the 10/100 connectivity of the Raspberry Pi. Most notably though for the 4K video support angle, the Renegade’s HDMI 2.0a video out port is fully ultra HD-capable, offering full 4K resolution at 60fps with HDR mastering included in any video feed. The Pi only offered HDMI 1.3 and this offered none of these specs, allowing only for 2160p video at 30fps.
Other rivals in this little market for little machines include the Android-powered Pine64 Rock64 board, which offers many of the same specs as the Renegade from Libre Computer but lacks only DDR4 memory, which also means that it’s cheaper at just $25.
The Renegade itself is also going to be powered by Android, version 7.1 Nougat to be exact and can also run on assorted Linux-based operating systems. In terms of design and appearance, the Renegade board looks much like the Pi, with three USB ports instead of one.
We say going to because unlike the Pi, the Renegade is only available pending a full Indiegogo funding campaign in which the creators are looking for $10,000 to complete their project. So far they have just under $3000 raised, so yeah, not exactly inspiring quite yet. Thus, despite its more advanced specs, the Renegade isn’t quite competition for the Pi, which itself enjoys wide single-board community support and supports a broad range of software applications and projects that already exist.
On the other hand, Libre Computer has previously launched quite a number of other boards, with one of their most recent actual releases being the “Le Potato”, which sells for $25 and does offer DDR4 memory, along with Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 and HDMI 2.0a. It’s full specs (very similar to those of the Renegade) are below:
- Chipset/CPU: Rockchip RK3328, quad-core Arm Cortex A53-based processor
- GPU: Arm Mali-450MP2
- Memory: 1/2/4 GB DDR4 RAM
- Storage: eMMC 5.x flash module socket (8 to 128 GB) & micro SD card slot
- Video / Audio output: HDMI 2.0a up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDR10 and HLG support, 3.5mm AV port (composite video + stereo audio)
- Supported video codecs: 4K VP9, H.265 and H.264, 1080p VC-1, MPEG-1/2/4, VP6/8
- Network: Gigabit Ethernet
- USB: 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x USB 3.0 port
- Expansion: 40-pin GPIO header with PWM, I2C, SPI & 3-pin ADC Header with 2x analog inputs, GND
- Debugging: UART header pins
- Misc: IR receiver / button
- Power: 5V via micro USB port
- Dimensions: 85 x 56 mm