Victor Davis Hanson: Our ancestors were fearless builders and pioneers. Today we delay, idle and gripe

Victor Davis Hanson: Our ancestors were fearless builders and pioneers. Today we delay, idle and gripe

Many of the stories about the gods and heroes of Greek mythology were compiled during Greek Dark Ages. Impoverished tribes passed down oral traditions that originated after the fall of the lost palatial civilizations of the Mycenaean Greeks.

Dark Age Greeks tried to make sense of the massive ruins of their forgotten forbearers’ monumental palaces that were still standing around. As illiterates, they were curious about occasional clay tablets they plowed up in their fields with incomprehensible ancient Linear B inscriptions.

We of the 21st century are beginning to look back at our own lost epic times and wonder about these now-nameless giants who left behind monuments that we cannot replicate, but instead merely use or even mock.


Does anyone believe that contemporary Americans could build another transcontinental railroad in six years?

Californians tried to build a high-speed rail line. But after more than a decade of government incompetence, lawsuits, cost overruns and constant bureaucratic squabbling, they have all but given up. The result is a half-built overpass over the skyline of Fresno — and not yet a foot of track laid.


Who were those giants of the 1960s responsible for building our interstate highway system?

California’s roads now are mostly the same as we inherited them, although the state population has tripled. We have added little to our freeway network, either because we forgot how to build good roads or would prefer to spend the money on redistributive entitlements.

When California had to replace a quarter section of the earthquake-damaged San Francisco Bay Bridge, it turned into a near-disaster, with 11 years of acrimony, fighting, cost overruns — and a commentary on our decline into Dark Ages primitivism. Yet 82 years ago, our ancestors built four times the length of our singe replacement span in less than four years. It took them just two years to design the entire Bay Bridge and award the contracts.

Our generation required five years just to plan to replace a single section. In inflation-adjusted dollars, we spent six times the money on one-quarter of the length of the bridge and required 13 agencies to grant approval. In 1936, just one agency oversaw the entire bridge project.

California has not built a major dam in 40 years. Instead, officials squabble over the water stored and distributed by our ancestors, who designed the California State Water Project and Central Valley Project.

Contemporary Californians would have little food or water without these massive transfers, and yet they often ignore or damn the generation that built the very system that saves us.

America went to the moon in 1969 with supposedly primitive computers and backward engineering. Does anyone believe we could launch a similar moonshot today? No American has set foot on the moon in the last 47 years, and it may not happen in the next 50 years.

Hollywood once gave us blockbuster epics, brilliant Westerns, great film noirs, and classic comedies. Now it endlessly turns out comic-book superhero films or pathetic remakes of prior classics.

Our writers, directors and actors have lost the skills of their ancestors. But they are also cowardly, and in regimented fashion they simply parrot boring race, class and gender bromides that are neither interesting nor funny. Does anyone believe that the Oscar ceremonies are more engaging and dignified than in the past?

We have been fighting in Afghanistan without result for 18 years. Our forefathers helped to win World War II and defeat the Axis Powers in four years.

In terms of learning, does anyone believe that a college graduate in 2020 will know half the information of a 1950 graduate?

In the 1940s, young people read William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pearl Buck and John Steinbeck. Are our current novelists turning out anything comparable? Could today’s high-school graduate even finish “The Good Earth” or “The Grapes of Wrath”?

True, social media is impressive. The internet gives us instant access to global knowledge. We are a more tolerant society, at least in theory. But Facebook is not the Hoover Dam, and Twitter is not the Panama Canal.

Our ancestors were builders and pioneers and mostly fearless. We are regulators, auditors, bureaucrats, adjudicators, censors, critics, plaintiffs, defendants, social media junkies and thin-skinned scolds. A distant generation created; we mostly delay, idle and gripe.


As we walk amid the refuse, needles and excrement of the sidewalks of our fetid cities; as we sit motionless on our jammed ancient freeways; and as we pout on Twitter and electronically whine in the porticos of our Ivy League campuses, will we ask: “Who were these people who left these strange monuments that we use but can neither emulate nor understand?”

In comparison to us, they now seem like gods.

Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow in military history at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and a professor emeritus of classics at California State University, Fresno. He is the author of more than two dozen books, ranging in topics from ancient Greece to modern America, most recently “The Case for Trump” (Basic Books, 2019) He lives in Selma, California.

The Great Coal Collapse of 2019 Mid year analysis of the EU power sector

The Great Coal Collapse of 2019 Mid year analysis of the EU power sector

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The Great Coal Collapse of 2019
Mid year analysis of the EU power sector

Every January since 2015, Sandbag has published an update on “Europe’s Power Transition”, and for the first time, we provide a 6-month mini-review to help explain the extent and reasoning of the huge fall in Europe’s coal generation in 2019. To do this, Sandbag curated 20 gigabytes of power operator data from ENTSO-E, and then condensed the most important data to a handy 2MB excel to download from our website so you can also analyse it yourself – please let us know what you find!

Coal generation in the EU collapsed by 19% in the first half of this year, with falls in almost every coal-burning country.

Half of coal’s fall was replaced by wind and solar, and half was replaced by switching to fossil gas. If this continues for the rest of the year it will reduce CO2 emissions by 65 million tonnes compared to last year, and reduce EU’s GHG by 1.5%. Coal generation already had fallen 30% from 2012 to 2018.

However, even if these falls continued in 2019, coal generation is still likely to account for 12% of the EU’s 2019 greenhouse gas emissions.

July 2019

Download the data

“2019 may mark the beginning of the end for coal power in Europe. The biggest falls are by those countries encouraging wind and solar and planning for a coal phase-out.

Now that carbon pricing is finally working with price approaching €30 per tonne, the economics have already shifted not only from coal to gas generation, but also from coal to clean generation. And now the economics have changed, policy-makers will now find it is much easier to support wind and solar, and to plan for a full transition from coal to clean.

Every country could achieve a 2030 coal phaseout, if they put their mind to it.”

Dave Jones
Electricity Analyst, Sandbag
NEW: “Europe’s Great Coal Collapse of 2019”
✅ EU #coal fell *19%* in Jan-Jun
✅ Replaced by ½ Wind+Solar, ½ Fossil Gas
✅🇮🇪🇬🇧🇫🇷 <2% coal, 🇪🇸🇮🇹 6%
✅ €30 carbon price = coal now uneconomic
Gov’s must commit to #endcoal by 2030 … #ClimateEmergency

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Where did coal collapse?

All western European countries saw big percentage falls, from 22% in Germany to 79% in Ireland. There were times of zero or near-zero coal generation in many western European countries: coal was less than 2% of the electricity mix in Ireland, France and the UK, and only 6% in Spain and Italy, in the first half of 2019. The UK had two weeks in May with all its coal plants switched off for the first time since the Industrial Revolution began. Europe’s coal phase-out is truly underway, although the rate of closures is quite slow.

Germany saw by far the biggest coal fall in absolute terms. German coal generation fell by 22%, with both hard coal and lignite falling substantially. Incredibly Germany was still responsible for 35% of the EU’s coal generation in the first half of this year. Over two-thirds of the lignite fall came from RWE’s Neurath and Niederaussem plants which are supplied by RWE’s troubled Hambach and Garzweiler mines. Generation fell at 32 out of Germany’s 35 lignite units, as they are no longer generating 24/7.

The falls in eastern European countries were much smaller due to near-zero deployment of wind and solar. Only 5% of wind and solar installed in 2018 was in eastern Europe. The lignite-burning countries did particularly badly: out of 17,000MW installed across Europe last year, Poland installed just 39MW, Czechia 26MW, Romania 5MW and Bulgaria 3MW. Coal fell 6% in Poland as a new gas plant at Plock came online and 16% in Greece as gas generation picked up; in Slovenia and Bulgaria, coal generation even rose slightly.

Why did coal collapse?
There were three primary drivers:

Wind and solar replaced coal
Fossil gas replaced coal as carbon pricing begins to work
Coal plant closures

Half of coal’s fall was replaced by wind and solar, and half was replaced by switching to gas. In the EU, coal fell by around 50TWh, compared to a rise of 30TWh in wind and solar generation and a rise of 30TWh in gas generation. The remaining 10TWh covered a small structural increase in electricity consumption. It’s impossible to show this split: for example, the coal-gas switching in Germany is much higher than it appears, because although German gas generation didn’t rise too much, the electricity flows changed resulting in more gas generation in neighbouring Netherlands, France and Italy.

The weather didn’t have a big overall impact on coal. Electricity demand fell by 20TWh, due to the much-milder February and March in 2019, when the “Beast from the East” swept through Europe in 2018. However, this was more-than-offset by 30TWh less hydro-electricity generation in France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, meaning the remaining generation rose by 10TWh. By coincidence, 10TWh is also the underlying trend of electricity consumption rise in the last five years – equivalent to around 0.5% annualised growth. Hence the overall weather impact was around zero.

So let’s examine the three drivers in more detail…

1. Wind and Solar replaced Coal

Half of Europe’s fall in coal was due to increased wind and solar generation. The rise in wind and solar of 32TWh in the first half of 2019 compared to 2018 was in line with expectations. It is slightly above average for this decade, which is no surprise as there were record wind installations, and a pick-up in solar installations. Of the 32TWh rise in wind and solar generation, four-fifths was wind and only one fifth was solar – solar continues to make a small contribution to falling coal generation, but is far off its potential. Biomass generation was unchanged in 2019, as policy correctly shifts away from biomass subsidies, so wind and solar are having to work harder to keep up the overall growth of renewables.

The countries that built the most wind and solar capacity saw the biggest fall in coal generation. 95% of the overall wind and solar installed in 2018 was in western countries, which is where the biggest falls in coal generation were. Germany saw the biggest deployment of renewables and the biggest absolute fall in coal generation.

The countries that built the least wind and solar capacity saw the smallest fall in coal generation. Only 5% of wind and solar installed in 2018 was in eastern countries. The lignite-burning countries did particularly badly: out of 17,000MW installed across Europe last year, Poland installed just 39MW, Czechia 26MW, Romania 5MW and Bulgaria 3MW, and this is reflected in the much-smaller falls in coal generation. Indeed lignite generation in Czechia and Bulgaria actually increased slightly.

2. Fossil Gas replaced Coal as carbon pricing began to work

Half of Europe’s fall in coal was due to a rise in fossil gas, as it replaced coal in the short-term – the EU’s carbon price has started to work. It’s not possible to isolate exactly what coal-gas switching was happening where, although the largest pick-ups in gas were in Germany, Spain, Italy and France where there were also big falls in coal. The UK was not impacted much by the higher EU carbon price, since the top-up UK carbon tax had already ensured there was full coal-gas switching happening. It is unlikely the coal-gas switch will lead to more gas plants being built; only one gas plant came online in the whole of Europe in 2018 – Plock, in Poland.

It is likely that coal-gas switching went from “zero” to “ full”. In 2018, a high gas price and low carbon price meant hard coal ran before gas, but the economics switched at the end of 2018, as gas price collapsed whilst carbon price rose, making gas run before hard coal in most countries for most of the hours in 2019. For lignite, for the first time there was evidence in Germany of switching to gas, which – unlike hard coal – could extend further if the carbon price rose more. Lignite switching outside Germany is very limited as those countries have little installed gas capacity.

Lignite plant profitability collapsed in 2019. The rise in carbon price has worsened the economics dramatically, as the “gross margins” show on the map. Additionally, lignite plants have large fixed costs to cover – not only are the lignite plants more expensive to maintain than hard coal plants, but their adjacent mines also have huge fixed costs. We estimate very few lignite plants – if any – will have covered all their fixed costs in the first half of 2019, perhaps for the first time ever. Therefore in the longer term the impact of carbon price may be even more consequential for lignite than for hard coal. Governments and investors now have to decide for how long they will continue to support these loss-making utilities.

3. Coal plant closures

Only 3% of coal plants closed in 2018, despite many countries planning to phase-out coal in the coming years. Most of these closures were limited to the UK and Germany, so the rate of closures elsewhere was near-zero.

The only mandated plants closed were German lignite units at Niederaussem and Jaenschwalde, which led to a large reduction of 4TWh of inefficient lignite generation.

The remaining plants broadly closed due to “poor economics”. Government policy plays a critical role in power plant economics. For example, all the following are likely to have played a role in the UK’s Eggborough’s plant closure in 2018:

Knowing retrofit isn’t a viable option because of the UK’s 2025 coal phase-out date
Reduced running due to more wind and solar
A higher carbon price
Tighter power plant emissions standards
Lower capacity payments as new batteries outbid coal in the capacity mechanism
Unfortunately, 2019’s coal collapse is not the ‘new norm’ unless there is a strong policy push

Coal-gas switching has most likely reached its peak. 2019 has likely already seen full coal-gas switching for hard coal, so the economics could only reverse back to more coal again. The biggest concern is that the carbon price is robust to the collapse in coal generation: 35% of EU ETS emissions were from coal power plants in 2018, so more ETS tweaks might be needed to keep carbon price from falling. Having said that, lignite-gas switching hasn’t reached its full potential yet in Germany, so a continued rising carbon price would result in a speedier lignite phase-out.

Wind and solar deployment is not fast enough in key lignite countries. The key lignite countries of Poland, Czechia, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece will not see falling generation unless they speed up wind and solar deployment. Additionally, as electricity consumption begins to rise from electric cars and other electrification, renewables will need to be deployed at double-speed in all countries, to ensure that coal falls at the same historical rate.

Coal plants need to close faster. Only 3% of coal plants closed in 2018. However, big progress is being made behind the scenes in many countries in planning for a coal phase-out. All countries in western Europe have a date by which to phase-out coal, and this is needed also for eastern countries. But many other preparations are also needed:

All stakeholders must work together with workers to ensure a just transition and a speedy transition. If compensation must be paid to close coal plants, it should recognise that these coal plants are unlikely to be profitable today, and likely to be even more-so tomorrow.
Governments need to tilt the playing field away from coal, by tightening air pollution limits, embracing higher carbon pricing, and not subsidising coal through capacity payments. Unsustainable coal-to-biomass conversions continue to be a threat in the future; inefficient coal plants need to be closed not converted to burning trees.
Governments must encourage investment not only into wind and solar, but also electricity storage, interconnectors and demand response, and engage grid operators to speed the phase-out of coal.

So will governments embrace the swing in economics from coal to clean, and accelerate their coal to clean revolution?

How many coal-free days has your country had?
Great Britain_sidebar
Footnote on data quality:

This report is primarily based on data from ENTSO-E, which collects data from national grid operators. Sandbag has curated this data, but this is very hard: ENTSO-E make the data very difficult to collate, and the national grid data supplied is sub-standard. We have done our best to give an accurate picture of the data in the best way possible, but small mistakes will still exist.

Please do access the data yourselves that we have provided, so you can pull out other insights relevant for your line of work. We hope you enjoyed our analysis.

NEW DATA: 2018 ETS emissions fall
NEW DATA: 2018 ETS emissions fall
April 1, 2019

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2019 Best Single Board Computers (Raspberry Pi Alternatives) | All3DP

2019 Best Single Board Computers (Raspberry Pi Alternatives) | All3DP
2019 Best Single Board Computers (Raspberry Pi Alternatives) | All3DP
19-24 minutes

3 months ago

Looking for the best single board computer with even more “oomph” than the Raspberry Pi 4? Check out the best Raspberry Pi alternatives in 2019.

When it comes to single board computers, the Raspberry Pi is the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Sure, it’s not the most powerful, or the most compact, or even the cheapest. But its devotees are legion.

The current version is the Raspberry Pi Model 4 B, released in June 2019. Topline specs are a 1.5GHz 64-bit quad-core processor, Gigabit LAN, Bluetooth 5.0/BLE, and Power-over-Ethernet support (with separate PoE HAT). For the first time, a Raspberry Pi comes with a choice of 1, 2 or 4 GB of RAM.

Read more: Raspberry Pi 4 – Review the Specs

Sounds like a tidy package, right? Retailing for $35, it’s perfect for a variety of DIY projects, whether it’s connecting your 3D printer to a network, or learning to code, or putting together a streaming media hub.

Well, the truth of the matter is, where Raspberry Pi blazed a trail for single board computers, a multitude of imitators followed in its wake. And there’s a sizeable group of people who do need something more powerful, or more compact, or even cheaper.

Without further ado, here’s a selection of the best Raspberry Pi alternatives you can buy in 2019, sorted by price.

2019 Best Single Board Computers (Raspberry Pi Alternatives)
SBC Processor GPU Memory Market Price Check Price
Raspberry Pi Zero W Broadcom BCM2835 (1x ARM1176JZFS core @ 1GHz) VideoCore IV dual-core 512MB SDRAM $10
Onion Omega2Plus 580 MHz MIPS n/a 128 MB $13
Rock64 Media Board Rockchip RK3328 (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.5GHz) Mali-450 MP2 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB DDR3L; empty eMMC slot $25
PocketBeagle Octavo Systems OSD335x SiP with TI Sitara AM3358 (1x Cortex-A8 @ 1GHz) PowerVR SGX530 512MB RAM $25
Arduino Mega 2560 ATmega2560 n/a 256KB Flash ROM $33
Le Potato Amlogic S905X (4x Cortex-A53 @ up to 2GHz) Mali-450 MP2 1GB or 2GB DDR3 RAM; optional 8GB to 64GB eMMC $35
BBC micro:bit ARM Cortex-M0 n/a 256KB Flash ROM, 16KB RAM $37
Pine A64-LTS Allwinner R18 (4x Cortex-A53 cores @ 1.2GHz) Mali-400 MP2 2GB DDR3 RAM; optional up to 128GB eMMC $50
Banana Pi M64 Allwinner A64 (4x Cortex-A53 @ 1.2GHz) Mali-400 MP2 2GB DDR3 RAM; 8GB to 64GB eMMC $61
Odroid-C2 Amlogic S905 (4x Cortex-53 @ up to 1.5GHz) Mali-450 MP2 2GB DDR3 RAM; optional 8GB eMMC $62
Orange Pi Plus2 Allwinner H3 (4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.6GHz) Mali-400 MP2 2GB DDR3 RAM; 8GB eMMC $67
Rock Pi 4 Model B Rockchip RK3399 Mali T860MP4 64bit dual channel LPDDR4@3200Mb/s, 1GB/2GB/4GB optional $70
NanoPC-T3 Plus Samsung S5P6818 (8x Cortex-A53 @ 400MHz to 1.4GHz) Mali-400 MP 2GB DDR3 RAM; 16GB eMMC $75
Odroid-XU4 Samsung Exynos5422 (4x Cortex-A15 @ 2.0GHz and 4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.4GHz) Mali-T628 MP6 2GB LPDDR3 RAM; optional up to 64GB eMMC $85
Asus Tinker Board S Rockchip RK3288 (4x Cortex-A17 @ 1.8GHz) Mali-T760 2GB LPDDR3 RAM $89
LattePanda Intel Cherry Trail Z8350 Quad Core 1.8GHz Intel HD Graphics @200-500 Mhz 2GB DDR3L $119
Minnowboard Turbot Dual Ethernet Intel Atom E38xx Series Gen 7 (4 Execution Units) 2GB DDR3L 1067MT/s, on board $170
BeagleBoard-X15 TI AM5728 2×1.5-GHz ARM Cortex-A15 Dual Core SGX544 , 532 MHz 2GB DDR3L RAM $240
Huawei HiKey 960 Kirin 960 (4 x 2.3GHz ARM A73 cores, and 4 x 1.8GHz ARM A53 cores) ARM Mali G71 MP8 3GB LPDDR4 SDRAM $299

No matching records found.

Image of Best Single Board Computer (Raspberry Pi Alternatives): Raspberry Pi Zero W

Wait, what? The Raspberry Pi Zero W listed as a Raspberry Pi alternative? Yeah, it sounds crazy, but hear us out. For a mere $10, this dinky little RPi is a fantastic option for Internet of Things projects where space is at an absolute premium.

The 65 x 30mm Zero upgrades the same ARM11 processor found on the Raspberry Pi A+ and B+ to 1GHz speed and 512MB RAM. This single board computer ships with a microSD slot, a pair of micro-USB ports, and a mini-HDMI port with audio support.

Plus, it has the same Cypress CYW43438 wireless chip found on the $35 Raspberry Pi 3, providing 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.1 with BLE.

On the downside, this Raspberry Pi alternative missing all the USB ports and audio jacks found on the RPi 2 and 3, through for a little extra you can buy RPi Zero with presoldered headers for enhanced connectivity.

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Image of Best Single Board Computer (Raspberry Pi Alternatives): Onion Omega2Plus

Onion’s Omega2+ is a tiny Linux-based development board. Its outstanding characteristics are its price and size, making it ideal for Internet of Things projects.

The operating system will boot immediately after plugging in the Omega2+, reducing the time to get started. Although the single-board computer consists pretty much of a tiny chip, it offers a 580MHz CPU, 128 MB memory and 32 MB storage, USB 2.0, Wifi and a microSD slot. If you want to expand its functionality, there are several add-on-boards and docks you can buy.

Nevertheless, Omega2+ memory and processor are proportionally smaller and slower. Moreover, the fact that it does not have a mini HDMI port can add up to be a major drawback, especially when comparing it with the cheaper Raspberry Pi Zero.

It is suitable for developers of all skill levels and costs just 13 USD, though, so you might consider it for simple projects or to get hands-on.

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Image of Best Single Board Computer (Raspberry Pi Alternatives): Rock64 Media Board

The Rock64 Media Board comes loaded with a 1.5GHzRockchip RK3328 64-bit quad-core A53 processor and a Mali-450 MP2 GPU. It ships in three configurations offering 1GB ($25), 2GB ($35), and 4GB ($45) of 1600MHz LPDDR3 RAM.

This single board computer has the same form-factor as a Raspberry Pi 4, but the Rockchip is a little bit faster than the Broadcom processor found on the RPi Model 3 B+. Plus, at the same $35 price point you can get double the RAM (whereas the 1GB model is $10 cheaper).

There’s also a bootable eMMC socket alongside the more typical MicroSD, so it’s possible to add 16GB ($14), 32GB ($19), or 64GB ($31) directly to the board.

Another key difference is that this Raspberry Pi alternative has one less USB port, but one of the three is USB 3.0, which you could theoretically with a USB hub. There is also HDMI 2.0 and Gigabit Ethernet support. Unfortunately, the Rock64 doesn’t include wireless functionality, so you’ll have to add a USB dongle. There’s also no DSI (display) and CSI (camera) interfaces, but there is a dedicated power jack and it supports 4K at 60fps.

In terms of operating system support, there’s initially Debian and Yocto Linux with more to follow. Android 7.1 and Android with Kodi 16.1 can also be run.

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Image of Best Single Board Computer (Raspberry Pi Alternatives): PocketBeagle

ThePocketBeagle is a single board computer from BeagleBone, which just about qualifies as a Raspberry Pi alternative thanks to its microSD slot and micro-USB port.

This tiny titan is built around an Octavo Systems OSD3358 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 and integrated 512MB DDR3 RAM. It’s about 56 x 35mm big, about the same size as the equally minimalist Raspberry Pi Zero.

The idea is that you can plug this Raspberry Pi alternative into a laptop like a USB key-fob. From there, you can program the device using a web browser that provides access to the Linux command-line and text editor.

The PocketBeagle costs $37, which is substantially more than a RPi Zero for similar specs, but it’s about the same price than a full-sized RPi3.

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Image of Best Single Board Computer (Raspberry Pi Alternatives): Arduino Mega 2560

It often gets confused with the Raspberry Pi, due to their shared roots in budget hardware and STEM education, but they are not the same.

An Arduino is based around microcontrollers, whereas a Raspberry Pi is based around a microprocessor connected to on-board RAM and other features.

While both boards can control electronics attached to their pins, the Pi is also capable of being used as a full desktop computer. Conversely, the Arduino is easier to use when building electronic prototypes, and also to swap out for a new microcontroller in the final product.

Indeed, beating at the heart of the vast majority of desktop 3D printers — the fused deposition modeling kind, at any rate — is a thing called a RAMBo. This is not a bandana-wearing paragon of American military virtue, but an acronym for RepRap Arduino-compatible Mother Board.

So the question is, what’s the right tool for your project? If it’s being used to power something like a robot, a NERF gun turret or a 3D printer, then the Arduino is a suitable Raspberry Pi alternative.

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Image of Best Single Board Computer (Raspberry Pi Alternatives): Le Potato

This $45 single board computer is equipped with a quad-core A53 S905X up to 2GHz, with a Mali-450 MP2 GPU, 2GB DDR3 RAM and an optional 8GB to 64GB eMMC. Le Potato has the same size, port layout, and basic feature set as a Raspberry Pi 3, including 4x USB host ports, Fast Ethernet, and 40-pin expansion, but there’s no WiFi or Bluetooth.

On the plus side, the HDMI port of this Raspberry Pi alternative is 2.0 with 4K support. The board ships with schematics and source code for Linux 4.14 LTS, Buildroot with Linux 4.9, Armbian Debian and Ubuntu, LibreELEC 9, and Android builds up to 8.0 (Oreo).

Want more? Soon, manufacturer Libre Computer will launch “La Frite”, which will sport even more computer power – stay tuned.

Libre Computer Board AML-S905X-CC (Le Potato)

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Image of Best Single Board Computer (Raspberry Pi Alternatives): BBC micro:bit

The BBC micro:bit is a bare-bones micro-controller with a pedigree that goes all the way back to the 1980s. It takes its name from the original BBC Micro, an 8-bit home computer that, for many schoolkids in the UK, was their very first experience of computer programming.

Continuing this educational legacy, the BBC micro:bit is a $20 device with an ARM Cortex-M0 processor, accelerometer and magnetometer sensors, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, a display consisting of 25 LEDs, and two programmable buttons. This Raspberry Pi alternative can be powered by either USB or an external battery pack.

In technical terms, it’s nowhere near as powerful or as versatile as other single board computers on this list. But as a low-cost, accessible introduction to coding and other basic projects, the BBC micro:bit is a fantastic Raspberry Pi alternative. Indeed, the two can be paired to work together.

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Image of Best Single Board Computer (Raspberry Pi Alternatives): Pine A64-LTS

The Pine A64-LTS is a $32 Raspberry Pi alternative with microSD, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, audio jack, dual USB 2.0, and micro-USB ports. This single board computer is 127 x 79mm and has a Pi-compatible 40-pin connector and a 14-pin Euler connector.

The topline tech specs are a quad-core ARM Cortex A53 1.2GHz 64-bit processor with and Mali-400 MP2 GPU and 2GB RAM system memory. There is also an optional eMMC module of up to 128GB and microSD booting capability. But perhaps the most important feature is the LTS moniker, with translates to Long Term Support guaranteed for five years.

Linux distros it can support include Android 6.0/7.1, Remix OS 2.0, Debian Jesse Mate, and Ubuntu Mate 16.04. The boards are further compatible with openSUSE, Armbian, Arch, Fedora, Gentoo, and more.

Pine64 has also launched an open source Pinebook laptop based on the same A64 processor, which sells for $89 (11.6-inch) or $99 (14-inch).

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Image of Best Single Board Computer (Raspberry Pi Alternatives): Banana Pi M64

The Banana Pi M64 is a single board computer with a quad-core Allwinner A64 1.2GHz CPU, plus Mali-400 MP2 GPU, 2GB RAM and 8GB eMMC. Inside this Raspberry Pi alternative you have 4K-ready HDMI, MIPI-DSI, and MIPI-CSI, as well as onboard wireless and Gigabit Ethernet connections. The 92 x 60mm board also has a trio of USB host ports, a micro-USB, and an RPi compatible 40-pin connector. It currently retails for $60.

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Image of Best Single Board Computer (Raspberry Pi Alternatives): Odroid-C2

The Odroid-C2 has the same 85 x 56mm size and layout as the Raspberry Pi 4, but raises the technical specs to a Amlogic ARM Cortex-A53 1.5Ghz quad core CPU and Mali-450 GPU.

Elsewhere, the Odroid-C2 has 2GB RAM, and storage options go up to 64GB eMMC or a 16GB microSD card. This Raspberry Pi alternative can output 4K @ 60Hz video, and has gigabit ethernet and HDMI ports, four USB ports, and a 40-pin RPi connector.

Images are available for Android 6.0 Marshmallow or Ubuntu 16.04, based on a Linux 3.14 LTS kernel. Popular applications like Retropie are supported too.

Taken together, the specs of this single board computer are considerably greater than the RPi. But for some strange reason there’s no WiFi or Bluetooth onboard, and the price is higher at $46. Occupying one of the USB ports with a WiFi or Bluetooth dongle jacks up the inconvenience a little bit more.

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Image of Best Single Board Computer (Raspberry Pi Alternatives): Orange Pi Plus2

The Orange Pi Plus2 is a Raspberry Pi alternative that can run distributions such as Lubuntu, Raspbian, and Android on a quad-core, 1.6GHz Allwinner H3. This 108 x 67mm single board computer also has a Mali-400 MP2 GPU and 2GB DDR3 RAM plus 8GB eMMC. It also has an RPi-compatible 40-pin connector, plus four USB host ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and WiFi. The Orange Pi Plus2 is further equipped with micro-USB, microSD, SATA, HDMI, CVBS, and CSI connections.

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Image of Best Single Board Computer (Raspberry Pi Alternatives): Rock Pi 4 Model B

The Rock Pi 4 came to market in late 2018.

The single-board computer is powered by a 64bit Hexacore RK3399 processor. Graphics are handled by a MaliT860MP4 GPU, RAM storage can be expanded up to 128 Gigabyte. Rock Pi’s multiple storage options provide a superior read and write performance on external storage drives, allowing quicker read and write speeds; which results in improved workflows and ultimate file usage efficiency.

The measurements, layout, and design are exactly the same. Like with the Raspberry P, there are two models available, a Model A and a Model B.Prices start from $39 for the 1GB RAM variant, making it an interesting alternative to the Raspberry Pi.

If you are into Artificial Intelligence, the Rock Pi also supports stacking with GPU acceleration. Dedicated Machine Learning algorithms are announced for an upcoming version.

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Image of Best Single Board Computer (Raspberry Pi Alternatives): NanoPC-T3 Plus

The NanoPC-T3 Plus is capable of delivering extra computing punch. The single board computer comes with an octa-core Samsung S5P6818 1.4GHz CPU, a Mali-400 MP GPU, 2GB DDR3 RAM and 16GB eMMC. This Raspberry Pi alternative measures 100 x 64 x 11.8mm and has 3 x USB 2.0 ports. It has WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and a Gigabit Ethernet port, as well as microSD and micro-USB client connections.

Media-friendly ports include HDMI, LVDS, LCD, MIPI-DSI, MIPI-CSI, and audio. In place of the 40-pin RPi connector, the NanoPC-T3 Plus provides a 30-pin GPIO header. OS supports includes Android, Debian, and the Ubuntu Core 16.04 based FriendlyCore. It currently retails for $75.

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Image of Best Single Board Computer (Raspberry Pi Alternatives): Odroid-XU4

The Odroid-XU4 is a next generation single board computer with more powerful, more energy-efficient hardware. Tellingly, it chooses to abandon copying the RPi dimensions for a marginally smaller form-factor.

This Raspberry Pi alternative boasts a Samsung Exynos 5422 (4x Cortex-A15 @ 2.0GHz and 4x Cortex-A7 @ 1.4GHz) CPU, combined with a Mali-T628 MP6 GPU and 2GB RAM. It can run various flavors of Linux, including the latest versions of Ubuntu and Android (4.4 KitKat, 5.0 Lollipop and 7.1 Nougat).

Thanks to the eMMC 5.0, USB 3.0, and Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, the ODROID-XU4 has blazing fast data transfer speeds. To the general user, this equates to faster bootup, web browsing, networking, and even 3D gaming. The price is $59, but it’s still missing the WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity – they are available only as USB-dongles.

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Image of Best Single Board Computer (Raspberry Pi Alternatives): Asus Tinker Board S

The Tinker Board S is the second iteration of a single board computer by Asus, a major PC manufacturer.

Immediately obvious is that it has the exact same size, layout, feature set, and 40-pin connector as a standard Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+. That means the Tinker Board S can function as a drop-in replacement for any fruity computers you already have in circulation. But why would you want to do that?

That brings us to the second point, which concerns the specs. While an RPi is substantially cheaper, the Tinker Board S has a faster — albeit still 32-bit — processor, the Rockchip RK3288 (4x Cortex-A17 @ 1.8GHz). It also has a more powerful Mali T760 GPU, 2GB RAM, and Gigabit Ethernet instead of Fast Ethernet.

This Raspberry Pi alternative also has 16GB of built-in eMMC memory and supports upscaled 4K/30fps playback. Other features include WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, and 4x USB 2.0 ports, plus microSD, micro-USB, and HDMI interfaces. Oh, and something called a smart audio jack that provides S/PDIF for digital audio rates up to 24Bit/192kHz (but you can still hook it up to your stereo).

A growing community site has a forum and other resources to get you started. In addition to TinkerOS, a fork of Debian Linux, there are images for Android and Armbian, plus emerging support from applications like Retropie and Volumio.

Ah, but there’s a catch. Isn’t there always? The Tinker Board S has a suggested retail price of $89, though the older Tinker Board (which omits the 16GB eMMC) can be found for as low as $50.

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Image of Best Single Board Computer (Raspberry Pi Alternatives): LattePanda

Latte Panda occupies a unique position as a Raspberry Pi alternative; it’s the first single board computer to run a full version of Windows 10, which comes preinstalled. To make such a thing possible, it boasts an Intel Atom Cherry Trail Z8300 Quad Core 1.8GHz processor with 2GB DDR3 RAM and Intel HD Graphics GPU.

It also has three USB ports, integrated WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0, and an Arduino-compatible co-processor that allows it to be used as an Arduino board to control electronics attached to its 20 GPIO pins. Elsewhere, there’s support for HDMI and Fast Ethernet, and a microSD slot that supports up to 32 GB storage.

Reports on usage are that the LattePanda tends to run rather hot, so you’ll need to investigate a cooling solution to avoid throttling of the CPU. Also, it’s rather expensive at $119. For that price, you could buy 12 Raspberry Pi Zero W units and rack ’em up in a processing cluster.

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Image of Best Single Board Computer (Raspberry Pi Alternatives): Minnowboard Turbot Dual Ethernet

The Minnowboard is a compact open-source hardware platform, which runs with a 64-bit Intel Atom E38xx Series System on a Chip (SoC), with dual- and even a quad-core version available.

As compared to its previous version MinnowBoard MAX, the Turbot version integrates Intel HD graphics with open source hardware accelerated drivers for Linux. Moreover, it offers increased connectivity devices with UARTs and USB 3.0, SATA an PCI Express.

The High-Performance graphics, given to the Intel 7th generation HD graphics and the Four execution units, make it stand out from the RPi. Additionally, the two Ethernet ports distinguish it on the market, plus its broad OS coverage, which includes Windows 10, Android and Linux distributions like Ubuntu, amongst others.

Nevertheless, its suggested retail price is as high as $175. Minnowboard was thought for intermediate and professional developers, so some expertise might be required to get along with this board. This is not the machine if you just want to play retro-games. If you are a developer looking for connectivity, performance, and graphics, this is a safe way to go.

Minnowboard Turbot Dual Ethernet

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Image of Best Single Board Computer (Raspberry Pi Alternatives): BeagleBoard-X15

Most single-board computers don‘t offer much punch… but this little machine does.

The BeagleBoard-X15 has 2GB DDR3 RAM, 4GB 8-bit eMMC onboard flash storage, 2D/3D graphics and video accelerator (GPUs), 2 ARM Cortex M4 microcontrollers and 4 32-bit programmable real-time units.

It offers software compatibility including Debian, Android, Ubuntu and Cloud IDE on Node .js. As for the connectivity, 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports, 3 Super Speed USB 3.0host and full-sized HDMI video output make it an almost unbeatable competitor.

Unfortunately, this will set you back a whooping $239. In case you are looking for that kind of power, this single-board computer will have your back.

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Image of Best Single Board Computer (Raspberry Pi Alternatives): Huawei HiKey 960

TheHuawei HiKey 960 is a single board computer that can run either Android or Linux operating systems. The intriguing thing about this Raspberry Pi alternative is that it boasts the same chip as the Huawei Mate 9, one if Huawei’s best-performing smartphones.

It has a Kirin 960 SoC Quad Core ARM chip (4 x 2.3GHz ARM A73 cores, and 4 x 1.8GHz ARM A53 cores). There’s 3GB RAM, and the Mali G71 MP8 GPU has enough throughout to power a 4K screen. Other hardware features include 40-pin and 60-pin connectors for attaching cameras, cooling fans, and more.

Alas, while this single board computer is something of a pocket powerhouse, the recommended retail price is a stonking $299. To procure one entails a kick to the wallet like a donkey with a sore tooth.

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License: The text of “2019 Best Single Board Computers (Raspberry Pi Alternatives)” by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Philips PicoPix Max – 1080p Full HD Pico Projector

Philips PicoPix Max – 1080p Full HD Pico Projector

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Philips PicoPix Max – 1080p Full HD Pico Projector
The smart & fully wireless native Full HD projector with ultra-vivid picture made for use anywhere.

Philips Projection
1 Campaign | Tolochenaz, Switzerland
€4,767,251 EUR10,863 backers
9534% of €50,000
Flexible Goal
9 days left


Indiegogo Team Favorites
From Philips comes a premium, portable, cinematic experience. Revolutionary new DLP technology that provides a sharper, more crisp image in native Full HD, PicoPix Max delivers a stunning viewing experience with superior brightness that you can enjoy at home or on the go.

– Native Full HD
– Cast up to 120”
– Wi-Fi / Bluetooth
– USB-C (video+power), MicroSD, HDMI
– Up to 3 Hrs of Battery Life
– 16GB Memory
– Built-In Speakers
– Supports Netflix, Youtube, Kodi, and 4000+ Android Apps

The smart & completely wireless native Full HD pico projector
with ultra-vivid picture made for use anywhere.

Expand your favorite film, or even just your favorite cat video, to epic proportions with crisp picture, smooth motion and vivid colors tuned by cinema experts.

Rated to last 30,000 hours at up to 800 ANSI Color Lumens, the PicoPix Max LED light source will display amazing, vivid picture for years to come.

With 16GB of internal memory and a battery that lasts for up to 3 hours, all you need is your Philips PicoPix Max. No phone or laptop needed.

Easily throw the Philips PicoPix Max into your bag or a pocket for every adventure.

Easily control apps and games with the built-in
touchpad for a perfect on-the-go experience.

Download your favorite apps directly from the Philips Store for on the go use.
Easily navigate in the brand new PHILIPS user interface.

The ExpressVPN app will be preloaded on your PicoPix Max so you can navigate safely and connect seamlessly, even when traveling abroad or using public WiFi. See more about this in our FAQ!

There’s no fuss, no muss, just the perfect picture.

The PicoPix Max automatically straightens for a clear, perfectly-angled
project no matter the surface it’s on.

Using an internal camera just below the projector’s lens, PicoPix Max adjusts the projection instantly for that perfectly-clear picture every time.

Easily shrink your projection without moving the PicoPix Max.

Modify the aspect ratio of each of the projection’s four corners for a perfectly straight image, or adjust it to your viewing pleasure!

Just like being at the Big Screen! Adjust PicoPix Max’s distance from your wall or screen to increase your picture’s size up to 120″.

The USB Type-C ports deliver fast data, audio, video and quick charging!
Extend the built-in sound through Bluetooth speakers, or mirror
your laptop for an amazing second screen.

The PicoPix Max may have an Android OS operating system, but that doesn’t limit its compatibility. Connect any and all of your favorite Apple devices via USB-C.

For an immersive, on-the-go gaming experience, plug in your favorite console via HDMI. Use a Bluetooth gamepad to elevate your gaming experience.

PicoPix Max comes equipped with built-in dual stereo speakers
to help put you in the center of your cinematic experience.

Go big and wirelessly casts your screen directly from any Android,
iOS, Windows or MacOS device!

Our LED bulbs are rated to last 30,000 hours⁠ – that’s over 40 years
of usage if you watched one movie per day.

If you don’t want to leave your seat to use the touchscreen navigation,
just grab the PicoPix Max AirMote for distant control.

Get all the specs you’re looking for at a price that won’t break the bank.
That’s right – A picture the size of your wall from a projector the size of
your pocket for a price the size of your wallet.

We are Philips and for over 125 years, we have been improving people’s lives with a steady flow of ground-breaking innovations.
We build products for those who believe that what makes technology smart is what you can do with it rather than what it can do. We do this by combining our design expertise and innovative Philips heritage as well as democratizing innovation that makes sense to consumers giving access to technologies that enables people to do more, watch more, and enjoy more. With these combined strengths, we bring premium award-winning Projectors to the market: caring, innovative, easy to use, and impactful.
Whether you are a value seeker, a freedom lover or a cinema addict, we bring you the real emotions to emphasis, enlighten and supersize your content to bring you the best experience you deserve.


We are able to ship worldwide! VAT and GST not included in perk pre-order price and will be determined by country on delivery. Backers are responsible for these costs (VAT, GST, duties, taxes, etc) on delivery. Shipping costs vary by country; please see reward for details on the shipping cost that applies to you.

We plan to ship starting in November 2019*. We will keep you up to date on our progress and the expected delivery date of your order.
*Actual ship dates may vary. We will keep you notified of your product ship date.

By backing now, you’ll get to own one of the very first products off of the line, plus exclusive access to provide valuable feedback that will shape future generations of the product.

Looking for more information? Check the project FAQ
Let us know if you think this campaign contains prohibited content.
Select a perk

Philips PicoPix Max
€439 EUR €899 (51% OFF)
Estimated Shipping
November 2019
Only 7 left
Ships worldwide.

Philips PicoPix Max – 2 Pack
€878 EUR €1,798 (51% OFF)
Estimated Shipping
November 2019
10 out of 20 claimed
Ships worldwide.
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AMD Radeon RX Vega 11

AMD Radeon RX Vega 11




Oct 6th, 2019 11:28 CEST change timezone
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AMD Radeon RX Vega 11




System Shared

System Shared

System Shared
Recommended Resolutions:
640×480 1280×720 1366×768 1600×900 1920×1080 2560×1440 3840×2160
The Radeon RX Vega 11 is an integrated graphics solution by AMD, launched in February 2018. Built on the 14 nm process, and based on the Raven graphics processor, the device supports DirectX 12.0. It features 704 shading units, 44 texture mapping units and 8 ROPs. The GPU is operating at a frequency of 300 MHz, which can be boosted up to 1240 MHz.
Its power draw is rated at 65 W maximum.
Graphics Processor
GPU Name
GCN 5.0
Process Size
14 nm
4,940 million
Die Size
210 mm²
Graphics Card
Release Date
Feb 13th, 2018
Raven Ridge
Bus Interface
Relative Performance
GeForce 210
GeForce 9400 GT
Radeon HD 4550
Radeon HD 5450
Radeon HD 6450
GeForce GT 520
GeForce GT 220
GeForce GT 430
Radeon HD 5570
Radeon HD 4670
GeForce GT 440
GeForce GT 240
GeForce 9600 GT
Radeon HD 5670
GeForce GT 640
GeForce 9800 GT
Radeon HD 6670
Radeon HD 4830
Radeon HD 4770
Radeon HD 4850
GeForce GTS 250
GeForce GTS 450
Radeon HD 5750
Radeon HD 7750
Radeon HD 5770
GeForce GTX 260
Radeon HD 4870
Radeon Vega 8
GeForce GTX 550 Ti
GeForce GTX 650
Radeon HD 5830
Radeon HD 6790
Radeon HD 4890
GeForce GTX 460
Radeon RX Vega 11
GeForce GT 1030
GeForce GTX 275
Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition
GeForce GTX 280
GeForce GTX 465
Radeon HD 6850
GeForce GTX 285
Radeon HD 5850
GeForce GTX 650 Ti
Radeon HD 7790
Radeon RX 550
GeForce GTX 470
Radeon HD 6870
Radeon HD 5870
GeForce GTX 560 Ti
Radeon HD 4870 X2
GeForce GTX 750 Ti
Radeon HD 6950
GeForce GTX 295
GeForce GTX 650 Ti Boost
Radeon HD 7850
GeForce GTX 480
Radeon HD 6970
Radeon R7 265
Radeon RX 460
Radeon R7 370
GeForce GTX 660
GeForce GTX 570
Radeon RX 560
GeForce GTX 950
Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition
Radeon R9 270X
GeForce GTX 660 Ti
GeForce GTX 580
GeForce GTX 1050
Radeon HD 7950
Radeon HD 5970
GeForce GTX 760
GeForce GTX 670
GeForce GTX 960
Radeon R9 380
Radeon R9 285
Radeon HD 7970
GeForce GTX 680
GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
GeForce GTX 770
Radeon HD 6990
Radeon R9 280X
GeForce GTX 590
Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition
GeForce GTX 780
GeForce GTX 1650
Radeon RX 470
Radeon R9 290
Radeon RX 570
Radeon R9 390
Radeon R9 290X
GeForce GTX 970
GeForce GTX 780 Ti
Radeon R9 390X
Radeon HD 7990
Radeon RX 480
GeForce GTX 690
Radeon RX 580
GeForce GTX 980
Radeon R9 FURY
GeForce GTX 1060 6 GB
Radeon RX 590
Radeon R9 295X2
GeForce GTX 1660
Radeon R9 FURY X
GeForce GTX 980 Ti
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
GeForce GTX 1070
Radeon RX Vega 56
GeForce GTX 1070 Ti
Radeon RX Vega 64
GeForce GTX 1080
GeForce RTX 2060
Radeon RX 5700
GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER
GeForce RTX 2070
Radeon RX 5700 XT
Radeon VII
TITAN X Pascal
GeForce GTX 1080 Ti
GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER
GeForce RTX 2080
GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER
GeForce RTX 2080 Ti
Based on TPU review data: “Performance Summary” at 1920×1080
Clock Speeds
Base Clock
300 MHz
Boost Clock
1240 MHz
Memory Clock
System Shared
Memory Size
System Shared
Memory Type
System Shared
Memory Bus
System Shared
System Dependent
Render Config
Shading Units
Compute Units
Theoretical Performance
Pixel Rate
9.920 GPixel/s
Texture Rate
54.56 GTexel/s
FP16 (half) performance
3.492 TFLOPS (2:1)
FP32 (float) performance
1.746 TFLOPS
FP64 (double) performance
109.1 GFLOPS (1:16)
Board Design
Slot Width
65 W
No outputs
Power Connectors
Graphics Features
12.0 (12_1)
Shader Model
Card Notes
Ryzen 5 2400G
Raven GPU Notes
Architecture Codename: Arctic Islands
CLRX Version: GCN 1.4
Graphics/Compute: GFX9 (gfx902) / (gfx903)
Display Core Next: 1.0
Video Core Next: 1.0
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