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ODROID-H2 Review – Part 2: Ubuntu 19.04

After many months of delays on account of Intel not mass-producing Gemini Lake processors, Hardkernel started promoting ODROID-H2 once more, more exactly ODROID-H2 Rev. B, and the top of final month, and the company despatched me a full package for evaluation. You possibly can take a look at ODROID-H Rev. B with Sort Three case and the meeting directions within the first part of the evaluation.

I’ve now had time to play with the board utilizing the pre-installed Ubuntu 19.04 operating methods so I’ll report my experience in this second half. Observe that ODROID-H2 doesn’t depend on a customized model of Ubuntu, and as an alternative you’ll be able to obtain and flash Ubuntu 18.04 or 19.04 ISO immediately from Ubuntu website.

First Boot and System Info

I had already related two SATA drives inside the enclosure, one SSD and one HDD, but earlier than booting the system I related an HDMI cable, one Ethernet cable, USB keyboard & mouse, in addition to the facility supply. The board booted mechanically once I related the facility supply the first time, but later one, you’ll have to press the facility button to start out it up. I point out this, as while Hardkernel informed me they’d add the LED power button to be positioned in the spherical hole shown within the prime photograph, I was unable to seek out it in the package deal. Meaning I had to use a pair of tweezers to press the small power push button on the board itself.

odroid h2 ubuntu 19.04

However aside from this small element, the whole lot works properly. I also run the standard upgrade command to ensure I had the very latest version of the OS:

You’ll be able to take a look at the complete boot log, as nicely some system info under:

Ubuntu 19.04 with Linux 5.Zero, the 32GB eMMC flash has a root partition with 19GB free, and 7.6GB RAM is detected with 1.Three GB swap enabled as nicely. Some individuals might think about enabling ZRAM for better performance in case your system swaps typically.

The two inner SATA drives and their partition are correctly detected, however as we will see from the df command above they didn’t mount routinely.

So simply launched DISKS to mount all three partition manually, and subsequent time (which means next reboot) they’d additionally simply mount routinely. The photograph under exhibits the eMMC flash module is detected as an SD card reader.

ODROID H2 eMMC Flash Ubuntu disksClick to Enlarge

Consumer Experience with ODROID-H2 Rev.B

As normal, I examined a few of the supported features of Ubuntu 19.04 on the board to see how properly it might work as a desktop machine:

  • Multi-tasking – Launch Firefox, Thunderbird, LibreOffice Write and Gimp in sequence from a chilly boot
  • Net searching with Firefox and Chromium – Opening multiple tabs, Youtube 1080p, 1440p, and 2160p (4K), Candy Crush Saga in Facebook, and WebGL demos: Quake + Aquarium
  • H.264, H.265, and VP9 Video Playback in Kodi 18.3 and VLC from USB 3.Zero exhausting drive
  • Workplace purposes – Open odt “word” file in LibreOffice, open giant PDF (ODROID Journal 2018) in Evince

With a fast eMMC flash and 8GB of memory, all 4 packages virtually launched instantly, and multi-tab net searching works very nicely. I installed h264ify plugin in Firefox because YouTube will default to VP9 which doesn’t play smoothly. Once I first tried I might play 1080p videos just nice with AVC, however while capturing the video evaluation (see under) it was restricted to 720p with AV1 codec solely. I change to Chrome with out h264ify to point out how 4K (2160p) movies wouldn’t play very easily.  At 1440p decision video playback is  acceptable.

Sweet Crush Saga took some time to load as typical, and audio cuts might be heard when a degree is loading, but not such drawback throughout playback. WebGL demos labored superb by at a quite low 12 to 15 fps. It’s nonetheless better than on most Arm platforms that always fail to load some WebGL demo on account of using OpenGL ES as an alternative of OpenGL on PC based mostly hardware.

I performed numerous 4K movies in VLC they usually all performed high-quality besides some stuttering originally, and 10-bit H.264 shouldn’t be supported (black display). This was achieved with video output set to 1080p60 nevertheless. So I switched to 3840×2160 resolution that’s limited to 30 fps over HDMI. Should you’d like 4K 60 fps, the DisplayPort output ought to work. I played the 4K videos again, they usually weren’t very clean. Later I observed the show was mechanically set back to 23.98 Hz, so which will clarify since all tested videos have been either 30 and 60 fps. I switched to Kodi 18.Three to see if I might get any enchancment, and the outcomes have been equally disappointing. I set routinely fee switching in Kodi, however it didn’t seem to work. H.265, H.264, and VP9 movies have been decoded with hardware video decoding in Kodi, so I think the primary problem is the output body price, and going with DisplayPort should improve the results.

You possibly can checkout by yourself within the video under.

ODROID-H2 Benchmarks

3D graphics

I’ve additionally run some benchmarks beginning with glmark2 using 1920×1080 decision:

ODROID H2 glmark2Click on to Enlarge

ODROID-H2 received 1,091 factors in glmark2. I’m unsure if this may be compared to glmark2-es2 scores I often get on Arm platforms, and are highly variable relying on settings. For reference, an Nvidia Jetson TX2 board achieved 1,218 factors on Ubuntu 16.04 on the similar resolution (1920×1080) in line with results posted on OpenBenchmarking.

SBC Bench

I then switched to sbc-bench that’s principally useful for server workloads (versus desktop workloads):

I acquired some error messages while monitoring CPU frequency:

It seems in Ubuntu 19.04 at the very least, /sys/units/system/cpu/cpufreq/policy0/scaling_cur_freq is predicted as an alternative, so I modified the code in line 180 of the script to take away “cpufreq/” from the string as a fast repair, and began the benchmark again:

The numbers I obtained for ODROID-H2 are somewhat lower than those reported for the board in SBC Bench results web page, despite no throttling being detected. Swap was used only 5MB, and %iowait was at 0.21, so I doubt it has much of an effect.

Beside testing the efficiency, sbc-bench script can also be very useful to watch the temperature and frequency during operation. Probably the most demanding activity, cpuminer, made the processor go as much as 84°C, or somewhat over 20°C from the junction temperature (105°C) of the Pentium J4150 processor. The heatsink does a great job of retaining all the things cool, and the fan does not look like needed.


I additionally repeated the other benchmarks I used for ODROID-XU4 assessment with  Ubuntu 18.04. Both boards ought to serve totally different functions, however since each are made by Hardkernel, and ODROID-H2 prices over twice as a lot I assumed it’d be fun to match the outcomes to see for those who’d get at the least twice the performance.

Whereas I built Linux for ODROID-XU4 natively within the board, I cross-compiled Linux for ODROID-XU4 in the EXT-Four partition of the SSD related to ODROID-H2:

Results for ODROID-XU4Q:

It took 25 minutes and 48 seconds to cross-compile on ODROID-H2, whereas ODROID-XU4 did the identical in 38 minutes and 47 seconds. A lot quicker, but not quite twice as fast. Observe that the code base may have changed slightly since Might 2018 once I did ODROID-XU4Q evaluate.

I tested software program transcoding with ffmpeg/avconv converting and MPEG4 video to H.264:

ODROID-H2 took 36.952 seconds to finish the duties, while ODROID-XU4Q did so in 1m34.676s. Superior SSE & AVX instructions on the Intel processor doubtless helped quite a bit here. Additionally word the video is 45 seconds long, so Celeron J4105 SBC can handle real-time Full HD transcoding, while the Exynos 5422 board can’t.

Storage Benchmarks

I put in iozone to guage storage performance:

Beginning with the 32GB eMMC flash module:

Round 321 MB/s sequential learn, 108 MB/s sequential write, and wonderful random I/O numbers as properly.

I then tested the 120GB CHUANG JIU SSD that I obtained with CubieTruck package,  and related over SATA (EXT-4 partition):

Whereas not excellent, learn (242MB/s) and writes (152 MB/s) speeds are OK  with the limiting issue doubtless being the cheap SSD here. For some causes, rewrites are terrible with 16Okay. Once more, no points with random I/O.

Finally, I checked the USB Three.Zero onerous drive to checkout nothing dangerous occurred over USB Three.Zero utilizing the EXT-Four partition (sequential learn/write only):

About 91MB/s write and 92 MB/s which is roughly what I’d anticipate from this mechanical drive.


For those who’ve checked out the kernel log output much earlier in the submit, you’ll see Ethernet related at 100Mbps Ethernet. That because I’ve several Ethernet cables which are solely good for 100Mbps. After altering the Ethernet cable to a better one, I had no troubles and received a correct Gigabit Ethernet connection.

Wonderful, probably the greatest outcome I’ve ever gotten with this check.

Gigabit Ethernet just works as it should.

A take a look at I/Os and RTC

Many Intel SBCs don’t expose any I/O header for enlargement in any respect, but ODROID-H2 does better in that respect with a 20-pin connector exposing a number of I2C and UART ports. There’s additionally an choice 16-port GPIO extender that connects to I2C.

I don’t have the latter, however I just shortly had a take a look at I2C by installing I2C instruments:

We will run the next command line to seek out out more.

The user-accessible I2C interfaces are on port 5 and 6, and properly detected.

It’s additionally potential to make use of UART. I haven’t finished it as a consequence of time contraints, however as explained within the wiki, you can ship instructions over /dev/ttyS0 or /dev/ttyS1 units, as well as use RTS/CTS pins as GPIOs.

My package included an RTC battery as properly, so I ran the standard hwclock command to ensure I might learn the time from the RTC:

I additionally disconnect the Ethernet to be able to remove any connection to the Web and rebooted the board. The time and date have been nonetheless right, as one would anticipate from any PC hardware.

Last phrases

General I’m glad with my experience with ODROID-H2 operating Ubuntu 19.04, most issues I tested labored nicely, and performance was roughly as anticipated for a Gemini Lake platform. Cooling works properly with the bigger heatsink offered and I did not expertise any throttling. HDMI is restricted to 4K @ 30 Hz, so relying in your video library it will not be suitable as a 4K HTPC. DisplayPort should help 4K @ 60Hz nevertheless.

Hardkernel doesn’t customise the software program for the board, which means you possibly can simply obtain and install ISO from Ubuntu or different Linux distribution web site. You can also set up Windows 10 in case you please, so in a way, it’s identical to any Gemini Lake mini PC. Some great benefits of ODROID-H2 are principally when it comes to help with the Wiki, group forum, and the various equipment that can help you customize your board. For instance, the Sort 3 case I acquired makes it a superb platform for a simple NAS with two 2.5″ SATA drives and might be used as a gateway/firewall/router because of the 2 Gigabit Ethernet ports and USB expansions out there.

Worth can also be reasonably priced, with the package I acquired going for $215.70 plus delivery. This included the $111 SBC, 8GB DDR4 reminiscence, a 32GB eMMC flash, 15V/4A energy provide, Sort Three enclosure, SATA cables, RTC battery, and the fan. As talked about in the publish, you’ll doubtless need to add $Four.90 to get the LED energy button to you order, until you’re positive with booting it up with a toothpick or a pair of tweezers.

ODROID-H2 and its equipment may be bought immediately on Hardkernel, or one of the distributors corresponding to Ameridroid. I’ll take the chance to remind readers that we now have a number of coupons for Ameridroid, including CNXSUPPORTER10 that may shave off $10 of purchases, which means ODROID-H2 may be had for $101.95.