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Rock64 aarch64 development board

July 27, 2018 — BarryK

I posted yesterday about creating an aarch64 (64-bit ARM) Quirky Linux for the Raspberry Pi3 Model B. Works great, and I compiled some packages. Then I made the mistake of trying to compile SeaMonkey...

The setup is the Pi3 with usb 1TB hard drive (works on usb2, no external power adaptor), with the SM source on the hard drive. The hard drive also has a 9GB swap partition.

Note, I used to get the low-voltage warning with my Pi, so I now use a 5V 6A regulated supply, purchased from Hard Kernel -- frustrating, I still sometimes get the low-voltage warning!

Started the compile, about 20 hours later it was still going. I would jiggle the mouse occasionally to wake up the screen and view progress, however, at the 21 hour mark, jiggling did not wake the screen, nor any key presses.

However, the hard drive activity light was flashing, so I waited. At the 36 hour point, no change, hard drive light still flashing, so gave up, unplugged the power.

I need an aarch64 dev board with a bit more grunt, and cheap. Hunted around, and chose the Rock64, with 4GB RAM:

It has a eMMC socket, which apparently is compatible with those from Hard Kernel (the Odroid boards). I have a 64GB eMMC for my Odroid XU4, so save an extra expense. Note, the Odroid XU4 is, unfortunately, only 32-bit.


The Rock64 is reviewed here:

The board made its first appearance mid-2017. There is an update scheduled for manufacture sometime around June/July 2018, with various improvements, including a RTC (Real Time Clock) with terminals to attach a battery -- have no info whether I will be getting the new one or not.

There is also a RockPro64, which is very impressive, however, I decided the Rock64 will do what I want.

Reading customer feedback from here and there, some reports of bad RAM. We shall see. Just putting my "toe in the water" with this manufacturer, and will report back after some hands-on.

I paid US$74.42, including the Rock64 4GB-variant, clear acrylic case, international power supply, stick-on heatsink, and postage to Australia.

Note, there is a metal case, not yet available, that looks like cast alloy from the photos, and it will act as heatsink for the CPU and RAM chips.

Tags: tech