[LAU] Small instrument hardware module

Patrick Shirkey pshirkey at boosthardware.com
Tue Oct 21 10:46:08 UTC 2014

On Tue, October 21, 2014 8:48 pm, Jeremy Jongepier wrote:
> On 10/20/2014 05:10 PM, Patrick Shirkey wrote:
>> On Mon, October 20, 2014 10:59 pm, Jeremy Jongepier wrote:
>>> On 10/20/2014 11:34 AM, Atte wrote:
>>>> Dunno about jack, but it seems interesting! However I can't seem to
>>>> find
>>>> any prices...
>>> These devices are fairly cheap starting from about $50:
>>> http://www.dx.com/p/ditter-u20-dual-core-android-4-2-google-tv-hd-player-w-1gb-ram-4gb-rom-hdmi-black-300969#.VET43IXSWAs
>> If you want something that is relatively cheap that can run pianoteq,
>> linuxsampler, etc... then you should look into the Intel NUC range.
>> They provide a very nice piece of gear for a stand alone solution and
>> decent responsive support via the OTC forums. I requested a change to
>> the
>> BIOS and they did it for me as an update.
>> I have had one for several months as a head for my home entertainment
>> center and it is working very well. Yesterday I did some edits with
>> ardour2. All I had to do was "apt-get install ardour".
>> It's not $50 but it is less than $300 for a complete 64 bit x86 solution
>> including RAM/HDD/SSD. The case is brushed aluminium and it is very
>> robust. If you get an SSD it is nearly 100% solid state apart from the
>> CPU
>> fan which is almost noiseless.
>> My (cheap) home stereo speaker system generates more noise than the fan
>> and I have it running 24/7 for net streaming to TV with full 1080p over
>> hdmi.
>> Saves all the hassle of learning how to cross compile and the general
>> issues associated with developing for ARM.
>> I tried several other options before settling on this one. They were
>> cheaper but also more frustrating.
>> Intel are catching up on ARM these days with the 16/14/12nm fab process.
>>> That's one of the cheapest I could find with an Allwinner A20 chipset.
>>> Better would be to get something like a Cubieboard.
>> --
>> Patrick Shirkey
>> Boost Hardware Ltd
> Nice devices but are they fanless?

No, but they are very quiet.

> They also seem to be fairly big, I
> guess a Cubieboard is 4x as small as a NUC board. But I haven't really
> compared the measurements yet so I could be wrong.

This particular model has a slightly larger case. The other models are not
as tall. The physical size is approx 10x10x4cm so they are very portable
and the solid aluminium casing is very robust.

Cubieboards are also very good units but they have some drawbacks too.
They are not as powerful as a Celeron and they require cross compiling
everything. IIUC, they also don't support the same amount of memory.

As a stand alone device the NUC's can do very well as a relatively low
cost processing unit. For the same form factor you can also get an i5
chipset. I'm not sure if they have released the i7's yet but they are
probably just around the corner. The top end i5's are very close to the
same speed as an i7.

Patrick Shirkey
Boost Hardware Ltd

More information about the Linux-audio-user mailing list