Embedded Computers

Orange Pi 4/B Review – A Raspberry Rival Starting at $50

Orange Pi 4B Single Board Computer
Written by androidpimp

Orange Pi 4 Review

First enhancement of the new Orange Pi 4 SBC board series expected to be available in about two weeks. Following the gained popularity of the Rockchip SoC solution amongst known Chinese brands such as the FriendlyElec Nano Pi M4v2 boards that are also based on the Rockchip RK3399 solution.

The new Orange Pi 4 comes with few hardware improvements worth checking. For example, a DC power input port was added for more stable power requirements with an additional USB Type-C port that can be also used to power the board. Another advantage is the 16GB eMMC chip that is soldered on the PCB so you will not have to buy a separate eMMC module.

Additional features and highlights worth mentioning are the On-board Microphone unit, Power Management Unit (PMU) chip, 4GB RAM memory, and a 24 pins PCIe Interface. As for the USB ports, In the Orange Pi 4B edition, the company decided to stick with a pair of USB V2.0 without any additional USB 3.0 host port support.

According to the company announcement, the more advanced Orange Pi 4B is more suitable for artificial intelligence (Deep learning) applications, equipped with a unique Gyrfalcon Lightspeeur 2801S AI accelerator chip/NPU (Neural Processor unit) developed by Gyrfalcon Technology Inc. In the software arena, the Orange Pi 4/B boards are expected to support Android 8x and Armbian Linux including future distributions.


Orange Pi 4B Product video


Orange Pi 4B Specs & Price

Orange Pi 4B | Price: 69.9 USD

Orange Pi 4B P1


Orange Pi 4B P2


Orange Pi 4 Specs & Price

Orange Pi 4 + 16GB eMMC | Price: 59.9 USD
Orange Pi 4 + Without eMMC | Price: 49.9 USD

Orange Pi 4 P1


Orange Pi 4 P2


Orange Pi 4/B Specification

  • SoC – Rockchip K3399 Hexa-core big.LITTLE processor with two Arm Cortex A72 cores, four Cortex A53 cores, and an ARM Mali-T860 MP4 GPU with support for OpenGL 1.1 to 3.1 support, OpenVG1.1, OpenCL and DX 11
  • System Memory – 4 GB LPDDR4
  • Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash, micro SD card
  • NPU (Orange Pi 4B only) – Gyrfalcon Lightspeeur SPR2801S NPU delivering up to 2.8TOPS @ 300mW, 5.6 TOPS @ 100 MHz (peak performance)
  • Video Output/Display Interface
    • HDMI 2.0 up to 4K @ 60 Hz
    • LCD connector – DisplayPort (DP) version 1.2
  • Video Decode – 4K VP9 and 10-bit H.265 video codec support up to 60 fps
  • Audio – 3.5 mm audio jack for headphones; HDMI digital audio output; built-in microphone; ALC5651 codec
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet port (via  RTL8211E transceiver), dual-band 802.11ac 2×2 MIMO WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0 LE (AP6256 module)
  • USB
    • Orange Pi 4 – 1x USB 3.0 port, 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x USB 3.0 type C port
    • Orange Pi 4B – 2x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x USB 3.0 type C port
  • Camera – 2x camera headers
  • Debugging – 3-pin serial header
  • Expansion
    • 40-pin GPIO 2.54mm pitch female header with 2x I2C, 1x SPI, 8x UART, GPIO, etc…
    • 24-pin connector for PCIe signals
  • Power Supply
    • 12V/2A via DC jack (5.5/2.1mm)
    • 5V3A DC via type C port
    • RK808 PMU
  • Dimensions – 91 x 56 mm

Package

  • Orange Pi 4b Package 1
    Orange Pi 4b Package 1
  • Orange Pi 4b Package 2
    Orange Pi 4b Package 2
  • Orange Pi 4b Package 3
    Orange Pi 4b Package 3
  • Orange Pi 4b Package 4
    Orange Pi 4b Package 4
  • Orange Pi 4b Package 5
    Orange Pi 4b Package 5

Unboxing (Package Content)

  • 1x Orange Pi 4/B
  • 1x User manual
  • 1x WiFi Antenna (wire type)
Orange Pi 4b Unboxed
Orange Pi 4b Unboxed

  • Orange Pi 4b Unbox 1
    Orange Pi 4b Unbox 1
  • Orange Pi 4b Unbox 2
    Orange Pi 4b Unbox 2
  • Orange Pi 4b Unbox 3
    Orange Pi 4b Unbox 3
  • Orange Pi 4b Unbox 4
    Orange Pi 4b Unbox 4
  • Orange Pi 4b Unbox 5
    Orange Pi 4b Unbox 5

The Hardware

The Orange Pi 4B hardware is based on the popular Rockchip’s RK3399 system-on-chip processor, equipped with a six-core design, that is divided into two clusters, both running “up to” 2GHz; a dual-core Arm Cortex-A72 cluster handles high-demand tasks; a quad-core Arm Cortex-A54 cluster is on-hand for less-demanding work as a means of saving power.

Orange Pi 4B

  • Orange Pi 4b 1
    Orange Pi 4B SBC - PIC 1 of 11
  • Orange Pi 4b 2
    Orange Pi 4B SBC - PIC 2 of 11
  • Orange Pi 4b 3
    Orange Pi 4B SBC - PIC 3 of 11
  • Orange Pi 4b 4
    Orange Pi 4B SBC - PIC 4 of 11
  • Orange Pi 4b 5
    Orange Pi 4B SBC - PIC 5 of 11
  • Orange Pi 4b 6
    Orange Pi 4B SBC - PIC 6 of 11
  • Orange Pi 4b 7
    Orange Pi 4B SBC - PIC 7 of 11
  • Orange Pi 4b 8
    Orange Pi 4B SBC - PIC 8 of 11
  • Orange Pi 4b 9
    Orange Pi 4B SBC - PIC 9 of 11
  • Orange Pi 4b 10
    Orange Pi 4B SBC - PIC 10 of 11
  • Orange Pi 4b 11
    Orange Pi 4B SBC - PIC 11 of 11

Orange Pi 4 vs Orange Pi 4B

If you are asking yourself what’s the difference between the 4 and 4B editions, the answer lays on the PCB design. The Orange Pi 4B model comes with a pair of USB 2.0 hosts and also includes an integrated high-performance NPU co-processor that is more suitable for the development of products involving deep learning capabilities.

While the Orange Pi 4B only has two USB 2.0 Hosts, the Orange Pi 4 comes with a total of three USB hosts: Two USB 2.0 Hosts, plus an additional USB 3.0 host. As for the rest of the specs including all interfaces, they remain identical. Xunlong company didn’t add a power button but included a reset push button located on the back of both boards what makes it impossible to access it if you are using the Orange Pi 4/B metal case.

  • Orange Pi 4b Hw 01
    Orange Pi 4b Hw 01
  • Orange Pi 4b Hw 02
    Orange Pi 4b Hw 02
  • Orange Pi 4b Hw 03
    Orange Pi 4b Hw 03
  • Orange Pi 4b Hw 04
    Orange Pi 4b Hw 04
  • Orange Pi 4b Hw 05
    Orange Pi 4b Hw 05

Metal Case [Optional]

The metal aluminium case is an optional accessory worth considering buying for a few extra dollars. I recommend it because Rockchip RK3299 CPU tend to heat and it’s a must-have item if you want to keep your board cooler. In terms of design, I less liked the idea of using such large length thermal conductive pads to pass the extra heat trough the Case shell, but still, it’s better than the alternatives using a simple plastic case, and it does cool the CPU very well.

The core temperature of the Orange Pi 4/B can start from 52C and above depending how much you really stress/load the CPU. We are talking about very reasonable temperatures range compared to the Raspberry Pi 4 SBC that also tends to heats up. If you touch the case, especially when the hardware is under high stress, you can feel the heat level by just touching the case.

Orange Pi 4B Case

  • Orange Pi 4b Case 2
    Orange Pi 4b Case 2
  • Orange Pi 4b Case 3
    Orange Pi 4b Case 3
  • Orange Pi 4b Case 4
    Orange Pi 4b Case 4
  • Orange Pi 4b Case 5
    Orange Pi 4b Case 5
  • Orange Pi 4b Case 6
    Orange Pi 4b Case 6
  • Orange Pi 4b Case 7
    Orange Pi 4b Case 7
  • Orange Pi 4b Case 8
    Orange Pi 4b Case 8
  • Orange Pi 4b Case 9
    Orange Pi 4b Case 9
  • Orange Pi 4b Case 1
    Orange Pi 4b Case 1

Assembling the Orange Pi 4B inside the metal case.

  • Orange Pi4b Case Asm 01
    Orange Pi4b Case Asm 01
  • Orange Pi4b Case Asm 02
    Orange Pi4b Case Asm 02
  • Orange Pi4b Case Asm 03
    Orange Pi4b Case Asm 03
  • Orange Pi4b Case Asm 04
    Orange Pi4b Case Asm 04
  • Orange Pi4b Case Asm 05
    Orange Pi4b Case Asm 05
  • Orange Pi4b Case Asm 06
    Orange Pi4b Case Asm 06
  • Orange Pi4b Case Asm 07
    Orange Pi4b Case Asm 07
  • Orange Pi4b Case Asm 08
    Orange Pi4b Case Asm 08
  • Orange Pi4b Case Asm 09
    Orange Pi4b Case Asm 09
  • Orange Pi4b Case Asm 10
    Orange Pi4b Case Asm 10
  • Orange Pi4b Case Asm 11
    Orange Pi4b Case Asm 11
  • Orange Pi4b Case Asm 12
    Orange Pi4b Case Asm 12
  • Orange Pi4b Case Asm 13
    Orange Pi4b Case Asm 13
  • Orange Pi4b Case Asm 14
    Orange Pi4b Case Asm 14

The Software

In the software arena, the Orange Pi 4/B offers about four types of images available on the official orange pi website. You have Debian, Ubuntu, and Armbian Linux distribution specially designed for embedded computing that works very stable. Android 8.x is also supported and worked very smoothly for me. from 4GB RAM the OS used only %20 and from a total of 16GB of internal storage (flash memory) only $5.5GB were used.

Orange Pi 4b Images
Orange Pi 4B Images

  • Orange Pi 4b Android P1
    Orange Pi 4b Android P1
  • Orange Pi 4b Android P2
    Orange Pi 4b Android P2
  • Orange Pi 4b Android P3
    Orange Pi 4b Android P3
  • Orange Pi 4b Android P4
    Orange Pi 4b Android P4

Ubuntu Xenial Desktop

  • Orange Pi 4b Ubuntu 1
    Orange Pi 4b Ubuntu - PIC 1 of 8
  • Orange Pi 4b Ubuntu 2
    Orange Pi 4b Ubuntu - PIC 2 of 8
  • Orange Pi 4b Ubuntu 3
    Orange Pi 4b Ubuntu - PIC 3 of 8
  • Orange Pi 4b Ubuntu 4
    Orange Pi 4b Ubuntu - PIC 4 of 8
  • Orange Pi 4b Ubuntu 5
    Orange Pi 4b Ubuntu - PIC 5 of 8
  • Orange Pi 4b Ubuntu 6
    Orange Pi 4b Ubuntu - PIC 6 of 8
  • Orange Pi 4b Ubuntu 7
    Orange Pi 4b Ubuntu - PIC 7 of 8
  • Orange Pi 4b Ubuntu 8
    Orange Pi 4b Ubuntu - PIC 8 of 8

Armbian Focal Desktop

My best user experience for me was running Armbian OS based on Debian. The diversity of software packages that came preinstalled in the distro was excellent, and basicaly everything worked smoothly and fast.

Orange Pi 4b Armbian Menu
Orange Pi 4b Armbian Menu

CPU Temperature reading under Armbian

In idle mode, the CPU core temperature was pretty high, starting from approximately ~55-60C. At a regular operation without running intensive CPU tasks, you can expect CPU temperature to rise to 74-80C, which is exceptionally high.


Armbian Focal Desktop | Htop

Monitoring CPU cores frequency/temperatures, and memory in real-time using Htop process viewer.

Orange PI4B Armbian Htop
Orange Pi 4/B Review - A Raspberry Rival Starting at $50 1

Memory consumption under Armbian

usedusedfreesharedbuff/cacheavailable
Mem3959552483300211734418454013589083201604
Swap104857201058572

Results: 483MB of of 3959 MB RAM are utilized!

CPU Benchmark | Raspberry Pi 4 vs Orange Pi 4B

  • Running the test with the following options:
    Number of threads: 4
  • Maximum prime number checked in CPU test: 20000

sysbench –num-threads=4 –test=cpu –cpu-max-prime=20000 –validate run

Orange Pi 4B (Rockchip RK3399)

CPU: 6-core ARM® 64-bit processor – (2x Cortex-A72 at up to 2.0GHz, 4x Cortex-A53).

sysbench 1.0.18

CPU speed:
events per second: 1883.78

General statistics:
total time: 10.0022s
total number of events: 18856

Latency (ms):
min: 1.26
avg: 2.12
max: 7.12
95th percentile: 6.21
sum: 39997.04

Threads fairness:
events (avg/stddev): 4714.0000/3093.50
execution time (avg/stddev): 9.9993/0.00


Raspberry Pi 4 (Broadcom BCM2711)

CPU: 4-core ARM® 64-bit processor – (4x Cortex-A72 at up to 1.5GHz)

sysbench 0.4.12

Test execution summary:
total time: 62.8740s
total number of events: 10000
total time taken by event execution: 251.4166
per-request statistics:
min: 24.94ms
avg: 25.14ms
max: 115.22ms
approx. 95 percentile: 25.08ms

Threads fairness:
events (avg/stddev): 2500.0000/4.58
execution time (avg/stddev): 62.8541/0.01


Results comparison Table ( Latency in ms)

A note: lower values are better!

SBC BrandMinAvgMaxApprox
Orange Pi 41.262.127.126.21
Raspberry Pi 424.9425.14115.2225.08

Results:

Based on the above latency results, the clear winner in CPU performance is the Orange Pi 4 SBC over the Raspberry Pi 4.

Stress Test

For our test, we used the stress-ng tool to run up to 8 CPU stressors, 4 I/O stressors, and one virtual memory stressor using 1GB of virtual memory for one minute by executing the following commands below.

Orange Pi 4b Stress Test
Orange Pi 4b Stress Test
  1. stress-ng –cpu 2 –io 4 –vm 1 –vm-bytes 1G –timeout 60s –metrics-brief
  2. stress-ng –cpu 4 –io 4 –vm 1 –vm-bytes 1G –timeout 60s –metrics-brief
  3. stress-ng –cpu 6 –io 4 –vm 1 –vm-bytes 1G –timeout 60s –metrics-brief
  4. stress-ng –cpu 8 –io 4 –vm 1 –vm-bytes 1G –timeout 60s –metrics-brief
under loadMin CPU
Frequency
(GHz)
Max CPU
Frequency
(GHz)
Min Temp
(Celsius)
Max Temp
(Celsius)
Min Wattage
(W)
Max Wattage
(W)
1600 MHz1.51 GHz41.77016.418
2600 MHz1.51 GHz458117.320.4
3600 MHz1.51 GHz458118.421.4
4600 MHz1.51 GHz458018.221.4

Test results

  • Under heavy stress load, the CPU critical core temperature reached up to 80-82C, and then the board automatically shut down to avoid hardware damage.
  • The average wattage usage of the Orange Pi 4B board in our stress test was between 18-21.4W.

Solving CPU Overheating & How to Keep it Cool

The best and straightforward approach to reduce the temperature by ~5C is placing a small fan on top of the Orange Pi 4/B case logo. You can use a single or a dual-fan array unit composed of a thick Heatsink with a double sides adhesive thermal sticker.

Orange Pi 4b Fan
Orange Pi 4B Fan

Neural Processing

The Orange Pi 4B comes with the world’s first deep learning CNN accelerator chip Lightspeeur® 2801S for deep-learning applications by Gyrfalcon Technologies. The Lightspeeur® 2801S neural processing unit (NPU) chip is designed to run audio and video processing to power AI devices for desktop, and data center deployment.

Orange Pi 4B Lightspeeur® 2801 Chip (Marked in yellow)

Orange Pi 4 Npu
Orange Pi 4B NPU

Bottom Line

The Orange Pi 4B is an excellent and very snappy board in terms of performance. The only issue I had was the CPU overheating when the board was mounted inside the Orange Pi 4/B metal case that you can solve by installing a small cooling fan on top of it that helps disperse extra heat away from the case shell. Having said that, If you like the product, your welcome to check more detail on Xunlong’s official AliExpress store (Link posted below).

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