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Tinkerboard Ethernet/USB bus, feedback
#1
Hello everybody Smile

I'm new to this forum, but not new to SBCs Smile

Currently I own RPi3 running as a media center using OSMC (Kodi, 4.4.x kernel).
Because of the fact that Pi has to do more and more network stuff at home, I need a board, which suits my needs.

Recently I bought Banana Pi M2 Ultra, since it has GBit ethernet and more important the USB bus is separated from it (!= RPi3 case), so I can set up home NAS doing simple backups.
I have to say I've already tried this on RPi3, but I gave up :Big Grin because of the shared bus.

I think I will return BPi M2U back to seller, since it has some major flaws which I do not like. E.g. by perfoming intense tasks it randomly shutdowns (changed 2 power supplies rated 5V/2A).


I would like to hear some of your feedback. Especially when it comes up to network / usb performance, like e.g. samba share (copy/write).
What do you think about the Tinkerboard and would you suggest to get it, since after returning back the BPi M2U, I will seach for a replacement.

Thank you, and sorry if I do make mistakes. English is not my native language.
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#2
I put some real world samba benchmarks in this thread

http://tinkerboarding.co.uk/forum/thread-2.html

Basically you can get 35 meg/sec speeds (to a USB drive) - but with caching it will often be higher.
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#3
Thank you very much, @Mikerr!
Well, I think you are missing an image in your thread right below after the line "and from an attached USB hard drive:" Smile

I have couple more questions, maybe someone could provide any information on that:

1) When I'm up to use Tinkerboard as a mini-server, I thought I would use the armbian build for it, since I do not need any GUI nor VGA/HDMI driver. It would give more resources, but is armbian build stable?
2) Based on posts in your reply, @Mikerr, does anyone knows/has a SoC Block Diagram for the wiring of RK chip on board? Like there is one for R40 chip on the BPi M2U, where you can see that:

Example based on R40:
Internal port/bus --> External (connector)

Ethernet --> PHY
USBHOST#1 --> USB #1
USBHOST#2 --> USB #2
...

In that case I know, each USB Port has its own bus/address, leading to 480Mbit/s for each, and the Ethernet is also not shared, providing 1Gbit/s Smile
Thank you.
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#4
Addition: I have just figured out (forgot the source, but it was posted on armbian forum) that the Tinkerboard has following Block Diagram related to my request:

Ethernet --> PHY
USBHOST#1 -----> USBHUB ----> USBPORT #1
..............................................|--> USBPORT #2
..............................................|--> USBPORT #3
..............................................|--> USBPORT #4

That means, as long as your OS is running from SD Card, and you use ethernet it's okay, even when one USB Drive is attached,
but when you add more drives, those would require to share overall bandwidth of 480 Mbit/s leading to theoretical maximum of 480 / (numberofUSBdrives) for each on simultaneous access.

That would mean, as long as you're copying files to one drive, you would reach (based on @Mikerr results) ~35MB/s,
but adding two simultaneous used drives would result in transfer rate divided by half for each drive. Making USB to USB backup twice as long as the initial transfer.

Can someone measure that speed, please?
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#5
Today, I've got the Tinkerboard in my mail.

What can I say? It's an awesome small board, which suits my needs.
I'm running Armbian 5.27 with kernel 4.4.66, and I must say, I appreaciate their job!!

They [Amrbian] provide very good OS, for a nice and overall well-made product.
Also, if you look up on their forum, there is pretty much going on about our Tinker Smile

I've connected WD USB Drive 1TB to the Tinker, compiled ntfs-3g driver, latest stable (2017.3.22).
Plugged the drive into GBit port of my router, and my ethernet card of the notebook also into second Gbit port.

PC -> Router -> Tinker -> USB Drive


I have to agree the @Mikerr, I've got ~30MB/s transfer rate (read from Tinker)
and also ~26-30MB/s by copying files to Tinker.

Additionally, PiHole is running now on the Tinker, and it's a bit faster, atleast the WebUI Smile

I have to do more real-world testing, especially Seafile (~2,3MB/s on RPi3)
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#6
I've posted the same request on Armbian forum, where they are actively discussing it.
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#7
Okay, I have finally got benchmarks of the USB ports.
If you're interested, continue to read Smile

I've got 2x USB HDDs, both WD, one with USB 2.0 (750GB, ext4), other with USB 3.0 (1TB, NTFS, hence the uptodate driver was crutial)

1) Copy data from a network share (USB Drive formated ext4 on Tinker, Samba) ~30MB/s
2) Write data to a network share (USB Drive, ext4, Samba) ~30MB/s

3) Copy data from both USB Drives (1x ext4, 1x NTFS, Samba, simultaneously) ~15MB/s for each drive
4) Write data to both USB Drives (1x ext4, 1x NTFS, Samba, simultaneously) ~15MB/s for each drive

5) copy files local from USB1 to USB2 (mixed file systems) between ~8-11MB/s

Conclusion: USB Hub is a limiting factor, because the CPU (in case of NTFS) was busy up to ~75%
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#8
Here are some figures for you, folks.
Redirect to Armbian forum.
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