Ever since the computers shrunk from gianormous mainframes to literal desktops (as in, boxes you are supposed to place on your desks), all the rage in the PC market seems to have mainly been performance. It does not surprise me in the slightest. People love the fastest, the biggest, and all kinds of “the best-est” items. Naturally then, the main property of a computer that most seem to care about is performance.
The PINE64 Pinephone is by no means a fast device. Equipped with the Allwinner A64 SoC, it features 4 Cortex-A53 cores manufactured using the old-at-release and ancient-by-today 40nm process node, running at whopping 1152 MHz. Helping the modest CPUs is the equally, if not more, poor Mali400-MP2 GPU. A64 features a few more little-exciting components, such as a LPDDR2/3 DRAM controller and the Cedrus video encoder/decoder acceletator. It has one giant advantage though - the chip price is $5.
[Written Feb 25th 2021, all references to future dates are imaginary] [Let’s think of 2018: Ryzen 1xxx/2xxx is out, and so are 4xx mobos] Ah yes, building a new PC.. The great feeling when you finally save up enough money to get something decent to replace your dusty-but-trusty box of yesterdecade. It’s a great feeling, indeed. Looking through computer shops, trying to get the best deals on prices, adding a few bucks more to get that color-matching piece of hardware or even better RGB!
So the other day I really wanted to get Linux up and running on my ancient, weak and powered (though I wouldn’t really go as far as calling it powerful by any means..) by a severely obscure SoC, Microsoft Lumia 535. It used to be a very popular device, due to its low price and… well, mainly because of the price. But nonetheless it was really snappy on Windows Phone 8.