Comments on: Embedded system performance comparison
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Comments on: Embedded system performance comparison

Carl Sassenrath, CTO
REBOL Technologies
29-Dec-2014 5:31 GMT

Article #0546
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Last week I found a new Odroid C1 board under the Christmas tree. Curious about the performance of the new board, I decided to compare its speed to a few other embedded SoC boards I've got around the house, including the Raspberry Pi, Beaglebone Black, and Odroid XU3 Lite.

I often use the Rebol speed? function to get a rough idea of the performance of desktop and server systems, and it works equally well for embedded devices. The measurement method is pretty simple, but I've found it provides an accurate estimate.

Here are the prices (plus|minus and for boards only), speeds, and Rebol speed? results. For reference, I included my old Ubuntu 10 Linux desktop (Intel i5).

Board Price CPU MHz DDR MHz Eval CPU Mem
Raspi $40 700 400 369 130 7
BBB $45 1000 800 720 437 16
Odroid-C1 $35 1500 792 1040 615 15
Odroid-XU3-L $105 2100 933 3020 1474 62
Intel i5-2500 $500 3300 1600 8000 4200 118

Using the Raspberry Pi as the base, the table below shows the improvements as simple multipliers (X times). The CPUC (CPU clock speed) and DDRC (memory clock) are combined to obtain the HW "boost" labled as X Factor. This is overly simplistic (e.g. ignores bus width) but the results seem to be in the ballpark.

Board X Eval X CPU X Mem X CPUC X DDRC X Factor X Price
Raspi 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
BBB 1.95 3.36 2.29 1.43 2.00 2.86 1.13
Odroid-C1 2.82 4.73 2.14 2.14 1.98 4.24 0.88
Odroid-XU3-L 8.18 11.34 8.86 3.00 2.33 7.00 2.63
Intel i5-2500 21.68 32.31 16.86 4.71 4.00 18.86 12.50

Taking the above into account, the speed? results can be divided by the X factor. A result of 1 would tell us that the Rebol speed perfectly matched the HW boost. Numbers less than 1 fell below expectations. Greater than 1 exceeded.

The final column shows the bottom line, the performance (for Rebol eval results) for the price. Both Odriods are at the top, with the new C1 in first place, and the XU3-L not far behind.

Board Eval/HW CPU/HW Mem/HW Eval/Price
Raspi 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00
BBB 0.68 1.18 0.80 1.73
Odroid-C1 0.66 1.11 0.51 3.22
Odroid-XU3-L 1.17 1.62 1.27 3.12
Intel i5-2500 1.15 1.71 0.89 1.73

I'll update these numbers if any config changes further improve performance (e.g. L2 cache enable, DDR clock adjustment, bus arbiter.)

If you're interested in a nice little computer for special projects, the Odroid C1 makes a good choice. A good place to buy them is at Ameridroid, run by our Rebol friend Bo Lechnowsky.

If you happen to have speed? results for any other embedded processors/boards, feel free to post those in the comments. Be sure to mention the base price for comparison.



Carl Sassenrath
29-Dec-2014 22:44:58
Fixed XU3-L row in second table. Got shifted by a cell when I converted to HTML.
30-Dec-2014 8:25:47
Thanks for the in-depth comparison!

Are all of these tests run on a single core, or do they make use of multiple cores? Just curious.

14-Feb-2015 10:55:36
Performance of the new Raspberry Pi 2 (not over clocked):

>> speed?

== [628 375 8 3]

20-May-2015 18:18:48
Performance of the ODROID-U3 (not overclocked):

>> speed? == [2162 861 38 12]

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