Future RK3588 model
#11
(07-06-2021, 10:30 AM)Arwen Wrote: Hmm, I had missed / forgotten that the newer SoC supported more than 8GBs of memory.

However, everyone should understand that DDR3/4 modular memory has some complexities that can make things both difficult in hardware and firmware, (having to read the EEPROM from the DDR3/4 board, and initialize based on what is read). Plus, it can add both main board space and chassis space. Some of the RISC-V boards have run across this exact issue, and choose the cheaper & simpler route of making the board with the memory.

One way we could work around this, is to put 4GB, (or 8GB), on the main board. Then have a specialized, (aka simplified), board connector for additional memory. Wire it up so that a daughter board can handle 16GBs. Thus, it would be possible to go to 20GB, (4GB on the main board, and 16GB on the memory daughter board). I can see that Pine64 might limit what they make to 4GB or 8GB daughter boards, as being more likely to sell in quantities. Leaving it up to others to perhaps make 12GB or 16GB daughter boards.

Of course, all that extra memory does take POWER. So, some people will be happy with 4GBs and the reduced power draw of a new SoC, giving them equal or longer battery life than existing Pinebook Pros.

While I would like to max out the device, this seems like a reasonable approach, and one not without precedence in x86 world - e.g., lots of early ThinkPad models had some basic minimal amount of RAM on the motherboard that could then be extended using add-on cards. E.g., ThinkPad 750C I rebuilt just recently had 4MiB on board, and then could take up to 16MiB special DRAM card to get a whopping 20MiB of RAM.

Of course, it would be really nice to have at least 8GiB on mobo in that kind of setup, but I recognize that how much actual RAM will be on the board will have to be a balancing act between power consumption, price, etc. One thing I will say - It would be absolutely brilliant if for the extra RAM the standard SODIMM modules were used, the same as in virtually all other modern laptops. If that were the case I'd be forgiving of almost any amount of RAM soldered on board, no matter how small. Assuming those SODIMM modules can be initialized and used properly in the OS.
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#12
Hi all, the PineBook Ultrapro ;-) RK3588 laptop:


  • It must be equipped with 32GB RAM.  The same with the new Pine QuartzPro RK3588 SBC - it must have a 32GB RAM option.
  • I hope the new RK3588 PineBook will have USB-C power delivery based power charging, so you can use one charger for all electronics.

    Carrying around a specialized barrel charger for the PineBook makes no sense at all.
  • There has been great ignorance about security at Pine until now - for the new laptop and SBC please offer hardware disable of the WIFI especially, with a hardware PIN/DIP switch.

    Extra bonus if there would be hardware write protection of the onboard flash.
  • I would be glad to pay extra for on-board 10gbit RJ45 ethernet. (Mini ethernet connector is fine.) Two of the four PCIe v4 lanes may be used for this purpose.

    In this case, the laptop's M.2 connector would get two PCIe v4 lanes which is still more than enough - it's 16gbps which is 2GB/sec.



The RK3588 laptop will be an incredible improvement over the previous PineBook Pro RK3399 laptop.


I am still surprised that the Chromebooks market is so unserious and immature as it is, I am not aware of a single one of them that has an M.2 slot and also is well adapted to custom operating system installation like the PineBooks are. Also some ARM laptops use Qualcomm which is too bad also, https://semiaccurate.com/2021/12/01/qual...to-deploy/ . Strange that the whole Chromebooks industry sucks as much as it does, they are bad products.
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#13
(04-15-2022, 03:41 AM)cool Wrote: <SNIP>
I am still surprised that the Chromebooks market is so unserious and immature as it is, I am not aware of a single one of them that has an M.2 slot and also is well adapted to custom operating system installation like the PineBooks are. Also some ARM laptops use Qualcomm which is too bad also, https://semiaccurate.com/2021/12/01/qual...to-deploy/ . Strange that the whole Chromebooks industry sucks as much as it does, they are bad products.

Different horses for different courses.
Chromebooks are aimed at a different audience than the Pinebook Pro.
They should just work for "everyday" tasks, and they do.

Once Steam gets released on Chrome OS, they will also be better at gaming than the Pinebook Pro.

Some Chromebooks come with an M.2 slot.
https://www.aboutchromebooks.com/news/ca...hromebook/

Although it's not easy to install another OS on a Chromebook (and sometimes it isn't really possible), installing the Linux environment isn't that hard.
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#14
(07-03-2021, 01:49 PM)heyghoge Wrote: 8. Audio jack is not needed.
Reasoning: it is strongly affected by EM interference inside the laptop. Almost all ppl I know use Bluetooth headphones anyways.

Well, in addition of being a convenient compact plug for serial, some people DO still use wired headphone, mostly for the simplicity of connection compared to Bluetooth (just plug in, vs. pair and be sure to have enough power left).
Not all combos of antena between laptop and headset do allow much longer distance away than wired anyway.

(07-03-2021, 01:49 PM)heyghoge Wrote: 9. Replace existing power button with a DELETE button!!!
Move On/Off button somewhere else.
Reasoning: Keyboard is very inconvenient without a dedicated delete button, especially when one uses this laptop at work, e.g. entering or editing lots of data.

Seconded. In fast if there was a way to have dedicated PgUp/PgDn/Home/End keys, too (e.g. a compact cluster at the top right corner like all older laptop used to do) and have Fn+arrows combo only for less often used function (e.g.: backlight), that would be great for all the command-line/keyboard maniacs among us.
(Though to be frank, with the current trend set by Apple, I doubt such keyboard are easily sourced at a cheap prise.


(07-04-2021, 04:55 AM)Arwen Wrote: However, I'd object to a backlit keyboard as using up valuable power. Not to mention the added cost. Except in low light conditions, backlit keyboards tend to be a glamor thing, not a usability item.

For people used to dark background interfaces (terminal on black background, darkmode browser), the glow from the screen isn't always optimal.
Having a faint glow on the key can really help in low-light conditions (though yes, it adds cost, and yes it adds battery consumption even in auto-off and/or auto-dim modes).
A cheaper solution would be a downward pointing led like some cheaper Thinkpads.

(07-04-2021, 10:41 AM)moonwalkers Wrote: RK3588 supports up to 32GiB RAM. Frankly, I would prefer an option to upgrade it to any amount up to that limit. 8GiB only implies just 8GiB soldered on the motherboard. I'd rather have 4GiB in a SODIMM module that I can later on replace with 32GiB.

Having some ways to upgrade RAM or even just outright buy larger amount , will increase the longevity of the device.

Of course each comes with it's own draw backs:
  • SoDIMM: complexity to handle them and thus base cost of the mother board
  • Custom simplified module: it's a low production custom part so it's going to cost a lot more, and won't necessarily be easy to find in a few years down the line when you'll need it the most.
  • Larg amount of soldered RAM: increase the upfront cost at a time point when the memory is going to be the most expensive (over the lifetime of the device as compared to later when you'll need it, by which time prices of sodimm will have fallen).

Another point which wasn't mentionned:
"ramdisk for swap": as in a PCIe device that takes memory and exposes it as a insane-fast storage device.
It won't be as fast as directly addressable memory on the main CPU bus, and still suffers from the "custom part" problem, but can help aleviate memory pressure a lot when used for swap, while not wearing as fast as swap on an NVMe disk.
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