The single-board computing market has mainly been dominated by companies like the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Even though Intel- and AMD-based single-boards have been available for a while thanks to pro-active Kickstarters, these weren't backed by the chip-makers or any major OEM. Gigabyte has just joined this growing market with a board that almost gets the job done.
The GA-SBCAP3350 Intel Celeron-powered system has all the hallmarks of the Raspberry Pi. What sets this board apart is that it is an X86-system instead of the usual ARM-based systems, which allows you to run full Windows programs for instance. However, it does not come with any RAM or storage like its smaller counterparts; instead, it requires you to add these to the system, which might defeat the purpose for some enthusiasts.
The system specifications are as follows:
- Intel Celeron N3350 (up to 2.4 GHz) dual-core processor
- Single channel DDR3L SO-DIMM slot support
- 2 x RS232/422/485, 2 x RS232, Digital I/O 8-in/8-out
- Mini-PCIe Slot for Half-Length WIFI Card Support
- Mini-PCIe Dual Purpose Slot for mSATA SSD Support
- Amplified Speaker Header Able to Drive Up to 2W System Integrated Speaker
- Dual GbE LAN with high ESD Protection support WOL and PXE
- SBC 146x102mm Form Factor with Wide Range 9~36V DC-In Power Design
The system is cooled using a passive cooling plate; and according to Gigabyte, this is sufficient enough under load to keep everything running cool. However, it remains to be seen how effective this will be in the real world once enthusiasts get their hands on it. Its smaller competitors, like the Raspberry Pi, use ARM chips as previously mentioned, and rarely require any cooling solution.
According to Gigabyte, the system is also capable of outputting 4K, matching the Pine64 that was recently announced. However, unlike the latter, the Gigabyte board does not support HDR as far as the official specifications would suggest. Pricing has not been confirmed by the company; but since it is competing against systems that usually come in at around $30, it should be pretty reasonably priced. Just remember that you'll also need to factor in the cost of the mandatory RAM.