jamesh
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 18, 2014 5:28 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
jamesh wrote: It would be interesting to know how many schools are actually having this problem. It's a crying shame, and practically criminal, that schools have been buying 'up to date' LCD monitors that do not have any sort of digital input, bearing in mind DVI and HDMI have been around for YEARS. Of course, it's actually quite difficult to buying a monitor without digital in nowadays (and has been for a while), so if schools are still doing so, that is a complete waste of taxpayers money and someone is ripping them off.
Bearing in mind that the plural of "anecdote" is NOT "data"...here is an anecdote...

My grandson is in first grade. In his classroom, there are 4 computers that the kids get to use. When I first saw them, two of them had panel monitors and two had CRTs. None of the monitors was over 15" diagonal. Since then, being in the process (as I find them...cheap) of migrating from 17" panels to 19" panels, I donated a 17" panel to the classroom. The teacher was absolutely delighted for the upgrade. I plan to donate another when I decide on which one to part with.

The school is--according to the teacher--trying to migrate to all LCD monitors, but budget.

(Last year, when he was in kindergarden, I donated two 15" VGA-only panels to his teacher. The screen size and resolution stayed the same, but she was very happy to get more desk space in front of the monitor.)

So for all you out there with surplus monitors that are old, small or obsolete, but still in good working order, I have no doubt that you can find a grateful school to take them off your hands. It does help to write down make, model, and specifications (just look it all up online and write the data on a 3x5 card). If a monitor goes directly to a classroom, you will probably be asked to hook it up. At least at the level I've been dealing with schools, there is a certain amount of fear-of-tech (or, possibly, fear of union) from otherwise competent teachers. (Be sure to bring all needed cables along, too.)
Nice job. Our local primary school has been fund raising recently - their swimming pool has failed so they need a new one. We have raised >£8000 in less than a year. This is for a school of 75 pupils in what is defined as a deprived area....so I really believe that with the right team, external fundraising for the appropriate cause can reap huge benefits.

I'm sure people are right now saying "SWIMMING POOL?". The answer to that is that I live in an area with an awful lot of rivers, and roads running next to rivers. Learning to swim could save lives. When asked, the huge majority of parents wanted the pool replaced. Hence the fundraising. But the point remains - if you need LCD's with DVI and don't have them, perhaps do some fundraising. It's hard work, but worth it in the end.
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:36 pm

As long as we're just throwing out anecdotal evidence, in 2004 or 2005 I was in charge of managing the computer lab for a local Jr. High as well as keeping all the networking equipment/phones/computers running for the teacher (I was the on campus Tech) . At the time they were spending a small fortune to replace the mouse balls every year, so I convinced the school to use some of their IT budget and get laser mice. It was a huge success, I was able to meet all the teachers and let them know I wasn't some frosty IT dictator. Yet despite the fact that they were so far behind the times on their mice (and so, so, so many other things) all the monitors had a DVI input. That was all 90 monitors in 3 separate labs, and another 50 or so monitors for the teachers and that was a decade ago. All the teachers that I talked to here in Texas back when I did the presentation a yearish ago had no interest in VGA being added as all the monitors they worked with were DVI.

But, of course, personal experience and a buck fifty will get you a cup of coffee at McDonald's. Before becoming to entrenched in any one stance I would be interested in an actual survey of a large sampling a schools by country and state/province and seeing what such a survey would say. I'd also be interested in a similar study for "Third world" countries and see if VGA is really as prevalent as I often hear people assume it is or if it more often is the difference between "we don't even have VGA" vs "we have a device which can handle HDMI/DVI"
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:24 pm

I have a small VGA LCD collecting dust in my garage. Why put only a VGA port on something as new as a LCD panel I don't know but it was free. My local Goodwill always has LCDs with VGA ports on the shelf for $10 to $20. Hopefully someone will get around to making the new VGA adapter so I can gift out a few of these excess monitors.

The point of this rant is that there are still tons of VGA devices floating around out there.

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:38 pm

jamesh wrote: I'm sure people are right now saying "SWIMMING POOL?". The answer to that is that I live in an area with an awful lot of rivers, and roads running next to rivers. Learning to swim could save lives. When asked, the huge majority of parents wanted the pool replaced. Hence the fundraising. But the point remains - if you need LCD's with DVI and don't have them, perhaps do some fundraising. It's hard work, but worth it in the end.
Not me. I strongly believe in teaching kids to swim. I refer to it as "waterproofing" them. Of course, I live in an area with not only a large river (Sacramento River), but a very large bay (arguably the largest natural, enclosed harbor in the world), and the Pacific Ocean not far away (cold water, dangerous undertow). So...yeah. Swimming pool. Good idea.

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:42 pm

abishur wrote: But, of course, personal experience and a buck fifty will get you a cup of coffee at McDonald's. Before becoming to entrenched in any one stance I would be interested in an actual survey of a large sampling a schools by country and state/province and seeing what such a survey would say. I'd also be interested in a similar study for "Third world" countries and see if VGA is really as prevalent as I often hear people assume it is or if it more often is the difference between "we don't even have VGA" vs "we have a device which can handle HDMI/DVI"
My father's line was "that and a nickel will get you a cup of coffee", but he was from an earlier generation. (And I'm retired...so you get to do the math.)

In my defense, while the PC I connected the donated 17" monitor to only has VGA, the monitor itself has DVI, since it was originally meant for use with Pis and DVI-capable used monitors are cheaper than HDMI-to-VGA adapters...let alone an adapter AND a monitor.

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:46 pm

Jessie wrote:I have a small VGA LCD collecting dust in my garage. Why put only a VGA port on something as new as a LCD panel I don't know but it was free. My local Goodwill always has LCDs with VGA ports on the shelf for $10 to $20. Hopefully someone will get around to making the new VGA adapter so I can gift out a few of these excess monitors.

The point of this rant is that there are still tons of VGA devices floating around out there.
Yup...local thrift shop is where I get them. They usually want $15 to $30 (depending on the monitor, but on Wednesdays and Saturdays (and Mondays for "Senior Citizens"...for which I qualify), everything is 30% off. From time to time they do a half off sale. As a result, I typically pay $10 to $15 for monitors. Now that I have a good supply, I can be pickier about which ones I get, but DVI is a requirement so far as I'm concerned.

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:54 pm

Jessie wrote:I have a small VGA LCD collecting dust in my garage. Why put only a VGA port on something as new as a LCD panel I don't know but it was free.
One of the reasons (at least in the EU) could be price. Not because of parts, but because of import duties.
For a long time (not sure if it's still the case) all monitors with a DVI port were burdened with a 14% import duty, the ones with just VGA were 0%...

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:58 pm

While I'm on a bit of roll this morning, I want to add a bit to the actual topic...

What with Apple's announcement last week, I got to thinking about what might make the current SoC *too* obsolete, as well as bemoaning the demise of Broadcom's VC group. (Yes, the two points are connected.)

If I am not too much mistaken, the resolution limit for the Pi is 1920x1080. This may become an issue a lot sooner than one might expect. So called "4K" monitors are on the market and prices are dropping fairly quickly, with some getting down to the $600 range. So what happens to the Pi if 4K (3840x2160) becomes the norm? Where Apple comes in is the new iMac, with a screen resolution of 5120x2880, which implies--to me at least--that there is going to be a race for ever higher resolution. While a Pi, or Pi-like or Pi-future device is unlikely to need to handle whatever is the "latest and greatest" pixel count, it should also be a concern that the Pi not fall so far behind that it can't handle whatever older kit people have about to repurpose to a "Pi-future".

The demise of the VC groups means, most likely, no VC5, so no higher resolution output, and that's a problem.

If the Foundation sticks with Broadcom SoCs, it suggests that Broadcom will have to have SoCs for which they license a GPU from another company, since they won't be designing their own. Otherwise, the Foundation will have to look elsewhere for an SoC for "Pi-future".

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:06 pm

Actually, and this amazed me as well, the Pi can output to a 4K monitor, and with overclocking can actually do 30fps at that resolution. On the other hand, you can always output lower resolutions - HDMI/DVI monitors must support all the backward formats. There is a thread on 4k somewhere on here with a great picture of LXDE at 4K.

What it cannot do is 4K movies - the encoder/decoder is designed for 1080p30 H264, not any higher. BUT, it probably can be overclocked higher, but probably not to the necessary 4kp30. Other stuff will also probably be slower due to higher load on the GPU of stuffing all that data around the system.
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:21 pm

jamesh wrote:Actually, and this amazed me as well, the Pi can output to a 4K monitor, and with overclocking can actually do 30fps at that resolution. On the other hand, you can always output lower resolutions - HDMI/DVI monitors must support all the backward formats. There is a thread on 4k somewhere on here with a great picture of LXDE at 4K.

What it cannot do is 4K movies - the encoder/decoder is designed for 1080p30 H264, not any higher. BUT, it probably can be overclocked higher, but probably not to the necessary 4kp30. Other stuff will also probably be slower due to higher load on the GPU of stuffing all that data around the system.
Makes you wonder what would happen if a way to double or triple the clock speed were to be found...

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:14 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote: Makes you wonder what would happen if a way to double or triple the clock speed were to be found...

Would it be possible for broadcom to use the same bcm2835 design but produce it at 14nm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/14_nanometer and triple the clock speed?

I would doubt it, but I wonder what design reconsiderations are needed for reducing feature size and increasing clock speed?

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:14 am

mung wrote:
W. H. Heydt wrote: Makes you wonder what would happen if a way to double or triple the clock speed were to be found...

Would it be possible for broadcom to use the same bcm2835 design but produce it at 14nm http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/14_nanometer and triple the clock speed?

I would doubt it, but I wonder what design reconsiderations are needed for reducing feature size and increasing clock speed?
I am given to understand that die shrinks, and particularly radical die shrinks are a rather expensive and difficult proposition. Since, if I'm not mistaken, the BCM2835 is done on a 40nm process, going to 14nm would be a *tremendous* leap.

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Tue Oct 21, 2014 4:37 am

The problem is that not every thing shrinks in a liner manner. It pretty much takes complete re-engineering. Some features scale well and others don't. There is also a reason why many microcontrollers (not that the Pi has a uc) are sill produced at over 90nm and that is leakage. 14 nm isn't going to happen and the reason is that most of the 14nm production is currently being soaked up by FPGA makers even Intel is contracting out to them. I don't even see Broadcom being willing to pay for 22nm production with the current crop selling so well and their current stance on SOCs being to minimize the staff.

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Tue Oct 21, 2014 7:19 am

What Jessie said. Shrinking the die means lots of rework in all sorts of areas. Which is why its still at 40nm.

I think the VC5 was meant to be 22 or thereabouts, but that needed new (RTL?) libraries for lots of the ancillary stuff like memory.
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 25, 2014 1:10 pm

DirkS wrote:
Jessie wrote:I have a small VGA LCD collecting dust in my garage. Why put only a VGA port on something as new as a LCD panel I don't know but it was free.
One of the reasons (at least in the EU) could be price. Not because of parts, but because of import duties.
For a long time (not sure if it's still the case) all monitors with a DVI port were burdened with a 14% import duty, the ones with just VGA were 0%...

Gr.
Dirk.
never saw any proof of LCD panel "VGA" monitors with DVI-D inputs being less popular than monitors without DVI-D .

For a long time I worked as a volunteer for a not for profit thrift shop, and we were given at least a few old "VGA" monitors a week, for years and years. Almost half of them had DVI-D inputs on them, but it seems non of them were ever used (when looking at the wear and tear of the connectors).

I wonder how many people who have "VGA" LCD panel monitors in their attics and classrooms do not realize the white connector at the back of their "VGA" monitor actually are DVI inputs that allows them to be directly used with a raspberry PI.

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 25, 2014 1:12 pm

As for the PI not having a VGA output, its like this we could have either never had a PI, or we could have one without a VGA output. Reason is that even the "obsolete" SoC of the raspberry PI was so modern it's designers did not think supporting the extra analog hardware needed for VGA was cot effective when designing the chip.
The reason is that the silicon process used to fabricate the chip does not support analog logic, only digital logic. Wherever an analog signal seems to come out of the PI, (composite video, and audio outputs) they are actually PWM outputs, and doing this too for VGA outputs is impractical and costly. This means that adding analog VGA output, (and thus support for analog circuitry on the chip) would have made considerable impact on the chips cost. Its still possible to use digital outputs, and mix them up externally for the needed analog RGB signals, and this is what the chip does support, and is the reason Gerts VGA adapter can work.

As the trend continues to only use digital I/O all this will only become more true for new SoC's.

Adding external conversion from HDMI to VGA would have added roughly the same cost as the price of the standalone VGA adapters, or around $10, to all PI's. That would have prohibited the PI becoming the success it is today.

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Oct 25, 2014 6:12 pm

mahjongg wrote:As for the PI not having a VGA output, its like this we could have either never had a PI, or we could have one without a VGA output. Reason is that even the "obsolete" SoC of the raspberry PI was so modern it's designers did not think supporting the extra analog hardware needed for VGA was cot effective when designing the chip.
The reason is that the silicon process used to fabricate the chip does not support analog logic, only digital logic. Wherever an analog signal seems to come out of the PI, (composite video, and audio outputs) they are actually PWM outputs, and doing this too for VGA outputs is impractical and costly. This means that adding analog VGA output, (and thus support for analog circuitry on the chip) would have made considerable impact on the chips cost. Its still possible to use digital outputs, and mix them up externally for the needed analog RGB signals, and this is what the chip does support, and is the reason Gerts VGA adapter can work.
Not actually true. There is one (1) single DAC in the entire architecture: the composite video output pin. This is ~10bits of current-mode DAC at a relatively low frequency (8MHz) which means that it's not too big a deal to include.

VGA DACs on the other hand have to operate several times faster than this if they want to output decent resolution. This increases power consumption and area. Plus you need to transmit 3 analogue channels as well as HSYNC and VSYNC which triples the amount of analogue logic required.

The high-speed serial interfaces such as DSI, CSI, HDMI present in 2835 are interfaced with logic that is technically analogue at the front-end, but these interfaces are designed such that the input receiving differential amplifier uses a minimal amount of area and power. Digital logic (clock recovery, descrambling, decoding) takes over soon after the input has been squared up, and for outputs is basically two steering current sources.
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sun Oct 26, 2014 1:04 am

mahjongg wrote: I wonder how many people who have "VGA" LCD panel monitors in their attics and classrooms do not realize the white connector at the back of their "VGA" monitor actually are DVI inputs that allows them to be directly used with a raspberry PI.
Look at the people who post on these Forums saying that their monitor doesn't have HDMI and don't know that HDMI and DVI-D are only a cable apart.

On the other hand, at one point I wanted to get to the console of our "alarm clock" Pi (it is run headless) that sits near my wife's PC, so I grabbed an HDMI-to-DVI cable to hook it to her monitor (22" 1920x1080). Oops! No DVI connector! So I grabbed an HDMI-to-HDMI cable and connected to the HDMI port that it *does* have. I've never actually checked on the monitor on my desk since it's connected to an older PS/2 & VGA KVM switch. The 4 HDMI output devices are connected a USB & HDMI KVM with the output of that going through an HDMI-to-VGA converter and on to a port on the main (8-port) KVM. Sometimes makes me feel like a personified example for James Burke.

(I just looked mine up...easier that at getting the back of it to take a look. Yes, it has DVI input. In addition, Viewsonic has replaced it twice with the newest version using LED backlighting instead of CCFL, making the current version a bit lighter and with half the power draw.)

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sun Oct 26, 2014 10:31 am

mahjongg wrote:I wonder how many people who have "VGA" LCD panel monitors in their attics and classrooms do not realize the white connector at the back of their "VGA" monitor actually are DVI inputs that allows them to be directly used with a raspberry PI.
Not actually in the attic, and I don't have access to a classroom ... I've got two Samsung 720N VGA monitors, manufactured August 2006 & October 2007. Also E-machines 500G, manufactured October 2005. None have DVI. All three in occasional use (my pockets are too deep, or my arms are too short, to buy new ones)

So, given they're all less than 10 years old, how old is considered past it?
Do schools still have them / use them that old?

As a matter of interest, my phone is older than that - ~2002 http://www.gsmarena.com/sony_cmd_z7-281.php - and still in use

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Fri Dec 12, 2014 9:16 pm

I'm new to the forums for the RPi.

I have a model B and do like the little guy (XBMC for net TV, et al.)

Being a computer engineering type, I do lament the limited size and processing of the Pi's at this time.

For a model C (or Pro) I do have my wishlist (based off a B+):
-- Dual or Quad core processors
-- 4GB of memory
-- Dual SD slots that can accept the SDXC chips.
-- Better power handling
-- Maybe a SATA port and WiFi

It does sound like a lot, and would probably make the Pi look more like a Udoo.

Yes the A/B(+) models were intended only as educational tools, and I respect that. But the community is also wanting to grow and maybe it's time for a higher level platform.

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:08 pm

HappySailor wrote:I'm new to the forums for the RPi.

I have a model B and do like the little guy (XBMC for net TV, et al.)

Being a computer engineering type, I do lament the limited size and processing of the Pi's at this time.

For a model C (or Pro) I do have my wishlist (based off a B+):
-- Dual or Quad core processors
-- 4GB of memory
-- Dual SD slots that can accept the SDXC chips.
-- Better power handling
-- Maybe a SATA port and WiFi

It does sound like a lot, and would probably make the Pi look more like a Udoo.

Yes the A/B(+) models were intended only as educational tools, and I respect that. But the community is also wanting to grow and maybe it's time for a higher level platform.
Bit late someone else has made a $35.00 board to save you the trouble of fantasy desirement

http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewt ... 62&t=93650

http://www.hardkernel.com/main/products ... &tab_idx=1
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:04 pm

fruitoftheloom wrote:
HappySailor wrote:I'm new to the forums for the RPi.

I have a model B and do like the little guy (XBMC for net TV, et al.)

Being a computer engineering type, I do lament the limited size and processing of the Pi's at this time.

For a model C (or Pro) I do have my wishlist (based off a B+):
-- Dual or Quad core processors
-- 4GB of memory
-- Dual SD slots that can accept the SDXC chips.
-- Better power handling
-- Maybe a SATA port and WiFi

It does sound like a lot, and would probably make the Pi look more like a Udoo.

Yes the A/B(+) models were intended only as educational tools, and I respect that. But the community is also wanting to grow and maybe it's time for a higher level platform.
Bit late someone else has made a $35.00 board to save you the trouble of fantasy desirement

http://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewt ... 62&t=93650

http://www.hardkernel.com/main/products ... &tab_idx=1
Still doesn't meet Happy Sailor's wish list... Has 1GB RAM (rather than his requested 4GB), 1 microSD slot (instead of the requested two), no evidence of "better" power handling (whatever he means by that, and...better than what?), and no SATA port. Like the B+, it has 4 USB ports, so one of those can be dedicated to WiFi if anyone wants. Does appear to have an RTC, though, which is a nice feature.

Personally, I would cheerfully give up two of the cores in exchange for boosting RAM to 2GB and adding a SATA port, keeping all the rest of the specs (and price) the same. Or--alternatively--boosting the price some (to, say, $50) to get that extra RAM and the SATA port.

It will be interesting to see if Hardkernel can sustain their price or if this is an introductory loss leader. For that matter, it will be interesting to see if they can make more than their initial batch or if these are made with a sample batch of SoCs and they will--once again--be unable to purchase enough to keep their supplier happy.

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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Fri Dec 12, 2014 11:17 pm

Just "Pi in theSky" as there are very few ARM devices which offer 4gb Mem or Dual SD Card Slots,

I would rather wait for an OctaCore 64bit OS ARM Device, 32bit is so last generation....
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:06 am

4GB????

What on earth could possibly need that much memory on a SBC? I think Loom is right, I'm not sure there is a SoC out there that is capable of addressing that much RAM. It would also be very expensive.

I can see a jump to 1GB being just about useful, but more than that? On an SBC? No, simply not needed. Write better code.
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Re: RaspBerry Pi(e) Model C (imaginations & wants)

Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:27 am

jamesh wrote:4GB????

What on earth could possibly need that much memory on a SBC? I think Loom is right, I'm not sure there is a SoC out there that is capable of addressing that much RAM. It would also be very expensive.

I can see a jump to 1GB being just about useful, but more than that? On an SBC? No, simply not needed. Write better code.
Yes a better board does exist, but it is 64bit SoC to take advantage of greater memory addressing, though will need a 64bit OS

http://www.geekbuying.com/item/Allwinne ... 32199.html
Last edited by fruitoftheloom on Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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