[SOLVED] My Review of the Up Board Linux
So I pulled the trigger after thinking around about wanting to get a beefier SBC and see if I could squeeze out some more N64 Performance maybe get some decent Dolphin Performance or Nintendo DS. Change it up a bit. So after receiving my Upboard I popped a copy of Ubuntu 16.04 on there and started going to town testing. This is the 4 gig model that I am about to start testing. Man was I dissapointed. To even get sound working you must swap the default kernel for an upstreamed version. Alright no issue, lets start testing some games. Sound Issues, Stuttering, Slowdown
There are only a handful of games I tried across most every emulator that ran worth a nickel.
Killer Instinct in latest rom did run suprisingly well. Killer Instinct 2 in latest rom set ran quite nicely. Sure there was screen tearing and it suffered from this sense of maybe a slow polling speed over the USB devices. I could only explain it as saying at all times that I was using the up board keyboard mouse or controller I just used a standard xbox 360 for all tests it felt like I was using a VM or remote connected to another computer. There was just this sense of delay that wasnt on the processing but on the speed which the input device was actually processed.
Alright well maybe Ubuntu just has really poor drivers, considering yea you have to swap the kernel to even get sound working lets try their Ubilinux product. Optimized for the UP board. Easy enough to switch the install but low and behold it is based of off Debian Jessie so no Retropie Setup. Sure I could have installed Retroarch at this point, but meh had no desire. Im thinking well this just may be a windows only board.
After messing around and their wiki not properly documenting that the only Rufus option to get the win 10 usb boot method to work was gpt I got Win 10 up and running. updated drivers from their wikis website paying carefull attention to make sure the video card was installed. Tried out kodi, which worked just perfectly. Heck even at 2048 p it definitely has pretty over the standard near 4k capabilities. Alright cool lets install Project 64. Suprisingly enough Shadows of the Empire and Smash Bros play better then a well tuned Pi 3 so there is a bonus things are looking up. But alas it was the last time.
Installed NullDc Even the boot logo lags when it loads Installed Dolphin HAHAHAHAHAHAHA nope Installed Dolphin Low CPu optimized build , there was a bug in controller configuration that would not allow a button to be defined so nope Lets try Retroarch, that will work right Try launching reicast core game bam crash Lets load up a N64 game with Parallell I hear good things nope Crash
At this point I was already looking up the contact us portion of the up site to request a return walkthrough because the thing is a waste of time, at least when it comes to emulation. There may be some use case this thing serves, and hell if the community works on it maybe they can write some software drivers for video or whatever its bottleneck is but at its current implementation I would and yea early adoption always has its bugs, issues, and performance holdup. But this is a 200 dollar board damn near when you get the power plug and an active cooling heatsink. It performs worse in every emulator out there when compared to a pi in every emulator except mame and N64 and that is just y barely.
Sure I think the 4k capabilities on video output are cool but this thing cant even handle rendering a snes game in 320x240 resolution.
My honest review the Up board is leaps and bounds away from coming close to the emulation standard of a Pi 3 and I don't see it changing anytime soon. Unfortunately my excitement for the Udoo board is severely diminished as well considering it will ship with the exact same GPU on all of its models except the most expensive tier which will have a 405 whilst the rest have the intel 400.
My advice to the community is to stay wary of the benchmarks, and rendering videos meant to showcase this generation of "improved boards" and boast 3-4 times the performance of a Raspberry pi when they can't even emulate their way out of a paper bag. /My 2 Cents