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HardRock64 Is an Upcoming Raspberry Pi Rival That Needs a Heatsink

(Image credit: Pine64)

Developers at Pine64 today unveiled a list of upcoming hardware planned for a 2020 release, one of which is a new single-board computer (SBC) called the HardRock64. With its small form factor, GPIO pins, wireless support and four USB ports, it's hard not to compare it to the Raspberry Pi.

Below we compare the HardRock64 to the most recent Pi, the Raspberry Pi 4

HardRock64 vs. Raspberry Pi 4 Specs

SpecHardROCK64Raspberry Pi 4 B
CPU2x Arm Cortex A-72 cores + 4x Cortex-A53 cores (Rockchip RK3399)4x Arm Cortex A-72 cores (Broadcom BCM2711B0) @ 1.5 GHz
GPUArm Mali-T860 MP4VideoCore VI @ 500 MHz
USB Ports2x USB 3.0; 2x USB 2.02x USB 3.0; 2x USB 2.0
Connectivity WiFi 802.11ac; Bluetooth 5.01x Ethernet; WiFi 802.11ac; Bluetooth 5.0
StorageMicroSD card slotMicroSD card slot
RAM1 - 4GB LPDDR41 - 4GB LPDDR4
Power SupplyDC 5VDC 5V /3A

This board is a successor to the previously released RockPro64 SBC. It's very similar in design, with the biggest difference being a lack of PCIe and USB-C support.

"The board will run all RockPro64 OS images with little or no tweaks (we checked) and probably most Pinebook Pro OS with a ‘simple’ device tree tweak. In other words, if you don’t need all of the ROCKPro64’s functionality – e.g. PCIe or USB-C – then this may just be the board for you," the announcement said. 

Pine64 noted that the board is known for running hot, and you will definitely need a heatsink, so add that to the price of the board. The HardRock64 board will be available with the options of 1GB ($35), 2GB ($45) or 4GB ($55) of RAM, just like the Pi 4. 

This new SBC has a tentative release date of April 2020. It doesn't seem to have any immediately obvious advantages over the Pi 4, but if you're in the market for a new SBC or just want to try something different from the usual Pi, you may want to check it out.