The RK3588 puts together eight Arm cores where other boards, such as the Raspberry Pi 4, have only four. There's a quad-core 2.4 GHz Cortex A76 unit providing processing grunt, and four Cortex 1.8 GHz A55 cores for efficiency and background tasks. Add to this 8GB of RAM and a Mali G610MC4 GPU (it’s not clear how many cores this has, but we suspect six, which is the maximum number), and you have a board that can tackle a variety of tasks.
|Processor||Arm DynamIQ (Quad Cortex – A76 @ 2.2/2.4GHz, Quad Cortex – A55 @ 1.8GHz)|
|GPU||Arm Mali G610MC4 GPU, supporting OpenGL® ES1.1, ES2.0, and ES3.2, OpenCL® 1.1, 1.2 and 2.2, Vulkan® 1.1 and 1.2, and embedded high-performance 2D image acceleration module|
|Memory||8GB 64bit LPDDR4 RAM|
|Power||USB Type‑C PD Version 2.0 with 9V/2A, 12V/2A, 15V/2A and 20V/2A. 5V Power applied to the GPIO PIN 2 & 4.|
|HDMI||Dual HDMI ports supporting displays up to 8Kp60 resolution and 4Kp60|
|Row 6 - Cell 0||Micro-HDMI input port supporting up to 4Kp60 resolution|
|GPIO||40 Pin GPIO|
|Row 8 - Cell 0||2 x UART, 2 x SPI bus, 2 x I2C bus, 1 x PCM/I2S, 1 x SPDIF, 1 x PWM, 1 x ADC, 6 x GPIO, 2 x 5V DC power in/out, 2 x 3.3V power out.|
|USB||2x USB2 HOST ports|
|Row 10 - Cell 0||1x USB3 HOST port|
|Row 11 - Cell 0||1x USB3 OTG/HOST port|
|Storage||Micro SD / eMMC|
|Dimensions||100.15 x 74.25mm|
Dotted around the edge of the board are an array of ports, including a pair of full-size HDMIs (for the 8k60 output), a single micro-HDMI (4k60), four USB-A (two USB 2 and two USB 3) plus a headphone jack, and a USB-C port for power. The board itself requires 24W, and 36W if you mount an SSD. There's a 2.5G Ethernet port, 40-pin GPIO, CSI and DSI MIPI, two UART interfaces, Micro SD and eMMC storage options, and PCIe 3.0 (NVMe compatible) and PCIe 2.1 interfaces for M.2 SSDs, the latter of which also supports SATA. There's even an on/off switch.
It’s a lot for a little board to manage, and it’s helped in this task by a variety of the usual suspect operating systems, including Debian and Ubuntu Linux, plus Android 12. There are mounting holes for a heatsink if things start getting too hot.
It sounds like the ideal board for a gaming or video station, especially if a less powerful board isn’t quite cutting it, and could probably run digital signage well too. The ROCK 5 is is currently available for pre-order from OKdo (for $159) and ameriDrioid (for $144.95). Hopefully, some accessories will soon be available for it too.