Asus tinker board

  • Admin

    Anyone using the Asus Tinker Board as home automation server, and would share knowledge about stability, power consumption etc?

    I can get one for around 80$, and are considering it because it has 2Gb of memory, and the ethernet is not an USB device, so it does not compete with other USB devices (like harddisks) for the available USB bandwidth.

  • Mod

    I am curious too about that board but given the double price tag of an RPI3, I am wondering if all that extra power is actually necessary/beneficial for a home automation server.

  • Admin

    Well it's more the increased ram size that I'm going for. Would like to run something like zoneminder on it, which is a memory hog.

    Also the ethernet isn't an usb device, so should not hamper the disk throughput if used as a nas server

  • Mod

    @tbowmo not that it answers your question, but could the orange pi prime or orange pi plus 2 be an alternative?

  • Admin


    probably, the reason why I find the Asus board interesting is that it is on sale in a physical shop, so I can go fetch one today. And there I no additional surprise fees for customs and taxes..

    And an added bonus, it fits the standard rpi enclosures (i have one in surplus from one of my rpi2s that died because of high humidity)

  • Hi

    I have been playing with Zoneminder for about 3 week on the Tinker Board
    First I set it up with Debian TinkerOS but Zoneminder would stop running after a few hours.

    Switched to Armbian (desktop) replaced XFCE with LXQT

    First off, I didn't have the monitor resolution problems that seems a lot of people have including myself have with TinkerOS during and after boot

    Armbian has been running well and have not had to restart Zoneminder , as far as performance I have one WIFI camera working at 7.5fps. play back does skip frames but that could be my configuration of ZM. but really have nothing to compare it too.

  • Hero Member

    FWIW, I'll share a contrarian viewpoint. I tried various ARM-based alternative boards in the past, but very often the software had holes in it as compared to standard Linux releases that run on x86 hardware. The Pi is perhaps the exception, because the user base is so large that things get fixed. Anyway, you can buy x86 motherboards for about the same cost, and they perform better too. Consider, for instance, the J1800 (or similar) "combo" motherboards that include an intel x86 CPU. Maybe they aren't quite as compact, but they "just work."

  • Admin

    What is the power consumption in comparison to an rpi for example? If I remember right, I haven't seen an x86 based system running below 5w.

  • Mod

    The udoo x86 should be in the 10W range but it has like 10x processing power of a rpi3

  • Hero Member

    @tbowmo said in Asus tinker board:

    What is the power consumption in comparison to an rpi for example? If I remember right, I haven't seen an x86 based system running below 5w.

    Around 6 watts, IIRC. Passively cooled. I haven't checked whether any of the newer Intel based "combo" boards draw fewer watts. Maybe? It's a good question. Still... to be a fair apples-to-apples comparison against ARM, all the mainstream Linux distros need to run the same too. Maybe they all will eventually.. Just not the last time I checked. I got tired of being gotcha'd on the ARM boards, but, of course, YMMV. Hence, the dissenting viewpoint.

  • @tbowmo I found this review of a J1800 board that measured 14-18 watts without video.

  • Hero Member

    Some of them even have 12v or 19v DC input on them, such as:

    and probably more if you go looking. Intel says the TDP on the J3160 cpu is 6w, so should be less in idle. For instance, the TDP on the N3050 is also 6W, but Intel says the SDP for it is 4w. So, maybe it meets your power spec requirements?

    For comparison sake, the TDP of the J1800 is 10watts. The 6w figure I was quoting was with it in idle, which is most of the time, and headless. You'd want to find one with a low idle-power consumption. The one I measured (with a kill-o-watt meter) was this one:
    The newegg price is currently $40 for that one, but it often goes on sale for less. I think I may have even seen it on sale at $25. You'll probably see that price, or something near it, on or around Black Friday, or just after Christmas.

    Also, I'm guessing the newer generation stuff will use less power, as that's the trend.

    If you find something better, please post!

  • Admin


    I recon that the TDP / SDP is given for the CPU only, then you have all the glue logic around it as well, which all adds up..

    Next up is the pricing as an example: Asrock Beebox J3160 is 220$, without RAM etc. (btw. power supply for the asrock is given as 36W)

    so, back to the tinkerboard, it can be bought for 90$ (under half the price), add a SD card and it's operational.. Power supply is below 10W (if I'm not totally mistaken).

    Just wondering if it will give me as pain free running, as my current setup with an RPi2..

    On the other hand,Just remembered that I do have an atom based machine as a leftover from when I ran mythtv.. Might be usefull for ZoneMinder. But still consumes power 😞

  • Mod

    Let's put it in a ROI perspective: you already have an atom base computer that for sure will use more power than the tinker board, but try to make a calculation of how much time that atom pc will need to run to consume 80€ in energy consumption difference. I'd bet you could run that atom until it dies and you would have still saved money

  • Hero Member

    Well, based on my J1800 measurements at idle and taking that as a percentage of the TDP, I'd estimate the idle power consumption of the J3160 is around 3 to 4 watts.

    Of course, Asrock will spec a power supply that will handle whatever they think the worst case scenario could possibly be.

    @gohan He never really said why he wanted the low power. Maybe he just doesn't want it adding to the heat of the room that it's in.

  • Mod

    @tbowmo said in Asus tinker board:

    But still consumes power

    From this sentence I thought his concern is the actual energy consumption of something running 24x7 all year long

  • Admin


    Yes, right, haven't calculated with ROI at all..


    I am aiming for as low power as possible, in order to save some pennies on the electrical bill

    1kWh ~ 2 dkr (0.27€). a system consuming 20W 24/7 uses around 175kWh each year.. resulting in 350dkr (47€) on the electrical bill.

  • Hero Member

    Wow, what country are you in? Your electricity costs are triple the rates in Texas.

  • Mod

    @NeverDie DKR is Danish Krone, so my educated guess is Denmark 😄
    Denmark is indeed expensive ( like the 120 or 180% tax on cars, I don't recall well)

  • @gohan Damn, you beat me to it, you're obviously not Texan, you spotted the obvious 😉
    @tbowmo All good on low energy use, but don't dwell on ROI too much, it rarely pans out as projectedunless talking HUGE investments IME... Alternative supplies are growing and becoming more efficient, low energy demand gives the opportunity to reduce %age dependance on the grid... All good...

  • Tinkerboard primarily running Zoneminder server and Vino vnc server, (no monitor attached) 4 - 5 watts on my Kill A Watt meter

  • Admin

    @gohan yep its denmark 🙂 the place of high taxes, and free Healthcare and education to all 🙂
    the just passed a new law that lowered the taxes on cars so they became cheaper.. A Skoda Octavia station wagon is around 40.000$ in denmark now, I have to pay 6300$ less in taxes. I was looking at the Skoda last week because we where talking about getting a new car.

  • Hero Member

    @JoeBona said in Asus tinker board:

    Tinkerboard primarily running Zoneminder server and Vino vnc server, (no monitor attached) 4 - 5 watts on my Kill A Watt meter

    What distro are you running, and have you noticed any gotcha's?

    ASUS does generally make good motherboards, so maybe they did their homework on this one too and gave it the needed support to avoid software issues.

  • Running Armbian desktop image, followed Ubuntu easy way to install ZM, really don't recall any gotcha's.

    Runs without problem, never had to do a ZM restart because of ZM stopping unlike the TinkerOS

  • What about PINE64 ? Did anyone try it ?

    Actually I ordered it from kickstarter when it was launched in April 2016 ( I guess ) but I didn't have the enough time to run it.

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