Linux-powered LattePanda Alpha is one of the most powerful Single Board Computers (SBC) on the market. Unlike several SBCs available, the LattePanda Alpha features an X86-based Intel Processor, a PCI express slot for installing GPU, eMMC storage, a USB type-c port and a lot more.
However, the Linux-powered LattePanda becomes even more valuable with another piece of hardware called the Nvidia GTX 1650. The entry level Graphics card was launched a few weeks ago and it is a perfect match for the LattePanda.
Linux-powered LattePanda Alpha 864s
The LattePanda Alpha 864s is the latest version of the single board computer. It features an upgraded 8th Gen Intel CORE m3-8100Y Processor. The dual-core CPU has 1.10GHZ of base clock and 3.4 GHz of boost clock. The Core m3 processor has a TDP of just 5watt and 4MB of SmartCache memory.
The latest LattePanda Alpha board has 8GB LPDDR3 RAM and 64GB of eMMC 5.1 storage. For future upgradability, there is an option to connect with an SSD drive.
However, the feature we most care about is a fully functional PCIe 4x slot capable of supporting a desktop level graphics card. Considering the capability of the CORE m3 CPU users were able to connect to either an Nvidia GTX 1030 or a 1050ti — both were fairly entry-level GPUs capable of pushing around 40-50 FPS in low settings.
Nvidia recently launched its new entry-level graphics card, the GTX 1650. It might not have received great reviews but it’s most important aspect was mostly overlooked. The Nvidia GTX 1650 is a low powered graphics card and it doesn’t require an external power supply to perform its best.
This makes the Nvidia GTX 1650 a perfect candidate for LattePanda Alpha and further enhances its potential. The best part is that the entire setup can be as small as 1.8 liters in volume.
The Linux Powered LattePanda also has a USB 3.0 port but the PCIe slot is the best go for connecting a GPU. Furthermore, Nvidia officially supports Linux drivers for GTX 1650. The latest Linux driver update also brings VDPAU (Video Decode and Presentation API for Unix) support.
Steps to Add the external GPU
Here is a video by the Youtuber Project-SBC who has put his own spin on the LattePanda GPU project.
You will need to attach a PCIe x4 adapter to the M.2 slot. You can use an extension cable as well —
- Attach the PCIe x4 slot in the same adaptor.
- Connect the GTX 1650 in the PCI express slot
- Connect the LattePanda with an external power supply
The graphics card requires mo extra power and happily runs off of the PCI express slot itself. The performance is surprising, to say the least.
|Game||Frame Per Second (Average)|
|DOOM (2016) (Medium Settings)||90|
|Overwatch (Low Settings)||92|
|GTA V (Medium Settings)||70|
|Fortnite (High Settings)||120+|
The reason why I think that GTX 1650 is the best match for Lattepanda is that it strikes the perfect balance between power requirement and performance. More powerful Graphics card will simply bottleneck the CPU on this device.
LattePanda Alpha is redefining what is capable on a single board computer. As time goes by, we will only see more and more powerful SBC coming up on the market.