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Bret's Tech Blog


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Interesting and informational content on Single Board Computers such as the Raspberry Pi and their accessories so you can make informed decisions on what alternatives to purchase when building your home lab.
Official Raspberry Pi M.2 HAT+ Review
2024-05-16 15:12
After being teased by Raspberry Pi in their Raspberry Pi 5 release post, 8 months and multiple revisions later we finally have the Official Raspberry Pi M.2 HAT+ available for purchase. With… Read More
Radxa 5C PCIe Hats!
2024-04-25 20:48
Alongside my Radxa ROCK 5 ITX I received one of their new, budget-user-focused boards, the Radxa 5C Lite and the cool thing about this board is that it has a 16-pin FFC PCIe connector. Can y… Read More
Geniatech XPI-3566-ZERO Review
2024-04-16 15:55
Introduction The Geniatech XPI-3566-ZERO is another Raspberry Pi Zero form-factor SBC to add to the pile, though much like other Raspberry Pi alternatives, it packs in additional features… Read More
2024-04-15 16:26
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the ROCK 5 ITX coming soon and since then, samples of the Rockchip RK3588-based Radxa ROCK 5 ITX have been landing on doorsteps (or service points, screw… Read More
Radxa ROCK 5 ITX On The Way!
2024-03-29 11:51
With nothing else quite yet ready for the “big time”, the Rockchip RK3588 at the heart of the Radxa ROCK 5 ITX continues to be the top dog in the ARM SBC market, and with extensi… Read More
Update Raspberry Pi Bootloader
2024-02-24 12:19
Updating your Raspberry Pi bootloader is often essential for keeping the device running smoothly and whilst on a Raspberry Pi it’s not often critical, firmware updates can enhance syst… Read More
Raspberry Pi 5 NVMe Boot
2024-02-22 21:07
Want to make the most of the PCIe port available on your Raspberry Pi 5 and boot from an M.2 NVMe SSD? You’re in luck! A whole host of Raspberry Pi 5 NVMe hats are available these days… Read More
Raspberry Pi 5 ICE Tower Cooler Review
2024-01-08 21:40
The wave of Raspberry Pi 5 accessories is upon us and when I reviewed the Pi 4 ICE Tower cooler from 52Pi previously, it did a rather good job. When I saw that there was a Raspberry Pi 5 ICE… Read More
Flirc Raspberry Pi 5 Case Review
2023-12-23 23:09
Flirc have a long history of creating cases that double as heatsinks/passive coolers for the Raspberry Pi and with the introduction of the Flirc Raspberry Pi 5 Case, this continues. Intro… Read More
2023 Review!
2023-12-23 15:55
I wasn’t sure about writing something like this as it feels a bit self-indulgent but there have been a lot of changes this year so I wanted to highlight those, share some details on th… Read More
Raspberry Pi 5 Review
2023-11-18 21:03
It’s been more than 4 years since we received the Pi 4 and it’s had a good run (if you could get one when you wanted it) but it’s now time to pass on the baton. My Raspberr… Read More
2023-11-10 21:11
After a few years of hearing nothing, and then “There will be no Raspberry Pi 5 in 2023” we have a Raspberry Pi 5. Surprise! This means that it’s time for me to test and le… Read More
USB Boot On The Raspberry Pi 5
2023-11-10 14:20
The new member of the Raspberry Pi family is now available and shipping into eager maker’s hands! With faster, more capable USB ports, USB boot on the Raspberry Pi 5 is a great option… Read More
Libre Computer Alta Review (Big Cottonwood)
2023-11-09 21:50
5 years seemed like an awfully long time for a new Single Board Computer to be in the works, especially given the rate at which new boards have been pumped out recently but perhaps with Libr… Read More
RISC-V Sipeed LicheePi 4A Giveaway!
2023-11-05 15:37
After a bit of a debacle with my latest purchase though, I now get to launch a Sipeed LicheePi 4A Giveaway. It’s my first RISC-V offering and I’m excited! Back in 2022, I star… Read More
Intel N100: A Challenge To ARM
2023-10-25 19:34
The Intel N100 (and N200) seem to be Intel’s attempt at trying to muscle into the market that high-end ARM SoCs look to have cornered. With the Rockchip RK3588 exploding in popularity… Read More
2023-10-12 14:48
The hype around the Raspberry Pi 5 is ramping up as we get closer to the pre-order shipment dates and to celebrate this, I wanted to run a Raspberry Pi 5 Giveaway to get one out in the hands… Read More
Raspberry Pi 5 Released
2023-09-28 06:19
The Raspberry Pi 5 has been hotly anticipated as its predecessor, the Raspberry Pi 4 was released in June 2019, a whole 4 years ago. Do the Raspberry Pi Foundation not know that the new cool… Read More
Orange Pi 5 Plus Review
2023-09-19 19:30
Hot on the heels of my Radxa ROCK 5B review, we have another Rockchip RK3588 board to take a look at, the Orange Pi 5 Plus. It feels like it’s been a crazy year for Orange Pi, as we… Read More
Radxa ROCK 5B Review (Powerful RK3588 SBC)
2023-09-11 20:21
The Radxa ROCK 5B has been available for nearly a year now and thanks to OKdo I’ve been able to take a look at the 8GB RAM model and see how it fares. After giving it a year to mature… Read More
2023-05-22 14:02
Milk-V is still a relatively new name in the Single Board Computer / RISC-V computing scene but the Chinese brand have been busy, launching their 64-core Milk-V Pioneer and Raspberry Pi Pico… Read More
2023-04-15 18:03
If you’re searching for a reliable single-board computer to elevate your next project and you’re unable to find a Raspberry Pi to fit your need, let’s see if I can help. In… Read More
RISC-V UnixBench Testing
2023-04-14 06:19
Having followed and forgotten about the UnixBench GitHub issue someone else raised a while ago on support for compiling on the RISC-V architecture I was pleasantly surprised to receive an em… Read More
2023-03-14 13:22
Whilst the Raspberry Pi 4 doesn’t consume a lot of power, if you’re running more than Pi-Hole then you’re likely going to need some form of cooling. Is the Dickson Industri… Read More
Best MicroSD Card For The VisionFive 2
2023-02-26 08:09
This RISC-V-based StarFive board has been out for a couple of months now after its Kickstarter campaign and if you were wondering how its microSD card slot performs, I bring you good news. L… Read More
52Pi ICE Tower Raspberry Pi Cooler Review
2023-01-06 22:22
The 52Pi ICE Tower cooler for the Raspberry Pi 4 (and 3!) has been available for some years now, though I’ve only just got my hands on one to do some testing thanks to the guys at OKdo… Read More
Best MicroSD Card For Rock 5B
2023-01-03 21:11
Expanding on my Best microSD Card for Raspberry Pis piece, we have my run-down on the best microSD card for Rock 5B Single Board Computers. The Rock 5 Model B is the latest board from Rad… Read More
Best MicroSD Card For Raspberry Pi 4
2022-11-15 19:11
The Operating System and your files are the most important things on your Single Board Computer so you need to make sure you’re using the fastest and best quality SD card you can. Let… Read More
MangoPi MQ Quad Review
2022-10-19 14:48
My MQ Quad comparison piece last week gave us a good overall view of its capabilities against similar Single Board Computers but how does it stand on its own? What (if anything) makes it spe… Read More
Initial MangoPi MQ Quad Comparisons!
2022-10-11 12:12
A bit later than I hoped, the MangoPi MQ Quad has arrived and I’ve put it through my usual set of tests so we can see how it compares to its nearest and dearest. The MangoPi MQ Quad… Read More
Are PoE Splitters Good For A Raspberry Pi?
2022-09-21 19:00
For about a year now I’ve powered my Raspberry Pi 4 with a 100Mbit PoE (Power over Ethernet) splitter. It only held my UniFi controller and AdGuard Home DNS server so the speed didn&rs&hell…Read More
Raspberry Pi PoE Hat Review
2022-09-17 11:30
Starting the Raspberry Pi PoE hype train, we have a solid option for powering your Raspberry Pi 4 (or 3!) with PoE and this time it’s the Raspberry Pi PoE Hat. I’ve also covered… Read More
Raspberry & Orange Pi Heatsink Reviews
2022-09-04 18:10
Table of ContentsHave they changed in the last year?Testing ProcessDecember '21 (UK) Amazon Basics microSD CardSeptember '22 (DE) Amazon Basics microSD CardIs the Amazon Basics microSD Card… Read More
AliExpress Tech Haul – August 2022
2022-08-30 18:20
A monthly AliExpress Tech Haul is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while and with summer being over, what’s the next thing to look forward to? Halloween? Christmas? Nope!… Read More
MangoPi H616-based MQ Quad Released
2022-08-29 07:27
Way back in April I spoke about the MangoPi MQ Quad announcement and we now have the first production run available for sale! Table of ContentsHave they changed in the last year?Testing Pr… Read More
The Great Pi Zero Showdown
2022-08-21 18:03
What is the best Pi Zero? Is it the Raspberry Pi? Radxa? BananaPi? OrangePi? Or is it their RISC-V cousin, the MangoPi? Building on the Raspberry Pi Zero vs Mango Pi MQ Pro comparison, that… Read More

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