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Pine A64+
I think this particular board has had a lot of press, most of it bad, and justifiably so, it has a lot wrong with it. But since I only really care about its ability to compile and run games, I don't really care about its other problems which are well documented on its forums.

I bought this when it came out as a kickstarter, it was my first ever experience of kickstarter, and I waited for it to arrive with baited breath, and waited, and waited...and....

well eventually it did arrive, but as is often the case the software was beyond terrible, and after a few attempts to get it to work, I gave up. It had so much promise with 2G RAM, and a quad core 64bit CPU, though a Mali400Mp2 is ancient it is a solid system..I had hoped for a lot more.

But time passes people stuck with it, and there are now several new OS's available, software has been patched and played with and the latest version of Ubuntu is actually quite nice and solid, unlike the version I tried a year or so back..
So lets try the 3DMaze demo..

1st things 1st, do we have that's no surprise. But installing GLMark2-ES2 shows that it has something somewhere since it can run it.........very very slow, and not identifying as Mali400Mp2 as it should but instead as a generic ES3.0 Mesa 17.2.8 which is a sure sign of emulation.

Reinstalling Mesa drivers to be sure showed no its emulated, and slow, a score of 18 (lowest ever) but to its credit it did complete all tests.

I set up the 3DMaze test fully expecting it to bomb, and aside from the need to sudo apt-get install build-essential it compiled and ran the project, even giving me key access.

But at only 10fps in 1024x768 window clearly its not viable.. But hats off, it does compile and it does run, but its just not accelerated on the GPU.

I wonder if any of the other OS's for it have working drivers. I will post an update with Debian and Armbian at some point.

If you have a PineA64 it will probably run the 2D code ok, but until we find an OS with drivers, avoid any real time 3D work.
Brian Beuken
Lecturer in Game Programming at Breda University of Applied Sciences.
Author of The Fundamentals of C/C++ Game Programming: Using Target-based Development on SBC's 


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