Orange Pi 5 Review – Powerful, No WiFi

Orange Pi 5 SBC Review
Orange Pi 5 SBC Review

The Orange Pi 5 has finally arrived! I received my pre-order and the board is great. So should you go out and buy it? Probably, but there are some things you should know first that you may not be expecting.

The biggest thing to know is that there is no WiFi/Bluetooth included. If you were planning on using Ethernet anyway this doesn’t have much of an impact. If you do need wireless capabilities we’ll cover what options are available.

In this review we’ll cover what you need to know about the Orange Pi 5 including it’s onboard capabilities, the available RAM options as well as benchmark the board. Let’s get started!

Hardware Used

Orange Pi 5 - Top View
Orange Pi 5

The Orange Pi 5 the latest release from Orange Pi and is the most powerful model yet. It has a 6 core CPU and options from 4GB of RAM all the way up to 32GB of RAM!

Links:*, AliExpress*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*,*

Geekworm Copper Heatsink Set
Geekworm Copper Heatsink Set

The Geekworm copper heatsink set is designed to fit many different single board computers. It uses thermal conductive adhesive which many “cheap” heatsink kits for SBCs don’t have. Eliminates hotspots and reduces throttling. Can be further enhanced by powered cooling over the heatsinks.


Kioxia 2230 M2 NVMe Drive
Kioxia 2230 M2 NVMe Drive

The Kioxia (Toshiba) 128GB M.2 2230 PCIe NVMe drive is much shorter than most NVMe drives (full size is 2280). It fits great with single board computers / tablets / other smaller form factors.


Orange Pi Wireless Mouse
Orange Pi Wireless Mouse

The Orange Pi official mouse uses 2.4GHz wireless to give you a wireless mouse experience with the Orange Pi

Links:*, AliExpress*

Orange Pi Portable Monitor
Orange Pi Portable Monitor

The Orange Pi monitor is meant to be a portable monitor you can take anywhere. It has a resolution of 1080P and features a hinge in the back that folds out to support the monitor.

Links:*, AliExpress*

Custom WiFi Module (Added 1/13/2023)

Orange Pi 5 Custom WiFi Module
Orange Pi 5 Custom WiFi Module

The Orange Pi 5 official wireless module is designed to fit into a M-keyed M.2 slot (the only one the Orange Pi 5 has). This WiFi adapter will work with both Linux and Android.



CPU8-core 64-bit processor Big.Little
Architecture: 4xCortex-A76 and 4xCortex-A55
Big core cluster is 2.4GHz
Little core cluster is 1.8GHz frequency
GPUMali-G610 MP4 “Odin” GPU Compatible with OpenGL ES1.1/2.0/3.2
OpenCL 2.2 and Vulkan 1.2 3D graphics engine and 2D graphics engine
NPUBuilt-in AI accelerator NPU with up to 6 TOPS
Supports INT4/INT8/INT16 mixed operation
RAM4GB/8GB/16GB/32GB (LPDDR4/4x)
MicroSD (TF) Card Slot
M.2 M-KEY Socket
USBUSB3.0 × 1
USB2.0 × 2
Type-C (USB3.1) ×1
Video OutputHDMI2.1, up to 8K @60Hz DP1.4 (DisplayPort)
DP 1.4 and USB 3.1 ports are multiplexed and the port is shared with Type-C 2 * MIPI D-PHY TX 4Lane
Configurable up to 4K @60Hz
CameraMIPI CSI 4Lane 2 * MIPI D-PHY RX 4Lane
AudioCODEC: ES8388
3.5mm headphone jack audio input/output
Input: Onboard MIC HDMI 2.1 eARC
Ethernet10/100/1000Mbps Ethernet
Expansion PortFor extending UART, PWM, I2C, SPI, CAN and GPIO interfaces.
M.2 M-KEY Socket Expansion SlotSupports PCIe NVMe SSD
Supports custom PCIe Wi-Fi 6 + Bluetooth 5.0 module
Button1×MaskROM key
1×Recovery key
1×On/Off key
Power SourceSupport Type-C power supply 5V @ 4A
LEDPower indicator: red
Status indicator: green
Debugging3 Pin debug serial port (UART)
Supported OSOrangePi OS (Droid)
OrangePi OS (Arch)

Build Quality

The Orange Pi 5 is built very well. Everything is clearly labeled and visible. The PCB is a nice blue color. I received board revision/version 1.2.

Here is the top view:

Orange Pi 5 - Top View
Orange Pi 5 – Top View

You can see the holographic effect on the RockChip CPU in the middle of the board. As you move it in the light you get a neat little effect.

The bottom of the board only contains a few connections such as the M.2 slot, a CAM slot and a couple others.

Here’s the bottom view:

Orange Pi 5 - Bottom View
Orange Pi 5 – Bottom View

I/O Benchmarking

For the review I used a SSSTC 128GB 2230 M.2 NVMe drive. These are available on Amazon for around $10-12 (also see Kioxia 128GB M.2 2230 module*).

You can verify the performance of your drive on Pi Benchmarks using the following command:

sudo curl | sudo bash

Here are the results:

     Category                  Test                      Result     
HDParm                    Disk Read                 375.32 MB/s              
HDParm                    Cached Disk Read          381.15 MB/s              
DD                        Disk Write                234 MB/s                 
FIO                       4k random read            47080 IOPS (188321 KB/s) 
FIO                       4k random write           35128 IOPS (140514 KB/s) 
IOZone                    4k read                   75628 KB/s               
IOZone                    4k write                  67285 KB/s               
IOZone                    4k random read            35874 KB/s               
IOZone                    4k random write           70620 KB/s               

                          Score: 17,718

The full Orange Pi 5 benchmark can be viewed here on Pi Benchmarks.

That is an outstanding score. We are getting NVMe performance. This score actually even beats my ODROID M1 benchmark.

The Orange Pi 5 is without a doubt a very powerful board and is performing exactly where it should be.

Keep in mind that this is PCIe 2.0 performance. This board does not have PCIe 3.0 (only the RK3588 proper has that, not the RK3588S).

UPDATE 1/2/2023: If you update the Orange Pi 5 firmware by using sudo orangepi-config and choosing “System->Firmware” and then choose to update the firmware I was able to get *low* PCIe 2.0 performance (about 280MB/s). I highly recommend updating the firmware with sudo orangepi-config. You may see some marginal improvements!

Due to this you should not use a powerful NVMe drive with the Orange Pi 5. You are limited in speeds to around 500MB/s at best (according to Orange Pi themselves via the user manual) and more like 250MB/s write according to the benchmarking.

If you need help setting up SSD booting see my Orange Pi 5 SSD Boot Guide here.

Benchmarking vs. Pi 4 (added 12/16/2022)

I’ve now installed my heat sinks which looks like this:

Orange Pi 5 with Heat Sinks
Orange Pi 5 with Heat Sinks

That means it’s time for a head-to-head benchmarking match against the Pi 4 to see how the Orange Pi 5 compares. For the benchmark I used the “hardinfo” benchmark which can be installed on most Linux flavors with:

sudo apt install hardinfo

Here are the results:

TestOrange Pi 5Pi 4
CPU Blowfish (lower is better)2.65s5.24s
CPU CryptoHash (higher is better)574.49 MiB/s466.37 MiB/s
CPU Fibonacci (lower is better)0.5s1.73s
CPU N-Queens (lower is better)4.24s8.74s
CPU Zlib (higher is better)0.800.31
FPU FFT (lower is better)1.23s5.52s
FPU Raytracing (lower is better)2.86s2.18s
GPU Drawing (higher is better)2064.13 HiMarks1708.15 HiMarks

That is almost a clean sweep for the Orange Pi 5! The only category it didn’t win was FPU raytracing interestingly enough. On GPU drawing performance however the Orange Pi 5 scored significantly higher and also won all other categories.

Pros / Cons


  • 4 GB and 8 GB RAM variants cost under $100
  • M.2 slot supports high speed NVMe storage
  • RAM options from 4 GB all the way up to 32 GB available


  • No WiFi or Bluetooth included (requires either adapter for the M.2 slot or a USB adapter to get WiFi/Bluetooth capabilities)
  • No eMMC option
  • PCIe speeds are limited to 500MB/s (PCIe 2.0, benchmarks show closer to 250MB/s write or PCIe 1.0 performance) — this is slower than SATA3


The Orange Pi 5 feels almost perfect except for the lack of built in WiFi / Bluetooth. This seems like a surprising choice on what seems like is portrayed as their “flagship” model. Fortunately it is easy to add WiFi/Bluetooth on the board via either the custom M.2 wireless PCB or by using one of your USB ports and just using a USB-based WiFi/BT chip.

The board performs extremely well. The GPU is powerful on the board and feels very snappy while using the desktop OS and applications. This board would be a good choice for almost any use case. It would make a great Minecraft server as well.

I’d recommend this one for just about anyone. The price is right. There are widely varying amounts of RAM available depending on what you need. There are good Linux and Android images available even at launch. At under $100 for the 4 GB – 8 GB the Orange Pi 5 is priced well in this market especially for the power and flexibility it offers!

Other Resources

I’ve also covered how to install Steam on the Orange Pi 5 here

I’ve also reviewed the Orange Pi portable monitor here (with the Orange Pi 5 connected)

If you’d like to use an alternative WiFi adapter see my E-key to M-key adapter guide here

Make sure to see my Orange Pi 5 SSD Boot Guide to see how to set up your NVMe drive to be the root partition for your OS

Don’t miss the rest of my single board computer reviews here

The Orange Pi Zero 2 is a great headless option from Orange Pi available for <$35 or so

I’ve also recently reviewed the Orange Pi 3 LTS which is a long term support variant equivalent in power roughly to a Pi 4

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9 months ago

Hi Champ,

Thank you for the hard work you perform, its so appreciated.
I am really in doubt about whether to upgrade to Orange Pi 5(RK3588s) or Orange Pi 5 Plus(RK3588).
Or even upgrade at all from the RPI4-4GB i currently use. I understand it is faster, but i think the RPI4 is already plenty fast.
I run headless linux, wired ethernet, with many different docker containers. So i don’t need neither HDMI, audio, graphic performance etc etc.

So far the main differences i see:
1 Gbit -VS- 2,5Gbit (not needed for me)
Nvme PCI2 1x lane -VS- nvme PCI3 4x lane (maybe needed as docker system drive, would it speed things up?)
1 x USB3.0 port -VS- 2x USB 3.0 port (not needed, as I use USB3.0 hub already on RPI4)

I don’t see any tests on for the RK3588.

Do you think the IOPS operation increase would give any meaningful upgrade on NVME, as opposed to the RPI4, which is connected to SSD (docker containers here) via USB3.
Either on the orange pi 5 or the 5 plus?

Also how stable is the board, and how is software support for headless operation. I have read that the kernel is 5.10, but is a huge mess based on some old 2.6 linux kernel, with 10000 patches.
Does this affect its headless performance in any way?
How is support for UASP, is there sleep support for external 2.5 SATA USB 3 enclosures.

The main upside to the RPI4 is the big community support and the stable software and kernel.

10 months ago

Hi James,

Thank you for your amazing review.
Do you know if the Orange Pi 5 / 5B supports HDMI-CEC?


Razor Burn
Razor Burn
11 months ago

Greeting James,

I hope you’re doing well and thought I would alert you that Orange Pi look to be ready to release the full RK3588 SBC soon as reported by CNX Software.

Very competitive pricing to match that of the Nano-Pi T6 RK3588 SBC and just in time as Radxa have started shipping the Rock 5A to preorder backers but I’m convinced to go with the OPi 5+ especially if the current software support ports over from the OPi 5/5B!

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
10 months ago

Hi James,

Hope you’re doing well mate.

It appears that Orange Pi have been super busy as the OPi 5+ has started shipping and they’re expanding the range of devices with their own Compute Module using the RK3566 chipset and talks of a future RK3588(S) version in a few months time which is really exciting so thought you might be interested…?

Take care and greetings from wintery Australia

1 year ago

Hi James, thanks for the excellent reviews and answering all the questions about the OPi5 board. I have bought myself one and installed RebornOS + XFCE on an m.2 nvme ssd. Everything works well until I tried to play a YouTube video in Firefox. It just won’t play any video even I set the resolution to as low as 144p, it just froze. If I simply hover the mouse cursor on one of the videos thumbnail on the YouTube main page, the thumbnail video could play though. It really surprised me as I chose RebornOS because some reviews said it had full GPU acceleration support. And even without GPU support I would guess the CPU itself could at least play some videos even if it wasn’t completely smooth? But no, it won’t play even a little. I then tried Armbian on a SD card, it plays 1080p YouTube smoothly. I’m wondering you or anyone else here had experience on using RebornOS on OPi5? As I really want an Arch-based Linux on it. Many thanks in advance!

1 year ago

Hi James, thank you for taking your time to help me. I have done quite a few things to troubleshoot. I can’t believe I have wasted so much time trying to fix this problem, and haven’t done the most basic thing – uninstalled the mali-g610-firmware and reinstall it again. I just did it, it works like a charm…….. I’m both happy that the system work perfectly now and sad about how stupid I was…….. and I’m sorry I have wasted your time. At least next time when someone asks you the same thing, you can tell them to do the most basic thing – uninstall the driver and reinstall it again, it fixes everything!

I guess the problem was due to the fact that I originally install the RebornOS with Gnome, and then I didn’t like Gnome and removed it and installed XFCE. Uninstalling Gnome must have removed some drivers required for playing YouTube. Again please accept my apology.


Razor Burn
Razor Burn
1 year ago

Hi James,

The price for the Orange Pi 5B is higher than for the Orange Pi 5 due to the eMMC flash and wireless module with four models currently for sale:

$89.90 for 4GB RAM and 32GB eMMC flash
$115.00 for 8GB/64GB configuration
$149.00 for 16GB/128GB configuration
$169.00 for 16GB/256GB configuration


Razor Burn
Razor Burn
1 year ago

Amazon links can be found on the official website for preorder – 26th March 2023?

Not sure what to make of the price as $169.00 is somewhat expensive when you factor in that you can order a Radxa Rock 5B 16GB from allnetchina for $189.00 (without accessories/shipping) and you get the full RK3588 I/O!?

It will be interesting to see the comparisons and how much of an improvement eMMC is for booting software and read/write speeds compared to NVMe but otherwise it should function the same once developers tweek the software.

Take care!

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
1 year ago

Sorry to read that James and I can certainly sympathise as cost of living pressures make this hobby quite expensive and when its your lively hood it gets even harder so I wish you success and hope to see some new reviews soon. Take care good sir!

1 year ago
Reply to  Razor Burn

I still prefer the NVME version with a cheap 256GB SSD, and my free wifi module taken from an old sky box!

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