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: Amazon.com*, AliExpress*, Amazon.ca*, Amazon.co.uk*, Amazon.de*, Amazon.es*, Amazon.fr*, Amazon.it*, Amazon.nl*, Amazon.pl*

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.

Links: Amazon.com*, Amazon.ca*, Amazon.co.jp*, Amazon.co.uk*, Amazon.de*, Amazon.es*, Amazon.fr*, Amazon.it*

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.

Links: Amazon.com*, Amazon.ca*, Amazon.co.uk*, Amazon.co.jp*, Amazon.com.au*, Amazon.de*, Amazon.es*, Amazon.fr*, Amazon.it*, Amazon.nl*, Amazon.pl*, Amazon.se*, Amazon.sg*

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: Amazon.com*, 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: Amazon.com*, 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.

Links: Amazon.com*

Specifications

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
PMURK806-1
RAM4GB/8GB/16GB/32GB (LPDDR4/4x)
MemoryQSPI Nor FLASH 16MB
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)
Ubuntu
Debian
Android12
Dimensions62mm*100mm
Weight46g

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 https://raw.githubusercontent.com/TheRemote/PiBenchmarks/master/Storage.sh | 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

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

Conclusion

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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Joel
Joel
11 months ago

Hi James, very comprehensive & excellent review of the Orange Pi 5. I have an Acer Aspire C22 820 AIO which is constantly having video problems. It is running on Ubuntu 22.04.02. I am seriously considering changing the motherboard, which is basically a SBC into Orange Pi 5. I checked the space & it will fit with no problems. I am expecting with this mod, I will be getting much much better video. The Acer monitor is very good, the video output of the original Acer SBC is problematic though. It is an intel CPU with integrated graphics hardwired to the board. I suspect the LVDS cable too, & this will be the confirmed when the new LVDS cable I ordered arrives. A second option is to mate an Asus Gaming monitor with the Orange Pi 5 & build a DIY AIO computer. What do you think? Thanks for all the reviews, I learned a lot from your reviews. . BTW my use is simply home office work, browsing, watching movies & editing pictures once in a while, no heavy stuff. .

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
11 months ago

A quick check of Aliexpress show 2 camera boards on sale with different lenses and available through the 3 shops and what’s interesting is its suitable for OPi 5/5B/5 Plus so wonder when we’ll see the announceent of the 5 Plus as that ust be the RK3588 SBC…?

They’ve priced it well and just in time as Raspberry Pi recently released some updates to their own camera range and at under $30AUD / $15USD with discount its not that bad and 500 available so might be worth a review…?

Image #1

Image #2

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
11 months ago

Thanks for the heads up as I checked the Seeed website the other day and no mention of the XIAO ESP32-S3 Sense with talk of an April release dat so naturally jumped on to order a few boards + headers with hopes of delivery early April.

I’m keen to see how it compares to the ESP32-CAM as its using the newer chip but also realistic that due to size alone its not going to be HD resolution but it looks to be an improvement over the Adafruit QT Py version and a great addition to the Home Assistant project I have in mind.

I’m encouraged to see Orange Pi committed to the PI 5 as they tend to drop a device with little fan fare and in the last few months we’ve seen them release a very capable SBC that’s getting great support from the community, a working Wireless card to pair with their choice of M.2 M keyed slot, a suitable 14″ portable monitor and now supported camera that’s priced well and stocks seem to be available after the recent halt due to holidays so great time if you’re a consumer especially if they get the RK3588 SBC manufactured as there’s clearly a market for an affordable alternative to the Rock 5B!

Take care good sir…

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
11 months ago

I’m a little bit confused as it appears that they’re releasing 2 versions of the XIAO ESP32-S3 as the one currently for sale is just the base board and the ESP32-S3 Sense with Embedded Camera is supposed to be available on the website next week with late March release date?
The catalog and web presentation only shows the S3 Sense listed for $13.99 which is still a good price and luckily the other version is preorder so I managed to cancel before it shipped but not sure if anybody else made the same mistake or was it only me…? Don’t get me wrong as the XIAO ESP32-S3 looks to be a slight improvement over the Adafruit QT PY ESP32-S3 as it offers an external antenna like the C3 version and $7.99 USD is a very good price.

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
11 months ago

Yeah I’ve seen the ESP32-S2 version from Adafruit and Beetle also have an ESP-C3 with expansion board that allows for a screen but as you say the inclusion of STEMMA QT connector is a great advantage and I’m hoping we see more manufactures offer pre-soldered headers as its easy to bridge a pin or damage a component if you aren’t careful or use a wonky soldering tip LOL…

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
11 months ago

That’s a real shame James as your Home Assistant guides have been maybe the most popular posts for me as they’re really detailed and I wish the manufacturers such as Adafruit or Seeed sold devices pre-soldered as it surely wouldn’t add to costs as much of the work is automated and I’d be willing to pay extra to have a gadget arrive ready to be used instead of fiddling with my soldering iron hoping I don’t stuff things up but I know from personal feedback from a local vendor who makes devices that they mentioned it was unreasonable to them and that learning to solder was a valuable skill so its a hard decision whether to produce content or focus on actual hardware that’s sure to get attention, eg SBCs???

As frustrating as it may seem I really believe you’re on the right patch as this blog has an important place in the community with its great library of valuable information and reference guide for many SBCs and cool gadgets so keep producing the content and the viewership is sure to come as I see more and more users looking for alternatives now that Raspberry Pi have decided to take a break and catch up on supplies so thanks for what you do and especially replying to each comment as that shows you care about your readership and not just about making content for the sake of traffic… Stay well and keep up the outstanding work!

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
11 months ago

Hi James,

Looks like we finally have a supported camera for the OPi 5 that seems to be only available via Aliexpress as nothing posted on Orangepi’s own website?

Orange Pi 13MP Camera 13855 Focal Length 300mm,13 Megapixels Suitable for RK3358/3358S OPi 5/5B/5 Plus Boards

Image #1

Image #2

AliExpress Listing

Also I see mentioned in Discord from somebody in the know of a possible “OPi 5 Pro” that plans on using the RK3588 SOC with confirmed specs so maybe we’ll see them challenging Radxa for title of King of RK3588 device…?

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
11 months ago

Hi Jaes,

So it looks like the OrangePi 5B SBC is a real thing judging by the reports on Discord and the specs look like they opted for the first version of the board so onboard wireless and eMMC and cheaper price…?

Not sure what to make of it as they’ve removed SPI flash memory, the M.2 slot so does this mean they fixed the bootloader to boot directly from eMMC and what kind of write speeds can we expect as SD Card is slow and no mention of the PCIE 2.0?

It also looks like the images are of the V1.0 board which shows no certification markings which is a red flag for me so I’ll happily wait to see what Radxa/OKdo do with the Rock 5A as it looks to be the better option unless this ones priced cheaply enough…?

Thanks from sunny Australia

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
11 months ago

Hi James,

Thanks for the reply and tip as I try my best to keep up with the comments and missed the friendly reply so I am happy to see a fellow user solve an issue and here’s hoping they enjoy the OPi 5 as its a fun SBC when you get it working properly. I’m not sure if you saw but apparently a user has come up with an optimised version of Ubuntu that comes with 3D acceleration that’s comparable to that experienced using Armbian so awesome to see so much software support!

I see OrangePi have been busy making updates to the Pi 5 as per Github and stock has started to pop back up on Aliexpress after the New Year break so we should expect to see the Pi 5B available soon as they’ve had the test board ready for nearly a year now and the software issues are largely resolved so time will tell…?

Wowzers $300 is a big order so I’m excited to see what you have lined up and if its anything like the previous Adafruit gadgets its going to be epic!? You also reminded me that Seeed are dropping some new products next week and speculation is we’ll maybe see an updated Wio Terminal and some cool Grove sensors/cameras…?

Razor Burn
Razor Burn
11 months ago

That sounds fun and I’m sure to grab the Reverse Feather once they become available again and maybe even a RP2040 KeeBoar as I recall Adafruit mentioning they might stop making them…? I own a BBC Microbit V 2.1 and you can plug in an adapter to allow you to connect a battery or sensors much like the Grove gear but much more low powered.

Core Electronics in Australia have a whole bunch of devices that work with Microbit and its the main reason how I became aware of microcontrollers and sensors, leading me towards alternatives to the Pico and ultimately ESP32, Seeed and Adafruit. Its really targeted at students who want to learn micropython so a stocking stuffer but still fun testing rando sensors out.
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Jan
Jan
1 year ago

Does the 2242 SSD slot on Orange Pi 5 support dual side ssd thickness like SABRENT 512GB Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 2242 ?

Roberto Silva
Roberto Silva
1 year ago

I bought this board to create a hugue tablet for the kitchen, as a gift to my wife. I bought a TP-Link Archer T2U WiFi but isn’t recognized by Android; so I installed Ubuntu Jammy and worked like a charm. But Netflix doens’t work because wivedine isn’t availiable in ARM64. There’s a way to install chromium on ubuntu with wivedine support? Or I just wait to get released an newer android version? (I tried to SSH over LAN without luck)

ByteAtATime
ByteAtATime
1 year ago

Hi *again*, I’m so sorry for bomboarding you with questions, but you probably know the most in this area. I currently have the latest GitHub build of Armbian, and I just installed the GPU acceleration (from the commands on the official Armbian website). Do you also have a problem with the mouse flickering?

ByteAtATime
ByteAtATime
1 year ago
Reply to  ByteAtATime

Also, oddly enough, KDE Plasma panels freeze sometimes and I have to restart the system to get them to un-freeze.

ByteAtATime
ByteAtATime
1 year ago

Hi, I’ve tried it on XFCE, and the mouse flickering thing still occurs. When I run sudo apt install mali-g610-firmware rockchip-multimedia-config it reports that they’re both at the newest version, so I think that’s in a working condition. I’ll post this on the forums though!