The Odroid XU4 is a powerful single-board computer (SBC). Because of its increased RAM and octa-core processing, the Odroid XU4 is a Raspberry Pi competitor which bests the Raspberry Pi 3 B+. Learn more about the Odroid XU4 and check out the best Odroid XU4 cases available!
What is the Odroid XU4?
A single-board computer, the Odroid XU4 is a mini PC board with all of its components baked in. Onboard, you’ll find RAM, a GPU, CPU, and GPIO headers. With its octa-core processing, the Odroid XU4 is well-suited to processing intensive tasks such as retro video game emulation. Getting started with the Odroid XU4 is pretty simple. Primarily, you’ll need the XU4 board itself, a compatible power supply at 5V/4A, and an appropriate operating system for the Odroid XU4.
The total cost of getting started with an Odroid XU4 falls somewhere between a Raspberry Pi 3 and basic PC. For just the board, you can cop an Odroid XU4 for $61.95 from vendors like AmeriDroid (shoutout to AmeriDroid for graciously hooking me up with an awesome review unit!). But adding on pieces including a power supply, case, and microSD card or eMMC module pushes the price into the $100 range. That’s totally reasonable for the computing power the Odroid XU4 packs. But it lacks wireless networking, so you might wish to snag a Wi-Fi module if you don’t plan to make use of Ethernet.
Odroid XU4 specs:
- Exynos5422 Cortex™-A15 2Ghz and Cortex™-A7 Octa core CPUs
- Mali-T628 MP6(OpenGL ES 3.1/2.0/1.1 and OpenCL 1.2 Full profile)
- 2GB LPDDR3 RAM
- eMMC flash storage
- 2x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0
- HDMI 1.4a
- Dimensions: 83 x 58 x 20mm
- PSU: 5V/4A
Total cost: $62 (board only), $100 (board + case + Wi-Fi module +
5 Best Odroid XU4 Cases
Although it’s technically optional, a case is one of the most essential parts of a project. For instance, what you’ll want for a retro gaming console is different from the best case for a low-powered home theatre PC (HTPC). Here are the best cases for the Odroid XU4.
Clocking in around $4, the XU4 base half-case is a solid entry-level case for the Odroid XU4. You may purchase the top and bottom halves separately for a mix and match appearance. Alternatively, you may opt for just the base and an exposed upper half of the board for either functionality in extra cooling, or pure aesthetics. It’s comprised of polycarbonate plastic which is simultaneously lightweight and durable, plus features three different translucent colorways allowing visibility of the fan and LED indicators. Overall, it’s an inexpensive, simple to assemble case.
Best for: General computing, DIY case
2. XU4 Full Case - $6.90
For a full case solution, try the Odroid XU4 case. This is my case of choice to protect my Odroid XU4. Essentially, it’s the same as the base case but includes the top and bottom. You can grab this nifty case for about $7. It’s barebones but does a great job protecting the Odroid XU4. What’s more, despite the low cost, the plastic used for the full XU4 case doesn’t feel cheap. Rather, there’s a premium vibe, and it seems as though the XU4 could survive mild drops and bumps. However, I do not plan to intentionally test its durability.
Best for: General computing
Available in a smattering of colors, the Odroid XU4 aluminum cooling enclosure is a bit more in price at just shy of $60. Although, this aluminum cooling case is a full-on PC case that’s rugged, stylish, and yields the advantages of fanless cooling. The brushed aluminum is at once soft to the tough and incredibly durable.
Boasting engraved input/output (I/O) ports and hard, anodized aluminum in black, silver, blue, or red, this is a premium case offering for the Odroid XU4 SBC. There’s a thermal pad, power button and spring system, plus limited lifetime warranty. Even fully assembled, this XU4 aluminum cooling case still retains external access to the SD card/eMMC boot selector with the XU4 in its casing. For this though, you’ll need a pin. In its benchmarks, AmeriDroid found that the ShapedMedia case with its passive cooling actually achieved faster benchmarks than the active cooling fan which comes standard on the Odroid XU4.
Best for: Heavy use, better cooling
4. Hominoid XU4 Split Air Flow Case Kit - $14.03
The Hominoid XU4 split air flow case kit for the Odroid XU4 is a unique looking case. Sporting a sort of retropunk aesthetic, it’s a 3D printed case engineered for use with gold heatsinks. Nevertheless, the Hominoid XU4 split air flow case remains compatible with a bevy of other heatsinks. Moreover, it takes any 40mm fan such as Noctua options. Because of its form factor, you can use this vertically or horizontally. At about $14, it’s a solid value.
Best for: General computing, DIY projects requiring extra cooling
5. CloudShell2 NAS Kit (Clear, Smoky Blue) - $69.95
At more the price of the Odroid XU4 board, the CloudShell2 NAS kit might not be cheap, but it’s easily the best Odroid XU4 case available for network attached storage (NAS), a mini PC, or HTPC purposes. Since the CloudShell2 arrives with color LCD screen, IR receiver, and hard drive support, it’s tailored to use as a server or even a small home theatre PC. You can use its 3.5” drive slots, and there’s an included USB 3.0 to SATA bridge. With RAID support, this is easily the top Odroid XU4 case to transform your Odroid XU4 into a server or HTPC.
Best for: NAS, HTPC use
Top Odroid XU4 Case Options You Can Buy: Final Thoughts
The Odroid XU4 is an awesome single-board PC which benefits from octa-core computing power, 2GB of RAM, and plenty of operating system options. With images for the likes of RetroPie and Recalbox, you can create a retro gaming console, or run the likes of Ubuntu MATE for a quality mini PC/HTPC option. If you’re a Raspberry Pi owner, take a look at the best Raspberry Pi cases you can find.
Your turn: What Odroid XU4 cases do you recommend?