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The Orange Pi Prime is a neat single-board computer similar to the Raspberry Pi. Its powerful hardware makes it suitable for a bevy of uses. While picking an operating system for the Orange Pi Prime might afford the most excitement, a case to protect your SBC is equally as essential. Though cases for the Orange Pi Prime aren't as prevalent as Raspberry Pi cases are, you can still find some solid choices. Check out the best Orange Pi Prime cases you can buy!
What is the Orange Pi Prime?
The Orange Pi Prime is a fairly robust development board capable of running loads of OSes. It handles the likes of Android, Linux, and Raspbian with ease. Benchmarks prove that the Orange Pi Prime is a solid little workhorse PC. Sure, it won't beat a modern desktop, or even an older laptop, but it's perfect as a lightweight Linux desktop, home theatre PC, low-powered server, or retro gaming arcade.
It's powered by an H5 quad-core Cortex A-53 CPU with a Mali450 GPU. There are 2GB of DDR3 RAM, a microSD card slot, HDMI, Bluetooth, and 40-pin GPIO header. As such, it's compatible with tons of accessories for maker projects.
An inexpensive yet sturdy Orange Pi Prime case, this transparent ABS case is stylish and functional. It's my Orange Pi case of choice. Emblazoned with the Orange Pi fruity logo, it flaunts the dev board's symbol proudly. There's a slot for easy GPIO header access, and slots for all of the ports such as the HDMI out, microSD card slot, Ethernet, and more.
Installation is ridiculously simple. Just pop your board into the acrylic case, snap on the top and bottom, then you're ready to begin using your Orange Pi Prime. Sometimes simplicity is best, as is the case with this transparent ABS case.
Although the Orange Pi Prime remains fairly quiet and cool, putting the system under load such as in a server cluster means you'll want to keep your system cool. Enter the Orange Pi Plus 2E acrylic case. Not only does the protective shell keep the maker board safe, but the included cooling fan and aluminum heat sinks provide solid heat management.
Included in this kit you'll find the case, a cooling fan, four aluminum alloy heatsinks, and a pack of screws. Installation remains a breeze. Merely mount the Orange Pi Prime board into the bottom shell, screw the cooling fan into the top shell, plug in the cooling fan to the GPIO ports, add the side shells, the top shell, and you're ready to go.
Similarly, the MakerFocus Orange Pi Prime case features an acrylic shell, heat sinks, and cooling fan. It's pretty easy to assemble and yields superb heat management. If you're looking to cobble together a server or cluster, then this is an excellent case for the Orange Pi Prime. I particularly like the cooling fan, since many single-board computers can, despite their small stature, get pretty toasty.
Like the MakerFocus case, this is an acrylic box with premium materials and fantastic build quality. It's a wonderful means of keeping your dev board protected and still maintaining access to the various I/O ports. The Jili Orange Pi Prime case boasts a similar layout to the MakerFocus case, complete with space for a cooling fan. However, it lacks the fan. Still, you may add your own.
5. Print Your Own!
If you're making a DIY project, why not do the case yourself? Sites like Yeggi and Thingverse feature neat designs that you can 3D print. For this option, you'll need access to a 3D printer but you'll be on your way to designing your own case or using someone else's design files in no time. Provided that you've got the proper skill set, you may design your own using appropriate software, then print your creation using a 3D printer. Or, snag some open-source designs which other DIYers have whipped up.
Best Orange Pi Prime Case Options: Final Thoughts
Unfortunately, the Orange Pi Prime doesn't quite carry the vast array of cases you'll find for the likes of the Raspberry Pi, ASUS Tinker Board, and Libre Computer ROC Renegade. Nevertheless, there are plenty of enclosures available. I prefer the transparent ABS case with its Orange Pi symbol proudly flaunted on the front. It's inexpensive, sturdy, and eye-catching, while providing access to the major I/O ports including the GPIO header. Any of the cases with cooling fans are excellent as well. Once you've settled on a case, pick a use for your Orange Pi Prime, from a Linux desktop to Android PC!
Moe Long is an editor, writer, and tech buff with a particular appreciation for Linux, Raspberry Pis, and retro gaming. When he's not hammering away at his keyboard, he enjoys running, reading, watching cinema, and listening to vinyl. You can read his writings on film and pop culture at CupOfMoe.com and check out his thoughts on movies on the Celluloid Fiends podcast.