Development boards abound. From the ultra-popular Raspberry Pi to the powerful Odroid XU4, there’s no shortage of single-board computer (SBC) options. Among these dev boards, the UDOO x86 is a top pick. The UDOO x86 sports Arduino compatibility and beefy specs which make it suitable for anything from gaming to streaming videos, and even programming. New from UDOO is the UDOO BOLT, a robust development board with a unique set of specifications.
UDOO BOLT Specs
Whereas many devices utilize basic system on a chip (SoC) hardware, the BOLT delivers embedded AMD Ryzen technology. UDOO AMD Ryzen processing power sets the UDOO BOLT apart from competitors is its AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 chip. This Ryzen Embedded V1000 system on a chip offers AMD Vega GPU technology coupled with AMD Zen CPU architecture. The BOLT comes in two flavors, the AMD Vega 8 powered UDOO Bolt V8 and the Vega 3 powered UDOO Bolt V3.
With a maximum clock rate of 3.6GHz, the UDOO BOLT is poised as the fastest development board on the market. Onboard, you’ll find an array of ports including two HDMI 2.0 ports, dual USB-C, and USB 3.1 as well as connections for M.2 NVMe, SATA, and M.2 SSDs. Plus, there’s an eMMC port.
Reportedly, the V1000 GPU is roughly the equivalent of an Nvidia GTX 950M. There’s also an Arduino-compatible platform included. According to UDOO, it’s about twice as speedy as an Apple Macbook Pro 13”. While many maker boards lack RAM expansion, you’ll find two SO-DIMM dual channel DDR4 slots for up to 32GB of RAM. The combined RAM and storage expansion means the UDOO BOLT is capable of serving as a full-on computer. Still, it sips power so it’s the perfect blend of performance and efficiency.
The UDOO x86 BOLT packs a performance punch with its AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 SoC. But what can it actually do? The answer: pretty much anything a standard PC can. Because of its small form factor, processing brawn, and storage options, the UDOO AMD-powered BOLT is a maker board targeting virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), cryptocurrency mining, gaming, and home theatre PC (HTPC) use. Since it’s capable of churning out 4K video at 50 frames per second (FPS) to four monitors simultaneously, the UDOO BOLT is a solid choice for combined gaming and HTPC purposes. Plus, it can handle HDR.
According to its Kickstarter page, the BOLT can easily drive games such as “League of Legends,” “Overwatch,” and “Counter-strike: GO.” UDOO features a video of the BOLT playing "Fortnite" at full 1080p, a remarkable feat. Moreover, on the operating system (OS) side, the UDOO BOLT is compatible with Windows 10 and basically any Linux distribution (distro) imaginable. Suffice it to say the possibilities for UDOO BOLT projects are near limitless. With its Arduino pinout, hardcore makers can delve into serious Internet of Things (IoT) projects.
UDOO AMD-powered BOLT: Final Thoughts
Although I still love my single-board computers like my Raspberry Pi 3 B+ and Odroid XU4, I’m incredibly excited for the UDOO BOLT. Its tiny footprint, AMD Ryzen and Vega architectures, and expandability options make it a truly versatile development board. As is, the UDOO BOLT is the next step in maker board evolution. Delivering processing capabilities while keeping power consumption low, it’s a revolutionary piece of hardware.
Your turn: Will you be picking up the UDOO BOLT? What UDOO BOLT projects do you have planned?