Pro & M2 Tuning

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buying a RPI2, a Pro and a M2 I had to find out that the RPI2 is quite a lot faster than both others (tuned). Unfortunately I could not find any hints how to tune Bananas based on this RPI2 config.txt:


How do I achieve the same (or better) results on Banana Pro or Banana Pi M2 ? In the standard config both Bananian and Raspian (on Banana) are a lot slower than the above setup...

Edited by skraw at Sun May 24, 2015 09:10

Hm, what's the use of this whole hardware bunch if it is slower, less flexible and has even quite bad casing?
On paper the network implementation should be better, but since the whole "computer" is slower (especially the ram access) than a Raspberry Pi2 there is really no use for the network hardware.

It does not have casing. You might have bought bad casing, too, though.

The network implementation is better. And not just on paper.

The CPU is dual-core, but roughly the same speed otherwise. As for RAM, I can't tell.
So, if your question isn't just rhetorical (and I have my doubts there): It's use is probably basic network bound server stuff. Seems to agree with most of what users report here in this forum. Well, and there are those running Android on it and/or make it a media player. Arguably, you can get devices that are better fit for that task. In any case, the price point is a factor, too.

As for tuning - read about fex files. But really, don't bother. Yes, you might get 10% more out of it. But since you don't even talk about a specific use case, I'd call "premature optimization" here.

Edited by skraw at Sun May 24, 2015 22:30

It is obvious to me that some things were changed on M2 specs on the fly. There are several places on the internet where the M2 is said to have a SD slot. Mine came with micro-SD. Consequently the case does not fit at all in this manner. Nevertheless even the assembly is quite a bit harder compared to RPI2 (which needs no screws at all and fits perfectly)..
Regarding the usage, I thought that server applications should be better on M2 (which is quad-core btw). But it turned out that RPI2 is a lot faster regarding USB hd speed (over 550 MB) compared to M2 (around 400 MB). Very annoying is that the quad-core M2 is not faster at all than the old Pro board which reaches quite the same speed. An untuned RPI2 still reaches around 450 MB which is still faster than any Banana I bought.
When there are such big issues regarding the hd (cache) performance there it makes no sense to talk about server configs like mine where the hd performance quite matters.
Android is of no interest in such a setup. I have to say that my judgement for Banana is: "ambitious but rubbish".

Edited by tkaiser at Mon May 25, 2015 03:59
skraw replied at Sun May 24, 2015 22:29
It is obvious to me that some things were changed on M2 specs on the fly. There are several places o ...

The M2 is a totally different board (different SoC, no SATA, limited linux support, might even be possible that not all CPU cores are used at the moment). If you really care about I/O speed then drop USB and use SATA on Banana Pi, Pro or M1+. Way faster than any USB2 implementation. Same applies to Ethernet: Banana Pi, Pro or M1+ are many times faster than Raspberry Pi (2).

BTW: The OS image called 'Bananian' at the SinoVoip site ( has nothing to do with Bananian. Bananian still uses the mature and somewhat outdated sunxi 3.4 kernel while the image for the M2 uses a recent mainline kernel. They just shipped an OS image called Bananian to cash in on the popularity of the Bananian project (and to confuse users of course). The M2 is solely an Android toy at the time of this writing.

Edited by skraw at Mon May 25, 2015 02:41

_one_ SATA is pretty useless for a server environment. If you need lots of space you would have to use some external drive chasis and therefore could as well use some NAS. So there is no need to unpack a banana in the first place. This is why the USB speed really matters.
Nevertheless the tests show that the raw USB speed is not really the problem. Only the core and ram speed used for caching is way faster on RPI2. And this is exactly the reason why I am asking about the tuning stuff in the original post. because this is what makes the real difference.
Concerning android: I really do wonder why someone burns his time to make some android work, but does not care about a basic linux image. Android is no OS, it's just a java framework ontop of a linux. So the linux is there, why not publish it? This is only one of the several peculiarities found around banana.
Neither Banana Pi, Pro nor M1+ have a quad core cpu like the RPI2. So the only interesting hardware would be the M2. And there are almost no infos available for it, be it nice prepared OS images or tuning ideas.

Edited by tkaiser at Mon May 25, 2015 03:58
skraw replied at Mon May 25, 2015 02:41
Neither Banana Pi, Pro nor M1+ have a quad core cpu like the RPI2. So the only interesting hardware would be the M2


I wouldn't think about using a Raspberry Pi even if it had 16 cores for network or storage stuff since its SoC has just one single USB connection to the outside that is limited to approx. 30 MB/s. And every data packet that should travel from network to disk or vice versa has to pass this bottleneck twice. Therefore it's a no-brainer to avoid a Raspberry Pi when you need disk throughput.

BTW: Since you wrote about 'USB hd speed (over 550 MB) compared to M2 (around 400 MB)' you seem to confuse 'benchmark results' for developers with those for 'real world usage scenarios' (maybe the common mistake to use hdparm -t/-T instead of appropriate tools). You'll never ever see disk throughput above 25 MB/s on a RPi. Real world network/NAS performance of a Banana Pi, Pro or M1+ is many times faster than what's achieveable with any Raspberry Pi. And this is totally unrelated to CPU or DRAM performance since the bottleneck is somewhere else

Obviously you are only talking about stuff and numbers you read or heard but nothing you have tested yourself. If you had you would have experienced exactly what I just did. My real-world test looked like this:
Three boxes: a) atom based b) RPI2, c) Banana Pi Pro all connected  via USB to the same external hd .
Copying a 8885MB file via scp from a host to the boxes, all connected to a GB switch (obviously the RPI2 connects only with 100 MB as he has no GB lan)


a) 14.5MB/s   10:11
b) 7.3MB/s   20:18
c) 2.8MB/s   42:31

If you thought about it the results are as expected, because it shows what testing the hds all alone already brought up: core and ram frequency in Banana is a lot slower than on tuned RPI2 and consequently the network cannot be fast either. There is no chance to use the GB lan because the box is too slow. RPI2 does not max out its 100 MB network, too. But the absolute figures are nevertheless better.

I don't see where this is going. Most of the assumption or statements here are wrong and suggest that you haven't done any real world comparison of the mentioned devices.

Don't get me wrong. The Rasperry Pi 2 is a nice device that has its advantages. There are scenarios where I would always prefer the Rasperry Pi 2 over a Banana Pi, like e.g. something involving graphic output. But the the scenario you mention is most certainly among those. For anything that requires or benefits from higher network throughput, I would perefer the Banana Pi.

If you take fileserver usage, e.g., even if you don't use SATA, you will always see much better performance from a Bananapi than from a Raspberry Pi 2 - simply because of its USB networking limitation. Even if you attach a Gigabit network adaptor via USB to the Raspberry, the maximum speed is always below 20MB/s (there is a nice article on this by mikronauts that you might wanna read). With a Banana Pi, I can get 26-27 MB/s read speed and 29-30 MB/s write speed - even without extensive tweaking or any overclocking.

Add post (Mon May 25, 2015 20:03):
This sentence: "But the the scenario you mention is most certainly among those." should have read "But the the scenario you mention is most certainly NOT among those."

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