Tronsmart Ara X5 TV box - Cherry Trail
#1
Brick 
Tronsmart announced it will release an Intel Cherry Trail (x5-Z8300) based TV box, the Tronsmart Ara X5, in August.

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Specs:
  • Intel Atom x5-Z8300 (quad-core)
  • 2GB RAM
  • 32GB eMMC
  • 4K HEVC 8-bit (given the GPU)
  • Ethernet
  • 2x USB 2.0 ports, 1x USB 3.0 port.
  • Fanless
  • Pre-installed with Windows 10 home
  • No price yet.

Intel ARK - x5-Z8300 vs N3150: The x5-Z8300 has slightly lower clocks than N3150 and it's limited to 2GB RAM.

As far as I can tell this is the first Cherry Trail TV Box being announced and it's quite exciting as the Cherry Trail is Braswell's brother (they share the same architecture) and features the same GPU (Cherry View). So for Kodi, Cherry Trail should have similar capabilities as Braswell with a smaller price tag, in other words more bang for buck. Can't wait to read a review covering Kodi (preferably using OpenELEC).

Souce: liliputing

Updates:
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#2
This should be cheaper then braswell based boxes.
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#3
Pretty excited for this. Hopefully they release pricing soon. Hopefully priced somewhere around the price of the pipo x7/7s/8...
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#4
Another Cherry Trail TV Box has become available, MeegoPad T04, and this one has a price: $136. I'm guessing the Tronsmart Ara x5's price won't be too different as the specs are similar.

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One thing that worries me is:
cnx-software Wrote:At this stage, it’s unclear whether Atom Cherry Trail processors will support Linux out of the box, or will have various issues like Atom Bay Trail used to have.
This would prevent these boxes from running Kodibuntu or OpenELEC...

source: http://www.cnx-software.com/2015/08/10/m...s-for-136/
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#5
The main issue with Atom Bay Trail-T device was that they came with 64bit CPUs and 32bit UEFI boot loaders, and wouldn't boot in Legacy BIOS style. This meant that most default installers for Linux distros fell over and needed some significant modifications to the boot loaders to get them to run properly.

Ian Morrison aka Linuxium has done quite a lot of work to make this easier ISTR. The Intel Compute Stick came with both 32 bit (for Windows) and 64 bit (for Ubuntu) UEFI modes so has helped a lot. Hopefully the Tronsmart will come with a dual UEFI solution too, unless they've decide that they can support 64 bit Windows. (The reason for 32 bit was that the power saving features that were great on tablets were initially only implemented in 32 bit Windows 8 or 8.1 and not the 64 bit version)
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#6
Wow, it looks cool. And with 2 Gb ram. Yeah!
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#7
Windows 10 Home? i bet they just kmspico a Win 8 and upgrade it for free
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#8
One thing to keep in mind is that Z-8500 devices probably will also be coming out.
I only noticed a Teclast X98 model (tablet) based on Z-8500 which is available, it comes with 4GB RAM so we can probably assume its fw is 64bit.
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#9
That's a good point @dhead, looking at the differences: Intel ARK: x5-Z8300 < x5-Z8500 < x7-Z8700...

x5-Z8500 (and x7-Z8700) has better CPU and GPU clocks and dual channel memory. x7-Z8700, similarly to the N3700, has 16 execution units instead of 12. It would be very interesting to see Kodi running on these devices as they show potential and are cost effective.
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#10
Teardown by Jean-Luc

http://www.cnx-software.com/2015/08/22/t...-teardown/
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#11
(2015-08-17, 12:18)oWarchild Wrote: That's a good point @dhead, looking at the differences: Intel ARK: x5-Z8300 < x5-Z8500 < x7-Z8700...

x5-Z8500 (and x7-Z8700) has better CPU and GPU clocks and dual channel memory. x7-Z8700, similarly to the N3700, has 16 execution units instead of 12. It would be very interesting to see Kodi running on these devices as they show potential and are cost effective.

Also - think we may need to beware of x3- series models. I think, oddly, they have ARM Mali GPUs even though they are Intel CPUs? I remember seeing a review of the range recently and being surprised about that.
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#12
(2015-08-22, 19:36)noggin Wrote: Also - think we may need to beware of x3- series models. I think, oddly, they have ARM Mali GPUs even though they are Intel CPUs? I remember seeing a review of the range recently and being surprised about that.

According to this overview from Intel, you're right.
https://software.intel.com/sites/default...cation.jpg

But, it also says, that even the most "powerful"of the x3's won't be able to do anything above 1080p (although it should decode HEVC 1080p60 in hardware)

Full article:
https://software.intel.com/en-us/blogs/2...sor-series
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#13
(2015-08-22, 20:43)freaktm Wrote:
(2015-08-22, 19:36)noggin Wrote: Also - think we may need to beware of x3- series models. I think, oddly, they have ARM Mali GPUs even though they are Intel CPUs? I remember seeing a review of the range recently and being surprised about that.

According to this overview from Intel, you're right.
https://software.intel.com/sites/default...cation.jpg

But, it also says, that even the most "powerful"of the x3's won't be able to do anything above 1080p (although it should decode HEVC 1080p60 in hardware)

Full article:
https://software.intel.com/en-us/blogs/2...sor-series

My concern wasn't >1080p - it was that Linux Mali drivers on Intel x86 platforms could be 'interesting'...
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#14
(2015-08-22, 15:51)dhead Wrote: Teardown by Jean-Luc

http://www.cnx-software.com/2015/08/22/t...-teardown/
Thanks @dhead! The article also reveals the price: $150, which is a tad higher that what I was expecting.

I hope CNXSoft reviews it soon and tries to run linux/OpenELEC on it.

Meanwhile I've updated my first post.
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#15
I've also posted my impressions up: http://hometheatrelife.com/tronsmart-ara...rry-trail/

I've done some brief testing of Kodi. Both 1080p and 4K H.264 samples were find. 1080p HEVC playback also worked perfectly.

I've put together a video shortly showing a Kodi and some games running on it.



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