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UDOO BOLT single-board computer with embedded Ryzen SoC claims to be twice as fast as a MacBook Pro 13

The UDOO BOLT single-board computer can operate on Windows or Linux. (Source: Kickstarter/UDOO)
The UDOO BOLT single-board computer can operate on Windows or Linux. (Source: Kickstarter/UDOO)
UDOO recently ran a campaign on Kickstarter for the UDOO BOLT single-board computer, and the developers of the device managed to secure US$635,769 in crowd-sourced funding. It’s likely many investors were attracted by the claim that the BOLT is “almost twice as fast as the MacBook Pro 13”. The Ryzen-powered board should start shipping by the end of the month.

There are single-board computers, and there are single-board supercomputers; the UDOO BOLT claims to be the latter. The little board has an AMD Ryzen Embedded SoC at its heart, which varies depending on the board model. The base version of the BOLT V3 comes with a Ryzen V1202B chip (two cores/four threads) that has a boost clock of 3.2 GHz; this example costs from US$229. The V8 variant offers a Ryzen V1605B SoC (four cores/eight threads) that can speed up to 3.6 GHz. UDOO offers many versions of the BOLT, depending on the kit.

So what of the outrageous claim of being twice as fast as an Apple MacBook Pro 13? How could a single-board computer possibly outrun a flagship laptop from one of the world’s foremost computer manufacturers? UDOO has created some clever marketing here. The company has tested a BOLT V8 with the Ryzen V1605B SoC on Cinebench R15 Multi 64Bit, and it seems to have scored in the region of 620 points. The chart used in the BOLT’s comparison gives around 340 points for the MacBook Pro 13, so it is fair to say “almost twice as fast.”

Checking our reviews, it’s possible to find one for the Apple MacBook Pro 13 from mid 2017 (without Touch Bar). This laptop came with an i5-7360U processor and 8 GB RAM, and it scored 362 points in our tests with the same benchmark, which makes UDOO’s claim a reasonable one. But it’s important to keep in mind that the i5-7360U operates with two cores and four threads, whereas the Ryzen V1605B has four cores and eight threads for processing. Cinebench R15 Multi 64Bit takes advantage of all the cores at a processor’s disposal, so obviously the much newer Ryzen chip with twice as many cores has a big head start.

With similar marketing finesse, UDOO demonstrates that the BOLT V8 can also leave the Microsoft Surface Pro 2017 m3 in the dust; but that convertible, as the name suggests, only sports a puny but efficient Intel Core m3-7Y30 SoC. Regardless of the selective comparison, which most if not all tech companies are guilty of, the UDOO BOLT single-board computer is still an impressive beast. It comes with a fast chip, an iGPU, up to 32 GB memory, and all the ports and interfaces you could wish for, in a compact 4.72 in x 4.72 in (12 cm x 12 cm) package.

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Cinebench results. (Source: Kickstarter/UDOO)
Cinebench results. (Source: Kickstarter/UDOO)
V3 and V8 specifications. (Source: Kickstarter/UDOO)
V3 and V8 specifications. (Source: Kickstarter/UDOO)

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 03 > UDOO BOLT single-board computer with embedded Ryzen SoC claims to be twice as fast as a MacBook Pro 13
Daniel R Deakin, 2019-03-26 (Update: 2019-03-26)