OrangePi R1 Plus Review

orangepi-r1-plus-side
OrangePi R1 Plus Side

Introduction

The OrangePi R1 Plus is a budget ARM based router board that packs amazing performance for a low price.

With dual gigabit NICs and a single USB 2.0 port the board is designed purely as a router – does it perform its purpose well? Lets find out.

Specs

Powered by a Rockchip RK3328 Quad Core 64bit SOC at 1.5GHz this OrangePi R1 Plus isn’t the most powerful SBC out there but the CPU is more than adequate for a home router. The 1GB of DDR4 Memory is also more than enough for this application although it would be nice to have a 2GB or even a 4GB model available for more intensive workloads.

Full Specifications:

  • 1x Gigabit NIC – RTL8211E
  • 1x Gigabit USB NIC – RTL8153B
  • USB 2.0 Type A
  • 1GB DDR4 RAM
  • Quad Core Cortex A53 64bit ARM CPU @1.5GHz
  • 13pin interface for audio, i2c, GPIO and TVOUT
  • USB-C Power
  • MicroSD Card Slot
  • 16MB SPI Flash

My major concern is the USB NIC based on the Realtek RTL8153B IC. Lets see how much the USB 2.0 bus bottlenecks this NIC.

Operating Systems

The board is capable of running the following distros:

  • Debian
  • OpenWrt
  • Ubuntu
  • Android

The tests performed below are all ran on the Debian image found here. As always I’m using a SanDisk Ultra Class 10 SD Card.

Networking

I am performing some basic network throughput testes using iperf3 to determine if these are indeed Gigabit Ethernet ports. Lets look at the RTL8211E powered port first.

Primary NIC – RTL8211E

Using iperf3 running the server on known hardware that provides gigabit throughput I ran the following:

iperf3 -c 192.168.0.67 -f g

This connects to the client at 192.168.0.67 which has a known good Gigabit Port, I then specify the format as Gigabit.

Connecting to host 192.168.0.67, port 5201
[  5] local 192.168.0.100 port 49260 connected to 192.168.0.67 port 5201
[ ID] Interval           Transfer     Bitrate         Retr  Cwnd
[  5]   0.00-1.00   sec   110 MBytes  0.92 Gbits/sec    0   1.92 MBytes       
[  5]   1.00-2.00   sec   112 MBytes  0.94 Gbits/sec    0   2.01 MBytes       
[  5]   2.00-3.00   sec   112 MBytes  0.94 Gbits/sec    0   2.01 MBytes       
[  5]   3.00-4.00   sec   112 MBytes  0.94 Gbits/sec    0   2.01 MBytes       
[  5]   4.00-5.00   sec   111 MBytes  0.93 Gbits/sec    0   2.01 MBytes       
[  5]   5.00-6.00   sec   112 MBytes  0.94 Gbits/sec    0   2.01 MBytes       
[  5]   6.00-7.00   sec   112 MBytes  0.94 Gbits/sec    0   2.01 MBytes       
[  5]   7.00-8.00   sec   112 MBytes  0.94 Gbits/sec    0   2.01 MBytes       
[  5]   8.00-9.00   sec   111 MBytes  0.93 Gbits/sec    0   2.01 MBytes       
[  5]   9.00-10.00  sec   112 MBytes  0.94 Gbits/sec    0   2.01 MBytes       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[ ID] Interval           Transfer     Bitrate         Retr
[  5]   0.00-10.00  sec  1.09 GBytes  0.94 Gbits/sec    0             sender
[  5]   0.00-10.01  sec  1.09 GBytes  0.94 Gbits/sec                  receiver

The output shows that I got 0.94Gbits/sec which is about as close as you will get to Gigabit! This is a great start but will it be let down by the USB backed secondary port? Lets find out.

Secondary NIC – RTL8153B

Using iperf3 again I specified the secondary NIC as follows:

 iperf3 -c 192.168.0.67 -f g -B 192.168.0.179

This forces the iperf3 client to bind to the IP on the secondary NIC.

Connecting to host 192.168.0.67, port 5201
[  5] local 192.168.0.179 port 33743 connected to 192.168.0.67 port 5201
[ ID] Interval           Transfer     Bitrate         Retr  Cwnd
[  5]   0.00-1.00   sec   105 MBytes  0.88 Gbits/sec    0   2.10 MBytes       
[  5]   1.00-2.00   sec   106 MBytes  0.89 Gbits/sec    0   2.12 MBytes       
[  5]   2.00-3.00   sec   105 MBytes  0.88 Gbits/sec    0   2.12 MBytes       
[  5]   3.00-4.00   sec   105 MBytes  0.88 Gbits/sec    0   2.12 MBytes       
[  5]   4.00-5.00   sec   106 MBytes  0.89 Gbits/sec    0   2.12 MBytes       
[  5]   5.00-6.00   sec   105 MBytes  0.88 Gbits/sec    0   2.18 MBytes       
[  5]   6.00-7.00   sec   105 MBytes  0.88 Gbits/sec    0   2.18 MBytes       
[  5]   7.00-8.00   sec   104 MBytes  0.87 Gbits/sec    0   2.18 MBytes       
[  5]   8.00-9.00   sec   105 MBytes  0.88 Gbits/sec    0   2.18 MBytes       
[  5]   9.00-10.00  sec   106 MBytes  0.89 Gbits/sec    0   2.18 MBytes       
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
[ ID] Interval           Transfer     Bitrate         Retr
[  5]   0.00-10.00  sec  1.03 GBytes  0.88 Gbits/sec    0             sender
[  5]   0.00-10.01  sec  1.03 GBytes  0.88 Gbits/sec                  receiver

Amazingly I still got almost 0.9 Gigabit throughput which is more than acceptable! This testing shows that both NICs are very close to being true Gigabit Ports.

General Performance

As usual I chose to run Unixbench to benchmark the general performance of the OrangePi R1 Plus

Whilst it is not blisteringly powerful its more than enough with a respectable 288 points single core and 682 points multi core.

UnixBench Results

Looking at the above chart it shows that the OrangePi R1 Plus is around 6x faster than the GL-iNET GL-MT300N that I tested earlier this year and the GL-iNET device is more expensive!

Conclusion

The OrangePi R1 Plus is a great budget SBC router and is useful for many applications, I intend to use mine as a gateway for my homelab and I will be covering this in an upcoming post.

The OrangePi R1 Plus can be purchased in the official OrangePi Amazon and Aliexpress stores.

This Post is a collaboration which Ben Zucker who recently reviewed the Nano Pi R4S, whilst the R4S is a similar form factor board it is considerably more powerful with a 6-core SOC and 4GB RAM. Check Out Ben’s post here.

Finally I would like to thank Orange Pi for sending me this device to test and review!

3 comments

  1. What’s the thermal performance like? The original R1 would get so hot it would lock up just sitting idle in open air.

    1. The SOC got slightly warm during the benchmarks but definitely not hot. At idle it hardly produces any heat at all.

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