Xi3 Xi5A ramblings

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pete
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Xi3 Xi5A ramblings

Post by pete » Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:30 pm

Purchased two Xi3 Xi5A micro PC's last week. The company has gone out of business.

They are well built machines. They were introduced in 2013 at CES.

They were also expensive at between $500+ USD each. Purchased each here for $60 USD.

I am doing a comparison here to the PiPoX7. The PipoX7 is an Atom Baytrail with 2Gb of RAM. Mine is currently running Windows 10.

Goals here are to make one a mini Homeseer automation server replacing the current RPi2/3 and the other one a KodiBuntu box (just to see how it works mostly).
Amazon-Xi5A.jpg
Xi3-Xi5A-2.jpg
Xi5A-1.jpg
Xi5A-1.jpg (12.45 KiB) Viewed 4538 times
Take apart pictures.

Specifications of the Xi3 Xi5A.

Testing OS's

I - the Xi5A came with 64 bit Windows 7 Pro - runs fine - wiped it after playing. I could have removed / replaced the SSD drive but did not.
A - worked fine out of the box

II - Installed KodiBuntu on it and had to redo the AMD video / audio drivers on it - sort of a PITA but easy.
A - worked fine except for the video / HD audio issues until I updated the drivers.

III- Stock Xi5A came with OpenSuse such that I downloaded the ISO and giving that a try today.

A - Well looked nice out of the box.
B - Updated it and broke the build. I haven't played with OpenSuse in some 20 years such that I am not versed in it today.

IV - Doing a fresh install of LUbuntu on it then installing KODI.
A - Installed LUbuntu V.16.04. So far it is looking nice. See's all hardware just fine.
B - installed openssh-server
C - installed webmin
Xi5A-Webmin.jpg
D - updated build

Code: Select all

lshw -c video
  *-display
       description: VGA compatible controller
       product: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI]
       vendor: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI]
       physical id: 5
       bus info: pci@0000:01:05.0
       version: 00
       width: 32 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
       configuration: driver=radeon latency=0
       resources: irq:18 memory:d0000000-dfffffff ioport:9000(size=256) memory:f0100000-f010ffff memory:f0000000-f00fffff

lshw -c sound
  *-multimedia
       description: Audio device
       product: RS780 HDMI Audio [Radeon (HD) 3000 Series]
       vendor: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI]
       physical id: 5.1
       bus info: pci@0000:01:05.1
       version: 00
       width: 32 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi bus_master cap_list
       configuration: driver=snd_hda_intel latency=0
       resources: irq:19 memory:f0110000-f0113fff
  *-multimedia
       description: Audio device
       product: SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA)
       vendor: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI]
       physical id: 14.2
       bus info: pci@0000:00:14.2
       version: 00
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm bus_master cap_list
       configuration: driver=snd_hda_intel latency=64
       resources: irq:16 memory:f0500000-f0503fff
F - changed root password and configured SSH to work with root

G - installed Kodi

H - tested HD video and audio - working fine

I - Updated BIOS

Day #2

Frustrated a bit. Updating the original OpenSuse, Kodibuntu (14.04) and current LUbuntu 16.04 messes with the video and audio drivers.

I have had similar issues with my Intel based laptops and desktops that were running Ubuntu 14.04 and now running Ubuntu 16.04. I have no sound anymore on my HP Laptop. The last update to the AMD Xi3 / Xi5a was a working open source AMD (posted on the AMD site) made me lose my booting graphics and now it boots to a Grub menu. I can hit enter and go to the desktop. It is a PITA and 16.04 documented a bunch on the internet. I tried every little tweak I read about yesterday and frustrated. It appears now that their is a shift of OS mechanisms relating to HD sound and HD video these days with Linux to appease the peanut gallery providers.

Such that I started all over again with KodiBuntu and will update Kodi but probably leave well enough alone relating to general updates of the OS.

The updated BIOS works but it looks like a kludge with misspellings and probably some urgency to get it out there - IE: it is not clean to me but works.

Running one box as a mini automation server so I really do not care about the graphics (sound is fine with the updates after removing Alsa and switching over to PulseAudio.)

Day #3

Started from scratch using KodiBuntu. Only change was adding pulse audio. All is well.

Thinking of increasing the size of the SSD from 32 Gb to something larger.

V - installed Kodi

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:team-xbmc/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install kodi

A - tested HD video and audio - working fine in KODI

VI - started from scratch with the current KodiBuntu ISO.

A - Video worked fine from scratch
B - Audio didn't work until I installed PulseAudio - working fine.
C - new add considerations
1 - larger SSD
2 - HDMI cable to video port.

VII - took apart the Xi5A last night. Easy except for the hex sockets.

A - imaged the SSD to a USB stick
B - shrunk the image down to around 4Gb (from 32 Gb)
C - installed another SSD drive (32 Gb) in the Xi5A, wiped it clean before installing.
D - Wrote the shrunken image from the USB stick to the SSD with Gparted
E - checked grub and did a quickie repair of the SSD with Boot-Repair (just in case)
F - Booted up fine in to KodiBuntu. Was a bit concerned that maybe the UUID would change and it didn't.
G - will take some pictures today as there isn't much to the Xi5A. Noticed too while sitting idle it is very cool.

Upping the SSD drive on one of them.
X3S-X5A-1.jpg
X3S-X5A-2.jpg
X3S-X5A-3.jpg
- Pete

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mickchip
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Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:06 am
Location: Handforth, Cheshire, UK

Re: Xi3 Xi5A ramblings

Post by mickchip » Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:29 pm

Very nice Pete, keep us updated.
Just been looking at the new Pipo X3, 5 inch screen, Win 10.

http://www.banggood.com/PIPO-X3-32G-Int ... 51037.html
Attachments
PipoX3.jpg
Pipo X3, coming soon
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pete
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Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:33 am
Location: Time Traveler

Re: Xi3 Xi5A ramblings

Post by pete » Wed Jun 22, 2016 2:36 am

Very nice. And it has an ethernet port built in.

Anyway, here’s a run-down of the GOLE1’s hardware which looks just like the PiPo above.
GOLE1.jpg
GOLE1a.jpg
GOLE1b.jpg
  • Intel Atom x5-Z8300 Cherry Trail processor
    2GB or 4GB of RAM
    32GB or 64GB of NAND flash storage
    5 inch, 1280 x 720 pixel IPS touchscreen display (5-point multitouch)
    802.11b/g/n WiFi
    Ethernet
    Bluetooth 4.0
    HDMI output
    1 USB 3.0 port and 3 USB 2.0 ports
    micro USB port
    microSD card slot
    3.5mm headset jack
    2,600 mAh battery (good for up to 2 hours)
    5.3″ x 3.6″ x 0.8″
    7 ounces
I used to have a Panasonic CF-1 toughbook. I was impressed with it many many years ago.
- Pete

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