Assessment, imx8mq vs a311d?

I’m moving along nicely with my new Reform (blundering along, re-learning old skills), very happy with it as my main machine, except for one thing: Firefox page load/rendering, of course browsers being the epitome of bloat.

Considering buying the A311D cpu card but wondering about overall effect on battery, and subjective improvement on web page rendering. Both, but especially the latter, I know are highly dependent on circumstance; appropriately I’m not expecting you-can-quote-me hard values.

Loading a text-only email from from Protonmail ( Inbox takes 10 seconds. I’ve got gigabit fiber internet; via wifi to “” I get 34/34 Mbit/s on the Reform (vs 47/62 on an M1 Powerbook), so pretty good.

Is the a311d likely to improve browser page render time?

How’s current consumption compare, imx8mq vs a311d, roughly?

I’ve used the imx8mq for over a year and then upgraded to a311d. Depending on the task, I’d say that performance is roughly doubled. I recently did a small benchmark of the battery life for the a311d and if I just do my normal work on it, it can last for about 5 hours. Playing a YouTube video makes it last 4 hours.

And yes, websites heavy with javascript were the worst on the imx8mq… :frowning:

Excellent! Thanks, that’s all I needed to hear.


I wonder how rk3588 will compare to both though.

And yeah, I am not surprised javascript is so bulky to deal with for old computers. Javascript is so bloated. I am confused why its chosen as a programming language to write the web with. If I had to guess, it wasn’t for fixing security or privacy issues, but the opposite… and adding complexity which bloats the web too at the same time to force people to upgrade hardware more.


With very little effort, terrible code can be written in even great languages.

True enough, with little effort any programming language can have bad code.

Some are just easier to do it with though.


I’d be inclined to wait for that also, if possible. I think the installed base of rk3588 will end up dwarfing that of everything other than the “old faithful” imx8mq, with all the benefits that brings for support.

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My main issue with the A311D is that it doesn’t have usb 3 and can’t use the nvme and m sata ports. Those issues and no Vulkan support make it a sidegrade to the imx8 instead of an upgrade. I still wouldn’t switch back though as everyday task speed is much nicer than all those tradeoffs.

All those issues should be fixed with the rk3588. Its a much more popular SBC chip than the a311d or imx8 so should have really good support even outside this community and it brings back usb 3, nvme and vulkan.


A311D is that it doesn’t have usb 3 and can’t
use the nvme and m sata ports

Yes, USB-2 – but wait, /can’t use nvme/? The Reform motherboard NVME? That’s not mentioned in the descriptions on

I assume the A311D board has the same form factor as the imx8 board, eg. the heatsink area.

Not being able to use the two sockets to one side of the CPU module would seem a rather hobbling side effect.

Sorry i meant to say the NVME port does not work with the A311D not sure about the RPI CM4. You can still use your NVME drive with the MSATA port using an included adapter. Its not the biggest deal breaker since onboard wifi means you don’t need to use a wireless card in the MSATA port. I’d still like all the ports to work as intended though.


  • Only 1 PCIe slot instead of 2

Essentially what you do is to move the existing NVMe drive from its M.2 slot to the PCIe slot where the wifi card used to be using the provided adapter. The wifi card thus has to go but is replaced by the onboard wifi of the banana pi.

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(I get 404 from that module adapter link) EDIT: it was just the trailing colon.

Ahh got it. Yes, my wifi card becomes excess, I know.

Oh crap – the Transcend NVME I got doesn’t look like it will fit in the other slot – it’s long and will conflict with the little coin cell holder.

I did look at compatiblity etc before I ordered but hadn’t noticed the card-length issue.

I just ordered the a311d from MNTRE yesterday – should I attempt to cancel?

The rk3588 wasn’t available last I looked, but seems to be there now. Its more than I wanted to spend,m but if it will coexist with the 1tb Transcend nvme I bought from mntre I’d consider buying it instead. I was thinking about battery life vs CPU/memory also. But physical-fit issues override…

What SSD model do you have that would be too big/long to fit?

The Transcend 1TB I got from Crowd Supply with my Reform… there’s two lengths, short and long. Mine’s long; it ends just short of the little USB socket on the motherboard.

Below the wifi card is the coin cell holder.

A long SSD will fit, I just went through the upgrade myself.

The adapter board raises the height of the drive above the coin cell.

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(Ahh… I figured this has been done before… Momentary fear appeased :slight_smile:

And in javascript too!