Best storage option / configuration for BPI-R3

Hi there,

I am thrilled that my BPI-R3 finally arrived. Given the many storage options I tried to find some guidance but did not find any. As a first stage, before getting my hands dirty on a home lab, I plan to use the BPI-M3 as a router + media server.

However, I am uncertain which storage option / configuration to chose and wonder if anyone of you could add your thoughts on this?

  1. eMMC as boot + M.2 Samsung 980 or 990 Pro
  2. M.2 Samsung 980 Pro as boot & media
  3. Intel Optane worth to consider?

Note: I know, the Samsung is overkill but I plan to reuse it in a RAID config for data science + virtualization in my home lab later on. I am also aware of the degradation issue.

Or is it more likely to be CPU or even RAM limited? Many thanks in advance for your input!

Best Mike

You cannot boot from m.2 slot. Only mmc (sd/emmc) and spi (nand/nor). M.2 is not yet supported in uboot so currently it can be used only for data storage and maybe as rootfs (which is accessed after linux kernel is booted)

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As frank-w correctly explained you can use NVMe SSD for storage, but not to boot from. Regarding the on-board storage options of the R3, I’ve posted a summary to help making that decision here:

So if I’m playing with something like OpenWRT, would a good option be having a ‘stable’ config stored on the NOR, then having a ‘play’ option stored on the eMMC? That way if I break something, I can flip the boot selection switches to the NOR and revert to a ‘stable’ option?

Or should I have my ‘play’ option on NAND, so I can access the SD card for downloading packages, writing all the logs etc?

Imho main version should be on mmc (sd/emmc) or nvme (no access from uboot yet,but rootfs can be put onto it). On nor/nand there should be a recovery in case something is wrong on the main system.

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NOR is certainly the most stable and robust storage option. Whether to use the eMMC or NAND for your ‘play’ option (as you figured already) depends on whether you need to access the micro SD slot and if the NAND is big enough for what you are planning to do.