Suggestion on An Expansion Card

I recently preordered my HiFive Unmatched and am thinking I should start an expansion parts list. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to put in the PCI slot that would work with the computer? I am considering getting some type of all-in-one card but not sure what that could be.

I’ve got a Sapphire Radeon R5 230 graphics card (max power use 19W) waiting here. It was about $50 a month or two ago.

Also planning to try it on the Icicle board once that arrives. I’m less sure about it there, but it should I expect work no problems on the Unmatched.

Interested to know what you find.

I would suggest sticking with things that have already been tested by SiFive, unless you want to do some work on linux kernel device drivers. It may be a while before the driver support is as good as an x86 or arm computer. Pretty much anything can be connected via USB these days, and USB multiport hubs are cheap, so we have primarily been using the PCI slot for a video card. This link
under the software features/linux bsp section mentions the two video cards we are testing, along with the NVME card we use, and the wifi card we are testing. Also, you might want to wait until the unmatched board is closer to available, as it is possible our recommendations might change if we run into problems during testing. I would expect docs to be released with the board that have more info about what is recommended for use with the board.

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The RX580 uses 150W! That’s an absolute beast of a card. I’ve never had anything close to that in any PC I’ve ever owned. It also costs $300! I’ve never spent more than about a third of that on a video card.

For sure it’s not going to work powered from an Icicle, which only has a 60W power supply.

I’m going to try my $50 Radeon. It uses the same (open source) driver.

Just what I needed. I will keep an eye out for those chipsets. But you have a good point, I should wait until I actually get the board before buying something that may later not be supported or if more things are added that are supported.

For my game dev day job I have AMD GPUs for every generation (going back to Polaris, so RX5xx, Vega, Radeon VII, Navi, and big Navi) . I will test all of them and I will report it back here! I was planning to do that anyway out of curiosity. If it can help people even better!


What a cool idea. Thank you.

I’ve got an RX 550 lined up for it. There really shouldn’t be any trouble with it as long as the PCIe controller works properly; PCIe was designed to be architecture-independent, and if AMDGPU runs at all on this chip, any graphics card it supports should also, in theory, run just fine.

Let me know if anyone wants an AliExpress shop where you can grab an RX550 for US$90.