Truth about Banana PI M3 “Octacore”:
1)The website says this board has a SATA functionality. Unfortunately, this is not. This SoC has no SATA microcode in it. What you see in the board is just a SATA connector adapted to a USB 2.0 bus. Any attempt to write assembler code managing a SATA interface will simply reboot the board. A bit delusive, being a test/developing board. But, at the end, the point is this: there is NO SATA BUS on this board, just USB.
2)The website mentions 8 Core CPU. Actually the cores are there, but they cannot work all together. The reason is very simple, and you can verify in a bench test: at 2 Ghz with 8 cores, this CPU consumes 9.3W. The problem is that the USB interface can only reach 5V * 1.8A. Which means, much before to use all 8 cores, the board will reboot for lack of power. There is no way to use 8 Cores at 2 Ghz there, unless soldering some other power supply directly on the board.
3)Also the power management of the board manages heat shutting down cores and lowering the frequency. This means with a passive heat sink it is possible to have 6 cores. Maybe with some active cooler is possible to reach 8, but there is no slot to attach an active fan cooler. So, in practice, this board CANNOT reach 8 cores at 2 Ghz in the real world.
4) The website says it can run several OSes, but there is no OS actually able to run on it. In the manufacturer’s website there are apparently lot of OSes, but 3 each 4 are corrupted images (with no Md5 hash, btw) and none of the remaining is capable to use all the hardware, starting from Wifi and the Bluetooth, to don’t mention that no sensors can be used, neither the GPIO.