The best-known SBC is, without uncertainty, the Raspberry Pi. It’s known globally for its versatility, low power consumption, dependability, and comfort of use.
But there are numerous alternatives to the Raspberry Pi available that can produce their uniqueness to a project, whether you want more performance, AI, VR support, or a board rated for industrial automated use.
Let’s check out a selection of the Best Raspberry Pi Alternative for all your single-board Computer (SBC) needs for a project. For many projects, dedicating an entire PC to a project is overkill. It is where single-board computers come in handy.
This board has several nice touches that make it great for hobbyists. I particularly like the color-coded GPIO header, which makes it easy to recognize respective pin headers. I also like the detailed silk-screen print on the board’s face that clarifies where everything goes.
- Arm Mali-T764 GPU
- 2GB Dual-Channel DDR3
- Rockchip Quad-Core RK3288 processor
- 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth V4.0 + EDR
Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 incorporates a quad-core ARM Cortex-A72 processor, dual video output, and a wide selection of other interfaces.
- 4-Core 1.5GHz 64-bit CPU
- 8GB LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM Densities
- VideoCore VI graphics, supporting OpenGL ES 3.x
- 28 GPIO pins, with up to 6 × I2C, 6 × UART, and 5 × SPI
- 2x 4K HDMI interfaces 60fps H.265 (HEVC) video
- Gigabit Ethernet PHY with IEEE 1588 support
- Single-lane PCI Express 2.0 interface
- Dual MIPI DSI display and dual MIPI CSI-2 camera interfaces
Powerful yet energy-efficient, this would be your choice if you wanted to replace a desktop computer with an SBC. In addition, this board can run various flavors of Linux, including the latest Ubuntu and the flexibility to run Android.
- Samsung Exynos 5422 Cortex-A15 2 GHz and Cortex-A7 Octa core CPUs
- 2 x USB 3.0 Host, 1 x USB 2.0 Host
- Gigabit Ethernet port
- HDMI 1.4a for display
- Mali-T628 MP6
- 2GB LPDDR3 RAM PoP stacked
- eMMC5.0 HS400 Flash Storage
UDOO BOLT V8
There’s not much that the UDOO BOLT V8 can’t handle, from AAA games, high-end VR, cryptocurrency mining, AI, IoT, edge computing, and much more. But at $459, this is a costly board.
- AMD Radeon Vega 8 graphics
- 2x DDR4 Dual-channel 64-bit SO-DIMM sockets with ECC support up to 32Gb 2400 Mt/s
- AMD Ryzen Embedded V1605B quad-core/eight-thread at 2.0GHz (3.6GHz boost)
- 32GB eMMC 5.0 High Speed Drive
The Developer Kit from Nvidia Jetson Nano is a single-board computer that empowers you to work with various neural networks in parallel for applications like object detection, segmentation, image classification, and speech processing. It also carries several popular AI frameworks, like PyTorch, Caffe, MXNet, and TensorFlow. There’s also a comprehensive desktop Linux environment to execute it even more comfortably to work with.
- Quad-core 1.43 GHz ARM A57
- 128-core Maxwell GPU
- 4 GB 64-bit LPDDR4 RAM
- USB 3.0 x 4, USB 2.0 Micro-B
- Gigabit Ethernet, M.2 Key E
- HDMI and DisplayPort
Pros of Raspberry Pi
- Multiple Sensors: It comes with many GPIO Pins so that it can support multiple sensors at once. You can attach various modules, displays, sensors, etc…to it. Unless it’s not analog.
- Applied as a Portable Computer: This is the best part of the Raspberry Pi. Assume if you connect a display to it, and it will convert into a pocket computer. You can do all kinds of tasks a computer can do. You can review sites, attach to WiFi, do computational jobs.
- Vast Peripheral Support: You can link multiple digital sensors due to the unbelievable number of GPIO pins being provided. It supports virtually all the peripherals supported by Arduino. It has a lot of accessories ready for it in the business. You will find several Raspberry Pi cases with several designs, Raspberry pi HATs, Heat Sinks, Fans, etc.
- Faster Processor: Speaking about the core. When we relate it with Arduino and other boards, you receive a faster processor. Arduino appears with a controller, while Raspberry Pi arrives with a 1.6 GHz Processor in the 4B alternative of Raspberry Pi. A more accelerated processor means good performance. The price of the variant of the Raspberry Pi board is excellent. It can be a bet you won’t get that much version on any board at such price.
- Supports all types of Codes: This Support for all kinds of code performs this board famous; one of the main goals of the raspberry pi foundation was to provide cheap computing to people so that they can learn to program. They have reached their goal of providing affordable computing to people to learn to program efficiently.
Cons of Raspberry Pi
- Overheating: As the board doesn’t arrive with any heat-sinks pre-applied or a cooling fan. The Raspberry Pi 4 appears with a mighty processor and multiple features, and it starts to heat up after some time due to the identical board size; the heat dissipation is not stuffy as expected. If you apply it for continuous 6-7 hours without air-conditioning or heat-sink. It will heat higher 70 ° C very much if you are in a South Asian country.
- Graphics Processor Missing: The graphics processor is crucial if you’re into video editing, photo editing, and gaming. Without it, your Computer is just a vegetable. Many of us require a graphics processor so we can do specific tasks. While the Raspberry Pi doesn’t occur with a GPU unit. The processor does all the work for it, which is inefficient.
- Missing eMMC Internal Storage: Since the raspberry pi doesn’t have any internal storage, it requires a micro SD card to serve as internal storage. We all know that SD cards are not that fast. Even if we compare a class 10 High-Speed micro SD card with an eMMC internal storage. It lacks performance, so this increases the boot time of the board and the reads/write speed of the raspberry pi.
When dealing with a cheap SBC, it’s a case of buying a board and getting on with the project. However, if you are thinking about spending more money on hardware, you want to ensure that you’re not throwing money away.