Top 4 Best Raspberry Pi 3 Alternatives You can Buy in 2018
Raspberry Pi is a small credit card sized computer developed by Raspberry Pi Foundation in the United Kingdom. Originally designed for the purpose of teaching basic computer science in schools and in developing countries, it has taken the world by storm selling over 12.5 million units by March 2017 which is an amazing feat considering that it was introduced in February of 2012.
Before moving on to any of the alternatives, let’s have a recap of the specs of Raspberry Pi 3 model 3. It comes with a Quad Cortex A53 CPU clocked at 1.2GHz, 1GB of RAM, VideoCore IV GPU. It has inbuilt support for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1, supports microSD storage, Ethernet, HDMI, and has 4 USB ports. In addition, it has 40 GPIO (General Purpose Input/Output) pins and runs a specifically designed version of Linux known as Raspbian. But there are others with lower price and better hardware available on the market, 4 of our favorites are mentioned below
Here are the Best Raspberry Pi 3 Alternatives
Arduino was developed in Ivrea, Italy in 2005 with the main purpose of providing a low cost and easy way for novices and professionals to create devices that can interact with their surroundings using sensors and actuators.
The main advantage of using Arduino is the simplicity of coding for beginners as Arduino provides an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) which uses C and C++ for programming.
Arduino Uno which is the most popular version comes with ATmega328 microcontroller clocked at 16MHz, 14 I/O pins, 32KB flash memory, 2KB of RAM. The specs may not seem too compelling but there are variants with higher specs but they may be a good enough raspberry pi alternative when you are working on simpler projects.
Despite the ludicrous name, it is a powerful board whose design was mainly influenced by Raspberry Pi in 2013. It is produced by the Chinese Company Shenzhen SINOVOIP Co., Ltd with the main goal of promoting science, technology, and engineering education in schools.
It comes with a dual-core Allwinner A20 CPU with 1GB of RAM, a dual-core Mali 400 GPU 26 GPIO pins,2 USB ports, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and also supports SD cards. It also can run Android and different Linux distros like Debian, Raspbian etc.
It was originally designed with the intention to improve on the performance of raspberry pi rather than an alternative by putting on a faster processor and more RAM but the newer versions of raspberry have exceeded it in performance.
3.Asus Tinker Board
Launched by ASUS in early 2017 perhaps it is the newest entry in this segment. Despite being quite expensive at $59.99 it brings a lot of unique features.
It comes with a quad-core Cortex A17 CPU clocked at 1.8 GHz, Mail-T764 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 4 USB 2.0 ports and an HDMI port. It also supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4. It runs a custom version of Debian Linux known as TinkerOS. The main selling point of it is the support for 4k video playback.
It is a high-performance oriented board. Some tests have shown that it has roughly twice the processing power of Raspberry pi Model 3. It can be useful when performance is the main priority.
Parallela was a project started by a company named Adapteva on Kickstarter in September 2012. It received $750,000 in funding in a month. First boards started shipping in December 2013.
It uses a dual-core ARM A9 CPU and Epiphany’s 16-core RISC SOC with 1GB of RAM. It includes support for microSD storage expansion, HDMI and USB port and 48 GPIO pins. It is capable of running several Linux distributions.
It is mainly used computationally intensive works where a high degree of parallel processing is required. It achieves such high performance due to Epiphany’s 16-core SOC. It is quite expensive starting from $99.
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