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Raspberry Pi 3 Is a Nice Upgrade, But Alternatives Exist With Faster Performance (phoronix.com) 287

An anonymous reader writes: With the Raspberry Pi 3 now available, benchmarks have been done comparing the Raspberry Pi 3 to other ARM SBCs. The Raspberry Pi 3 was found to be a faster upgrade compared to the Raspberry Pi 2, but the ODROID-C2 is a much faster alternative. For only $5 more than the Raspberry Pi 3, it includes twice the amount of RAM, Gigabit Ethernet, and a faster SoC. The ODROID-C2 also has HDMI 2.0 and superior Ethernet while the Raspberry Pi 3 has an advantage of 802.11n WiFi. The ODROID-C2 also has a heatsink for ensuring the SoC doesn't get as toasty as the Raspberry Pi 3.
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Raspberry Pi 3 Is a Nice Upgrade, But Alternatives Exist With Faster Performance

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  • by Xenna ( 37238 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @01:47AM (#51651573)

    The Pine64 is nice as well.

    But standardizing on one or two model also has its perks. Cheap cases and other peripherals, easy to find software, an abundance of tutorials.

    Its starting to sound a bit like the history of the IBM PC.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @06:39AM (#51652319) Journal
      In that vein, the current pain-point for the ODroid-2 is the fact that the AMLogic S905 SoC it is based on has no mainline kernel support; and the current vendor fork is of a version heading toward EOL uncomfortably quickly. There is supposed to be a mainlining effort that will fix this before the current option actually goes EOL; but that remains to be seen.

      I must admit that (having come into linux back in the delightful days when Broadcom wireless meant screwing around with NDISwrapper) it's a bit of a shock; but the rPi actually has an atypically high plays-well-with-others factor. You can get them cheaper; and you can get them better; but until the 'every ARM SoC is its own dysfunctional port' issue gets ironed out, some very promising hardware can end up hobbled by neurotic and antique software.
      • I'd say the ODROID has many pain points, mostly related to lack of market penetration:

        • Case selection
        • Google-able support for commonly encountered problems
        • Tested / debugged (or at least bugs known and described) peripheral drivers, especially for expansion boards
        • Channel support (can I buy this through Amazon yet?, when will it go EOL?)
        • Those are valid points as well(though the peripheral drivers issue is arguably a sub-issue of the 'only supported kernel is pretty creaky' problem). They do offer a case; but not much variety, so that may or may not be an issue; EOL-ing is definitely an unknown. The kernel issue struck me as the most important, in that if a device is mainlined, at least the hardware you already own tends to take ages to be EOLed(the kernel maintainers do eventually drop platforms and devices that appear to have nobody who c
      • by Shoten ( 260439 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @08:36AM (#51652691)

        In that vein, the current pain-point for the ODroid-2 is the fact that the AMLogic S905 SoC it is based on has no mainline kernel support; and the current vendor fork is of a version heading toward EOL uncomfortably quickly. There is supposed to be a mainlining effort that will fix this before the current option actually goes EOL; but that remains to be seen.

        I must admit that (having come into linux back in the delightful days when Broadcom wireless meant screwing around with NDISwrapper) it's a bit of a shock; but the rPi actually has an atypically high plays-well-with-others factor. You can get them cheaper; and you can get them better; but until the 'every ARM SoC is its own dysfunctional port' issue gets ironed out, some very promising hardware can end up hobbled by neurotic and antique software.

        I think the current pain point is something a lot less technical.

        From TFA:

        While the ODROID-C2 doesn't appear to be shipping in quantities yet and Hardkernel hasn't offered to send over any sample...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 07, 2016 @01:48AM (#51651575)

    Someone replaced my news with an ad for a Raspberry Pi competitor.

    • Sounds like we're supposed to talk about the ODROID-C2.

      Anyone know how big the community for it is, compared to RaspPi? And what OS options are available? (ie: Debian, OSMC, MS Windows, etc.)

      Balmer said it best: Developers! Developers! Developers!

      I have two first generation Rasp Pi Model Bs that I replaced with Model 2s. Haven't had any problems with the Model 2 B yet. If I do, I'm almost certainly going to replace with the Model 3. I'm using it for media center and it works fantastic.

    • by itsdapead ( 734413 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @06:27AM (#51652301)

      They also conflated TFA (in which the RasPi 3 does pretty well in the benchmarks against current competitors) with a puff piece for a new board which isn't widely available yet (2nd TFA didn't even have a sample - they were just comparing published benchmarks).

      Seriously. The ODROID C2 looks interesting - why not post a straight announcement/review that doesn't rely on knocking the RasPI to get clicks?

    • Is this worse than another RPi /vert?

    • by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @08:53AM (#51652749)

      Everybody knows that the Rasberry PI is never the fastest or cheapest or most featured. It's still the best in terms of support and constancy of design available accessories and an the likelihood of a path forward for things built in one generation to work on the next. It also now even runs windows, has embedded or server versions and a large range of price points. SO yeah we all know there's things like Pine and Orange Pi and Bannana PI and orroid and beagle bone circling the trade-space of the raspberry. And I even enjoy articles comparing these. But singling out one of these for headline space on Slashdot is just blantant astro turfing.

  • by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @01:51AM (#51651593)

    It's not always about raw performance vs price. Apple wouldn't be kicking the crap out of all the other mobile players if that were true. Years ago, I remember hearing lots of disparaging remarks (here on /. mostly) about iPods, and how xyz brand was so much better because it could play Ogg Vorbis, and was hackable, had more storage for less cost, etc, etc. Where are all those players today?

    Performance/price is important (although at that price point, do you really think people care all that much?), but don't forget about other factors: compatibility, community, mindshare, design, ease-of-use, reliability, and so on...

    • Where are all those players today?

      Although I agree with your underlying point that there are many factors involved so boiling it down to price/performance isn't sensible, I can't understand the rest of your point. Where are they now, well I guess the same could be said of the ipod (I assume it's still sold, but I doubt in the quantities it was) a quick search of amazon shows various for sale. I'm sure the overall number is less and I'm sure that there are some that have left the market, that's device convergence for you most/many use their

      • Sorry, I was a little unclear with the wording there. I actually mean "players" as in "companies in that market" rather than the physical devices themselves, also known as "players" (doh!). In other words, read it "where are all those companies now"? Many of them, like Creative Labs, have either evaporated or are a shell of their former selves. Sony, Samsung, HTC, and many other manufacturers are struggling.

        And yes, "kicking the crap" is probably hyperbole - although I'm obviously talking about profitab

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by bloodhawk ( 813939 )
      While Apple is kicking the crap out of everyone profit wise, they are actually getting the crap kicked out of them in the mobile space for actual marketshare. Still everyone would rather have the share that is happy to pay a much higher margin on hardware.
      • While Apple is kicking the crap out of everyone profit wise, they are actually getting the crap kicked out of them in the mobile space for actual marketshare. Still everyone would rather have the share that is happy to pay a much higher margin on hardware.

        Care to explain that? Do you mean in terms of their Mobile OSs market share? They are the only competitor to the Android monoculture worth mentioning and I'm pretty sure they could gain quite a lot of market share if they'd be inclined to license out their OS like Google does. So in view of the fact that they are the only competitor of Android worth mentioning even though they don't license their OS I'd say they are doing pretty well. Or perhaps you are talking about their market share in terms of device sa

        • pretty well? as I said they are doing amazingly profit wise, actual marketshare though is under 15%. Samsung alone has a higher share. I don't like the monoculture we have I am just pointing out Apple most definitely is not kicking the crap out of everyone in anything but money (which arguably for a company is all that matters), consumer wise though they are second, mobile OS wise they are a DISTANT second.
          • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

            Of course it's the money that matters. Apple doesn't care what their marketshare is. They never have. Samsung is a lot more than just mobile phones, but I'd bet they'd sacrifice half their marketshare for Apple's profits on the iPhone.

        • Honestly we would be better off with a monoculture than with cultural "diversity" involving only Apple as an alternative. Apple pushes the market to be locked-down and proprietary. It's not a good influence. Why would I pay for a developer license to run code on my own phone?
          • by afidel ( 530433 )

            You don't need a developer license to run on your own phone, and haven't since last September. Xcode 7 added support for self signed certs to run a compiled app on your own hardware.

      • by MachineShedFred ( 621896 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @10:34AM (#51653271) Journal

        I still don't understand why market share has to be the single arbiter of platform health. Incoming car analogy!

        BMW and Mercedes are perfectly fine with making a product line that only has single-digit market share out of worldwide car sales, which costs more than the cheapest automobiles around. They make a decent enough profit to stay alive, and have a loyal customer base. If anyone said that BMW AG or Daimler-Benz was "getting the crap kicked out of them", or saying that "they can't innovate anymore" because they weren't moving as many cars as Ford or Toyota, they would be laughed out of the room.

        The exact same go-to-market strategy is employed by Apple in a different industry, and all of a sudden they're dying because they don't shift as much inventory as every other player in the market combined. Yet, they are still insanely profitable even after dumping untold billions into R&D, and perfectly happy to sell a product that their customers have ridiculously high satisfaction with, and a repurchase rate that is the envy of practically every company in the world.

        What is so special about computers and phones that dictates that one company must move more devices than everyone else combined in order to not be "getting the crap kicked out of them" ?

    • It's not always about raw performance vs price. Apple wouldn't be kicking the crap out of all the other mobile players if that were true. Years ago, I remember hearing lots of disparaging remarks (here on /. mostly) about iPods, and how xyz brand was so much better because it could play Ogg Vorbis, and was hackable, had more storage for less cost, etc, etc. Where are all those players today?

      Performance/price is important (although at that price point, do you really think people care all that much?), but don't forget about other factors: compatibility, community, mindshare, design, ease-of-use, reliability, and so on...

      I'm working on an enclosed device and I quite frankly neither need nor want top performance, partly because of the excess heat I then have to deal with. In fact one of the things that irritates me most about the PI2 is that there is no analogue to the PI model A which is easier to cram into device enclosures. I'd also prefer to get my boards with plastic snap-in USB/Ethernet/etc... connectors that lend them selves to easily creating devices. Computers like the Raspberry PI are great for start-up companies

      • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @04:43AM (#51652007) Journal

        Computers like the Raspberry PI are great for start-up companies who can't afford to go to a manufacturer and have their own custom electronics made

        Hi, hardware startup guy here. I'm going to come out and say that tautologically, if you know what you're doing, then doing custom hardware yourself is actually not nearly as difficult as you think.

        First board design is cheap and easy. I'm using Eagle which has a free version if you want to get started, and a reasonably cheap version for smaller stuff. Everyone keeps telling me that KiCad (free) is now better than Eagle. There's of course a barrier to switching, but either way the software is cheap and easy.

        Unpopulated boards are cheap to buy. There's places like Hackvana (my personal choice), OSHPark (ever used, but friends of mine like it), PCBPool (choice of a different friend, more expensive, larger minimum order than hackvana, less nice boards I think but free stencil which evens out the cost).

        Either way, you can get a bunch nice double sided boards for easily under $100.

        For soldering there's a bunch of choices. Best thing to do if you're interested is read some ameture tech blogs on the subject. Amazingly you can actually solder QFNs with an iron (heat gun needed for the middle pad). I didn't know that until I saw it.

        I personally prefer using a stencil and solder paste. Took me about 4 hours of pasting and repasting to get the hang of it, but I can now paste cleanly every time. Then just plonk the components down and stick it in a reflow oven. If you're being cheap, a heat gun (852D+ gun/iron combos are cheap and very servicable), or a toaster oven will do. I forked out the $200 for the lowest end reflow oven (T962) and it's super easy to use. Apparently 3rd party firmware exists which improves it greatly.

        I personally prefer solder paste and stencil, a reflow oven and a vacuum pickup tool (pedal controlled is much easier to use) and tweezers. That's the method used professionally for very small runs, as defined by people I know who are professionals. I know a small engineering company where they make all their custom kit like this in house, though they have spiffier irons and reflow ovens than me. Other people get by just fine with various combos of soldering irons and etc. Those are fine, but can get trick for some packages, especially larger ones.

        I've been working with 0402 passives, small DFN, QFN and LGA devices and a larger CPU module (bluetooth: module because various reasons mostly FCC and time related). Others at my local hackspace have been doing double sided boards equally small with MCU, QNF and of course 0402 passives, and doing it with an iron.

        I am not a pro. I did a degree with some EE in it 15-18 years ago. This is my first electronics since then and my only foray into anything more advanced than .1" DIP and a PIC mucrocontroller.

        So, getting boards made is something you can do pretty cheaply and easily. If you don't feel like soldering them your self there are places that will populate them for you, though that's more expensive for short runs, but it's not bad. I got a batch of 30 small boards made, populated, shipped and exported all in for about 2 grand.

        Getting started is hard. The easiest thing is to find a vendor who makes a devkit that does what you want, make sure you can get up and running on that to some extent, then base a design off the devkit. Include LEDs in the same place and once you have the LED blinking on both, you can start using your peripherals.

        • by Christian Smith ( 3497 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @06:00AM (#51652217) Homepage

          Computers like the Raspberry PI are great for start-up companies who can't afford to go to a manufacturer and have their own custom electronics made

          Hi, hardware startup guy here. I'm going to come out and say that tautologically, if you know what you're doing, then doing custom hardware yourself is actually not nearly as difficult as you think.

          First board design is cheap and easy. ...

          ... for a hardware startup guy.

          For the rest of us, who may not have hardware or electronics experience but want to sell a solution, just buy $5 Pi Zero boards.

          • ... for a hardware startup guy.

            Way to read the post.

            Did you get to the bit where I said that apart from some screwing around on .1" stuff 15 years ago this is the first hardware I've done. There are many blogs and wesites and communities devoted to getting started with this stuff even if you have no hardware experience. So that's what I did, I read articles and just got stuck in, right at the deep end and have a hardware startup off the back of it.

            But sure, be defeatest if you like, it doesn't affect me.

            For

            • There's still a huge difference between being able to design circuits and just being able to code something and connect pre-made modules via a few analog and digital I/O pins.

        • Computers like the Raspberry PI are great for start-up companies who can't afford to go to a manufacturer and have their own custom electronics made

          Hi, hardware startup guy here. I'm going to come out and say that tautologically, if you know what you're doing, then doing custom hardware yourself is actually not nearly as difficult as you think.

          First board design is cheap and easy. I'm using Eagle which has a free version if you want to get started, and a reasonably cheap version for smaller stuff.

          I respectfully disagree. It might look simple if this is the first hardware project you've done, but wait till the bugs pop up, and *everything* has bugs. For my personal stuff I use the Geda toolchain, which I recommend to anyone getting their feet wet. I've designed and manufactured many devices for my personal use using Geda, but I would not recommend anyone designing their own boards - design daughterboards if you must. The reason is because you may lack the skills in figuring out what went wrong, when something eventually goes wrong (and it will!).

          Small example for hardware difficulty: we've discovered problems in some of the units we manufactured last year, very inconsistent, very unpredictable and even the troublesome product would work perfectly *most* of the time. After a few months of long and hard examination of the troublesome devices (of which around 2 million, maybe, were manufactured and already sold), we finally pinned it down to a single capacitor on the device, which did not consistently withstand the washing process. The prototypes all worked perfectly (different washing process for small quantities).

          This is something that will kill a small company in a year, even once you discover the problem and have a fix.

          Another example (different device) involved static - even after hooking up the lightning generator and running repeated tests, it was still uncertain if it was indeed the static that was causing the problems that customers reported. The EE in charge, IIRC, added more static protection and called it a day, after more than a month of examination, testing and debugging.

          In many ways, hardware is somewhat easy, especially if you have good quality 'scopes, signal generators, laboratories, etc; in other ways, it is very very difficult indeed, and there is no replacement for skilled and experienced EEs for debugging the hardware problems, which *will* arise after the prototypes all work perfectly. The best compromise is to pick a cheap module (RPi, *duino, etc) and design a daughterboard for the module that has the exact chips you need for a particular problem. That way, you can do the majority of your software testing and hardware testing from a PC connected to daughterboard, and switch to whichever SoC module suits you best.

          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            I agree. It is always harder than it looks. Again from a EE that works in the embedded space.

            If you are doing a carrier board design and use one of a few readily available modules like the Raspberry Pi Compute Module then check out Gumstix's Geppetteo, https://www.gumstix.com/geppetto/. You can design a carrier board using a drag and drop web interface. There is a flat, up front fee and then a per board fee that is cheaper than going to a production house. Very little electronics background needed. Forces a

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          While everything you say is true, unless you are making a very large number of units Broadcom (who make the SoC) won't even talk to you. You can't just order that part in small quantities off Farnell and get the NDA protected design support documents off the Broadcom web site.

          There is actually a large market for SoC modules like the Pi Compute one. Lots of companies specialise in just taking reference designs, putting them on a standard form factor plug-in board and selling them in smaller quantities than B

      • I'm not in the position to have had need of one; but doesn't team rPi provide the 'compute module' version(DDR-2 SODIMM form factor, snap it in to the carrier board of your choice) for that purpose?

        They don't seem to have an updated version with the guts of the newer model as yet, though I assume that that is coming.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by gweihir ( 88907 )

      Indeed. The Pi sucks badly interface-wise. Still not fixed on the Pi3, because they stay with an inferior Broadcom SoC. Get real USB and real networking instead of the unreliable crap the Pi has. And some competitors even have SATA.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      Where are all those players today?

      The same place as my iPod, the bottom of a drawer. At least I can still use my other old MP3 player (Miezu), the iPod needs Firewire to charge and the original charger died years ago and my PC doesn't have Firewire.

      Apple's "genius" was to bring disposability to expensive products. Imagine someone telling you in 1999 that people would be buying a new £700 phone every two years or less. It would have sounded ridiculous.

      What the RPi is doing is much better. Giving you an insane amount of computing

      • I wanted an internet connected device that gets regular security updates with a screen smaller than 5in. Any good Android devices fit the bill?

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Maybe a phone that runs Cyanogen or AOSP?

          • I'd ideally want one that properly supports all the hardware on the device and doesn't rely on the developer maintaining interest for 2 or more years. I don't think CM or AOSP do that do they? My Note 2 never got Lollipop officially or in a CM milestone build. The nightly for CM12 dates back quite a while and there's no sign of Marshmallow.

            • I know this is not a great data point, but I have a 3 year old Moto X that is running sterling service on CM12.1 and you CAN put 13 on it if you're willing to take a hit in the stability department. Mine works great, is small (4.7") and reliable. I flash a new nightly onto it about once every week or two when I feel like it and I've had only one or two buggy releases that made me a little frustrated.

              Having said all that, support for 13 is bad on this device and yes I probably will get a new phone this year.

        • I wanted an internet connected device that gets regular security updates with a screen smaller than 5in. Any good Android devices fit the bill?

          Any suitable phone supported by Cyanogenmod? My HTC One S is fantastic, cost me £50 on ebay, and runs CM-12.1 (Android 5.1) like a trooper.

      • by Dog-Cow ( 21281 )

        There were people in 1999, just as there are today, who trade in $50K+ cars every year or two. $799 every two years for a phone is nothing. It's not like those people keep their old phones, you know. Most get sold for at least half the cost of the new one. (Apple devices tend to have high resale value.)

      • by swb ( 14022 )

        Apple's "genius" was to bring disposability to expensive products. Imagine someone telling you in 1999 that people would be buying a new ã700 phone every two years or less. It would have sounded ridiculous.

        Imagine telling someone in 1999 they would have a phone which could take better pictures than almost every digital camera on the market and high definition videos, provide them and their laptop with high speed Internet access comparable to a pair of bonded T1s, give them access to the web, their email, documents, and even some content creation tools, capable of carrying their entire music library, play videos, and be so secure the FBI would beg the creator in public to help them crack it.

        The only rub would

    • by houghi ( 78078 )

      Target auidience is completely different. The PC and phone market is for the pre-installed systems. These systems are not.

    • Years ago, I remember hearing lots of disparaging remarks (here on /. mostly) about iPods, and how xyz brand was so much better because it could play Ogg Vorbis, and was hackable, had more storage for less cost, etc, etc. Where are all those players today?

      Those people are using Android phones for their music now, much as you're probably using your iPhone. What is your point?

    • Itunes and the fashion accessory won that battle. Itunes quickly had the best selection and the devices themselves were a trendy accessory. The tech merely needed to be good enough.

      That realy has very little in relation to rpi etc.

      Apple does have a history of pushing high speed buses, early macs had a processor direct slot that could fit whole CPU upgrades, very cost effective networking that was standard, and SCSI as standard. Modern ones pushed usbc thunderbolt pcie ssd's etc. Overall modern macs are mo

    • Honestly the iPod never has been a good MP3 player. If were to buy a MP3 player today, it would still not be an iPod. As you said, performance is not the only factor. Being forced to use iTunes, and lack of compatibility in general, is the main reason not to get one. Also, they are more expensive.
  • by cpm99352 ( 939350 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @02:05AM (#51651631)
    This story is at least two years old -- everyone knows that the reason to go with the Pi is the community support, not the benchmarks.
  • by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @02:06AM (#51651635)
    Stating a price doesn't matter if I can't actually buy it at that price. What does it cost to actually get one delivered that I can hold in my hand? And from someone that I can trust, not those crooks at Alibaba or the electronic bay of thieves? What is the cost to get it in my hand compared to the cost to actually hold a PI-3? And on that topic, how do I get a PI-Zero that I can hold in my hand without paying more than twice the supposed price? They might as well join the late night TV thieves and tell me that I can "get a second one absolutely free, just pay extra shipping and extra fees".
    • by homm2 ( 729109 )
      Here you go [ameridroid.com]. Including a power supply and a case it's $53.85. Shipping via USPS Priority is another $6.75, so $60.60 total. And that's shipped from these blessed United States by a company that actually cares about the community. You're welcome.
  • by KiloByte ( 825081 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @02:11AM (#51651649)

    ODROID-C2 is real 64-bit rather than having 64-bit capable CPU but only 32-bit kernel and userland with the raspi team announcing that in several months they'll "consider" whether making 64-bit drivers is worth it.

    And the performance difference is MASSIVE. I own an ODROID-U2 and its contemporary RPi 1b -- even when overclocking the latter, Odroid wins in compile times by a factor of ~16, and that's assuming raspi won't start swapping due to its miniscule RAM. For a disk, Odroid can use either microSD or their fancy eMMC -- the latter is more expensive but drastically faster. And 100Mbit vs 1Gbit ethernet is not a negligible difference either.

    The only upside of raspi is that it ships from nearby countries (UK, US) while shipping Odroid from Korea means unpleasant mucking with the customs.

    • by Gaygirlie ( 1657131 ) <gaygirlie@hotm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Monday March 07, 2016 @05:30AM (#51652121) Homepage

      The Odroid uses that god-awful Mali GPU for 3D, which means there isn't and will never be an open-source display-driver, you'll just be stuck with an unaccelerated framebuffer for X. The RPi is at least doing some progress in that area, including being able to run actual OpenGL with the open-source driver instead of only GLES. Basically, the Odroid is great if you only want to do headless stuff with it, but the RPi has a brighter future if your needs include graphics.

      • by jbssm ( 961115 )
        Yes, that got me thinking. Kodi isn't supported in ODroid or if it is, it will drop quite some frames at 1080p from the look of it, right?
        • I don't have an Odroid-C2, but I'm not sure it even supports decoding of video in hardware under Linux at all at the moment. If it had to be decoding video in software and display it on an unaccelerated X-framebuffer... well, yeah, you'd probably be looking at some dropped frames. I would recommend going on their IRC-channel #odroid on Freenode and asking what the status of hardware video-decoding on the C2 is; I may or may not have outdated information regarding that.

          Kodi, as far as I've understood, should

    • ODROID-C2 is real 64-bit rather than having 64-bit capable CPU but only 32-bit kernel and userland with the raspi team announcing that in several months they'll "consider" whether making 64-bit drivers is worth it.

      Yet, from the ODROID C2 [hardkernel.com] page:

      *ARM 64bit is a very new platform and some system specific Linux softwares are not working stably at this moment. So there might be the compatibility issues frequently and we may need longer time to fix the issues.
      * Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is also on the alpha stage and it causes the instability and incompatibility problems.

      ...so it sounds to me like the raspi team are dead right in not pushing a potentially unstable system on their user base just yet. I'm sure there will be unofficial ARM64 linux builds for RasPi 3 real soon now, for 733t H4X0Rs who like to bleed on the living edge.

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      Yet it can't play back 1080p video.... Because the video chipset is complete garbage.

  • by darthsilun ( 3993753 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @02:35AM (#51651691)
    The idea of _all_ the Raspberry Pi models is to be cheap enough for kids to buy one with their pocket money.

    Not to be the backbone of someone's BitCoin mining rig.
  • by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @02:41AM (#51651711)
    I find that so many other "competing" boards somehow miss the point. Keeping the Pi at or below $35 keeps it in the realm of disposable. 35 bucks can be put into a robot. $35 can be put into some dumb home automation system. 35 bucks can be sent to school with the kid's project. $35 can be risked in some project that might not survive.

    But much more than that means that people start to ration. They don't buy multiples, they don't put it into risky situations, and they don't leave them behind as the brains of some project. To a large extent that makes any competitor that doesn't do the above a cheap crappy desktop. In that case I will just use my laptop/desktop.

    The other factor is that there is generally a gradient of embedded systems. Most people are throwing Arduinos into things willy-nilly. This is because they are easy, very cheap, very low power, and really simple. There are a few more capable Arduino like boards which can do more but at a certain point people need something more capable. The raspberry pi is quite ready to step into that breach. It can run basic OpenCV, it can power things like touch screens, it can convert text to speech or the other way around. There are lots of things it can do. And it can do all of these while not rapidly draining a battery and it is fairly small.

    But for most projects if the horsepower of a Pi is not enough, it is not probable that a small increase in horsepower is enough. Double or triple is not that big of a leap if you are talking about some Genetic Algorithm that needs to run in real time or some crazy complex image recognition or whatever. Thus a board that is a bit better is not really filling the gap for most people unless you buy something very expensive such as the new nVidia board but that is so far beyond the price range of the Pi as to not really be comparable.

    What most people do when their Pi runs out of power is to offload the task to a desktop or laptop over some sort of data connection. Transmitting video in near real time or sensor data is not that huge a task and then you have a pile of power and might even be able to drop back to the Arduino under remote control.

    Then there is the whole thing around the Pi becoming a bit of a standard. There are wonderful Python libraries well tuned for the Pi GPIO and whatnot. How well do they work with the Better-than-a-pi-board-2000? I don't know and I don't want to screw around with them for a day. Basically the Pi is pretty much going to be first in line for any ports such as ROS.

    So if someone wants to compete with the Pi they need to understand that this is not a desktop war where some extra memory or a few more Hz is going to win my heart. A great example of a competitor that caught my attention is the C.H.I.P. for $9. It pretty much meets all the above requirements in spades. Now the completeness of the Pi with BLE and whatnot is pretty attractive but in many cases I could use the horsepower of the CHIP and the rest would be wasted. Thus I can see a future where I have 5-10 CHIPS in my toolbox, and 3-4 Pis. I don't see a future for a $60+ board in my toolkit. Literally the next step beyond a pi will be something that is effectively a small desktop, even if it needs to be an embedded system.
    • And it can do all of these while not rapidly draining a battery and it is fairly small.

      It strongly depends on your definition of "rapidly". Even when idle, the typical current drain of a Raspberry Pi is 100 mA to 360 mA, depending on model. [raspi.tv]
      Such current drain is ill-suited for use with primary batteries.

    • by fnj ( 64210 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @04:18AM (#51651941)

      I agree in general. However ...

      First of all $40-42 (Odroid-C2) is not a significant hurdle beyond $35 (Pi). Sure, all the stuff that is $60 and up completely misses the boat.

      The area where both the Pi and the Odroid-C2 fall down is that you MUST add the cost of a microSD card and the bother of installing to it. The Beaglebone Green ($39) with 4GB eMMC built in is ready to go when you receive it with no additional pieces (though there is a microSD slot if you want it). Plug it into a PC (they even furnish the USB cable) and its preinstalled Debian springs to life and you can work with it over a browser via the USB gadget networking. And there are 2 wonderful Grove connectors built in. What you don't get is any kind of video interface, and only a single USB host. So it's not trying to be a Pi me-too. It fills a different niche. The one where you have the Groves and 92 pins of 0.1-inch IO headers and dedicated IO processors.

      In every respect except IO physical pinout, the PJRC Teensy 3.2 beats the Arduino all to hell at its own game. It gives you hella power and Arduino IDE support with a Cortex-M4 CPU.

      • Thank you for a very informative post - based on it I will go with the Teensy 3.2 for my next embedded projects.

      • where can you get an odroid c-2 for $40?

        • by fnj ( 64210 )

          $42 Here [ameridroid.com]

          • if by $42 , you mean $52 , then yea sure

            • by ruir ( 2709173 )
              And in europe,with the board price and shipping costs, it is in the range of $80-$90, only the gods know why.
              • by fnj ( 64210 )

                And in europe,with the board price and shipping costs, it is in the range of $80-$90, only the gods know why.

                That is indeed major suckage. Just like the way bloodsuckers on ebay and Amazon are ripping people off for $60 and up for a Raspberry Pi 3.

            • by fnj ( 64210 )

              You asked, and I quote, "where can YOU get an odroid c-2 for $40?" Well, I didn't claim $40; I claimed $40-42. And indeed, I am looking at the store page I referenced right now, and it says $41.95. That's where *I* can get it for $42. NOT $52. If you're looking at another source; perhaps you don't live in the US; that's your problem, not mine. Or maybe you're adding shipping and accessories - then you have to do the same thing for the Pi. So cut the shit.

    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      "$35 can be put into some dumb home automation system."

      and that is why 99% of all home automation system projects fail. Half assing a project by using the cheapest thing you can grab guarantees failure.

  • by ruir ( 2709173 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @03:12AM (#51651797)
    Whilst the 64 bits are mainly for show in the raspberry (yet) as all the software still is 32 bits...(...) The show this year will be the new 64 bits machine. In that respect we have the new 64 bit newcomers the Raspberry PI 3, the Odroid C2 and the Pine 64. The Odroid C2 seems the more interesting and faster of the two. Good quality hardware, good ecosystem of parts, reliability. Alas, the transport fees are obscene, and in Europe converting dollars to euros, you are paying around more 40%-80% for it, and the parts can get to the double of the price, and to top it of, still obscene transportation costs. So to sum it up, the Odroid only makes sense to people in the US (ameridroid store), or Korea (hardkernel store). Period. For the kind of money involved buying it, you can buy much better hardware, and it is not definitively on the price range for small projects. The Pine 64 it is built on the cheap, period. The team does not seems savvy enough about open source though. Time will tell. Raspberry PI 3 has the ecosystem, and the hardware decoding. The hardware decoding part is still tying it to 32 bit software. Strange choices have been made in the architecture (cost? compatibility), that tie it to 1GB of RAM. So contrary to the other two alternatives, it is a dead-end architecture running in 32 bits and limited to 1GB of RAM. For that enough, I would wait for the Raspberry "4". Lemaker also has interesting hardware in the 64 bit, but unfortunately, it seems to have only USB and HDMI. Odd. As for the 32-bits alternatives, the market is relatively crowd, and a few Chinese vendors can give you a run for the money, in the costs of board+fees. Depending on what you need, you can have broads from 12 euros (orange PI H3), to more interesting boards like the banana Pro or the Lamobo R1/Banana PI R1 for a modest router. Often they have small or no extra costs.
    • by fnj ( 64210 )

      Quite an informative and insightful comment - too bad the massive wall of text with no paragraph breaks makes it an ordeal to struggle through.

      I entirely agree the Pi's competition (with the sole exception of the Beaglebone) all have severe shortcomings in the areas of (1) design myopia / lack of design ambition, (2) marketing, and/or (3) solidity of the operating system. As a result there is no ecosystem to speak of around any of them. The Beaglebone's development schedule seems glacial, but it seems to be

      • by ruir ( 2709173 )
        ARM 64 is till relatively a new field. Maybe they are waiting for the competition and the open source community brave the way. It seems rather obvious they have not yet figure out or fully tested how to keep the video licensing scheme out of the 32-bit world. However, with them artificially limited to 1GB, the point of going to 64 bits is rather moot.
        As you have nicely put, most of the Pis competition do not have a clear path at all. The Banana PI brand for instance, just buys other interesting broads, and
      • by ruir ( 2709173 )
        Thanks for the comment about the ordeal...I tried to format it and correct some obvious mistakes.
    • by ruir ( 2709173 )
      Whilst the 64 bits are mainly for show in the raspberry (yet) as all the software still is 32 bits. The show this year will be the new 64 bits machines.

      In that respect we have the new 64 bit newcomers the Raspberry PI 3, the Odroid C2 and the Pine 64. The Odroid C2 seems the more interesting and faster of the three. Good quality hardware, good ecosystem of parts (on-store), reliability. Alas, the transport fees are obscene, and in Europe converting dollars to euros, you are paying around more 40%-80% for
    • you can have broads from 12 euros (orange PI H3)

      The Orange Pi PC isn't a bad board if one doesn't need video-encoding, -decoding or accelerated X. The CPU is speedy enough, there's a GPIO-header for connecting stuff, the 3 USB-ports it has are actually connected to the SoC instead of going through an internal hub (the other Orange Pi - models use a hub, the OPi PC doesn't) and the ethernet-port is also connected to the SoC instead of being a USB-device -- considering the device's price those specs might be good enough for a lot of things. I haven't tried

      • by ruir ( 2709173 )
        I am suspect in that I am interesting on the boards for headless operation. The main complaint I have about the H3 is not supporting SATA however the higher end Orange PI boards have eMMC support, though a tad more expensive.

        If having problems with Linux try ArmBian. They have not yet finished their work in the Orange PI boards, however they already have got the ethernet working.
        • by ruir ( 2709173 )
          I am far much more interested in headless operation, as I already own devices for video. I might give my Orange PI one board to a nephew.
  • Hello,

    I'm trying to build my own portable computer from the ground up, and have a widescreen (1600x480) panel I want to use. It has an LVDS connector.

    Are there any SBCs that have LVDS ports on them? (And are well documented!)

    Thanks
    Robert

    • All the UDOO [udoo.org] models have LVDS exposed. I'm afraid that I can't tell you anything useful about how versatile/well-documented that aspect of the board is. I have one that has played reasonably nicely with some headless stuff; but I haven't tried driving a panel directly.

      (Incidentally, where did you get your hands on a 1600x480 LCD? I didn't even know that those existed.)
  • What it has is largest the development community and the benefits that goes with that - more tutorials / articles, better dev tools, better peripherals, more dists etc.

    I've always felt the hardware to be underwhelming though. Perhaps that can be explained by their relationship to Broadcom who traditionally sell SoCs that go into bluray players, satellite receivers etc. These chips are perfectly fine for supporting a single app running over a kernel but they struggle when they're asked to run a desktop, or

    • by fnj ( 64210 )

      The LAST thing the Pi 3 needs is more CPU or RAM. Even the Pi 2 is plenty. In either case, you've got 4 cores, for gosh sake. You're certainly not limited to "running a single app at a time". If you need macho muscle, you should be using an x86 mini PC like the Intel NUC. Agree completely that a soft power button would be a good idea. IR - meh, that's pretty specialized. Couldn't you run that from USB?

      • USB is certainly capable; but arguably overqualified for IR work: The classic LIRC DIY [lirc.org] can be driven off a serial port; and I assume that a few GPIO pins that aren't too crippled would work as well. Bit-banging the ~36KHz carrier frequencies common in IR applications would probably be a pain in the ass; but the sheer ubiquity of consumer IR remotes and receivers means that handy little 'most of the low-level details and the emitter/receiver all in an IR bandpass plastic package' modules are cheap, and the a
        • by DrXym ( 126579 )
          There are soft power switches for the Pi but they're pretty ugly things, normally a separate board sits between the USB power line and the Pi with a notification line that you plug into the GPIO. The idea is some process would monitor the pins for a shutdown signal, suspend the OS and then signal the power board to cut the juice. I think it could be incorporated into the board itself. As for IR receiver, it's not hard to add in itself, but it'd be nice to have an official IR on the board itself, or dedicate
      • by DrXym ( 126579 )
        It's only "plenty" if it does what you need. If version 2 satisfies your needs then stick with it. Or even with the original version, or even a chopped down zero. For some uses the Pi Zero is "plenty", for others it isn't. I expect everyone appreciates the choice and exercises their choice to pick a model that does what they want it to do.

        And proposing people use a $600 NUC instead is hardly a credible response. The Pi is a quite good for a range of tasks but providing a model C that cost ten bucks more w

  • Which makes the Pi a better choice for a LOT of projects. It's almost as if the submitter thinks the Pi is some kind of desktop computer.

  • Wow! (Score:4, Funny)

    by AAWood ( 918613 ) <aawood@nospam.gmail.com> on Monday March 07, 2016 @07:54AM (#51652497)
    So, If I'm willing to pay more, I can get a more powerful device? What a scoop!
  • Much more important is the level of support, the availability of hardware and the knowledge that in the future you will *still* be able find people to help beginners to get started with the product. Add in that the Pi has known and documented limitations (as opposed to unknown and undocumented ones) and is more-or-less reliable and will continue to be available for many more years, and those are the factors that attract people to the product - not the GHz speed of the CPU(s).

    When the "other" manufacturers

  • How well do any of these devices play HEVC encoded video at 720p/1080p?
  • I wish one of the many boards like this would think to include a SATA III interface (or 4), since it would then make them ideal to be a NAS controller.
    The only board [ve found with a SATA interface at all, is the Banana Pi, but its SATA II and connected via the USB bus so waaay to slow.

  • by ilsaloving ( 1534307 ) on Monday March 07, 2016 @01:19PM (#51654251)

    TL;DR: Comparing performance with this class of device serves no useful purpose other than providing fodder for people who masturbate to performance statistics.

    It's amazing how people manage to miss the point of things.

    The raspberry pi exists because it provides a cheap and low-learning-curve introduction to creating your own electronic projects.

    Yes, there are alternatives, because having different options is a good thing cause different people and different projects have different requirements. But the idea of benchmarking inexpensive hobby boards is just.... absurdist e-wanking. Either the board is suitable for what you're trying to do, or it isn't. If your project isn't going to run properly one board, why would it work on a board that's a little bit faster?

    If your project needs the best possible performance, then maybe you're using the entirely wrong class of hardware.

    And then of course, is this bit here:

    While the ODROID-C2 doesn't appear to be shipping in quantities yet

    So in other words, it's not even an option for most people if they want to build something right now.

    How about telling us what the board *can do* compared to the Pi? Does it handle EM interference better? Does it have a ginormous number of I/O pins for connecting large quantities of sensors? Is it powerful enough to serve as a self-contained media box that can stream full HD video without dropping frames or hiccuping?

An adequate bootstrap is a contradiction in terms.

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