The $ 35 Raspberry Pi is a remarkably useful single-board computer (SBC) with a balance of price, performance, and connectivity options. But for some projects, it just is not enough. Whether you need more processing power, smaller size or better machine learning capabilities, other options are available.
For unknowns, an SBC means that all components of the computer are on a single circuit board (PCB), including the CPU, GPU, and memory. As you know, these parts are generally interchangeable and partially interchangeable in a typical computer. However, the benefit of integrating all components on a single board is that you get a much smaller form factor.
Standard Raspberry Pi Models Computers are computers that are scaled down to the height and width of a credit card. Adding the depth is about the size of an external all-in-one card reader. The Pi Zero models are even smaller.
While there have been SBCs since the 1
Raspberry Pi Competitors: Considerations
When choosing a Raspberry Pi alternative, you should carefully consider what your needs are. For example, are you looking for a generic SBC that can be used for a variety of projects, or do you want something for a particular project that will take a long time to complete? You should also consider your budget. Can you afford to solve the problem, or is it better to have two or three cheaper alternatives than a very powerful one?
Even the size can play a crucial role in projects with limited space or hides from notice. In our spy camera project for example, you want the smallest SBC you can get away with. Connectivity is also often forgotten until you start working on your project and find that the Ethernet is very slow or no Wi-Fi is available.
Finally, ask yourself how much manual work you need for your projects. Follow leaders or go your own way, because some Pi alternatives do not have community support or documentation that is considered noob-friendly.
We'll go over some alternative SBCs that work in all the above cases, but before we do that, we update our memory on the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B +, the most popular Raspberry Pi model. There's a new Raspberry Pi 4 Model B that we've listed below as a newer alternative to 3 B +, but there were some problems with the USB C power supply, so it's not yet a must with any other boards
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B +
While the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B + is not the full size version of the latest version of the Raspberry Pi, it is more reliable until the Raspberry Pi 4 fixes its problems.
The 3 B + uses a classic Pi and offers some long-needed upgrades such as 5 GHz Wi-Fi and an Ethernet chip that enables speeds of over 100 megabits per second with PoE (Power over Ethernet) functions. It has the same CPU as its predecessor, but adds a heat spreader to the CPU for better thermal management, overclocking the processor to 1.4GHz. All while maintaining the power factor gold standard price tag worth $ 35.
For technical data and more detailed information on Raspberry Pi 3 Model B +, as information on To create a hacking kit, see our article and video on the topic.
- Processor : Broadcom BCM2837B0, Cortex-A53 64-bit SoC at 1.4GHz
- GPU : Broadcom VideoCore IV
- memory : 1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM
- Memory : microSD card
- Wi-Fi : 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz IEEE 802.11b / g / n / a
- Ethernet : Gigabit Ethernet over USB 2.0 ( maximum throughput 300 Mbps)
- Bluetooth  27]: 4.2, BLE
- Ports : Full-size HDMI; four USB 2.0; four-pole stereo jack; Composite video
- GPIO : Extended 40-pin header
- Connectors: CSI camera; DSI display
- Power : 5 V / 2.5 A DC input via micro USB port; PoE support
- Dimensions : 3.37 in (H) x 2.22 in (B) x 0.67 in (T)
- Price : $ 35 ( Adafruit | Amazon)
Offered at Amazon: CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 B + (B Plus) with 2.5 A Power Supply (UL Listed)
Option 1: ASUS Tinker Board S
The easiest way to imagine the Tinker Board S is an expensive Pi on steroids. The form factor of the Tinker Board S is a pure clone of the standard Pi up to the port layout and the 40-pin connection. Asus has even been able to improve the color coded and labeled port, which is very useful if you frequently use GPIO pins.
It also has a much more powerful processor and GPU, which should be helpful in compute-intensive applications, tasks or anything that requires the rendering of complex scenes. If your project is to be networked, the Tinker Board S also offers full Gigabit Ethernet, making it ideal for access point projects such as the Pumpkin Pi.
The real highlight, however, is the 16GB eMMC memory, which is faster compared to the Pi typical microSD card Processing should equal.
Features comes with a hefty price tag of about $ 92. If you do not care about the price or if you need extra computing power, the Tinker Board S is the first choice. However, if you have a limited budget, you can buy two Raspberry Pi 3 B + boards for the same price.
- ] Processor : Rockchip quad-core RK3288
- GPU : ARM Mali-T764
- Memory : 2 GB Dual Channel DDR3
- Memory : microSD card; Built-in 16 GB eMMC
- Wi-Fi : 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.11 b / g / n
- Ethernet : Gigabit Ethernet
- Bluetooth : 4.0 EDR
- Connections : Full size HDMI; four USB 2.0; Stereo jack; Microphone input
- GPIO : 40-pin header
- Connectors: CSI Camera; DSI Display
- Power : 5 V / 2-3 A DC power supply via micro USB port
- Dimensions : 3.37 in (H) x 2.125 in (B)
- Price : $ 91.99 (Amazon | B & H)
Recommended on Amazon: Zebra Black Ice Case for Asus Tinker Board S by C4Labs
Option 2: Banana Pi M64
The Banana Pi M64 is an improved 64-bit version of the Banana Pi that supports Android, Ubuntu, Debian, OpenBSD and Windows 10 IoT Core. It has twice as much RAM as the Pi 3 B +, a built-in eMMC memory for faster processing and full Gigabit Ethernet. Do you already see a pattern The Raspberry Pi Foundation lag behind their Ethernet game!
However, the Banana Pi M64 only has two USB ports, which are four in a standard Pi. And it's not quite the standard Pi form factor, but it manages to maintain the familiar 40-pin GPIO connector.
An interesting feature of the Banana Pi M64 is that it has an infrared receiver means that it can be beneficial for certain IR-driven IoT projects. All in all, the M64 is a good deal if you do not need full documentation and community support. If you're ready to do everything that comes with buying AliExpress Chinese products, then this is a bargain Pi
- processor : Allwinner A64 (4x Cortex-A53 at 1.2GHz)
- GPU : Mali-400 MP2
- Memory : 2 GB DDR3 SDRAM
- Memory : 8 GB to 64 GB eMMC; microSD card (up to 64GB)
- Wi-Fi : 2.4GHz IEEE 802.11 b / g / n
- Ethernet : Gigabit Ethernet
- Bluetooth : 4 , 0
- Ports : Full size HDMI; two USB 2.0; Micro-USB OTG; Stereo jack
- GPIO : 40-pin header
- Connectors: CSI camera; DSI Display
- Power : 5 V / 2 A DC power supply via 4.0 mm jack
- Dimensions : 3.62 in (H) x 2.36 in (B)  Price : $ 52- $ 80 (Ali Express | Amazon)
Option 3: Atomic Pi
The Atomic Pi is a brand new player in the scene. It's an x86-based SBC, which costs only $ 35. With its technical data, it would have been a great tablet four years ago, and it's more like a low-end NUC-style computer.
However, to take full advantage of the Atomic Pi's full capabilities, $ 15 is required for a power supply breakout board, so this should definitely not be a top choice if your project requires a small size. That means it has the computer power. So, if you are planning a project to be installed on the desk or in a network cabinet and feel comfortable booting a bare Linux system, you should think about it.
- Processor : Intel Atom x5-Z8350 (up to 1.92 GHz)
- GPU : Intel HD Graphics
- Memory : 2 GB DDR3L-16000
- Memory : 16 GB eMMC; microSD card (up to 256 GB)
- Wi-Fi : 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz IEEE b / g / n / ac
- Ethernet : hardwired Gigabit RJ45 Ethernet RTL8111G
- Bluetooth : 4.0
- Ports : Full-size HDMI; USB 3.0; four USB 2.0
- GPIO : 26-pin header
- Connectors: Not specified
- Power supply : 5 V / 2.5-4 A DC input
- Dimensions : 5.12 in (H) x 3.94 in (B) x 1.97 in (T)
- Price : 44 USD – 49 USD (Amazon Digital Loggers Direct)
Recommended on Amazon: DLI Atomic Pi Full Developer Kit
Option 4: Rock64
The Rock 64 is a reliable Pi alternative. The Rockchip CPU is slightly better than the Broadcom processor of the Pi 3 B + and offers another gigabyte of RAM for the same price. Other versions can increase that to 4GB of RAM for about $ 45. In addition, it offers an eMMC socket if you want to use it via a microSD card. They are usually more expensive than a microSD card with the same capacity.
One of the main differences between the Rock64 and Pi 3 B + is that the Rock64 only has three USB ports, but the third port is USB 3.0, which offers faster speeds and can be easily expanded with a USB hub. The Rock64 is also capable of processing 4K videos at 60 fps, making it ideal for retro Pi projects or anything else with high-definition video.