Raspberry Pi 3 vs Pi 2 vs Pi B+ (Benchmark & Review)Jessica Ward
On their fourth birthday on 29th February 2016, the Raspberry Pi has introduced a high powered, fast processing board named as Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. Before the latest version of the Pi family has been delivered to the world, the company has already shipped over 8 million units of the Raspberry Pi devices! And only within a day, not everyone can decide whether this latest Pi member is worth to buy or should I replace it with my older models or not?
To help the potential Pi users with that, I have tested the main boards of Raspberry Pi and created this comprehensive Raspberry Pi 3 Benchmark. By keeping in mind the interests of all users, I also have listed some approximate information about the Power usage with the technical capability of the Pi devices. Let us go to the detailed Review of Raspberry Pi 3 below.
Models I have tested
I have tested for various technical aspects are the Original Raspberry Pi Model B+, the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, and the latest Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. And friendly speaking, it didn’t bore me to go over again for the previous models of the Raspberry Pi once again. I truly love them!
|Aspects||Raspberry Pi Model B+||Raspberry Pi 2 Model B||Raspberry Pi 3 Model B|
|Processor||BCM 2835 ARMv11 Single Core – 32bit||BCM 2836 ARMv7 Cortex A7 Quad-Core – 32bit||BCM 2837 ARMv8 Cortex A53 Quad-Core – 64bit|
|Processing Speed||700MHz per core||900Mhz per core||1.2GHz per core|
|Max Power Draw||1.8A||1.8A||2.5A|
|CPU Revisions (for each core)||7||5||4|
|Threads per core||1||1||1|
|Threads per socket||1||4||4|
|Max speed of CPU||700MHz||900MHz||1.2GHz|
|Min speed of CPU||700MHz||600MHz||600MHz|
The 64bit support by the ARMv8 Cortex A53 quad-core processor enables the Raspberry Pi 3 to be backward compatible with both the previous versions of the Pi family and to give better support to the latest Raspberry Pi Operating System – Raspbian.
Results of cpuinfo and Iscpu commands
I ran several commands to get the information about the processor, and the results are shown in the above table. The ultra-powered ARMv8 CPU of Raspberry Pi 3 is featured with the crc32, which is a very interesting thing. The Iscpu command helps us to see that the Pi 3 can perform cpufreq scaling as like the Pi 2. We can also see that the Pi 2 and Pi 3 have the same number of core processors – 4. The results are shown in the above table. If you have installed the Raspbian OS on your Raspberry Pi device, and you want to run these commands on it, then check the below command lines you need to type:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install Iscpu cpuinfo Ishw
Power usage by the Raspberry Pi Versions
There are several devices available in the market, which can be connected through the USB ports of your device and show you how much power is drawn by the device. I set each and every Raspberry Pi to the terminal in a way such that the X windows environment was not running. I connected the devices like a wireless keyboard, a 16GB microSD card of class 10, an HDMI to DVI adapter attached to a monitor of 19” widescreen, and a power supply 5V, 2A. I did not connect any Ethernet cable to the devices, one notable thing is that each time when I connected the Ethernet, the power usage went high. I did not install any software for the Bluetooth 4.1, so it was initially inactive. So, the power usage may be likely to increase when you use a WiFI chip. Check the table for numeric comparisons.
|Raspberry Pi Model B+||Raspberry Pi 2 Model B||Raspberry Pi 3 Model B|
|5.19V 0.986W||5.19V 1.035W||5.19V 1.148W|
|0.19A 00003mAh||0.20A 00104W||0.22A 00008mAh|
In 2004, SysBench software was intended originally for the database benchmarking and input/output file operations. The SysBench tests uses verified prime numbers by going through all the divisions possible and satisfy only when the result indicates zero.
Check the following parameters of SysBench:
sysbench –num-threads=1 –tests=cpu –cpu-max-prime=20000 –validate run
sysbench –num-threads=4 –test=cpu –cpu-max-prime=20000 –validate run
The breakdown of the commands used above is as follows:
- sysbench –the name of the running software
- –num-threads- this command is used to know the number of the processes to run. In the first test, I run 1 thread and in the second test I run 4 threads.
- –test=cpu- It shows that I am testing the processor only
- –cpu-max-prime- It shows the maximum prime number value
- –validate- This parameter ensures that I have valid returned results
- run- SysBench can test rather than the actual performing the requested benchmark, so you have to tell it to run it actually.
Check the table below which shows the SysBench test with 1 thread and 4 threads:
|With 1 Thread||Raspberry Pi Model B+||Raspberry Pi 2 Model B||Raspberry Pi 3 Model B|
|Diff of min and max||168.64ms||5.74ms||2.24ms|
|With 4 Threads|
|Diff of min and max||160.06ms||25.07ms||11.35ms|
As the original Pi 1 has only a single core processor, so many will think that this test is unfair to it. But we can clearly see that with even a single core test the Raspberry Pi 3 outperforms by working 75% more for the min and max requests and overall 47% speed difference between them. As a result, Pi 3 comes out as the fastest among all.
The MemTester was intended to perform the test on the system RAM (Random Access Memory). I have put a limit of 256MB RAM for this test, which helps to take a fair test for all the versions of the Raspberry Pi.
Check the command line and the result table of the MemTester test:
sudo time memtester 256M 1
|Raspberry Pi Model B+||Raspberry Pi 2 Model B||Raspberry Pi 3 Model B|
|Time Taken||75m 22.296s||22m 39.07s||8m 37.078s|
This result clearly shows that even when the RAM speed was same at 400MHz, the Pi 3 performs 50% faster than the Raspberry Pi 2 at allocating and accessed RAM.
The Benchmark Collection of other Tests
There is a lot means a lot of tests we can perform to compare the Pi versions, like ARMv6 specific tests, to ARMv7, whestone, and NEON tests. The OpenGL and the memory tests can also be done deeper for a detailed analytics. So, rather than going individually all the tests, I have combined their results and showed them below:
Memory Reading Speed Test for version 4 32bit (memspeedpiA6)
|Memory used (KB)||Raspberry Pi Model B+ – Double MB/s||Raspberry Pi 2 Model B – Double MB/s||Raspberry Pi 3 Model B – Double MB/s|
All these results show that, without a doubt, Raspberry Pi 3 is superior to all the previous versions. An interesting thing to see in the results that for both the Pi 1 and Pi 2, the performance drops at 16/32Kbyte mark, but in the case of Pi 3, we can not see the performance reduced until we reach the 512KB mark. But even when we hit at the 1024KB mark, the drop is not as consistent as with the Pi 2. Though it depends on the fundamental change in the memory handling by the hardware.
NEON Speed Test v1.0
The NEON technology was implemented with the Pi 2. So we cannot perform this test on the Original Pi. Check the results of the NEON test on PI 2 and Pi 3 in below table.
The increase in the speed result shows that the Raspberry Pi 3 is much faster for
handling the video calculations, potential audio processing, and even vector graphics rendering for gaming and 3D. Also, I have performed the Linpack Single Precision Benchmark (LSPB) test, which is another NEON-related test, shows that the Pi 2 came at 298.92 MFLOPS and the Raspberry Pi 3 came at 463.08 MFLOPS.
The ARMv8 Cortex quad-core processor at 64bit allows the Pi 3 to support the Operating System in a better way than with the previous versions. Hopefully, the Raspberry Pi 3 will be inclined as the future of the Raspberry Pi platform. A well-coming feature with the Raspberry Pi 3 is the inbuilt Bluetooth and WiFi. Though we have an increased speed of the chip with WiFi, the speed of the USB and SD card may still be limited as before.
Overall, the Raspberry Pi 3 has all the features that can make you feel that you can replace this tiny board with your desktop PC. It is a gradual step in the right direction, and for the price, it is having a truly worth Raspberry Pi version to buy. It is the time to give education to masses! Just awesome the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B is!