Best Raspberry Pi ModelsJessica Ward
If you are reading this blog through a relevant keyword search, then you should know about the Raspberry Pi products. And if you have clicked on this post from a random search, then I worry that you probably know about this super tiny programmable computer. Let me give a brief on it first. If you already know about it, you can simply scroll down for the review, and if you are a beginner in the field of electronics and new to this name, then just go the next paragraph and you will have no doubt in mind after reading that.
In February 2012, the UK based company Raspberry Pi Foundation has launched a very low-cost and credit card sized programming computer named as Raspberry Pi 1. It had a basic design, which plugs into a TV or computer monitor, and uses a standard keyboard and a mouse. It was capable of doing each thing that a desktop computer can do by using programming languages like Scratch and Python, like browsing the web, making excel sheets and word documents, playing HD videos or games, etc. There are best raspberry pi starter kits available on the market, which can help you doing hundreds of projects with ease of learning and having a good programming experience.
Hope this short introduction of Raspberry Pi has cleared your mind for it. Now, going to the original topic, we are here to check out the best Raspberry Pi model among all the versions. From the date the first Raspberry Pi was launched, the company has shipped over 8 million Pi products of different versions. There are total 5 versions of the Raspberry Pi we are going to compare, and then we decide which is the best for you.
After the first Raspberry Pi Model A was launched in February 2012, with the letter release of the Raspberry Pi Model B, the company was looking to upgrade the features of these basic models. And after a year of the first release, the Raspberry Pi Model A+ was launched.
• It has more GPIO pins and better audio with a dedicated low-noise power supply
• It is having a nicer push-push micro SD card socket, which is the replacement of the old friction-fit SD card version
• It has switching regulators which help in consuming low power comparing to linear regulators in the model A
• It has aligned USB connector, four square mounting holes, composite video moved onto 3.5mm jack, and all these things make it 2cm shorter than the original Pi – smaller, neater design
• It is a good option for embedded projects, the projects in which Ethernet or multiple USB ports are not required, and where low power is required
The Raspberry Pi Model B+ was the final revision of the original model of the Raspberry Pi family. It is versatile and low-cost Pi, which is confidently much-valued performer than the A, A+, and B models. Comparing it to the original model B,
• It has more GPIO pins, which are having the same pinout as in the Raspberry Pi model A and B
• Replacing the old type of friction-fit SD card socket, it has push-push nicer micro SD version
• It has 4 USB 2.0 ports, which are doubled than are in model B
• It consumes low power with switching regulators and has better audio with a dedicated low-noise power supply
• It has a neater and smaller form factor which is better than the model B and as same as model A+
• It is the best choice if you require good connectivity, but not necessarily required top-notch performance as in general applications
This is the second generation Raspberry Pi model which is thereplacement of the Raspberry Pi Model B+. With the updated chipset, 1GB RAM with a quad-core processor, it is top-of-the-line performer Pi member. It is even capable of running Windows IoT (Internet of Things) applications, which makes it a surprisingly capable beast.
• It comes with a 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor with 1GB RAM
• Same as model B+, it is having 40 GPIO pins, 4 USB ports, HDMI and Ethernet ports, combined composite video and 3.5mm audio jack, Camera and Display interfaces, Micro SD card slot, and a VideoCore IV 3D Graphics core
• It can run a full range of ARM GNU/Linux versions
• It requires third times more power than the Model A+ and Model B+, even then it sucks up less than a single Watt power
• It has an identical form factor compared to the Raspberry Pi Model B+ and also it is completely compatible with the Original Raspberry Pi
• It is best for – what to say- for anything, just can be overpowered if you require something very small or for a single use
This is the revolutionary, world’s cheapest tiny programmable computer which is priced only $5 at the time it was launched. The Raspberry Pi Zero is almost half the size of the model A+ with doubled utility. If you want to buy whole pi zero starter kit then click here.
• It is 40% faster than the original Pi model
• Comes with a single-core CPU with 512MB RAM and 1GHz speed
• It has on-the-go mini HDMI and USB ports
• Requires micro USB power
• It has composite video and reset headers, and an HAT-compatible 40-pin header
• It only requires some more connectivity and soldering if you want to use it for some complex projects
• It is the best version to choose if you want single-use applications and low-powered projects
On the leap day of 2016, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has launched its smartest and fastest Pi version named as the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. It is a $35 computer, which has everything in features to challenge the modern PCs. It has an elevated performance, which makes it comfortable for using as a desktop computer.
• It comes with built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which outperforms all the previous models which require a separate connection for each
• It is compatible with the latest wireless 802.11n standards
• It comes with a Broadcom 2837 64-bit quad-core processor, which runs at 1.2GHZ speed
• It has 1GB SDRAM and micro SD card storage slot
• It has 40 GPIO Pins, 4 USB 2.0 ports, and full HDMI & Ethernet ports
• Also included Camera & Display interfaces, combined composite video and 3.5mm audio jack, graphics core of VideoCore IV 3D
• It is compatible with the original Pi models and the Pi 2
• It has an identical form factor that of Raspberry Pi 2 Model B
• It is IoT-ready and is best for anything you have in mind to build with, best for schools as well
So, which Raspberry Pi model is Best?
Frankly speaking, the answer is very hard and maybe the question will remain unanswered as the Pi is a beast with so much versatility and different form factors in all of it models. Every model has its own special advantages and some cons that make it unfit for some particular type of projects. You can check the features of the different Pi models, review your need and requirements, and then can decide which model is best suited for your projects. For smaller scale pi projects and single-use applications, the basic Pi versions are recommended, and for complex and applications which require more connectivity, the upgraded versions like Pi 2 and 3 are a perfect fit. Check this benchmark below for a short and quick comparison of all the Pi models mentioned above.
|Raspberry Pi:||Model A+||Model B+||Pi 2 Model B||Pi Zero||Pi 3 Model B|
|Release:||Nov 2014||July 2014||Feb 2015||Nov 2015||Feb 2016|
|Processor:||700MHz single core ARM1176JZF-S||700MHz single core ARM1176JZF-S||900MHz 32-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A7||1GHz ARM1176JZF-S single core||1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53|
|SoC||Broadcom BCM2835||Broadcom BCM2835||Broadcom BCM2836||Broadcom BCM2835||Broadcom BCM2837|
|RAM:||512MB Shared||512 MB Shared||1GB Shared||512MB Shared||1GB Shared|
|USB 2.0 Ports:||1||4||4||1||4|