Raspberry Pi 3 vs Pi 2 vs Pi B+ (Benchmark & Review)

Raspberry Pi 3 vs Pi 2 vs Pi B+ (Benchmark & Review)

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.

Raspberry Pi 3 vs 2 vs B+

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(s) 1 4 4
CPU Revisions (for each core) 7 5 4
Threads per core 1 1 1
Socket(s) 1 1 1
Threads per socket 1 4 4
Max speed of CPU 700MHz 900MHz 1.2GHz
Min speed of CPU 700MHz 600MHz 600MHz
Hardware BCM2708 BCM2709 BCM2709
BogoMIPS 2.00 57.60 76.80

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

SysBench

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
Total time 1318.933s 768.6476s 477.0617s
Min statistic/request 131.57ms 76.41ms 47.67ms
Avg statistic/request 131.85ms 76.84ms 47.7ms
Max statistic/request 300.21ms 82.15ms 49.91ms
Diff of min and max 168.64ms 5.74ms 2.24ms
With 4 Threads
Total time 1321.493s 191.8972s 119.4716s
Min statistic/request 412.92ms 76.38ms 47.67ms
Avg statistic/request 528.54ms 76.74ms 47.78ms
Max statistic/request 571ms 101.45ms 59.04ms
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.

MemTester

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
8 601 1014 1522
16 537 1014 1642
32 293 1015 1524
64 261 931 1525
128 176 855 1525
256 143 855 1526
512 132 681 1408
1024 133 390 1094
2048 133 310 1076
4096 135 302 1024
8192 134 306 1070

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.

NEON-speed-test-v1.0

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.

Conclusion

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!

 

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