In early 2012, the world of computing changed quite significantly with the launch of Raspberry Pi 1. The credit-card sized programming computer from a UK based company took all electronic and technology lovers by storm. They loved how affordable and functional it was at the same time!
You can do everything an average computer does and you don’t even need to buy specific keyboards or mice. Standard equipment is good enough. You can use Python, Scratch and other programming languages on the Raspberry Pi and complete all your daily tasks such as browsing the web, making documents, creating Excel sheets. What’s more, you can also play games and watch HD videos as per your preferences.
If you are a newbie, you can explore any of the many Raspberry Pi starter kits available on the market. These will help you engage in a plethora of projects, making it easy for you to learn and explore the fascinating world of programming. Before you go any further, though, you must learn about the many models that the company has launched. There are 5 different versions that you can compare and choose the best. To save you time, we have already done that homework for you!
Best Raspberry Pi Models
1. Raspberry Pi Model A+
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
2. Raspberry Pi Model B+
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
3. Raspberry Pi 2 Model B
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
4. Raspberry Pi Zero
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
5. Raspberry Pi 3 Model B
On the leap day of 2016, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has launched its smartest and fastest Pi version till the date which is 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
6. Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+
Almost after two years of the launch of its predecessor upgraded the Pi 3 Model B+ got an introduction in the industry. With the price slightly higher than the previous model of Pi 3, this advanced version has something better to offer. Apart from all the features of the Pi 3 Model B and Pi 2, you will get many more exciting and useful things in this most recent Pi family member.
- The 1.4GHz quad-core 64-bit Cortex-A53 processor performs faster than the previous Pi 3 model B
- It has dual wireless band supports 5GHz and 2.4GHz with compatibility to the latest 802.11 n/g/b/ac standards
- The Pi 3 Model B+ has the latest Bluetooth 4.2 compatibility
- It comes with an LPDDR2 SDRAM of 1GB
- The USB 2.0 Gigabit Ethernet port provides a maximum speed of 300Mbps which is enough for any Raspberry Pi project
- It has support to the PoE (Power-over-Ethernet) with the need of a separate PoE HAT for it
- This board uses a slightly higher 5V 2.5A DC power supply
- It is equipped with extended 40 Pin GPIO header, four USB 2.0 ports, a full-sized HDMI, a composite video port, 4-pole stereo output, a Micro SD card port, and a CSI Raspberry Pi camera port
So, which Raspberry Pi model is Best?
So, which one is the best Raspberry Pi model? It depends on your needs. You can use the basic versions for smaller projects and upgraded versions like Raspberry Pi 2 and 3 for complex projects. There are also other criteria such as the exact type of project you are engaging in to help you decide the best. Here’s the comparison in a nutshell to make things easy for you
|Pi 2 Model B
|Pi 3 Model B
|Pi 3 Model B+
|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
|1.4GHz 64-bit Quad-Core ARMv8 Cortex-A53
|512 MB Shared
|USB 2.0 Ports: