12 best Raspberry pie

Although a recent project on Kickstarter
named C.H.I.P seems to be the cheapest
alternative ($9) to raspberry pi, but it has
not been in market right now. Below are
other top alternatives of Raspberry Pi.
You can use the ones that are preferred by
you, and get to coding and programming your
Raspberry PI.
1- Arduino Uno Rev3

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Price – $25
Arduino is a community as well as company
that makes both computer hardware and
software, and manufacturers micro controller
based digital kits, for DIY and other projects
and purposes. These can usually be found in
automated machines and other places where a
machine is interacting with the physical
world. It has been used by many enthusiasts
, in their Robotic and other ventures and
many users trust Arduino tremendously.
It supports C and C++ as a programming
language, and can be programmed to carry
out various tasks in the physical world
Arduino Uno rev3 is based on ATmega328
and has 14 input and output pins, out of
which 6 are compatible as PWM outputs. It
also contains a 16MHZ oscillator, 6 analog
inputs, an ICSP header, power jack and a
reset button. The rev3 is different from its
predecessors, simply because it does not use
the FTDI USB to serial driver chip, making it
a huge advantage.
Arduino Uno REV3 costs 25$ and is a total
steal for what it is worth.
2- Odroid XU4

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Price – $74
Hardkernel is the Company responsible for
this masterpiece of a single board computer,
the Odroid XU4. It has a more powerful
form factor and a smaller size compared to
its predecessor, the Odroid XU3. The unit is
capable of running the latest Ubuntu, or
Android kit kat / Lollipop depending on your
choice. The Odroid XU4 offers faster data
transfer and networking speeds, resulting in
an overall speed up in the device’s
performance. The company also decided to go
1 step further, by making it compatible with
its predecessor, so that you can use both the
units in cohesion with each other.
Important Changes, compared to its
predecessor
1- Micro HDMI connector has been replaced
by HDMI type A connector, because it was
the underlying cause of many issues faced
because of the micro HDMI port.
2- The Odroid XU4 now features A gigabit
Ethernet port.
3- Two full size USB 3.0 ports for better
connectivity
Moreover, the XU4 comes in a smaller size
when compared to XU3, which increases
it’susefulness even more.
Final verdict
The Odroid XU4 is an exceptionally powerful
octa core , single board computer. If some
reports are to be believed, it is known to
beat even the raspberry pi 2 when it comes
to performance, which is a huge bonus. It
has a 2GB LPDDR3 ram and USB 3.0
support. The only drawback you might find is
the lack of SATA support, and the fan
making loud noises. Both of which are minor
issues when compared to the major
improvements, the Odroid XU4 sports.
3- Beagleboard BeagleBone
Black

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Price – $35
BeagleBoard is produced by Texas
Instruments as a single board computer
system. It is low power compared to its
competitors, but does the job really well. It
is based on open source hardware and
Software and is available to the public for
various purposes. It was designed by a small
group of engineers, with the development and
promotion of open source software in mind.
It is designed as teaching aid for teachers to
introduce students and other people to the
world of Open Source Software development
just like the Raspberry Pi.
The BeagleBoard measures 75mm x 75mm
making it a highly compact and portable Unit.
It comes with ARM CORTEX A8 CPU, which
is capable of supporting Sybian, Risc Os,
Linux Minix, FREE BSD and OPEN BSD. You
can choose from a number of different
platforms, making it ideal for development
purposes. You would also be happy to know,
that BeagleBoard plans on introducing
Android support soon enough, so that you
can run a Mobile Device Os as well. Video
ports include S-Video and HDMi port, it also
has a GPU powered by Imagination
Technologies, which provides 2D and 3D
rendering as well. The device can come
shipped with either a single SD slot or a
Single MMC slot, depending on your
preference. The model also comes with 512MB
of onboard DDR3 Ram and 4Gb of onboard
flash storage, which makes it a beast.
BeagleBone black is low cost and very much
value for its money, The company claims that
the Unit is targeted for coders and
developers using Linux. The BeagleBone is
guaranteed to boot Linux under 5 seconds,
and start the process of development with in
5 minutes, making it highly time efficient and
portable. It is a cheap and go to single board
computer, for developers looking to use it to
its full potential on the go.
All in all, BeagleBoard BeagleBone black is a
great alternative to Raspberry Pi and can be
used for various different purposes.
4- Banana Pi

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Price – $53
Banana Pi is another single board computer
that is available out there for purchase,
Banana pi boards are manufactured in china
and are technically trying to hitch a ride , on
the backs of Raspberry PIs. As like the other
candidates, banana pi is also an open source
hardware platform, that you can use for
your various different computing needs. The
design of banana Pi is more or less the same
as that of Raspberry pi, making it obvious
that China is at it once again.
But this is not necessarily a bad thing as the
boards have worked flawlessly so far. Banana
pi can run the following
NetBSD
Android
Ubuntu
Debian
You can also run cubieboard and raspibian,
though the CPU does not officially support
them. Banana pi comes in the following
different variants
Banana Pi M1
Banana Pi M1+
Banana Pi M2
Banana Pi M3
Banana Pi G1
BPI- D1
Banana Pi R1
Banana Pi Pro
All these different variants have different
specifications, allowing you to choose the one
single board computer that suits your needs,
the best. You can go for the ultra powerful
Banana Pi Pro or opt for the smallest version
with a web cam mounted on it. The choice is
yours.
Verdict
The banana Pi is proving to be a headache
for Raspberry Pi foundation, as more and
more users opt for the cheaper and faster
single board Computers. The banana Pi is
considerably faster thanks to its CPU and
also has SATA support unlike the Raspberry
Pi. In fact it is one of the few Single Board
computers out there that support Sata
connectivity. This allows you to connect any
mass storage device to your Banana Pi
without even having to configure a USB port,
which is a huge plus point and it is something
that is still missing from Raspberry Pi’s
latest installment. Not to mention the price
difference, the banana Pi is considerably
cheaper when compared to its competitors,
thus making it a fair choice for you.
5- LinkSprite PcDuino3

image

Price – $59
The LinkSprite pcDuino3 is one of those
power packed single board computers, that i
would recommend to every one of you that is
used to an Arduino environment. The biggest
plus point of this single board computer is
that it is 100% compatible and working with
Arduino shields and has an Arduino pin
header and plenty of Arduino UNO slots on
its body. It is considerably high in
performance when you look and it’s
competitors and really really cost effective.
The unit provides full Linux d Android
support, making it reach a larger group of
consumers. You can run your favorite Linux
version on the pcDuino or the latest android.
Also included is the built in HDMI support
and a very powerful video decoder. You can
run videos that are 1080p 60fps, 1080p
30fps, mpeg4 etc. This single board computer
can thus also fulfill all your multimedia
needs, if you program it right. The unit
provides additional support for languages like
C, C++ with GNU tool, java, Python, etc,
opening up new possibilities for you . Apart
from the usual features that are mandatory
in this class of single board computers, the
unit also has support for Ethernet, Wifi and
Sata, providing you with unlimited
connectivity options.
The pcDuino3 was developed by its
developers to meet the growing demands of
the open source community, for a more
powerful and cost efficient single board
computer unit. The pcDuino3 meets all the
criteria and is vastly versatile when it comes
to its uses, making it an ideal choice of
single board computer for anyone.
The unit features onboard flash memory of
4Gb that allows you to put the unit to use,
right out of the box. You can use it start
programming your unit, or use the onboard
micro sd slot to boot the device into another
operating system such as Android.
If you are looking to increase the storage of
the unit, you can use the onboard SATA slot
to connect an SSD or HDD depending on
your choice and get started from there. The
unit should be able to establish a connection
with any working SSD or HDD via the SATA
port, as long as the hard drive is in working
condition. You can use the connected media
to boot another Operating system or simply
increase the storage of your unit.
The pcDuino3 is capable of performing in
very harsh conditions and face temperatures
upto 80 deg celsius , making it ideal for
outdoor and industrial applications. You can
also connect a rechargeable lithium ion
battery, to ensure the device has enough
power supply always . And lastly everything
is open source, so you are only limited by
your imagination.
6- Intel Galileo Gen: 2

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Price – $100
Intel had decided to step into the market of
single board computers with its previously
introduced Intel Galileo single board unit.
With fairly good specifications, the unit
could only do so much in a market dominated
by upcoming brands offering attractive prices
and higher specifications . Intel needed to
answer back, and Intel Galileo Gen 2 was a
result of this brain storming at Intel. The
new Galileo gen 2 is powered by Intel’s
Quark Application processor with a 32 bit
intel system on it.
But of course a new product by Intel could
not just be improved specifications, and this
where the software and hardware
compatibility with Arduino environment comes
in. The micro controller is fully based on
Intel architecture, meant for the Arduino
Uno R3 ecosystem, both software and
hardware compatible with the unit.
The unit also features out of the box
compatibility with the Arduino tools that are
available out there, so that you can get to
developing you ideas as soon as possible.
Apart from Arduino all round compatibility,
the unit features some unique onboard input
and output slots and expansion ports that can
enhance the experience to the next level.
Some of the noteworthy features are listed
below, these features are mandatory in every
variant of the Intel Galileo Gen 2
1- Mini PCI Express Expansion slot, for all
your graphics and 3D needs.
2- 100Mb ethernet Port for super fast
networking capabilities.
3- Micro SD slot for extra Flash Storage
Needs
4- USB host port and USB client port,
ensuring full connectivity
5- The 12 bit pulse width modulation, this is
an improvement over the previous generation.
6- Arduino Compatible ports, for full
integration of the Arduino environment
7- Power Regulating system, that helps
prevent damage from any changes in the
Voltage Supply
The main advantage of this microcontroller is
that the Intel based Architecture is familiar
to a lot of users out there and thus can
easily be put to use my many, secondly it
supports major Operating systems like The
Microsoft Windows, Mac Os and Linux(all
versions) making it very versatile and user
friendly for everyone out there.
7- Nano Pc T1
Price – $69.95
The Nano Pc T1 is another single board
computer produced to the standards of
Odroid u3 and others. It is meant to be cost
effective and highly efficient in performance.
The size factor is another attractive feature
of this unit, as the name suggests, Nano Pc
T1 attempts to offer high performance, in a
smaller space, at a price under 75$. The
nano Pc T1 does not look that bad, and ships
with its own casing, eliminating the need to
scour the Internet for a suitable casing for
your unit.
The Nano PC T1 , although has only 1Gb of
Ram compared to some of its competitors
that feature upto 2GB of Ram, it performs
fairly well in the situations it is designed for.
It also offers considerably larger number of
input and output ports, making it more
versatile and the Samsung CpU clocked at 1.5
ghz performs okay compared to others.
The manufacturer provides full support for
Linux+ Qt, Ubuntu 12.04 and Android 4.2.2.
You can load the desired platform on your
unit and get started right away. The source
code is sent by the manufacturers in a DVD
thatships with the Unit itself. Make sure you
do not loose it.
Other notable features include
1- Samsung Exynos Quad Core A9 Cortex
processor , clocked at 1.5ghz
2- A Mali 400-MP4 GPU for all your
intensive graphics needs
3- 4Gb EMMC onboard flash storage
4- HDMI port for Video Output
5- 3.5mm Audio output Jack
6- One micro USB port, and two USB 2.0
ports
7- Two user keys and LEDs
8- Expansion slots
– 4 x TTL UART
– TFT LCD support
– CMOS CAMERA support
– MIPI support for HD camera
– Two Digital Sensor Inputs
All in all, the Nano PC T1 is good cost
efficient choice , if you are looking for a
single board computer that gets the job
done, plain and simple.
8- Intel NUC – Next Unit Of
Computing

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Price – $348 for i5 processor
Intel is trying to release all types of mini
computers and try to get hold of the market.
The NUC seems another step by Intel in this
direction. NUC is a tiny or as the industry
has named it , Small Form Factor Pc that is
designed to takeover tasks done by bigger
machines. Intel has till date released a
number of Units with different specifications
in its Next Unit of Computing (NUC)
category. These NUCs offer different
performance and technical capabilities ,
features and different hardware so that Intel
is able to cater to the need of most of its
users.
Basic NUCs
The basic NUC units that are offered by
Intel are equipped with Intel Celeron, Intel
atom And Intel Pentium processors. The
general amount of Ram offered by these
NUCs is a 2GB DDR 3, and Intel HD
graphics for GPU support. The NUC will
feature an HDMI port and a VGA port, with
surround sound audio capabilities in a select
few models. All the models will also offer
Four USB 3.0 ports, two internal USB ports
and an infrared sensor. These units offer
general performance capabilities in a very
competitive price, ideal for people looking to
get started with single board computers.
Third generation NUCs
Intel then has two NUC units that offer the
third generation of Intel processors with
them. These units come with their own CPU
fan for heatsink, and support up to 16 GB of
DDR 3 ram. The units come bundled with
Intel Chipsets for all your Intensive graphics
needs, and also support triple simultaneous
displays. The unit also has High Definition
Audio capability thanks To Intel Audio sub
system . Apart from other general features ,
the units offer expansion capabilities via the
PCI express slot, making it compatible with
almost all your needs.
Fourth generation NUCs
Intel also offers four different variants of
NUCs featuring its fourth generation of Intel
Processors. The units have the option of
either the i5 or the i3 processor and support
for 2.5 inch drives. Apart from that the
units are powerful enough to power your
home theatre PCs, Media Server PCs etc.
the units offer Intel HD graphics 5000 to
provide uninterrupted and crystal clear media
and graphics experience. This unit thus
becomes a fighting contender for the position
of the best overall NUC at a lower price
point.
Fifth Generation of NUCs
The fifth generation of NUCs is made up of
five sleek different variants ,offering
different choices between the fifth
generation Intel Processors. There are two i5
variants, one i3 variant and one i7 variant
for you power hungry users out there. These
units also have the option of 2.5 inch drive
support making them ideal for various uses.
Apart from the change in processor, there
isn’t much to discuss as the unit features 16
GB of max ram like the others, 7.1 HD
surround sound capability, and the same
connectivity ports with improved versions.
The unit features Intel Iris graphics to offer
you the best solution for all your media
needs. These units are ideal for power
hungry users as they offer high performance
at tempting prices
Sixth generation of NUCs
These are the latest by Intel in the NUC
lineup, featuring Intel’s latest hardware and
software into a smaller form factor. This
generation offers four different variants with
i5 and i3 sixth generation processors and 2.5
inch drive support. These units are the
highest performance Intel has to offer in the
category of smaller form factor PCs.
Offering up to 32Gb support for DDR4 RAM
and a sixth generation processor, the machine
practically guarantees flawless high
performance for some time. It is also
equipped with Intel HD Iris graphics to offer
the best graphics and 3D rendering
capabilities to your PC. All in all this NUC is
the dream of every professional with the
highest performance capabilities offered by
Intel .
9- ODROID C1+

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Price – $74
The ODROID C1+ is ODROID ‘s high
performance single board computer under
35$. It is high value for money product at
its lower price making it a great choice for
anyone. Apart from that it offers some good
performance capabilities that can complete
and cope up with decent tasks. It is
essentially another Raspberry Pi 2 , just
bundled with more features that include
EMMC storage for high speed data transfer,
Gigabit Ethernet and most of all support for
Android operating system. Yes , your read
right, the cheap Odroid C1+ will give you the
choice of being able to install android on
your unit. It is supplied with android 4.4 but
there are forums that have instructions that
can help you configure 5.0 on your unit. The
ODROID C1+ comes with a quad core A5
processor clocked at 1.5 ghz, and 1GB of
DDR 3 ram. It also includes the Mali GPU to
fulfill all your graphics needs. All in all the
ODROID C1+ is a cheap and better
alternative to the Raspberry Pi 2, by
Hardkernel.
10- Udoo Dual Basic

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Price – $99
This is another alternative to the raspberry
Pi, with some advantages over its
competitors where as some disadvantages as
well. It is another single board computer
powered by an onboard chip CPU with an
integrated Arduino 2 micro controller in it.
This unit was originally marketed on
Kickstarter which quickly helped the company
to develop. It has a smaller size and runs
from a single power supply unlike some other
single board computers out there. It is
available with both the quad core and the
dual core processor variant, making it more
versatile and diverse. Apart from these some
other notable features include
– Wifi Module
– Touchscreen input ports
– HDMI ports
– Mini USB and USB type A ports
– Full HD video output
– Analog audio capability with mic jacks
All in all UDOO dual basic is another
Single board computer out in the market with
its own features that make it different.
Priced at 99$ the unit maybe priced a little
steep, but offers unique features unlike its
many competitors.
11- CubieBoard 4

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Price – $173.38
CubieTech, the company behind CubieBoard is
another manufacturer that makes single board
computers, with high performance
specifications at attractive price points. The
company’s latest installment in its long
running line of CubieBoards is the new
CubieBoard 4. It is one beast of a Processing
unit with very high specifications to perform
high end and time sensitive tasks with ease.
The unit is compatible with both Linux and
Android and offers the following images for
download for open source use with your
CubieBoard 4. You can visit the following
link, to see all the compatible environments
that you can use with this unit
{{ ‘Dl.Cubieboard.org /model /cc-a80 /
image /’
}}
As of writing this article, the server hosts
Android 4.4 for CubieBoard, Debian server,
Ubuntu linaro desktop and Ubuntu Linaro
server as well that can be setup with LXDE
desktop environment.
The machine is manufactured with the
following specifications
1- A80 octa core processors for lightning
fast computing speed.
2- Power VR 64 core GPU , for all your
intensive graphics need.
3- 2GB 64 bit RAM for smooth functioning
of the unit.
4- Onboard default EMMC storage is 8GB
and expandable up to 64GB
5- two HDMI ports and one VGA port with
support for 1080p output.
6- Four USB 2.0 ports and one USB 3.0
port, for all your connectivity needs
7- Wifi Compatibility with support for
rechargeable batteries as well.
All in all the CubieBoard is high performance
single board computer manufactured by
CubieTech with good reviews. Although some
users have reported less support for drivers,
which you should get checked and verified
before you go ahead and make the final
purchase
12- Radxa Rock 2 Square

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Price – $99
When the company first released radxa rock
2, it was pretty much evident that this single
board computer is not aimed at hobbyists or
people recently introduced to the single
board computer scene. This was a high end
single board PC with one of a kind
specifications that made it the ultimate
powerhouse. Radxa rock 2 came equipped
with a 3G modem for all your connectivity
needs, a Sata port for all your mass storage
needs, dual gigabit ethernet and RAM
expandable up to 4GB were some its
specifications that made the Radxa Rock 2
stand out. The unit cost a few hundred
dollars and was totally worth it, for people
that were in dire need of a cheaper and
powerful single board computing unit.
Radxa now looks to capitalize on the demand
for cheaper and better units and thus has
come out with the Radxa Rock 2 square. The
Square signifies the smaller form factor and
cheaper price. These units are based on the
same principles of the Radxa Rock 2 with
fewer features and connectivity ports
depending on their price and specifications.
Radxa rock 2 Squares are aimed at the
general public and the daily hobbyist out
there, it can also aid in the learning process
of people recently introduced to the world of
single board computing.
The new Radxa Rock 2 square comes with the
following features making it an ideal choice
1- 3G connectivity
2- wifi connectivity
3- Sata compatibility
4- Quad core cortex A17 processor for all
your computing needs
5- it comes in two storage options
– 2GB RAM with onboard 16 GB EMMC
storage
– 4GB RAM with onboard 32 GB EMMC
storage
6- Three USB 2.0 ports and one micro USB
port for all types of connections.
All in all the Radxa Rock 2 Square is a
decent unit with high specifications for higher
performance at a rather attractive price
point.

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