Undoubtedly, all members of the Raspberry Pi family are excellent and offer excellent performance at an incredibly low cost. Whether it's the first experimental Pi model or the fastest Pi 3, the $ 5 Pi Zero computer or its updated Pi Zero W version, each of the newly launched models is better than its predecessor in one or more areas.
With this mini-computer you can do anything like create a video game emulator, set up a multimedia center, or use it as a fully functional computer. With such high demand and popularity, many brands have been inspired by the Raspberry Pi to build similar, low-cost, feature-rich computers.
Today we are going to discuss great alternatives to the Raspberry Pi 3 like Beaglebone, Orange Pi, Banana Pi, Asus Tinker Board, etc. and check which is the best of all.
Asus Tinker Board
Price: $ 59
Perhaps the most recent insertion on this list, the Tinker Board is a single-board computer manufactured by Asus. Along with a beautiful name, it also comes with high specifications. On the hardware side, it is equipped with a quad-core CPU (Cortex A17) with the clock of 1.8 GHz, GPU Mail-T764, 2 GB of RAM, 4 USB 2.0 ports and an HDMI port. The Tinker Board comes with a custom operating system called TinkerOS, which is based on Debian. The main feature is the support for playing 4K video for videos encoded with H.264 or H.265. It also supports WiFi and Bluetooth 4.
The Tinker Board far exceeds the Raspberry Pi 3, thanks to its more powerful processor and extra RAM. The Tinker Board brings provision for 4K videos, while the Raspberry Pi 3 model B supports only videos in 1080p. It also offers support for 192k / 24bit audio playback support compared to Pi's 48k / 16bit. It consumes a little more power than Pi, but that should not be a big problem because it's a very marginal difference. If you are willing to pay almost double what you would otherwise pay for a Raspberry Pi, the Tinker Board can be an excellent option to play!
Banana Pi M64
Price: $ 65
The Banana Pi M64 single-board computer is a 64-bit quad-core version of Banana Pi and runs Android, Debian, Ubuntu among several other operating systems. Specifications include a 1.2 GHz octa-core processor (64-bit Allwinner), a Mali 400 dual-core GPU and 2 GB of RAM. It has built-in 8 GB of flash memory and also helps expansion through the microSD card. Also, it has two USB ports, a USB-OTG port, and an IR receiver. It also has WiFi and built-in Bluetooth. It also offers support for 1080p videos.
The M64 and the Raspberry Pi 3 model B are not very different when it comes to processing power, but a gigabyte of additional RAM in the M64 gives you an advantage over Raspberry Pi 3. It also comes with an 8GB of built-in storage, while The Pi does not come with the accessible, integrated room. If you are looking to connect many peripherals, one crucial thing to keep in mind is that Banana Pi M64 begins with only 2 USB ports compared to the 4 USB ports of the Raspberry Pi.
Price: $ 55
The Odroid-C2 is the latest offer from the Korean company Hardkernel. Launched in 2016, it comes with a quad-core Amlogic CPU with the clock of 1.5 GHz, Mali 450 GPU and 2 GB RAM. Supports storage expansion by microSD card, has 4 USB ports, IR receiver and an HDMI port for audio output. You can run Android and several Linux distros.
Both the Raspberry Pi 3 and the Odroid-C2 come with a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53, but the new clock speed and RAM in Odroid-C2 mean that it comfortably sweeps the Raspberry Pi 3 when it comes to specs. Another advantage of Android-C2 is that it supports 4K videos, while the Pi 3 supports only 1080p. However, the Odroid-C2 does not come with WiFi on board, Bluetooth or 3.5mm connector, so the Raspberry Pi 3 gets additional points on the front of the connectivity.
An even more powerful version of the C2, the Odroid-XU4, is also available for $ 64.
OrangePi Plus 2
Price: $ 49
The OrangePi Plus 2 is an open-source, single-board computer that comes with a Quad-core H3 CPU (Cortex-A7) and a Mali 400 GPU. The GPU provides support for OpenGL ES 2.0. On the connectivity side, you can connect to the Internet via RJ45 Ethernet cable and wireless LAN. It supports video capture of up to 1080 @ 30fps. It has 4 USB 2.0 and 1 USB OTG hosts (it does not have USB 3.0). You can run Android, Ubuntu, and Debian.
The OrangePi Plus 2 includes 1 GB of additional RAM than the Pi 3 and has 16 GB of internal storage, while the Pi 3 has none. Also, it is compatible with 4K videos, while the Pi 3 only supports full-HD videos. The Raspberry Pi 3 comes with built-in support for Bluetooth, while the OrangePi Plus 2 does not.
Orange Pi also offers the Orange Pi One, a shortened version of its single-board computer, for just $ 18.
Price: $ 60
The NanoPC-T3 is a single-board computer developed by FriendlyArm. It houses an octa-core SoC chip from Samsung with 1.4GHz frequency, 400 Mali GPU and 1GB of DDR3 RAM. You can run Android 5.1, Debian and Ubuntu operating systems. It is equipped with 8 GB of extensible storage via the microSD card and includes 4 USB 2.0 ports, HDMI (1080p compatibility) as well as Ethernet support. Other multimedia ports include LVDS, LCD, MIPI-DSI and the 3.5 mm audio jack. It has WIFi, Bluetooth and a microphone on board.
The NanoPC-T3 CPU has a clock frequency slightly higher than the Raspberry Pi 3 CPU, but it has the same amount of RAM. One benefit it offers over the Pi 3 is that it comes with a built-in 8GB storage. Apart from this, the two are very similar to each other.
Price: 69 $
The NanoPi M3 is another 64-bit single-board computer from the people of FriendlyARM. It houses the Octa-core CPU (Cortex-A53) from Samsung, which operates at 1.4 GHz and comes with 1 GB of DDR3 RAM, wireless LAN, and Bluetooth 4.0 module. Like the Raspberry Pi 3, there is no internal storage, but it is compatible with microSD cards. Also, it offers 4 USB ports. Supports Android, Debian, and other Linux distributions.
The NanoPi M3 was introduced as a low-cost version of the NanoPC-T3 and is an equally capable alternative to the Raspberry Pi 3, or even better.
Price: $ 149
The Parallela is a single-board computer the size of a credit card, manufactured by Adapteva. It uses a dual-core ARM A9 CPU and uses the 16-core Epiphany co-processor with 1 GB of RAM. Includes support for an expansion of microSD cards, USB 2.0 port, HDMI port and Gigabit Ethernet.
You can run several Linux distributions, including Ubuntu. The company says it can be used as a stand-alone computer, a built-in device or as a component in a scaled parallel server cluster.
Parallela incorporates a radically different architecture to most single-table computers in this list, and therefore it would not be fair to compare Parallela with the Raspberry Pi 3. The Pi 3 is marketed as a low-cost and affordable computer for enthusiasts while the Parallela is more directed towards users who are interested in parallel computing, thanks to the Epiphany co-processor. If you consider yourself in this league, the Parallela is for you.