Raspberry Pi vs. Beagle Bone Black


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by MangoKid » Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:49 pm
As some of you may know the beagle bone black came out today. I have had people asking me on a regular basis which one they should be choosing. I need some external opinions from the community.

So far i have only found this comparison, its great! I do a lot of robotics so this is pretty interesting.
[url]
http://roboteurs.com/beaglebone-black-vs-raspberry-pi/[/url]
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by jamesh » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:06 pm
Looks alright, horses for courses really. Each has it's own area of expertise. The table of comparison is a bit limited though (and as an aside overclocking the Pi isn't 'risky') - no mention of camera facilities for example, which may be useful in robotics.
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by johnbeetem » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:27 pm
There's been some good discussion at element14 about the trade-offs between BeagleBone and RasPi. These are about the original BBone (white):

http://www.element14.com/community/thread/17695
http://www.element14.com/community/thread/18382

With BBone white, you're trading off much more I/O and much more chip documentation in exchange for a much higher price. BBone white is US$89, but doesn't include a video interface so you need another US$50 or so for a DVI-D adapter -- though you have other options like VGA or LCD panels.

With BBone black, you get DVI-D on board and the price drops to US$45 (mouser.com). This is highly competitive.

What are some of the things you get for that extra US$10 versus RasPi?

Faster processor: 1 GHz Cortex-A8 versus 700 MHz ARM11.
Far more I/O pins.
Ethernet that connects directly to SoC instead of over USB.
Two RISC engines for low-level programmable I/O.
BBone white has rounded corners so it actually fits in an Altoids box. I think BBone black is the same form factor.

According to my observations, I would say RasPi has better community support so is a better choice for new users. IMO Beagle has always targeted developers rather than users -- I don't know if there will be an effort to change that. Also, it may only be my own impression.

[Edit: Beagle does have good community support -- it just seems to me that RasPi's is better and that it's easier for a new user to get up to speed with RasPi than Beagle. For example, it's easier with RasPi to find a recommended OS version and install it. JMO/YMMV]
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by MangoKid » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:32 pm
I agree for sure. The community support for the Pi is incredible! I hope the same support will develop with the new low cost BBblack board.

A dedicated linux distro would sure be nice ;)
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by johnbeetem » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:45 pm
MangoKid wrote:I agree for sure. The community support for the Pi is incredible! I hope the same support will develop with the new low cost BBblack board.

A dedicated linux distro would sure be nice ;)

I just noticed today that Beagle has done a major revamp of their web site: http://beagleboard.org/
It looks like finding an OS is much easier than it was.

For robotics, one of the winners of the BeagleBone Cape design contest is a board for driving stepper motors for a 3-D printer. It could probably also be useful for other robotic applications. No idea if it can be purchased yet: http://beagleboard.org/CapeContest/winners
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by plugwash » Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:57 pm
Another cool thing about the black beaglebone is it has an unmolested USB device port. The original beaglebone had a USB device port but it went via a hub that also went to the FTDI chip for serial/jtag (which is no longer present on the black), that's tolerable for development but no so great if you want to deploy it somewhere as a USB device without the end user seeing debug ports.
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by plugwash » Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:39 am
OTOH the Pi supports up to 1920x1200 while according to their wiki the beaglebone black only supports up to 1280x1024
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by recantha2 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 11:39 am
Here's someone else's viewpoint:
http://marcin.juszkiewicz.com.pl/2013/0 ... n-a-market

Not sure I like his tone as it's very much paying into the idea of there being this big competition between the two.

Community-wise, the RasPi is going to take some beating with a year's head start.
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by jamesh » Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:01 pm
recantha2 wrote:Here's someone else's viewpoint:
http://marcin.juszkiewicz.com.pl/2013/0 ... n-a-market

Not sure I like his tone as it's very much paying into the idea of there being this big competition between the two.

Community-wise, the RasPi is going to take some beating with a year's head start.


Well he contradicts himself at least once - "No dependencies on closed source components. You can boot board and use it with what ever you want and still have control on all sources used. Sure, there are some binary blobs for OpenGL ES but if you do not need this then you are fine. Try to boot R/Pi without binary blobs…" - you can't say no dependencies and yet you need OGLES binary blobs in the same sentence!

I really don't get this fixation on binary blobs. It's a non-argument. Since the blob is freely available, you can boot your Raspi with it. The fact it's there makes no difference to 99.9999% of users anyway, and most of the remaining people seem to only have this issue because of principle, not because they would actually do anything with the source code if they had it.

In fact all four of his points have issues when you look at them closely

Don't get me wrong- Beaglebone looks like a good device (albeit in a different consumer area) but when you make comparisons, at least make them fair.
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by MangoKid » Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:49 pm
Some people have been posting saying that we can compare the two boards. I believe we should compare the two boards! They are the two most similar boards on the market.

One thing some people seem to be forgetting is that the BBBlack comes with more than just the board. Get the OS per-loaded and all of the cabling needed. If you look at most setups this means the the BBBlack has a lower system cost.
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by Ravenous » Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:09 pm
MangoKid wrote:They are the two most similar boards on the market.

Well I think it looks more like an arduino Due, though I haven't really researched either much yet. After all the raspi was designed for something completely different.
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by MangoKid » Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:15 pm
I hate to say it but the BBBlack isnt like an Arduino at all. It has header pins on both sides but other than that they are two totally different boards. And regardless of what the board was designed for the real comparison is made by the end user and there application.
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by pluggy » Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:31 pm
The Beagle Bone Black was almost certainly inspired by the Pi, and as the Pi, despite its educational programming roots, is widely used by developers, they are are very very similar. I've toyed with the idea of getting the first generation Beagle Bone, the black is a definite when I can get one this side of the water at reasonable cost. Pity it only has one USB port but built in analogue GPIO is a big advantage.

Whether or not the boards fit in an American mint tin (even if Altoids were originally British made) doesn't enter the thinking.
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by Yfory » Tue Apr 23, 2013 1:32 pm
As one person has said, 'horses for courses'. However, it should be noted that the Roboteurs table appears biased in favour of the Beagle Bone Black. In my humble opinion of course. It's the negative undertones towards the Pi that I disapprove of, not because it's Pi but because it's not fair and impartial.

"Some people have clocked the Pi up to 1Ghz but its pretty risky."
Many people have overclocked the Pi without failure, though not advised or encouraged, they haven't stated the risk(s) and the number of failures versus successes.

"But then again, most PI setups are using a USB hub anyway. Still, the Pi wins this one."
Oh boo, the Pi wins. A fair table would have left out the note about hubs and simply said that the Pi wins. Personally, I do not use hubs.

"The Pi wins this one for having the AV out. This comes in handy when your resources are very limited."
And what about situations where HDMI is not an option, not because of limited resources, but because of technological requirements? It also fails to mention that the Beagle Bone Black has micro-HDMI not HDMI. Maybe I'm a luddite and there's no difference, but other sources seem to claim there is.

"LCD"
I cannot see an LCD on the device.

"The DC jack also allows connection of a battery without an external regulator."
'Horses for courses.' Personally I am in favour of the Pi going with a micro-USB 5v connector because they are cheap as chips, anyone can obtain one from Maplin, 99p Stores, 3 Store, eBay, or whatever their favourite retailer may be. DC jacks come in all shapes and sizes and that alone confuses the hell out of the average non-technical.

"If I was going to teach a class on programing PSUs, I would choose the PI; It’s small, simple and you can look at it and quickly understand the layout."
Maybe PSU stands for something other than Power Supply Unit?

I'm not pointing these out as a Pi fan, I'm pointing them out to reduce bias. I'd love to see a dual core Pi with double the RAM, and I am all for more boards in this field, especially if they cost less than the Pi, because the more choice, the cheaper the choice, and the wider the availability, the more likely we are to get a generation coding... But let's get them coding with informed decisions not bias.
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by plugwash » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:48 pm
pluggy wrote:The Beagle Bone Black was almost certainly inspired by the Pi, and as the Pi, despite its educational programming roots, is widely used by developers, they are are very very similar.

It strikes me that the beaglebone black is mostly a case of cost-reducing the beaglebone to bring it into the same ballpark as the Pi.

I've toyed with the idea of getting the first generation Beagle Bone, the black is a definite when I can get one this side of the water at reasonable cost.

Farnell are taking pre-orders

http://uk.farnell.com/jsp/search/produc ... ku=2291620
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by jamesh » Tue Apr 23, 2013 3:50 pm
That is ridiculously cheap. I wouldn't be surprised if that was selling at close to cost, if not at a loss. I reckon the price will go up very soon after launch, if not before! It's got about 5 chips on it for a start!
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by plugwash » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:00 pm
"But then again, most PI setups are using a USB hub anyway. Still, the Pi wins this one."
Oh boo, the Pi wins. A fair table would have left out the note about hubs and simply said that the Pi wins. Personally, I do not use hubs.

The beaglebone black does only have one USB type A connector OTOH that one port is not shared with anything since the ethernet on the beaglebone is native.

The beaglebone black also has a mini-usb connector. It's advertised as a device port but unlike the original beaglebone the connector goes straight to the processor so there is a good chance it will be possible to use it as a second host port.

It also fails to mention that the Beagle Bone Black has micro-HDMI not HDMI. Maybe I'm a luddite and there's no difference, but other sources seem to claim there is.

Afaict it's a case of "same signals, smaller connector".

"LCD"
I cannot see an LCD on the device.

Presumablly given it is listed under interfaces it means "LCD interface". The LCD itself is an optional extra http://uk.farnell.com/circuitco/beagleb ... dp/2075701

"The DC jack also allows connection of a battery without an external regulator."
'Horses for courses.' Personally I am in favour of the Pi going with a micro-USB 5v connector because they are cheap as chips, anyone can obtain one from Maplin, 99p Stores, 3 Store, eBay, or whatever their favourite retailer may be. DC jacks come in all shapes and sizes and that alone confuses the hell out of the average non-technical.

I agree this entry in the table is just retarded, If a port is specified as 5V you'd better supply it with damn near 5V, not with some highly variable battery voltage. Though I also think you are an idiot if you buy a PSU from a pound shop.
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by jamesh » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:01 pm
jamesh wrote:That is ridiculously cheap. I wouldn't be surprised if that was selling at close to cost, if not at a loss. I reckon the price will go up very soon after launch, if not before! It's got about 5 chips on it for a start!


Sorry, got my exchange rate wrong - it's not as ridiculously cheap as I thought. Still well priced though for the spec, and my comments on its future price stand! Lookm slike Texas are trying to shake the market up with some very low margin stuff.
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by simplesi » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:02 pm
At first glance, they seem like very comparable products and arguing the diffs is a bit like arguing the diffs between 2 different car models that both come with 3 doors, a small engine and no rear window wiper and cost about the same :)

A game changer would be if if was half the price of an RPi or twice as good at same price :)

Otherwise, it just handbags :)

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by Ravenous » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:08 pm
simplesi wrote:Otherwise, it just handbags :)

But gee, what tiny handbags! :)
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by jojopi » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:28 pm
jamesh wrote:binary blobs
Are you trying to turn this thread into a flame war, so you can lock it? ;)
jamesh wrote:I reckon the price will go up very soon after launch, if not before! It's got about 5 chips on it for a start!
Are you trying to create demand for the BBB? ;)

Although the Black specifications and pricing are very clearly influenced by the Pi, it is important to realise that they are still targeted at quite different markets. Beagle is for hardware hackers, hence the priority given to GPIO and the fact that, although it can run Ubuntu, the default distro will be Ångström, an embedded Linux.

As I always hoped, the Pi is forcing ARM development boards down in price, and it has even created copycat consumer Android boards. But it still has no real competition in the hackable home/educational computer market.
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by simplesi » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:11 pm
@ravenous
Your right - its more like purses :)

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by adlambert » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:31 pm
jamesh wrote:That is ridiculously cheap. I wouldn't be surprised if that was selling at close to cost, if not at a loss. I reckon the price will go up very soon after launch, if not before! It's got about 5 chips on it for a start!


The Beaglebone board maker is the chipset maker TI, so they can afford to price it how they like. They might have excess production to use up etc. R-Pi is as cheap as it is thanks to close links with a fabricator, Beaglebone links are even closer.

All those that want more oomph from their tiny computer boards, check out udoo on Kickstarter. A shocking quad core linux+Arduino combo.

I go interested by the R-Pi and ended up moving downwards to Arduino (I had not heard of Arduino before the Pi era), so I won't be needing anything else.
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by pluggy » Tue Apr 23, 2013 7:00 pm
plugwash wrote:Farnell are taking pre-orders

http://uk.farnell.com/jsp/search/produc ... ku=2291620


Placed my order. I have a job for it. A little something the Pi is a tad short on horsepower for....

The Pi 'B's cost me around £27.odd from Farnell, The BBB is £33.odd.
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by jamesh » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:11 pm
adlambert wrote:
jamesh wrote:That is ridiculously cheap. I wouldn't be surprised if that was selling at close to cost, if not at a loss. I reckon the price will go up very soon after launch, if not before! It's got about 5 chips on it for a start!


The Beaglebone board maker is the chipset maker TI, so they can afford to price it how they like. They might have excess production to use up etc. R-Pi is as cheap as it is thanks to close links with a fabricator, Beaglebone links are even closer.

All those that want more oomph from their tiny computer boards, check out udoo on Kickstarter. A shocking quad core linux+Arduino combo.

I go interested by the R-Pi and ended up moving downwards to Arduino (I had not heard of Arduino before the Pi era), so I won't be needing anything else.


I agree that since TI make the chip, and the Beagle, they can price how they like - but I don't reckon they are making very much per board on this - $1 perhaps, once you take distributor markup in to account. That's very low margins for someone like TI. The Foundation is a charity, they can afford low margins, and Broadcom still make money on each 2835.
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