W. H. Heydt
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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:09 pm

Burngate wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:19 am
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Thu Aug 22, 2019 10:11 pm
When all is said and done, Dr. Upton is a nice guy.
He's also a clever guy. Not many have both.
I have to agree with that, too.
Since the whole idea at the start was to make them cheap enough to be seen as replaceable (unlike every other machine around at the time) does anyone have any knowledge of how successful it's been in introducing youngsters to computing?
I can't speak to statistics, but my grandson has learned a fair amount of Scratch because of the Pi I set up for him. (A Pi3B at present. In a few months--when things are a bit more stable--I'll probably upgrade that to a Pi4B2.)

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jbeale
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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:31 pm

> how successful it's been in introducing youngsters to computing?

My take: there is no one thing that magically makes many people interested in computing who didn't already have some interest. For those who are interested (of any age) the R-Pi is a great choice, and an unusually good value.

ejolson
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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:35 pm

jbeale wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:31 pm
> how successful it's been in introducing youngsters to computing?

My take: there is no one thing that magically makes many people interested in computing who didn't already have some interest. For those who are interested (of any age) the R-Pi is a great choice, and an unusually good value.
My wife did CS at the university before the Raspberry Pi. Her claim, paraphrased as I understood it, is that because of taking care of her little brother she did a lot of playing with the kind of toys designed for boys. There were also a few teachers in school who recognized her talent and interests in programming and directed her towards a suitable university and degree. If I'm allowed to generalise from this one data point, it would seem having a computer literate teacher or mentor is as important as playing with a the right kind of creative building toys when younger.

It is an important competitive advantage in my opinion, that Raspberry Pi means not just hardware, but educational materials, training teachers and creating good will towards all computers.

Fraoch
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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:25 pm

It's quite fair to say that the Raspberry Pi leads and others follow.

Other companies have time to come out with something that may beat a Raspberry Pi's specs, they just develop it after a new Pi has been released. Most find it hard to release something that will beat a current Pi for the same price. Heck, it's easy to come out with something that will beat the Pi if you're not concerned about the price...

The bar has been raised with the Pi 4, of course. I guess the better question is "Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2020" when follow-up products come out aimed at competing with the Pi 4.

Personally I'm very interested in the PineTab - hope it's out for Christmas as that would be what I would ask for. I guess the CPU specs would be similar to the Pi 3B+ except 2 GB RAM and 64 bit. I wonder if sales of competing boards took a tumble after the release of the Pi 4 and I wonder if in-development projects like the PineTab will be delayed as they update the SoC to compete with the Pi 4.

Any new alternative boards that were in development will now have to be revamped and their release delayed.
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alphanumeric
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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Fri Aug 23, 2019 7:39 pm

I was mulling over buying an ASUS Tinker Board. Kept putting it off though, hoping a new Pi with similar specs and performance would happen. And then the Pi 4 arrived. Being a brand loyal kind of guy I bought the Pi 4 instead. The only reason I even considered buying the ASUS Tinker Board was because I have an ASUS laptop and two ASUS motherboard based desktops that have not let me down after years and years of use. That brand loyal thing, ;).

LTolledo
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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:53 pm

Fraoch wrote: Other companies have time to come out with something that may beat a Raspberry Pi's specs, they just develop it after a new Pi has been released.
"..... most of the other SBCs that were boasted as "RPi killers" are either dead or dying......"

primary reason: dismal lack of support from SBC makers themselves
secondary reason: high price (some were even outrageously/exorbitantly high priced)
third reason: lack of optional hardware support, or if it even exist, same reason as first 2 above

the only reason that's keeping those "barely alive" is "third party support", and some SBCs are already being dropped by those third party support providers
alphanumeric wrote: I was mulling over buying an ASUS Tinker Board. Kept putting it off though, .....


I think you've made a very good decision foregoing on getting the ATB...
but if you're a "collector" (like me ;) ) then I maybe its OK..... :D
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W. H. Heydt
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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:24 pm

LTolledo wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:53 pm
secondary reason: high price (some were even outrageously/exorbitantly high priced)
I tend to hark back to when the original Model B was launched.... At the time, the dominant SBC in the DIY/maker market was the Beagle Bone. It sold for $90. Then the Pi arrived with substantially the same specs, plus some extras, for....$35. The Beagleboard response was a new model at $45. Within a year, the Pi was outselling Beagle boards by about 5 to 1.

Fundamentally, the Pi set a new standard for what to expect in the way of exposed interfaces and the price to get them. When you add a *very* active user community providing quality support, backed by a solid team providing the software, it has turned out to be an unbeatable combination. That one knows that the profits are going to the good cause of furthering education--and one gets to see and hear about what's being down in those areas--helps a lot, too. Then you get to cases where a problem surfaces. The RPF (and, later, the RPT as well) steps up, admits when they've made a mistake (rather that hiding it and hoping the furor will go away) and works to fix it.

One might be tempted to think that the RPF/RPT reticence about future plans would adversely impact their products, but the open way they handle issues and fixes for existing products counters that quite effectively.

Now if they'd just market replacement controller boards for those of us with extremely early RPF displays....:-)

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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:20 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:24 pm
Then you get to cases where a problem surfaces. The RPF (and, later, the RPT as well) steps up, admits when they've made a mistake (rather that hiding it and hoping the furor will go away) and works to fix it.
To varying degrees.

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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:54 am

To make a long story short: THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE! RPi or die! There are tons of cheap thingys out there...esp8266 and cousins,nodemcu boards, on and on...the support sucks, especially if you are Linux based. Even blogs/tutorials that are supposedly written for Linux somewhere revert back and reference W$ executables. I think they are all translated back to Linux from being originally W$ pap and they just don't reproduce. A lot of writers get all excited and write glib "stuff " that leaves out essential steps and does not reproduce. I really hate those @#$!!. You follow their garbage and waste your time.

I just wasted today, not to mention a few $$$, on my newly acquired NodeMCU boards, searching, downloading, installing, etc. with absolutely nothing to show for it. There are some good uses for the Arduino but the rest of the pack sucks. No support or its all W$ garbage. Good that they are cheap...my trash can awaits. My time is worth much more to me than the purchase price.

RPF/RPT, their mods and writers have done a pretty dogoned good job of providing decent support for their product and they are to be commended for the effort...it is no small contributor to their success.

By the way, it really pulls my chain when I see RPi articles written for W$/iMac crips but I guess they need to be pulled along to the light.

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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:36 am

I also have those NodeMCU boards...never used those... just tucked away in my parts inventory...

the only "RPi Alternative" that I actively use are the NanoPi Neo2 and the Rock64-1G (not the Rock64Pro).
others that I've acquired were setup once.... got disappointed... and then shelved.... :)
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Gavinmc42
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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:03 am

A PC is an alternative to a Pi?
While Dad messes with toy computers, son grabs his old Windows PC and is now scripting RoBlox games.
When the PC is on, a tablet is on a YT channel.

Tablets are an alternative?
When we can code for tablets easily on a Pi then they are complimentary like Microbits.
Microbit/Tablet/PC- Pi's cross those barriers.
Alternatives? Nope just more toys to play with.
Those other "Pi's" are just more seasoning in the stew with Pi's being the meaty lumps.
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bensimmo
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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:18 am

The nodeMCU are simple, stick the prebuild firmwares on (espeasy V2, tasmota, etc ) that with the sensors section and off you go.
Add sensors and send data.
Other have micropython running on them so can port code over, they are of course not desktop computers.
They are not the same things a Pi.

Though it is, for me, easier* from windows. But then I prefer windows to Linux desktops.

*because it all just click and do :-) no pointless command line typing.

Heater
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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 7:25 am

The best alternative to your Raspberry Pi in 2019 will go down on record as...

The Raspberry Pi 4.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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scruss
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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:27 pm

Fraoch wrote:
Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:25 pm
Personally I'm very interested in the PineTab …
The original PineBook was slightly better than it should have been for the money, but Pine's support for it wasn't great. I don't think that you'll see a new CPU on the PineTab: if it's shipping about now, they'll have locked down hardware. The LPDDR3 memory alone will make it noticeably slower than the Raspberry Pi 4.
wh7qq wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:54 am
… I just wasted today, not to mention a few $$$, on my newly acquired NodeMCU boards, searching, downloading, installing, etc. with absolutely nothing to show for it. There are some good uses for the Arduino but the rest of the pack sucks. No support or its all W$ garbage.
Haven't had any problems using ESP8266/nodemcu (they're the same thing) under Linux. You can't develop for ESP32 on a Raspberry Pi, but the others work fine. If you realize they're not much more than a CPU with some flash and a little memory that can talk to a wifi network, they're great — within their limitations.

The undocumented bit is not really surprising: they were designed as very cheap serial wifi interfaces for internal use in China on the cheapest tablets and phones. There's no one company supporting them, and it's almost all community support. The use cases I have for ESP8266 boards are:
  1. flash MicroPython on it and use it as a general-purpose remote wifi sensor/controller.
  2. install 3rd party board support for the ESP8266 into the Arduino IDE. Compiling and programming can be a bit slow, but most (non AVR specific) code should just work, within hardware port limitations.
  3. ESP8266s are now the way that retrocomputers connect to the internet: either serial for telnet to BBSs, or rather more fancy direct SLIP connections.
Maybe try 'em again before throwing them out.
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W. H. Heydt
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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 4:35 pm

I think what it comes down to is, the best alternative to any Pi is the next Pi to be released.

hippy
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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:37 pm

wh7qq wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:54 am
W$/iMac crips
:?: - Care to explain what you mean by that ?

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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:22 pm

hippy wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 5:37 pm
wh7qq wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:54 am
W$/iMac crips
:?: - Care to explain what you mean by that ?
I don't think it was meant in a personal way. Since I like crisps, I'm planning to take it as a compliment.

I suspect the alternatives to the Pi on many people's minds are single-board computers based on the RK3328 and RK3399. Those systems on a chip are also manufactured using a 28nm process and have gigabit Ethernet, USB3, GPIO, built-in GPU, PCIe and the ability to address more than 1GB RAM.

While the none of the competitors ship in the same volumes as the Raspberry Pi, it is notable that similar RK-based SBCs are available from multiple manufacturers. As a result, the upstream Linux kernel is starting to run on all of them fairly well.

While the Raspberry Pi is comparable in terms of popularity and market share to the original IBM PC, the engineering and innovation of the Pi seems to be more comparable with early systems from Sun Microsystems. In my opinion it is, therefore, important to carefully study the rise and setting of the Sun in order not to make the same mistakes.

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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:35 pm

ejolson wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 6:22 pm
While the Raspberry Pi is comparable in terms of popularity and market share to the original IBM PC, the engineering and innovation of the Pi seems to be more comparable with early systems from Sun Microsystems. In my opinion it is, therefore, important to carefully study the rise and setting of the Sun in order not to make the same mistakes.
Not sure what mistakes you're referring to, they made so many!

In my view, a key advantage of the RPF/RPT is its relationship with Broadcom. Broadcom has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to packing as much stuff as possible on a single CMOS die. It doesn't make CPUs, it makes SOCs (as opposed to Intel for example), reducing manufacturing cost by lowering BOM size.
It's um...uh...well it's kinda like...and it's got a bit of...

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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:41 pm

'best' is subjective.
Yes, there are alternatives available, but which is 'best' or even 'useful' depends highly on what one intends to do with it, much like the Pi isn't always the right tool for the job. More often than not, it is simply the cheapest so people blindly use it without considering if it's even the right device to use...

To give an idea, a car analogy...
Would a supercar or a 4WD be 'best' to take through a dense jungle? Clearly the 4WD, but what of on smooth tarmac? Naturally the supercar is better.
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LTolledo
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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Sun Oct 06, 2019 11:22 pm

Imperf3kt wrote:'best' is subjective.
I tend to agree with this...
your "best" may not be best for me or anybody else, the "best" for me may not be for you or anybody else.
each have their own preference (price, usability, support, availability, etc)
Heater wrote: The best alternative to your Raspberry Pi in 2019 will go down on record as...

The Raspberry Pi 4.
at the moment this is the reigning champion (for me)..... :D
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alnaseh
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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Mon Oct 07, 2019 2:33 am

I believe that Raspberry is leading the generic tinkering boards with very few alternatives in the market as a second choice.
But once you have a use case and you are willing to pay little bit more, you can find better options out there e.g. GPU and camera system.

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:10 am

The Nvidia Jetson range is impressive and so is their pricing :lol:
Professional pricing not home hacking firmware.
Would have to make a very strong case to the finance manager to get those approved for home use.
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thatchunkylad198966
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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:00 pm

None.
There's other SBC's like ODROID or PINE64 but their software/support can't match that of the RaspberryPi.
#Justsaying
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W. H. Heydt
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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Mon Oct 07, 2019 11:04 pm

thatchunkylad198966 wrote:
Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:00 pm
None.
There's other SBC's like ODROID or PINE64 but their software/support can't match that of the RaspberryPi.
#Justsaying
Which is a big reason why anyone without a detailed knowledge of systems a programming with regards to other possible boards should start with a Pi. Once they've worked through whatever project they have in mind, *then* they can look around to see if there is another SBC (or even MCU) that better suits their needs and learn how to use it.

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Re: Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives 2019

Tue Oct 08, 2019 1:52 am

The Jetson Nano Dev kit with its Maxwell architecture with 128 NVIDIA CUDA cores looks mighty interesting at $100. Excellent documentation and software support from Nvidia. A good choice for anyone interested in parallel processing.

Not suggested as an Pi alternative, it doesn't target the same audience.
It's um...uh...well it's kinda like...and it's got a bit of...

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