I created http://dietpi.com, and in doing that, i’am lucky enough to have access to a vast number of SBC’s. All of which have their strengths and weaknesses as a computer. I strive on getting the best performance from these devices.
However, time and time again the RPi hardware seems to fall behind the competition and isn't recovering.
So lets look at Raspberry Pi’s “issues as a computer” since the very 1st RPi 1 256mb:
- SDIO limited to 17.5mb/s R/W, unless overclocked.
When we compare this other “other” SBC’s on the market, 83/100mhz is possible for high end cards and automatically detected giving us 35mb/s+.
Other SBC companies have come up with the EMMC module thats allows for upto 125MB/s+ read and write.
- 100Mbit ethernet, sharing the USB bus bandwidth. High latency, and unpredictable performance.
1000Mbit is the standard for other SBC devices in the same price bracket, and even on cheaper SBC’s.
- ARMv6 software. As far as i’am aware (please correct me if i’am wrong) the RPi 2 / 3 is capable for ARMv7+, yet, the Raspbian repo and all its software is still ARMv6.
- BCM-2837 ARM SoC was clearly rushed out.
It runs far too hot (90’c +) and dissipates a worrying amount of heat to the rest of the board, and its connected peripheral: http://imgur.com/wf18qz3
- Where is the 1GBit eth?
- Where is the DDR 3 memory?
- Where is the ability to power down BT/WIFI?
- To bluetooth or to UART? That is the question.
So why are RPi falling behind as a SBC?
I personally believe the Broadcom contract (I’am sure one exists, we only need to look at the Odroid-W getting the “you cant have this ARM” treatment) is restricting development. Its clear that Broadcom is not investing as much time/effort and finances into the ARM development. Yes Broadcom is a UK company and we are proud, but at 1.2GHZ @ 90’c +, its embarrassing considering the competition is capable of 2ghz @ < 60’c.
The RPi 3 feels rushed, most likely to compete with another board release a few days later.
A ARM architecture that needs scrapping and starting again:
We also seem to be limited by this 1GB memory limit on the Broadcom ARM’s. Again, the competition is capable of 2GB+.
What can Raspberry Pi do?
Give us a Raspberry Pi Pro, make it cost more, give us more and we will buy it:
A board to help fund RPi development, a board to tease the inner computer geek in us all.
- DDR3 2GB
- 1Gbit Eth
- USB3.0 (hell, you can even use this 5GB/s USB bus for ethernet)
- 1.5GHz >= clock
- SDcard IO improvements. Or even invent a EMMC module/custom flash media that's capable of reads and writes of 125mb/s +
I’am not here to promote the competition (hence not naming the company), but I strongly believe the C2 is the best all-round SBC on the market today. Yes, it costs more, but they are a company, not a charity. They do not receive tax reliefs or any other charity benefit.
I want to see the RPi come back and show the competition how it's done. Give us something, anything to put you back in the spotlight for innovation and breaking boundaries.
I know you strive to ensure all RPi’s are compatible with each other, we love you for that. But maybe every now and again there comes a point, when starting fresh is the logical solution. Allowing RPi to break through and become the leading innovators of SBC again.
I hope the mods read this and consider not hiding this by simply deleting this post. We only want answers, or some indication RPi is moving forward as a SBC.