Retro Future Electrics

A page about retro electronics, from the introduction of electricity until 1970-something. We refit old gadgets with new tech, and wonder at the makers who came before us.

Raspberry Pi 2 vs Pine64

UPDATE: This page still has good info, but I also have since done a comparison to the Raspberry Pi3

When the Pine64 was first announced on kickstarter I was pretty excited, and kickstarted the 1GB version right away. For $25 including shipping I would get a quad-core 64bit machine with a 4k capable video chip. About 3 weeks ago as of this writing the board arrived in my box!

RaspberryPiVsPine64 - 1

Pine 64 compared to a pen

I had several Raspberry Pi A,B and 2’s around so I was anxious to see how it compared. The initial setup was easy. I did a little searching and it seemed Ubuntu was the most far along in maturity (Remember I like to Make, not play around getting tools to Make) I downloaded the image, put in on an SD card and the Pine64 booted right up on the first shot.

I do most of my work over the network, and this is where the Pine64 really shines. Soon as I started using it I thought “Wow, this seems snappier than my Pi2!”. Then I opened up a X11 window with arduino programmer and I said outloud “Wow, this is really fast!”. If you do a lot on the network, the integrated 1 gigabit ethernet port will be a big difference. The Raspberry Pi’s use an USB ethernet controller, which is limited to 100Mbit, and has additional latentency from the USB overhead.

RaspberryPiVsPine64 - 2

Pi A+ compared to the same pen

I ran some CPU speed tests on the two, as expected tests of 64-bit math were 10-20 times faster than the Pi; but don’t get too excited, the majority of tests were only about 10% faster. Still an increase, but not really much to write home about, especially considering that none of my projects even come close to maxing out the 4-core Pi2. Also I’m guessing that no one is much using these for super-computer work, outside some tech demos.

RaspberryPiVsPine64 - 3

Raspberry Pi 2 (inside a cool Bel-Aire Case) and shockingly the same pen! 

All in All I really liked the Pine64, enough that I ordered some more from their now open store at The Pine64 Website. It’s faster, cheaper, and most importantly to me it has the high speed ethernet.

Pine64 Pros:

  • Cheaper & faster
  • Gigabit ethernet port
  • Additional IO pins and options
  • 4k Video support
  • Unlike the Orange Pi PC, actually works

Pine64 Cons:

  • Currently on backorder for a few months
  • Physically larger than the Pi2, by almost double
  • Made in China, vs the UK
  • Not as well supported in the community, the Raspberry Pi has hundreds of webpages with tips just for it. 

Unknown to me right now is how the new Raspberry Pi 3 on Amazon (June 2022 note, the PI 3 is going for over $200! no way is it worth that! Supply chain is crazy!) would compare, it’s still more expensive at $40, and still has the slower USB based ethernet. My guess is that it will have the same speed up, minus the ethernet bonus.



  1. Dave

    Isn’t cheaper and less expensive the same thing?

    1. (Post author)

      So it does, Fixed!


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