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 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.

 

–CTP

 

2 Comments

  1. Dave

    Isn’t cheaper and less expensive the same thing?

    Reply
    1. j@schaab.com (Post author)

      So it does, Fixed!

      Reply

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