It’s the showdown of the century! Or, at least, it might be the showdown of the century for hobbyists and tech geeks. In one corner we have the Raspberry Pi, a credit card-sized microcomputer that has taken the world by storm. And in the other corner we have…the Banana Pi! This little guy is quickly gaining popularity as a viable alternative to the Raspberry Pi. So which one is better? Let’s take a closer look at both devices and find out!
What Is Single Board Computing?
This includes the processor, RAM, storage, input/output (I/O) interfaces, and more. SBCs are ideal for embedded systems and applications where space is limited. 
What Is Banana Pi?
It is similar in specs to the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B, but it has some extra features that make it a more versatile board. For one, Banana Pi has an on-board WiFi module, so it does not need to be connected to an external WiFi router. It also has an Ethernet port and an HDMI port.
What Is Raspberry Pi?
The Raspberry Pi Foundation, situated in the United Kingdom, developed these computers with the goal of advancing computer science education in schools and underdeveloped countries.
The original model was so popular that it ended up selling to people outside its target market who used it for other purposes, such as robotics. It does not include peripherals (such as keyboards and mice) or cases. However, some accessories have been included in several official and unofficial bundles.
Banana Pi vs Raspberry Pi: Differences
The Banana Pi has 1GB of RAM while the Raspberry Pi only has 512MB. If you need to do memory-intensive work with a single-board computer, the Banana Pi is more powerful than other options.
Both the Banana Pi and the Raspberry Pi use ARM processors. However, the Banana Pi uses a Cortex A7 chip while the Raspberry Pi uses a Cortex A53. This means that the Banana Pi is actually more powerful than the Raspberry Pi, even though it’s cheaper. 
The Banana Pi comes with 8GB of on-board storage while the Raspberry Pi only has 4GB. This is a significant difference and it means that you can store more files and programs on the Banana Pi without having to use an external storage device.
The Banana Pi has more ports than the Raspberry Pi. This device comes with four USB 2.0 ports, one HDMI port, one Ethernet port, and an audio jack. The Raspberry Pi only has two USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port, and an audio jack. So, if you need to connect more devices to your single-board computer, the Banana Pi is the way to go.
The Banana Pi has a more powerful GPU than the Raspberry Pi. It’s able to handle 1080p video at 60fps while the Raspberry Pi can only handle 720p video at 30fps.
The Banana Pi has a faster Ethernet speed than the Raspberry Pi. It can reach up to 100Mbps while the Raspberry Pi can only reach up to 10Mbps.
The Banana Pi has Bluetooth 4.0 while the Raspberry Pi only has Bluetooth 2.0.
The Banana Pi has an on-board WiFi module, while the Raspberry Pi does not. This means that if you want to use the latter for any sort of wireless project, you’ll need to invest in a separate WiFi dongle.
The Raspberry Pi’s GPIO pins are digital, meaning that they can only be used to read data that is either on or off. The Banana Pi’s GPIO pins, on the other hand, are analog, meaning that they can be used to read data that is in a range of values. This makes the Banana Pi better suited for projects that involve reading sensor data. 
The Banana Pi can output video at resolutions up to 4K, while the Raspberry Pi is limited to 1080p. This makes the Banana Pi a better choice if you want to use it as a media center or for any other application that requires high-definition video.
The Banana Pi is more expensive than the Raspberry Pi, but it’s still relatively affordable at around $35. The Raspberry Pi, on the other hand, is even more affordable at just $25.
The Banana Pi can run a variety of operating systems, including Android, Ubuntu, and Raspbian. The Raspberry Pi is also compatible with a wide range of OSes, but it’s worth noting that Raspbian is the officially supported platform.
The Banana Pi is slightly heavier than the Raspberry Pi, weighing in at around 45 grams. The latter weighs just 35 grams.
Ease of Use
The Raspberry Pi is generally considered to be easier to use than the Banana Pi. This is because the former has better documentation and a more active community.
The Banana Pi has a built-in microphone, while the Raspberry Pi does not. This means that if you want to use the latter for any sort of audio-related project, you’ll need to invest in a separate microphone.
Suitable Projects for a Banana Pi and Raspberry Pi
Banana Pis are often compared to their close relative, the Raspberry Pi. But which one is better? It really depends on what project you’re working on. Here’s a quick overview of some of the projects that are best suited for each board.
- Home Theater PCs: The Raspberry Pi is a great choice for a home theater PC. Its small size and low power consumption make it easy to integrate into your existing entertainment setup. Plus, there are plenty of operating systems and software packages available for the Raspberry Pi that will turn it into a fully-fledged HTPC.
- Retro Gaming Consoles: Another popular use for the Raspberry Pi is as a retro gaming console. Thanks to its HDMI output, the Pi can be easily connected to a TV or monitor. And there are a number of software packages that allow you to turn the Pi into a retro gaming machine, including the popular RetroPie distribution. 
- Surveillance Cameras: The Raspberry Pi can also be used as the basis for a surveillance camera system. By connecting one or more cameras to the Pi, you can create a low-cost, network-attached security camera system.
- OpenWrt Routers: The Banana Pi is often used as the basis for open source router projects such as OpenWRT. This is due to the Banana Pi’s support for multiple Ethernet ports and its SATA interface (which allows for faster data transfer speeds).
- NAS Devices: The Banana Pi’s support for multiple Serial ATA (SATA) hard drives makes it a great choice for building a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device. There are a number of open source software packages that can be used to turn the Banana Pi into a fully-fledged NAS server.
- IoT Devices: The Banana Pi is also a popular choice for building IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Thanks to its small size and low power consumption, the Banana Pi is well-suited for use in battery-powered IoT applications. Plus, there are a number of open source software packages available that make it easy to interface the Banana Pi with various sensors and actuators. 
So, which board is better? It really depends on the project you’re working on. If you’re looking to build a home theater PC or retro gaming console, the Raspberry Pi is a great choice. If you’re looking to build a router or NAS device, the Banana Pi is a better option. And if you’re looking to build an IoT device, the Banana Pi is also a good choice. Ultimately, it comes down to what you need the board for.
Pros and Cons of Raspberry Pi and Banana Pi
It has a wide range of applications in fields such as smart homes, robotics, and industrial automation. The Banana Pi is a similar device, but with some key differences. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of each board to help you decide which is right for your next project.
- Affordability: The Raspberry Pi is one of the most affordable single-board computers on the market. This makes it a great option for those on a budget or for students who are just getting started with electronics projects.
- Flexibility: The Raspberry Pi is a very versatile board. It can be used for a wide range of projects, from basic electronics experiments to complex robotics projects.
- Ease of Use: The Raspberry Pi is an easy to use platform. There is a large community of users and ample documentation available. This makes it a great option for those who are new to single-board computers or electronics in general.
- Limited Processing Power: The Raspberry Pi is a low-powered device. This can be limiting for more complex projects that require more processing power.
- No Built-in Storage: The Raspberry Pi does not have any built-in storage. Data and files can only be stored if the board is connected to a network or an external storage device.
- More Powerful Processor: The Banana Pi is equipped with a more powerful processor than the Raspberry Pi. This makes it a better option for projects that require more processing power.
- Built-in Storage: The Banana Pi has built-in storage, which means you don’t need to use an external storage device or connect the board to a network in order to store files and data.
- Higher Price: The Banana Pi is more expensive than the Raspberry Pi. This may be a limiting factor for those on a budget.
- Less Flexible: The Banana Pi is not as flexible as the RaspberryPi. It is not as easily adapted to a wide range of projects.
Which is Better: Raspberry Pi or Banana Pi?
If you’re looking for a single-board computer that can do it all, the Raspberry Pi is hard to beat. It’s inexpensive, powerful, and easy to use, making it ideal for a wide range of applications.
The Banana Pi, on the other hand, is a bit more versatile. While it’s not as powerful as the Raspberry Pi, it offers more I/O options and expandability. It’s also a bit cheaper, which makes it a great option for budget-conscious makers.
So, which one should you choose? That depends on your needs and preferences.
Things to Consider When Using SBCs
There are a few key things to keep in mind when considering which SBC is right for your needs. Here are a few of the most important factors:
- Processing power – One of the most important things to consider when choosing an SBC is how much processing power you need. If you’re just using your board for simple tasks like web browsing or media streaming, then you don’t need as much power and can save some money by going with a cheaper option. On the other hand, if you’re planning on using your SBC for more intensive tasks like gaming or video editing, then you’ll need to make sure you choose a board with enough processing power to handle those activities.
- Connectivity – Another important thing to consider is the connectivity options offered by each board. Some boards only have a few basic ports while others offer a wide variety of ports and expansion options. It’s important to make sure you choose a board that offers the right mix of ports for your needs.
- Price – Of course, price is always an important consideration when choosing any type of technology product. SBCs can range in price from around $25 to over $200 depending on the features and processing power you need. It’s important to find the right balance between price and features to get the best value for your money.
- Operating system compatibility – Not all operating systems are compatible with all SBCs. If you have a specific operating system you want to use, make sure to check compatibility before making your purchase.
- Community support – When choosing an SBC, it’s also important to consider the level of community support available. Some boards have large and active communities while others are more limited in terms of support. If you’re new to using SBCs, it might be helpful to choose a board with a large and supportive community so you can get help when needed.
Types of SBCs
Now that you know what to look for when choosing an SBC, let’s take a closer look at some of the most popular types of boards available.
- Raspberry Pi – The Raspberry Pi is one of the most popular SBCs on the market and for good reason. It’s a low-cost board with a wide range of features and support from a large community. It’s also one of the easiest boards to get started with thanks to its wide range of compatible operating systems and software.
- Banana Pi – The Banana Pi is another popular SBC that offers many of the same features as the Raspberry Pi but at a slightly higher price point. It’s a great option for those who need a bit more processing power or who want to use their board for more intensive tasks.
- Odroid – The Odroid is a powerful single-board computer (SBC) with a wide range of features. Though it’s among the most costly boards available, it’s also one of the strongest. The Odroid is perfect for power-hungry tasks such as gaming and video editing.
- BeagleBone – Another popular option is the BeagleBone, which provides good processing power and a diverse set of features. With a slightly higher cost than the Raspberry Pi, you get more value for your money. 
- LattePanda – The LattePanda is a powerful and versatile SBC that offers great features and processing power. Although it’s slightly more expensive than the Raspberry Pi, you get good bang for your buck with this product.
- Jetson Nano – The Jetson Nano is an SBC designed for artificial intelligence and machine learning applications. It’s one of the most powerful boards on the market but it’s also one of the most expensive. If you need an SBC for AI or ML applications, the Jetson Nano is worth considering.
- Tinker Board – If you’re looking for a powerful single-board computer with tons of features, the Tinker Board might be the right fit for you. Although it’s slightly more expensive than the Raspberry Pi, you get more features for your money.
- UP Board – The UP Board is a high-end SBC with a powerful processor and a wide range of features. It’s one of the most expensive boards on the market but it’s also one of the most powerful. If you need an SBC for intensive tasks like gaming or video editing, the UP Board is worth considering.
- Kano Computer Kit – The Kano Computer Kit is an SBC designed for education and tinkering. It’s a great option for those who want to learn about how computers work or for those who want to build their own projects. 
- ASUS Tinker Board S – The ASUS Tinker Board S is another popular option that offers good processing power and a wide range of features. It’s a bit more expensive than the Raspberry Pi but it’s still a good value for what you get.
Choosing the right SBC for your needs can be a challenge but it’s important to take the time to find the right board for your project. There are a wide variety of SBCs on the market and each one offers its own unique set of features and benefits. When making your decision, be sure to consider the factors we’ve discussed so you can choose the best board for your needs.
How to Use SBC?
Now that you’ve chosen the right SBC for your needs, it’s time to learn how to use it. While each board is different, there are a few general tips you can follow to get started.
- Install the operating system – The first thing you’ll need to do is install an operating system on your SBC. This can be done using a USB flash drive or a microSD card. If you’re not sure which OS to choose, check out our guide to the best Raspberry Pi operating systems.
- Connect your peripherals – Once you’ve installed the OS, you’ll need to connect your peripherals like a keyboard, mouse, and monitor. You can also connect other devices like a camera or USB storage.
- Install applications – Once your SBC is up and running, you’ll need to install applications. This can be done using a package manager like apt or yum. Alternatively, you can compile and install applications from source.
- Connect to the internet – If you want to use your SBC for tasks like web browsing or streaming media, you’ll need to connect it to the internet. This can be done using a wired or wireless connection.
- Learn the basics -Once you’ve got your SBC up and running, it’s time to learn the basics. This includes learning how to use the command line, how to edit files, and how to install applications.
Is there anything better than a Raspberry Pi?
The answer, of course, is yes. The Banana Pi is a credit card sized computer that is just as powerful as the Raspberry Pi. It can be used for all the same things, but it has some extra features that make it a better choice for certain projects.
What are the extra features of the Banana Pi?
The Banana Pi has two CPU cores instead of one, making it faster and more powerful. It also has an on-board WiFi adapter, so you don’t need to buy a separate WiFi dongle. Plus, the Banana Pi comes with an SATA port, so you can connect a hard drive or SSD for even more storage space.
Is the Banana Pi more expensive than the Raspberry Pi?
No, the Banana Pi is actually less expensive than the Raspberry Pi. You can find it for around $35.
Can Raspberry Pi run on Banana Pi?
The eternal question, can Raspberry Pi run on Banana Pi? The answer is, unfortunately, no. However, you can use a Banana Pi as a co-processor for your Raspberry Pi.
What OS is Banana Pi?
Banana Pi is an open source hardware project. The Banana Pi computer is capable of running multiple Linux distributions, including Debian, Ubuntu, Raspbian, and Android. It has a 1 GHz Cortex-A7 dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM, HDMI output, Ethernet port, two USB 2.0 ports, and a microSD card slot.
Why is there a shortage of Raspberry Pi?
It is a capable little device that enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to learn how to program in languages like Scratch and Python. Its affordable price makes it an attractive platform for building digital maker projects. The Raspberry Pi is manufactured in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a charity committed to promoting the education of people in computing.
What can I do with a banana pi?
It can be used as a desktop computer, a home media center, or a low-power server. It is also a great platform for building networked applications such as file sharing, web hosting, and video streaming.
Is Raspberry Pi open source?
The Raspberry Pi is an open source project. The hardware and software are both open source. The Raspberry Pi Foundation provides a free operating system, called Raspbian, which is based on the popular Debian Linux distribution. Raspbian is a free and open source operating system for the Raspberry Pi.
What is a Pi computer?
The Raspberry Pi is a series of small single-board computers developed in the United Kingdom by the Raspberry Pi Foundation to promote teaching of basic computer science in schools and developing countries. The original model became far more popular than anticipated, selling outside its target market for uses such as robotics. It does not include peripherals (such as keyboards and mice) or cases. However, some accessories have been included in several official and unofficial bundles. The Banana Pi is a low cost, credit card sized computer that can be used for a variety of applications. It is a capable little device that enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to learn how to program in languages like Scratch and Python. Its affordable price makes it an attractive platform for building digital maker projects.
Useful Video: Raspberry Pi 2 VS Orange Pi VS Banana Pro
So, which is better: the Raspberry Pi or the Banana Pi? The answer, as with most things in life, is “it depends.” If you need something that’s small and portable, the Raspberry Pi is probably your best bet. But if you’re looking for something with a bit more power, the Banana Pi might be a better choice. Ultimately, it all comes down to your specific needs and preferences.
What do you think? Are you Team Raspberry Pi or Team Banana Pi? Let us know in the comments!