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Alternatives to the Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi has positioned itself as one of the best (or the best) mini computers for all kinds of projects. Since networked storage systems, console emulators ancient and endless things have made many jump for one of these plates. And it is not surprising, to its multiple options is added a very competitive price.
However, the key to success has come from compatible software. There are Linux distributions with very varied uses, also a multitude of guides and other accessories that make it easy for any user, whatever their profile, to be able to enter that world.
But if you have certain knowledge and are looking for other alternatives with, perhaps, better hardware and price benefits, you should know that they exist and we have compiled them.
Rock Pi 4
The Rock Pi 4 It is a very simulate board, like all the ones you will see below, where you find a six-core ARM processor plus a Mali T860MP4 graphics that offers plenty of power to play 4K content at 60 fps resolution. It offers different RAM configurations ranging from 1 GB to 4 GB and all this with various USB 2.0 / 3.0 ports, HDMI output and Gigabit Ethernet connection.
More information about this plate and others from the same manufacturer on the official website. You will also find everything related to the software. And if you are interested, you can buy it here.
Nvidia Jetson Nano
Nvidia Jetson Nano It is the Nvidia alternative to the Raspberry Pi and one of the most interesting devices if you are looking for power. It is true that its price, about 160 euros, place it as one of the most expensive, but it is justified if it is taken into account that it is a product oriented to tasks of Aritificial Intelligence.
This board stands out for its 128-core Maxwell GPU, quad-core ARM processor at 1.43 Ghzy and 4 GB of LPDDR4 RAM. Powerful hardware that adds HDMI 2.0, 4 USB 3.0 and micro USB 2.0 output. plus gigabit ethernet connection. Of course, its price is around 180 euros.
NanoPC T3 Plus
With an 8-core Samsung S5P6818 ARM processor, 2GB of DDR3 RAM, and 8 or 32GB of storage, this is a board highly geared for use with industrial applications. Hence, to use it you need a little more knowledge and, as there is less support, it would be more difficult to find projects or uses as different as with the Raspberry Pi.
In terms of connections, it has HDMI output, ethernet, three USB ports, audio output and power input, as well as two camera interfaces and some other extras.
Asus Tinker Board S
Along with the Nvidia proposal, this Asus board also chooses to be one of the most complete on the market. All a mini PC with a fairly competent processor and a GPU that offers good performance. The highlight of this Asus Tinker Board S is that it offers 16 GB of eMMC storage memory.
Without being so expensive with that of the Nvidia Jetson Nano, this Asus plate costs 97 euros. On the Asus website you have more details about the board, such as the systems you can: RetroPie, Kodi, Flint OS, etc.
With an eight-core Exynos 5422 processor, 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM and Mali T628 MP6 GPU on board Odroid XU4 It offers good performance in all kinds of applications. If you’re looking for a device for console emulation themes, it can be a great option.
In the wiki you can find information about the device and most importantly, the software that you can install for different uses. The prices of the board can vary depending on the additional dissipation system that they can integrate, this one with a passive heatsink costs 118 euros.
Banana Pi M4
The Banana Pi M4 It is an interesting board where, in addition to having a quad-core Realtek RTD1395 ARM processor, Mali 470 MP4 GPU, 1 or 2 GB of RAM and 8 GB of on-board storage, eMMC also gives the option of adding PCI-e M.2 units. and SD cards. All this plus several USB ports, Ethernet connector and HDMI output plus USB C port and headphone jack make it an interesting product.
You can check all the technical specifications here. Incidentally, on the official website you can also see other proposals from the same manufacturer that interest you. The Banana Pi M4 costs 53 euros.
A matter of software
Each and every one of these solutions have their attractiveness and potential use. There are other models that, perhaps, are more specific and less suitable for the less advanced user. Still, although they are very interesting options, you have to do a little research first to know what software type you will be able to install.
If your intention is to create a NAS, an emulator, a multimedia player or a miniPC to carry out basic tasks, it is important that you make sure that you have the appropriate Linux distribution. If what you want is to run Android, well. So now you know, our advice is to keep track of these options and possibilities. And if you have doubts, you can always turn to the Raspberry Pi of which there are thousands of guides online.