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15 Single Board Computers: Alternatives to Raspberry Pi

Brief: Looking for a Raspberry Pi alternative? Here are some other single-board computers to satisfy your DIY cravings.

Raspberry Pi is the most popular single-board computer right now. You can use it for your DIY projects or as a cost-effective system for learning coding – or you can even install media server software on it to stream media at your convenience.

You can do a lot of things with the Raspberry Pi, but it’s not the ultimate solution for every kind of tinkerer. Some might be looking for a cheaper board and some might be on the lookout for a powerful one.

Whatever the case, we need Raspberry Pi alternatives for a variety of reasons. So in this article, we’ll talk about the top ten single-board computers that we think are the best Raspberry Pi alternatives.

Raspberry Pi alternatives

Raspberry Pi alternatives to satisfy your DIY cravings

The list is in no particular order of ranking. Some of the links here are affiliate links. Please read our affiliate policy.

1. Onion Omega2+

Onion Omega 2 Plus Single Board Computer

For just $13, the Omega2+ is one of the cheapest IoT single-board computers you can find out there. It runs on LEDE (Linux Embedded Development Environment) Linux OS – a distribution based on OpenWRT.

Its form factor, cost, and the flexibility that comes from running a customized version of the Linux OS make it a perfect fit for almost any type of IoT application.

You can find the Onion Omega kit on Amazon or order it from their own website, which involves extra shipping charges.

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Key Specifications

  • MT7688 SoC
  • 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.11 b/g/n WiFi
  • 128 MB DDR2 RAM
  • 32 MB on-board flash storage
  • MicroSD slot
  • USB 2.0
  • 12 GPIO pins

2. NVIDIA Jetson Nano Developer Kit [Specially designed for AI projects]

NVIDIA Jetson Nano

This is a very unique and interesting Raspberry Pi alternative from NVIDIA for just $99. Yes, it’s not something that everyone can make use of – but it’s great for a specific group of tinkerers and developers.

NVIDIA explains it for the following use-case:

NVIDIA® Jetson Nano Developer Kit is a small, powerful computer that lets you run multiple neural networks in parallel for applications like image classification, object detection, segmentation, and speech processing. All in an easy-to-use platform that runs in as little as 5 watts.

So, basically, if you’re into AI and deep learning, you can make use of this developer kit.

Key Specifications

  • CPU: Quad-core ARM A57 @ 1.43 GHz
  • GPU: 128-core Maxwell
  • RAM: 4 GB 64-bit LPDDR4 25.6 GB/s
  • Display: HDMI 2.0
  • 4 x USB 3.0 and eDP 1.4

3. ASUS Tinker Board S

Asus Tinker Board is a Raspberry Pi alternative

ASUS Tinker Board S isn’t the most affordable Raspberry Pi alternative at $82 Amazon, but it is a powerful one. It features the same 40-pin connector that you’d normally find in the standard Raspberry Pi 3 Model but offers a powerful processor and a GPU. Also, the size of the Tinker Board S is exactly the same as a standard Raspberry Pi 3.

The main highlight of this board is the presence of a 16 GB eMMC (in layman’s terms, it has SSD-like storage on board, making it faster to work on).

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12/02/2022 03:37 am GMT

Key Specifications

  • Rockchip Quad-Core RK3288 processor
  • 2 GB DDR3 RAM
  • Integrated graphics processor
  • ARM® Mali™-T764 GPU
  • 16 GB eMMC
  • MicroSD card slot
  • 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth V4.0 + EDR
  • USB 2.0
  • 28 GPIO pins
  • HDMI interface

4. ClockworkPi

Clockwork Pi Single Board Computer

ClockworkPi is usually a part of the GameShell Kit if you’re looking to assemble a modular retro gaming console. However, you can purchase the board separately for $49.

Its compact size, WiFi connectivity, and the presence of a micro HDMI port make it a great choice for a lot of things.

Key Specifications

  • Allwinner R16-J Quad-core Cortex-A7 CPU @1.2GHz
  • Mali-400 MP2 GPU
  • RAM: 1GB DDR3
  • WiFi & Bluetooth v4.0
  • Micro HDMI output
  • MicroSD card slot

5. Arduino Mega 2560

Arduino Mega can be used in place of Raspberry Pi

If you’re into robotic projects or you want something for a 3D printer, the Arduino Mega 2560 will be a handy replacement for the Raspberry Pi. Unlike Raspberry Pi, it’s based on a microcontroller, not a microprocessor.

It costs $38.50 on their official site and around $33 on Amazon.

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12/02/2022 03:32 am GMT

Key Specifications

  • Microcontroller: ATmega2560
  • Clock speed: 16 MHz
  • Digital I/O pins: 54
  • Analog input pins: 16
  • Flash memory: 256 KB of which 8 KB used by bootloader

6. Rock64 Media Board

Rock64 Single Board Computer

For the same investment that you would make on a Raspberry Pi 3 B+, you’ll get a faster processor and double the memory with the Rock64 Media Board. In addition, it also offers a cheaper alternative to the Raspberry Pi if you want the 1 GB RAM model, which costs $10 less.

Unlike the Raspberry Pi, you don’t have wireless connectivity support here, but the presence of USB 3.0 and HDMI 2.0 does make a good difference if that matters to you.

Key Specifications

  • Rockchip RK3328 Quad-Core ARM Cortex A53 64-bit processor
  • Supports up to 4GB 1600MHz LPDDR3 RAM
  • eMMC module socket
  • MicroSD card slot
  • USB 3.0
  • HDMI 2.0

7. Odroid-XU4

odroid xu4

Odroid-XU4 is the perfect alternative to Raspberry Pi if you have room to spend a little more ($80-$100 or sometimes less, depending on the store/availability).

It is indeed a powerful replacement and technically a bit smaller in size. The support for eMMC and USB 3.0 makes it faster to work with.

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12/01/2022 11:42 pm GMT

Key Specifications:

  • Samsung Exynos 5422 Octa ARM Cortex™-A15 Quad 2Ghz and Cortex™-A7 Quad 1.3GHz CPUs
  • 2 GB LPDDR3 RAM
  • GPU: Mali-T628 MP6
  • USB 3.0
  • HDMI 1.4a
  • eMMC 5.0 module socket
  • MicroSD card slot

8. PocketBeagle

PocketBeagle is an incredibly small SBC – quite similar to the Raspberry Pi Zero. However, it costs the same as a full-sized Raspberry Pi 3 model. The main highlight here is that you can use it as a USB key-fob and then access the Linux terminal to work on it.

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12/02/2022 03:42 am GMT

Key Specifications

  • Processor: Octavo Systems OSD3358 1GHz ARM® Cortex-A8
  • RAM: 512 MB DDR3
  • 72 expansion pin headers
  • microUSB
  • USB 2.0

9. Le Potato

Le Potato AML Libre Single Board Computer

Le Potato by Libre Computer is also identified by its model number AML-S905X-CC. It would cost you around $45.

If you want double the memory along with an HDMI 2.0 interface and you don’t mind spending a bit more than a Raspberry Pi would cost you – this is the perfect choice. However, you won’t find wireless connectivity baked in.

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12/01/2022 09:42 pm GMT

Key Specifications

  • Amlogic S905X SoC
  • 2GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • USB 2.0
  • HDMI 2.0
  • microUSB
  • MicroSD card slot
  • eMMC interface

10. Banana Pi M64

This one comes loaded with an 8 GB eMMC – which is the key highlight of this Raspberry Pi alternative. Because of this, it will cost you $60.

The presence of an HDMI interface makes it 4K-ready. In addition, Banana Pi offers a much greater variety of open-source SBCs as an alternative to Raspberry Pi.

Key Specifications

  • 1.2 Ghz Quad-Core ARM Cortex A53 64-Bit Processor-R18
  • 2GB DDR3 SDRAM
  • 8 GB eMMC
  • WiFi & Bluetooth
  • USB 2.0
  • HDMI

11. Orange Pi Zero

orange pi zero

The Orange Pi Zero is an incredibly cheap alternative to the Raspberry Pi. You’ll be able to get it for less than $10 on AliExpress or Amazon. For a little more investment, you can get 512 MB of RAM.

If that isn’t sufficient, you can also go for the Orange Pi 3 with better specifications, which will cost you around $25.

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Key Specifications:

  • H2 Quad-core Cortex-A7
  • Mali400MP2 GPU
  • RAM: Up to 512 MB
  • TF Card support
  • WiFi
  • USB 2.0

12. VIM2 SBC by Khadas

Khadas Vim 2 Single Board Computers

VIM 2 by Khadas is one of the latest SBCs that you can grab with Bluetooth 5.0 on board. It starts from $99 (the basic model) and goes up to $140.

The basic model includes 2 GB of RAM, a 16 GB eMMC and Bluetooth 4.1. However, the Pro/Max versions include Bluetooth 5.0, more memory, and more eMMC storage.

Key Specifications

  • Amlogic S912 1.5GHz 64-bit Octa-Core CPU
  • T820MP3 GPU
  • Up to 3 GB DDR4 RAM
  • Up to 64 GB eMMC
  • Bluetooth 5.0 (Pro/Max)
  • Bluetooth 4.1 (Basic)
  • HDMI 2.0a
  • WiFi

13. NanoPi NEO2

Neo2 Pi

If you want a cheap and customizable Raspberry Pi alternative, the NanoPi NEO2 should do the job.

It may not be the most powerful in the range, but you can opt to purchase a heatsink, case, and a lot more accessories as add-ons for it. You should be able to get it for about $20.

Key Specifications:

  • Allwinner H5, Quad-core 64-bit high-performance Cortex A53
  • 2.54mm pitch 10 pin-header, includes UART, I2C, IO, 5VIN/(or OUT), etc
  • 32-bit 1GB DDR3
  • One eMMC flash module socket
  • 10/100/1000M Ethernet, RTL8211E-VB-CG chip
  • MicroSD x 1
  • Armbian OS support

14. Helios64 by Kobol

Kobol H64

Helios64 was scheduled to be commercially available in January 2020. You can start pre-ordering it according to their official announcement post.

If you’re keeping an eye out for a board fit for making a NAS server, this should be very good – although we haven’t tried it personally. You can give it a try if it looks interesting enough.

You can opt for either just the board or the total bundle including the case. Do note that this board is on the expensive side – so it may not necessarily be a good Raspberry Pi alternative for everyone. The board alone will cost you $189 if you pre-order it (including the heatsink).

Key Specifications:

  • ARM 64-bit Hexacore SoC RK3399(K) (2x Cortex A-72 and 4x Cortex-A53)
  • LPDDR4 – 4GB
  • eMMC 5.1 – 16GB
  • 5x SATA 3.0
  • M.2 SATA slot (shared with one SATA 3.0)
  • 2.5 Gbe Ethernet
  • 1 GB Ethernet
  • USB Type-C (DP and DAS mode)
  • 3x USB3.0
  • microSD
  • On-board HDD power
  • Built-in UPS (battery in option)
  • Dual DC input
  • Rich IO interfaces (i2c, spi, uart, gpio and more…)
  • 2x PWM fan
  • Nano-ITX form factor (120 x 120mm)

15. ODROID-HC2

Odroid Hc2

This is technically almost the same as the Odroid XU4 mentioned above. However, if you want to make a Network Attached Storage server at an affordable price, you can consider this single-board computer instead of a Raspberry Pi.

Key Specifications:

  • Samsung Exynos5422 Cortex-A15 2Ghz and Cortex-A7 Octa core CPUs
  • 2GB LPDDR3 RAM PoP stacked
  • SATA-3 port for 3.5 inch or 2.5 inch HDD/SSD storage up to 27mm thickness
  • Gigabit Ethernet port
  • USB 2.0 host
  • UHS-1 capable micro-SD card slot for boot media
  • Size : 197 x 115 x 42 mm approx. (Aluminium cooling frame size)
  • Supports Linux server OS images based on modern Kernel 4.14 LTS
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12/01/2022 11:32 pm GMT

Wrapping Up

We do know that there are different types of single-board computers. Some are better than the Raspberry Pi – and some are scaled-down versions of it with a cheaper price tag. Also, SBCs like the Jetson Nano have been tailored for a specific use. So depending on what you require, you should verify the specifications of the single-board computer.

The gadgets discussed here are more in the range of ~$50. If you want something cheaper, read our list of Raspberry Pi Zero alternatives.

If you know about any alternatives that may be better than the ones mentioned above, feel free to let us know in the comments below.

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