The original Raspberry Pi started the credit card-sized single-board computer craze that continues to this day. Raspberry managed to singlehandedly create an entirely new niche and encourage many investors to create fascinating inventions and help students learn programming and hardware prototyping. It also inspired other companies to follow in its footsteps by offering customers compelling alternatives that often outperform the Raspberry in more than one aspect.

Among these is the Pinea64, a powerful 64-bit expandable single board computer with a goal is to be the most affordable 64-bit computing solution to the world, according to its creators. In this article, we are taking a look at both the Raspberry Pi 3 and the Pinea64 to see their advantages and disadvantages.

Why You Should Buy the Raspberry Pi 3

The third generation Raspberry Pi has been introduced in February 2016, and it continues to expand upon the proven form-factor of its previous generations. This time, power is provided by a 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARMv8 CPU, which includes four ARM Cortex-A53 processing cores and a VideoCore IV graphics processor. Unfortunately, there’s still only 1GB of RAM available, so more demanding desktop applications remain very difficult to use.

Probably the best feature of the Raspberry Pi 3 is the built-in Broadcom BCM43438 chip that takes care of Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth Low Energy BLE), and Bluetooth 4.1 support. Finally, you won’t have to purchase an optional module, nor mess around with an external antenna.

Two most noticeable downsides are the lack of a gigabit Ethernet port and a proper USB 3.0 support. Still, at around $35, the Raspberry Pi 3 is a great upgrade of what already was a great little computer.

So, why should you buy the Raspberry Pi 3? The answer is simple: because of its amazing community and industry support. Yes, there are more powerful, more versatile, and even more affordable computers out there, but none of them gets even close to what the Pi 3 offers in terms of the sheer amount of information available online.

Why You Should Buy the Pinea64

The Pinea64 started in December 2015 on Kickstarter, and the project successfully raised $1,731,466 USD with 36,781 backers just two months later. What stands behind this success? A simple yet complicated goal to build the most affordable 64-bit computer on the market. Indeed, the Pinea64 uses the same quad-core ARM A53 64-bit processor as the Raspberry Pi 3, but it somehow manages to costs just $15.

The board is fully compatible with Raspberry Pi modules, and the company behind it worked hard with many leading industry partners to provide users with excellent software support and access to a large repository of applications. The Pinea64 can be turned into an Android-powered multimedia center for your living room, used as a personal computer to run Microsoft Office applications, or become the heart of your next invention.

So, why should you buy the Pinea64? Because it gives you virtually the same capability as its larger cousin at a significantly lower price.

Verdict

Let us make one thing clear: both of these credit card-sized single-board computers and fantastic devices in their own right and we are certain that experienced developers and hobbyists will have no problem using them for just about any project imaginable.

That being said, the Raspberry Pi 3 still remains the best solution for beginners who are just learning the basics. You simply won’t find more active community and a greater library of tutorials and support threats with any other device.

The wonderfully affordable Pinea64 is definitely worth considering if you already know what you are doing and can occasionally figure things out on your own.

Resources: 

https://www.pine64.com/

http://www.raspberrypistarterkits.com/

https://www.raspberrypi.org/products/raspberry-pi-3-model-b/

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pine64/pine-a64-first-15-64-bit-single-board-super-comput