‎"Behind every stack of books there is a flood of knowledge."

BeagleBone Black vs Raspberry Pi


Today Newark Element 14 announced that they had stock of the new BeagleBone Black. The minute it got the announcement I was on the site, and within minutes I was blown away. For 45$ you are getting one heck of a computer.

Let’s look at the comparison:

BeagleBone Black
Raspberry Pi
Cost 45$ 35$ model B The beagle black costs more, but keep reading! There is a good reason for the extra 10$
RAM 512 DDR3600 Mhz 512 SDRAM This one is close but the beagle black is pushing a higher ram speed
Flash 2GB & SD card SD Card slot The flash on the Beagle Black allows an operating system to be added without an SD card. Beagle wins this one.
Processor 1GhzAM3359 700MhzBCM2835 Some people have clocked the Pi up to 1Ghz but its pretty risky. The Black runs great at 1Ghz. No news yet one how much overclocking it can do though.
Ethernet 10/100 Mbs 10/100 Mbs Solid Tie
USB 1 client1 host 2 host Not having two ports on the Black is a little rough. It makes using a keyboard and a mouse pretty difficult. But then again, most PI setups are using a USB hub anyway. Still, the Pi wins this one.
Video HDMI HDMI, AV Both boards will put out 1080. The Pi wins this one for having the AV out. This comes in handy when your resources are very limited.
Audio Via HDMI Via HDMI
Audio Jack
The PI wins here. Without the audio jack on the Beagle the capabilities as a multimedia system are limited.
Periperals SPI, I2C, SPI, CAN, Timers, LCD, MMC, Analog 8 –GPIO
Hands down the Black has this one in the bag. For robotic and automation development the beagle bone is a far better option. One hindrance is the lack of analog ports on the PI,
Power USB 5v
DC Jack
210ma & idle
USB 5v
322ma @ idle
The Black use let power at idle, however this is completely dependent on your setup. For robotic development the lower power consumption is very handy in battery powered applications. The DC jack also allows connection of a battery without an external regulator.

The Flip Side: The Black and the Pi where designed with two different purposes. The Pi is targeted at education and the Black more towards developers. If I was going to teach a class on programing PSUs, I would choose the PI; It’s small, simple and you can look at it and quickly understand the layout.  If I was designing a robot to put out fires or navigate complex terrain I would definitely choose the Beagle Black.After playing with both of these boards I have to say I am a fan of the BeagleBone Black. If you are using it as a computer, media center, or robotic board, it is a great choice. One of the features that I am crazy about is the amount of peripherals and GPIO it has. As a robotic developer I can never get enough of these and the Black has them all!



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