A Single Board Computer (SBC) is a low cost and power optimized computer built on a single circuit board. It contains all functional components of a computer like memory, input/output (I/O), and a microprocessor. The Best Single ARM Board Computers provide low-power and high computational functionality.
Professionals use ‘Single Board Computers’ for the prototyping and for tinkering their electronic projects. So, if you are the same looking for a low cost and high-performance SBC for tinkering your hobby, then check my list of the “Best Single Board Computer of 2016 – 2017”. I have made the different single board computers comparison and reviews. I am sure that you will find your suitable SBC here.
Best Single Board Computer of 2016 – 2017
The latest Pi member – the Raspberry Pi 3 has been firstly introduced by CanaKit on Amazon. This 32GB addition of the Pi 3 starter kit is covered by the 1-year manufacturer warranty from CanaKit allows you to have a hassle-free purchase. This kit is the bestseller on Amazon in the category of Desktop Barebones. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B is the fastest among all the Raspberry Pi versions.
Features of the CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Single Board Computer are:
- The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B with 1GB RAM and quad-core processor of 2.4GHz processing speed is included with the kit
- It has an onboard Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity
- A pre-loaded NOOBS MicroSD card of 32GB comes with the kit
- A CanaKit power supply of 2.5A, a Raspberry Pi 3 Case, HDMI cable, and a quick starter guide also included in the kit
- It is the best single board computer till the date
The Model B of Raspberry Pi 2 is the second generation Single Board Computer of Raspberry Pi. It is one of the advanced models of Raspberry Pi family. It comes with 1GB LPDDR2 SD Ram and a quad-core ARM cortex-A7 CPU of 900 MHz. So, it provides more flexibility for the learners as well as experts.
It is also completely compatible with Raspberry Pi 1 including all models of Raspberry Pi model A, Model A+, and also with Model B+. It is capable of running a full range of ARM GNU/Linux distributions including Microsoft Windows 10.
The Raspberry Pi 2 Model B Single ARM Board Computer also has:
- Full HDMI and Ethernet ports
- 4 USB ports
- Display and Camera interfaces
- Micro SD card slot
- 40 GPIO points
This single board computer is recommended for schools and hobbyists as well as for professionals.
The Beagleboard (BeagleBone Rev c) Single Board Computer is made for hobbyists and professionals who are looking for a community-supported development platform at low-cost. It requires only a USB cable to get development started in under 5 minutes after booting in less than 10 seconds.
The Single ARM Board Computer (Beagleboard) has the following specifications:
- A 1 GHz ARM® Cortex-A8 (AM335x) processor
- DDR3 Ram of 512 MB
- 3D graphics accelerator
- 2x PRU 32-bit microcontroller
- NEON floating-point accelerator
- A USB client for power and communication
- USB host
- On-board flash storage of 4GB 8-bit EMMC
- 2x 46 pin headers
It is compatible with Android, Debian Linux and Ubuntu software. The BeagleBone Black Rev C SBC computer is designed and made by Element14 and is the high-expansion, low-cost and maker-focused SBC.
The Banana Pi or Banana Pro is a credit-card sized single board computer which works on low-power. It is manufactured by Lemaker with the idea of promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Mathematics (STEAM) in schools. It uses a Micro SD card for booting an Operating System and also has an interface of SATA 2.0 for connecting a hard disk for a more storage space.
Features of Banana Pi Pro Open Source SBC are:
- It comes with the memory of 1GB memory and 1 GHz dual core ARM cortex-A7 CPU
- It has an onboard WiFi 802.11 b/g/n rtl8189es
- Comes with an integrated audio and video output into a 3.5mm TRRS jack which allows to have more space for having 40 pins extension headers
- This Banana Pi – ARM SBC is compatible with Raspberry Pi also
- It can be operated on Android, Linux, FreeBSD, Berryboot and OpenWrt
The Orange Pi is a brand which is developed specially for the embedded system enthusiasts. It is powered by the quad-core Allwinner H3 processor. It is said to be a good competitor of Raspberry Pi.
Features of Orange Pi Single Board Computer are:
- It is more capable than the Raspberry Pi Zero, has more power than the Raspberry Pi 2, and the best rival to the Raspberry Pi 3
- It comes with a quad-core 1.3GHz Cortex-A7 processor, 1GB DDR3 SDRAM, HDMI and Ethernet cables, 40-pin GPIO header, and ARM Mali GPU
- It is capable of H265 decoding of 4K hardware
- It can run Ubuntu, Android, Debian, and Raspberry Pi image
- You can build a computer, a wireless server, games, sounds, music, etc. with this amazing single board computer
The ODROID-X4 is said to be 2-4 times faster than the Raspberry Pi 3 single board computer. It comes with a quad-core 2GHz A15 processor, 2GB LPDDR3 RAM, and USB 3.0 support.
Features of ODROID-XU4 Single Board Computer are:
- It is the best single board computer from ODROID till the date
- It comes with a heatsink and a fan to keep the processor cool during the full-force working
- It comes with a 5V- 4A power supply to keep it running
- It supports micro SD card and EMMC
- It works 2-4 times faster than the Raspberry Pi 3
The Cubieboard 4 SBC is designed with the idea of providing high-performance within a smaller size. It is an open source mini desktop computer. Because of the octa-core big LITTLE A15/A7 28mm processor, it performs 5 times of cubietruck. The Single Board Computer from Cubieboard can be used for office tasks, video chat, home media center, playing large-scale online games, and much more.
The specifications of the Cubieboard4 Single Board Computer are:
- ARM Cortex A15x4 2 GHz, A7x4 1.30 GHz Processor
- Allwinner A80, Octa-core big-LITTLE A15/A7 CPU
- Default 8GB, EMCC up to 64 GB storage
- Transfer speed of 25 MB/s
- 4 USB 2.0 host
- USB 3.0 OTG
- HDMI and VGA support with 1080p resolution output
- WiFi and Bluetooth supported
- Philips standard IR receiver
- Supports 5V/4A power, USB 3.0 jack power and 3.7V Li-Po battery
Comparison of Best Single Board Computers
|RAM||Frequency||Cores||Architecture||System On Chip|
|Raspberry Pi 3 Model B||1GB||1.2 GHz||4||ARM Cortex-A53||Broadcom
|Beagleboard||512MB||1 GHz||1||ARM Cortex-A7||TI Sitara AM335x|
|Banana Pi||1GB||1 GHz||2||ARM Cortex-A7||Allwinner A20s|
|Cubieboard4||2GB||1.3 GHz||8||ARM Cortex-A15x4/
Here I have researched and filtered some of the best single board computers which are available this year. There are numerous brands and models who are providing quality SBCs for your needs. So, it may become the challenging task to choose the best Single Board Computer according to your personal requirements and specifications.
Hope you like this list of the “Best Single Board Computer of 2016 – 2017” and found your perfect computing companion from it. Please share this post so other needful professionals and enthusiasts can see the list and find their best suitable SBC.
Mention in the comment, which single board computer will you like to buy for your amazing concept. Thanks for reading and good luck for your design!