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The Pi's The Limit

Raspberry Pi vs Orange Pi – What Are the Differences?

Picture of Stephan Carpenter
by Stephan Carpenter
Apr 6, 2019

Raspberry Pi vs Orange Pi – What Are the Differences?

As the single board computer market heats up, will the Raspberry Pi keep up? We take the Raspberry Pi 3b+ head to head with the Orange Pi to see how they perform against each other.

Raspberry Pi vs Orange Pi What Is Single Board Computing?

A Raspberry Pi Zero.
A Raspberry Pi Zero. Source: Wikipedia

A single board computer is a complete computer built on a single circuit board. It holds the microprocessor, memory, I/O, and other features of a fully functional computer.

Integrated single board computers have been around for years, but have mostly been used in industrial applications. All of this changed in 2012 with the introduction of the Raspberry Pi. The original model became far more popular than was expected and far outsold any projections by the designers.

The original idea behind the Raspberry Pi was to encourage young people to learn how to program without spending a lot of money. Meanwhile, the Pi has been picked up by inventors and robotics designers as a simple way to design and build complex systems.

Today, the success of the Pi has spawned a rush to design the fastest single board computers available on the retail market.

Raspberry Pi vs Orange Pi Meet the Competition

An Orange Pi One.
An Orange Pi One. Source: Amazon

Enter the Orange Pi. Much like its Raspberry counterpart, it is an open-source single-board computer. It can run Android 4.4, Ubuntu, Debian, and Raspbian Image. Plus, it uses the AllWinner H3 SoC and boasts 1GB DDR3 SDRAM.

The Orange Pi was introduced as a more powerful, fuller-featured single board computer in direct competition to the popular Raspberry Pi. Most notable is the Orange Pi’s ability to run Android 4.4, which sets it apart from the Raspberry.

Both the Raspberry Pi and the Orange Pi come in a wide array of models. For our comparison, we are using the most recent Raspberry Pi 3b+ and the Orange Pi Pc Plus.

Raspberry Pi vs Orange Pi Head to Head

A couple Raspberry Pis fight off a pair of Orange Pis.
A couple Raspberry Pis fight off a pair of Orange Pis. Source: cnx-software.com

The Specs:

  • Processor
    • Raspberry Pi 3B+: 1.4ghz quad-core
    • Orange Pi Pc Plus: 1.6ghz quad-core
  • Memory
    • Raspberry: 1GB LPDDR2 SRAM
    • Orange: 1GB DDR3
  • Graphics
    • Raspberry: Broadcom Videocore-IV GPU
    • Orange: Mali400MP2 GPU
  • Ethernet
    • Raspberry: Gigabit Ethernet, 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
    • Orange: 10/100 Ethernet RJ45
  • I/O
    • Raspberry: HDMI, 3.5mm analog audio-video jack, 4x USB 2.0, Camera Serial Interface (CSI), Display Serial Interface (DSI)
    • Orange: HDMI, 3.5mm analog audio-video jack, 3x USB 2.0 HOST, one USB 2.0 OTG
  • OS
    • Raspberry: Linux-based
    • Orange: Linux-based, Android-based

Raspberry Pi vs Orange Pi Verdict

A Modded Raspberry Pi case.
A Modded Raspberry Pi case. Source: Thingiverse

Both boards have very similar specs and capabilities. In terms of performance, the Orange Pi is a bit more diverse in operating systems it can run. It edges out the Raspberry Pi in core speed, RAM, and video performance but only nominally.

Real world applications will not show a huge advantage. The Raspberry has a huge community backing it up with tons of online information and support. Since its inception, the Raspberry Pi has built a legion of dedicated followers who have fostered an unparalleled community of support and projects.

While the Orange Pi does have a community, it is still small and growing. The Orange Pi does edge the Raspberry Pi out in price, but you should be prepared to spend more time on figuring out issues on your own. If you want stability, support and tons of projects to pick from, the Raspberry Pi is your board.

If you want to be able to run more choices in operating systems for your projects, like Android, then the Orange Pi is the flavor for you.

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+

Product image of Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+

Orange Pi Pc Plus

Product image of Orange Pi Pc Plus

Feature image source: Raspberry Pi

License: The text of "Raspberry Pi vs Orange Pi – What Are the Differences?" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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