Today, several computers run with the use of single boards designed by various companies globally. This ranges from Raspberry Pi, which is among the leading developers of single board computers, to LattePanda Alpha. Multiple single board units for computers have been released from the past years incorporating advanced features such as enhanced performance and processing speed. That said, here is a complete list of the top 10 single-board computing units based on individual strength, power consumption, simplicity, performance, and cost.
Raspberry Pi 4 Model B – 4GB Ram
The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is an upgraded single computer board system with advanced high-performance Quad-Core 64-bit Broadcom 2711. It accompanies a Cortex A72 processor at a speed of 1.5GHz. The power usage is reduced by 20% with the enhanced more extraordinary performance of up to 90% that its predecessors. The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is designed for more extraordinary performance and readily compatible with all-new 1GB, 2GB, and 4GB LPDDR4 SDRAM and connects well with Dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Other compatibility features include 802.11 b/g/n/ac wireless LAN, USB 3.0at a speed of 10x, and PoE capabilities. Though it comes with 4GB RAM, it offers room for expansion with 1GB and 2GB versions.
This is one of the most cost-effective and high-power options with fast connections on its single gigabit Ethernet port. It comes with an HDMI 1.4a for display and an active cooler and power adapter. The Odroid-XU4 features a powerful Samsung Exynos 5422 Cortex-A15 octa-core GPU running at 2 GHz, coupled with the Mali-T628 MP6 GPU that supports OpenGL ES 3.1 and OpenCL 1.2. With a 2GB memory, the board includes double 3.0 ports USB and powered by ARM big.LITTLE technology and a Heterogeneous Multi-Processor (HMP). Besides, the Odroid-XU4 can run the latest Ubuntu versions, including Android 4.4 KitKat to 7.1 Nougat, making it suitable for various uses such as a fully-fledged computer and backup device.
ASUS Tinker Board RK3288
The ASUS Tinker Board is another great option to use as a daily computer as it provides adequate power for standard image editing, web browsing, and casual gaming. It features a Rockchip RK3288, the latest quad-core ARM-based processor, found in several tablets and multimedia players. As to play HD and UHD videos at 30 fps, the board features a 2GB memory and Mali-T764 GPU essential for facilitating hardware acceleration. What makes the ASUS Tinker Board stand out is an HD codec supporting 24-bit/192kHz audio. Other features include a 40-pin GPIO interface, DSI MIPI, and gigabit LAN connections.
Libre Renegade Computer Board
The Libre Renegade Computer Board is a reasonably priced single-board commonly used to set up network area storage or as a file server. The board comes with powerful hardware and is equipped with a quad 64-bit 1.4GHz ARM Cortex-A53 Processor, 2GB of DDR4 RAM, and 4K UHD ARM Mali-450 GPU. The Libre Renegade Computer Board is 40% faster than the Raspberry Pi and comes with a swift Gigabit Ethernet than any other board.
Arduino Mega 2560
The Arduino Mega 2560 is identical to different Arduino single boards, but it is designed to handle complex projects. For this reason, it features additional memory and pins to enhance performance. The Mega 2560 originates from an 8-bit AVR microcontroller ATmega2560, which constitutes 54 digital I/O pins, more space for sketches, and 16 analog inputs. These inputs are crucial for connecting with other devices readily.
Raspberry Pi Zero W
The Raspberry Pi Zero W board enhances the functionality of the Pi Zero board focused on the wireless LAN and Bluetooth connectivity. This makes it an idea board suited for the Internet of Things (IoT), considering its size. The Pi Zero W comes with a Broadcom BCM2835 CPU operating at 1 GHz with 512 MB LPDDR2 SDRAM. Its cost-effective advantage is a WIFI-enabled board that measures 6.5com by 3cm by 0.5cm. Besides, it consumes little energy thus works best with moderately large batteries.
Unlike most computer single boards, the LattePanda is unique because it solely operates on Windows 10 Development Platform. It accompanies a Windows 10 OEM activation key and is more expensive than most boards. The board comes with a USB 3.0 port and two 2.0 ports capable of running complex and powerful tools such as NodeJS, Java, and Visual Studio. Other features include onboard WIFI 802.11n, Bluetooth capabilities, and gives users the ability to start Windows 10 Development Platform readily.
Rock Pi Rockchip RK3399
The Rock Pi-4 is the smallest structured factor board offering class-driving execution and using extraordinary mechanical similarity. The board comprises an incredible Hexa-center ARM-based processor packed with an RK3399 inside. This gives it a remarkable execution improvement, especially with the LPDDR4 3200Mb/s RAM fitted in the board. The Rock Pi also includes an eMMC module that supports all programs, an onboard antenna, and support Raspberry Pi camera.
Banana Pi BPI-M4
This is a credit-size computer board packed with countless features that makes it among the best on the list. Designed by a Chinese company, the Banana Pi board runs on various operating systems such as Linux, Ubuntu, and Android. Its design is influenced by Raspberry Pi and uses Realtek RTD1395 chip structure. The board incorporates WIFI for b/g/n/air conditioning, Bluetooth 4.2 and 1GB/2GB and 8GB eMMC. Its ports include 1 HDMI port, 4 2.0 USB ports, an f1 sound jack, and 1 USB Type C port.
LattePanda Alpha 864S
Using the Intel Core m3 processor, the LattePanda Alpha offers great execution, meeting application needs. It is an 8GB RAM and 64GB eMMC equipped with an M.2 interface SSD backlight and adequate GPIO ports. Some of this board’s main features include supporting both Windows and Linux operating systems, cloud networking, expandable interfaces, and enhanced speed regarding computer performance. Besides, the LattePanda Alpha uses less space because of its small space.
In conclusion, there are many single board computers in the market to buy at great prices as they offer more features to enjoy. Though the Raspberry Pi 4 is an excellent pick, the list above gives great insights into some of the alternatives to pick from. This is because they share certain features while differing in functionality, prices, and design.