Last week the Raspberry Pi foundation has released yet another model named the “Raspberry Pi 3 Model B”, so in a few months the foundation has released two new Pi’s the Zero and Pi 3.
The Pi 3 is the newest family member of the super popular single board computer that’s aimed at hobbyists and anyone the want’s a small computer for a reasonable price. The new Pi 3 model has been released just a year after the Raspberry Pi 2, and only a few months after the Pi Zero.
So what’s change?
The Pi 3 comes with a built-in wireless network adapter and have integrated Bluetooth, so you don’t have to buy an additional WiFi USB dongle for wireless network connectivity. Just like the previous models this Pi comes with a faster CPU and perhaps one of the biggest changes it have a 64 bits processor.
I’ve done some testing and indeed it feels much faster than the previous models, even when running a full Raspbian desktop it feels pretty fast and responsive.
The downside is perhaps the CPU temperature when running at full speed, it could get as high as 85° Celsius or 185° Fahrenheit, without any additional cooling.
My first thoughts:
In my opinion the Raspberry Pi foundation have done an excellent job in creating the Raspberry Pi 3.
However there a some small thing that they could have made to make it an even better product;
The Raspberry Pi should really have a 1Gb/ps network adapter. However the 100Mb/ps limit is because the network adapter is connected to the internal USB bus and could not handle 1Gb/ps speeds.
However other vendors are capable to add a 1Gb/ps network adapter to their boards just like the “Banana Pi” or for example the “UP”, I really hope that they have a 1Gb/ps network in the next version of the Raspberry Pi
However one cool thing is they now have added a wireless network adapter on the board it self, so no need to buy an additional WiFi adapter so that saves you some $ 🙂
One of the biggest changes in the Pi 3 is a 64 bits CPU and to make it even better it’s faster (running at 1.2 GHz, per core) than the previous 900MHz (per core) CPU of the Raspberry Pi 2 B. All this power generates some heat, but unlike the previous models that where running at max 50° Celsius or 122° Fahrenheit, the new RPI 3 could easily run as high as 85° Celsius or 185° Fahrenheit.
In the next few days I will do some testing to find out if it makes sense to mount a cooling block to the CPU in order to lower the temperature, so stay tuned on a update.
I had really hoped that the RPI3 would have at least 2GB of RAM, but unfortunately it’s still 1GB of RAM.
Will reading the RPI3 release post over at raspberrypi.org someone asked if there are plans for a 2GB version, and a rather disappointing response from the foundation was that there are no plans for a 2GB memory model because of “architectural limitation with the VC4” 🙁
New for this model;
- Broadcom BCM2387 at 1.2GHz Quad-Core ARMv8 Cortex-A53 (64 bits)
- 802.11 b/g/n Wireless LAN
- Bluetooth 4.1
- Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
Like the previous Pi 2 model, it comes with;
- 1GB memory (LPDDR2-900)
- Ethernet port (100Mb/ps)
- 4x USB 2.0 ports
- 40 GPIO pins
- Full HDMI port
- Camera interface (CSI)
- Display interface (DSI)
- Combined 3.5mm audio jack and composite video
- Micro SD card slot (changed from a “click-in, click-out” system to a “push-pull”)
- VideoCore IV Multimedia (Dual Core at 400MHz)
- 5V, 2.5A power supply
- The Raspberry Pi 3 has an identical form factor (85 x 56 x 17 mm) as the previous Raspberry Pi 2 Model B and Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+ models.
A short pro’s and con’s list:
- Faster CPU running at 1.2 GHz per core
- 64 Bits CPU architecture
- Build-in WiFi
- Build-in Bluetooth 4.1 / Low Energy (LE)
- Same price as the last model
- The PI 3 is available directly, unlike the Pi Zero 😉
- High temperatures, when running high CPU workload
- Raspbian is still 32 bits
- 1GB memory
- USB 2.0
- LED’s have been relocated, so cases designed for the RPI2 may not fit well with the RPI3