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BeagleBone Black: The Sub-$50 ARM Linux Board

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  • CFWhitman
    replied
    I agree that the BeagleBone Black is much better for hobby electronics (i.e., controlling external devices) than the Raspberry Pi. However, the video capabilities of the BBB are rudimentary at best. In other words, it stinks at video playback. The Raspberry Pi is much better for anything more GPU intensive.

    Of course, there will be something that is better than the Raspberry Pi for just about any application. Right now, however, most devices near the price point of the Raspberry Pi are not as flexible as it is. Soon enough, this will change. Of course, we also may see a new iteration of the Raspberry Pi that has the most serious shortcomings (CPU power, SD card interface bottleneck, ethernet interface bottleneck) fixed as the price of more capable hardware falls. Since consistency is important to the developers of the Raspberry Pi, however, I don't expect fast updates to new hardware.

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  • Luke_Wolf
    replied
    Michael, this article is silly. The Beaglebone black is a microcontroller board that has capability to act as a development board, and as such it should be being compared to other microcontroller boards (such as the arduino) because that's the target audience for this, and in this use case it's the best board on the market, the Raspberry Pi, the chromebook and similar are totally irrelevant to the market as they're not really microcontroller boards, and writing an article comparing them to that is disingenuous at best.

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  • caligula
    replied
    Originally posted by c117152 View Post
    You know, I own one myself; Model B revision 000f. Works fine for me. Mind you I did buy an extra 5$ breakout cable\board for my breadboard since I was fresh out of jumper wires... And I don't use the USB much at all. I didn't even have to use the LAN since I have a CP2105 for work already...

    I'm guessing, different use cases?
    Gotta love this "works for me YMMV" argument. I was arguing about the reliability in general. You're using a single anecdote to dismiss my entire point of view. Yes, it's a "different" use case, if you want reliability in general and don't want to take a risk by buying crappy hardware that may or may not work for you. For example you do when building a cluster because the failure rate grows with more nodes. Return to your math homework if you don't know how.

    Originally posted by c117152 View Post
    I wouldn't even know what to do with a 1Ghz real-time compute. And I do signal processing (and some analysis) with my Pi... Maybe it's for autonomous vehicles or robotics or something...

    Most of these boards are just fine for their peculiar usages.
    So because you don't need faster than RPi hardware, you're wondering why would anyone else need. The fact is, there's Moore's law and also hardware keeps advancing each year. RPi uses over a decade old ARM architecture. It's old. Old manufacturing process, old everything. It's slow by any standards compared to hardware people are used to work with. It's probably very nice for embedded developers familiar with 16-bit chips. However Pi is targeted for educational use and so forth. Some users even waste cycles running JavaScript or Python on it. Can you imagine?

    The reason for RPi criticism comes from the fact that it's a decent board for many tasks, but it also sucks in everything. For example, you want USB, you get less than optimal performance. You want ethernet, again it sucks. You want SD card support, beware it's slow and may corrupt filesystem. You want to use 3 USB devices? You most probably need a powered hub. You want to use VideoCore for something cool on desktop (X11/Wayland) use? Well, tough luck the default software stack doesn't use VideoCore accelerated Wayland for desktop. The only thing it does reasonably well is video decoding. I have nothing to complain when it comes to video decoding. The price is rarely an issue if you get a system that fixes 99% of these problems with $10 more money. If you consider the whole system, the cost of the board is only few % of the total cost. There's shipping, cables, power source, USB dongles, whatnot. For an average user the savings in cost you get from $10 cheaper board don't really justify the shittiness you get with broken hardware and suboptimal performance (compared to $10 more expensive hardware). That's all I'm trying to say. It's a nice board and fast compared to real low-end stuff, but the price difference simply does not justify using RPi in many cases. If you happen to know the use case you have in mind, it's *always* worth checking out other boards, because they're better than RPi in quite many cases.

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  • gururise
    replied
    Agreed. The BBB is not only faster than the Rpi, but has so much more I/O which would be useful to embedded engineers.

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  • kevinf28
    replied
    Having owned the original Beagle Board C4, the BBB is a great upgrade for hobby electronics. the GPIOs are easier to work with. Rpie is legacy crap, no amount of community support would influence me to buy one, ever. BB community is great too. RCNelson did a lot of great work.

    Doing a performance review of the BBB is such a waste... Do a battery life comparison! Paired with 5000mAh http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_i...1&format=6#faq

    Boom, awesome mini robot controller

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  • CFWhitman
    replied
    If your try to transfer files between your SD card and a USB device on the Raspberry Pi, the bottleneck will be SD interface performance, not USB performance. There is really no point in using a class 10 card in a Raspberry Pi, because it won't take advantage of the extra speed anyway. To get the best performance out of the Pi, some people put only the part of the system that absolutely needs to go on the SD card there, and put the rest of the system on a USB stick because the USB interface is so much faster than the SD card interface.

    As someone else already noted, if your Raspberry Pi is corrupting its filesystem, it probably isn't getting enough power. Many have reported problems like this that went away when they used a better power supply.

    As far as performance goes, except for video playback, pretty much anything you get is going to blow away the Raspberry Pi, because the weakest ARM v7 based processor is going to greatly outperform an old ARM v6 based one as the Raspberry Pi uses.

    Yes, the Raspberry Pi is "legacy crap," but there are some advantages to legacy crap with a large community developer base to support it.
    Last edited by CFWhitman; 02-18-2014, 11:32 AM.

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  • oliver
    replied
    As said above, neither the Pi nor the BBB compare the the Olimex LIME. The LIME costs about the same as the Pi, but gives you so so much more. Much faster, more perhipials, Many more pins exposed. And the Cortex-A8 is beefy as well. The LIME-2 will have more memory, gbit and dual core! Probably for not much more.

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  • daviddever
    replied
    The BeagleBone platform is the entry point for proper embedded hardware, with a real company behind the project (TI) and proper build support for all aspects of the device (except the PowerVR SGX 530, of course). For professionals, that's far more important than price. I recently prototyped a networked consumer electronics device on the platform, complete with LVDS display, audio peripherals, etc. and I still had plenty of pins left over! Try doing that with a Raspberry Pi, a Sabre Lite or a CubieBoard...seriously.

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  • gururise
    replied
    Comparing to other mini embedded systems would have been more helpful.

    Beaglebone Black vs Ras Pi vs. ODROID (XU & Community)

    These under $70 embedded devices can offer enough power for certain situations.

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  • c117152
    replied
    Originally posted by caligula View Post
    I'm sorry that you seem to be unable to read. Like Jay.B. and chrisb said, some RPis corrupt the filesystem due to hardware bugs and also the usb/ethernet performance is shit. Not to mention you neeed to solder a cap there to not make it reboot when you plug in 5 mA USB devices. The RPi is cheap yes but it's also full of stupid bugs and the old revs of the board are even worse. For example there are several bugfixes to the 5V power problem but it still isn't working fully. If you want a system that it miles ahead in terms of reliability, buy ANY other ARM board and you're done.

    Like was said, the ethernet is not 100 Mbps on RPi. It's closer to 20 Mbps. If you start buying accessories, consider cubietruck. It comes with wifi and so on. Rasberry soon becomes really expensive once you start stacking gear and also the 2 usb ports are soon full. You need a powered hub if you ever consider more than 2 USB devices. Those are not that cheap.

    Please also consider the userspace is a sh*t to work with since the CPU is so slow. It won't get much better if you emulate with QEMU. And you need to do development somehow in that ARM6 environment, cross compiling just won't work with all problems.
    You know, I own one myself; Model B revision 000f. Works fine for me. Mind you I did buy an extra 5$ breakout cable\board for my breadboard since I was fresh out of jumper wires... And I don't use the USB much at all. I didn't even have to use the LAN since I have a CP2105 for work already...

    I'm guessing, different use cases?

    Originally posted by trevik88 View Post
    Sorry guys, but the TI Cortex-A8 Sitara CPU/MCU provides very fast performance for a low price, but only when someone considers hard real-time aspect. The 2 x 200MHz RISC PRUs working independently from main CPU make possible to implement response times for GPIO events and not only those far lower than any other platform mentioned in the article considering simultaneously running linux kernel on main CPU.

    The question remains the same: what does the word "fast" really mean? It is something completely different when someone considers desktop usage and robot control electronics,

    T.
    This.

    I wouldn't even know what to do with a 1Ghz real-time compute. And I do signal processing (and some analysis) with my Pi... Maybe it's for autonomous vehicles or robotics or something...

    Most of these boards are just fine for their peculiar usages.

    Leave a comment:

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