Linux Format

The verdict

Raspberry Pi 5 killers


Consider a large cigar trade show if you need to be convinced that tastes vary widely. When selecting process computers, a similar problem applies. The declaratio­n of a winner here is made to satisfy the demands of the layout of our Roundups. In reality, selecting a process computer is a multi-dimensiona­l problem; in most cases, no ideal solution can be found.

For one-off jobs, the Raspberry Pi is often the easiest to use, not because it has any unique attributes, but due to the large community and thus the inherent high likelihood that some form of previous implementa­tion of the task at hand can be scavenged to accelerate deployment. The fifth release has helped performanc­e and it remains competitiv­ely priced.

For the Udoo Vision, similar things can be said: being based on an x86 processor means that classic desktop applicatio­ns work better because no recompilin­g or emulation is required. Developers seeking a Windows-capable single-board computer obviously have little choice. Sadly, it also comes with an eyewaterin­gly high price, not to mention a variety of mechanical issues, such as the wobbly power supply connector and the insane GPIO architectu­re.

With these two particular contenders out of the way, we can now take a look at the three ARM-powered systems. The Rock 5B is the largest of the three boards but makes up for this with various connectivi­ty possibilit­ies and high CPU performanc­e. An outstandin­g aspect is its display system, which can drive three displays and is capable of 8K resolution. This is useful – the average slot machine comes with three high-resolution screens these days.

The Orange Pi 3B comes with the legacy of Shenzhen Xunlong, a company that knows the needs of an industrial SBC user like no other. While physically a similar size to the Raspberry Pi 5, this single-board computer packs two memory facilities – it supports both eMMC and M.2 in a pleasingly compact form factor.

Finally, the Asus Tinker Board suffers from a few mostly inexplicab­le weaknesses, such as the limitation to only having USB 2.0 ports. On the other hand, it comes with a vast organisati­on’s backing, meaning that ecosystem density should be guaranteed. Furthermor­e, especially in Europe, the Asus IoT team headed by Richard Rieger is a force to be reckoned with – when working in a corporate setting, definitely give it a chance.

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