Raspberry Pi!

Discussion in 'General Computing' started by Kryyll, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. Kryyll

    Kryyll Active Member

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    So I just got a Raspberry Pi and I was very excited about it.... Until I installed Gentoo on it. It is extremely slow at compiling things. I mean, I understand that the processor isn't that great but it seems too slow. I tried to over clock it but it doesn't seem different.

    Does anyone know if the Pi is just slow or if Gentoo is slow on the Pi? Also, I've heard that the special Pi distros (raspian, pidora, etc) run fairly well on it, would I be better off using one of those?

  2. Yesyesloud

    Yesyesloud Active Member

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    It's slow and clearly overrated, there's been a great variety of superior devices since before its release. For decent ARM performance and low price, RK3188-based are good alternatives. Apart from much higher processing power, they usually come with a lot more RAM and storage.
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  3. Kryyll

    Kryyll Active Member

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    I agree with you @Yesyesloud it is overrated! I suppose you get for what you pay for! Do you know anything about the Beaglebone Black?
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  4. Yesyesloud

    Yesyesloud Active Member

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    Well, although its hardware specifications don't seem to be much higher than the average Raspberry Pi, it's probably better anyway.
    ___

    RK3188 CPU is the best among the low price range and also better than many if not most mobile device CPUs (present in phones, mini computers, tablets etc). A quad core processor stable @ 2GHz. Most mini-pcs powered with it come with 2GB RAM and 8GB storage. There's a variety of brands and models... Tronsmart is reliable, but I don't think that even more unknown brands with a genuine chip will perform any different.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
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  5. Machin Shin

    Machin Shin Member

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    I have 3 Raspberry Pi's myself and think that they are great. That is because I actually took the time to understand what they are. They are extremely cheap and low power devices.

    Knowing this, these machines are great for a large number of projects, but it is unfair to trash them because they don't compete with a desktop machine.

    Running Rasbian and staying at the command line these machines perform decently. They can handle simple server tasks such as light web host, VPN host, or even some file serving. Do to their low power consumption they are great "always on" machines when you need something to handle a simple task.

    So yes, they are slow, but so what? If you know that from the start and plan accordingly these machines are awesome for a wide range of tasks. These are also the only machines cheep enough I don't feel to bad using them in extremely harsh environments for projects.
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  6. Yesyesloud

    Yesyesloud Active Member

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    I understand what you mean and I find the project behind Raspberry Pi great. Regardless, it's not a good device for the money.
  7. Machin Shin

    Machin Shin Member

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    You say it is not a good device for the money, but yet what other option would you recommend that is in that price range?

    Yes, I have seen much more powerful arm devices, but the ones I have seen at least have a price that climbs quickly as well. It is not really fair to compare a Pi with a board that is substantially more expensive.
  8. Yesyesloud

    Yesyesloud Active Member

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    Ok... How much have you people paid for your Raspberries? Just checking.
  9. Kryyll

    Kryyll Active Member

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  10. Machin Shin

    Machin Shin Member

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    Ok, that is a much more powerful machine. It is also more than double the cost and it is unknown how difficult it will be to remove the android os and install linux.

    Those more powerful machines are definitely nice and are really good power for their price, but they still don't really replace a Pi.
  11. Yesyesloud

    Yesyesloud Active Member

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    I am sorry for that link, the price on the actual product page was twice the price advertised on the search results, because it was a 2 pieces lot.

    If you install Linux on something like a Raspberry PI, you'll be able to do it on a device like that.

    What's your Pi specs? Proportionally, considering hardware specs, it's always been more expensive. I agree that if you want to do pretty basic stuff with it, it's fine.

    If you own more than one, however, you could probably buy something 10x better.

    In that price range, I'd rather go for something like a rk3066 device ($35). But for state of the art, there's this ($40) and this ($55)... They're not that expensive at all.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
  12. Machin Shin

    Machin Shin Member

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    The page you linked at first looked like it was priced for 2, but if you go back and look closer you will see it is a "2 piece lot" the device being one piece and a really cheap mouse being the second piece.

    As far as the comment about putting linux on a device like that, you will largely be on your own. You will most likely find yourself digging into how to root android devices and unlock their bootloaders. A Pi on the other hand you just dump and image to a flash card and... your done.

    You also are overlooking that the Pi has a well documented I/O pinout. This allows you to use it as a controller in projects. It is easy to find information on how to control motors or other electronics. This greatly increases the usefulness of the board.

    My point is, there is very good reason that the Raspberry Pi is so highly rated. It is not due to the powerful processor. It is instead because of the low price, coupled with the extremely open nature of the device. It fits easily into a large number of simple projects where many other devices are just not practical.
  13. Yesyesloud

    Yesyesloud Active Member

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    With regards to prices, I edited the message in which I posted proper links. They're correct now.

    Well, I can easily install GNU/Linux on many ARM devices. I took some time to learn how to do it at first, of course, but not nearly as long as I took learning how to set up and use Arch.

    About controlling motors... You're right. If the basics on that are not initially known, a step-by-step guide is required and Raspberry Pi is an ok option. This sort of task can be done in a number of ways.

    As to a well documented I/O pinout itself, you're also right, Pi is good. But I can use COM or LPT ports of my i486 box, they're well documented too. Also, there are many usb adaptors now, although not always needed.

    I particularly believe Raspberry Pi is overrated.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
  14. Machin Shin

    Machin Shin Member

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    Well, I guess we then can just agree to disagree :)
  15. Yesyesloud

    Yesyesloud Active Member

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    Ok :)

    Back to the OP... I forgot to answer an important question.

    You're better off running Pi-specific distros, since they feature access to repositories bearing pre-compiled binaries for your architecture.

    The problem with source-based distributions like Gentoo is that you have to compile everything from scratch... A task at which slow ARM CPUs s*ck dinosaur s.

    Although there are package managers designed for Gentoo that handle binaries directly, you'll need packages pre-compiled for ARM.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
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  16. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    I like Arch on Arm. Never tried it on a Pi though.. should probably get one.
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  17. Yesyesloud

    Yesyesloud Active Member

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    I love Linux on Arm.

    Pi is too slow for my taste though, I don't really know a single thing it does that I couldn't do with one of those - incredibly faster - pocket computers I mentioned before. Anyway, to each their own...

    Also, there's accelerated 3D graphics support for RK3188 on Linux now. I forgot to mention it also features a multi-core GPU. Works like a charm. I multiboot Android and Linux on my ARM devices, but I'm considering trashing Android for good :)

    It's becoming increasingly easier to get Linux on these devices.

    All those who intend to buy an ARM-based computer... Know your options.
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  18. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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    The one good plus for the Pi. It is easier to use; in terms of documents, videos, tutorials...

    Though if I had to choose I would get a Beaglebone Black. That is if I need Gpio.
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  19. Yesyesloud

    Yesyesloud Active Member

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    Lol what's with the gpio thing... What people do using this port is almost as old as digital computers. That sort of I/O is not that complicated or obscure at all.

    Knowing the principles/basics gets people farther than copying dummy projects for gpio, although there also is extensive documentation and plenty of sample projects on how to do the same stuff with other standard ports.

    Not that there isn't an usb-gpio adapter, which I find odd - it seems we can get pretty limited in terms of exploring I/O capabilities of hardware we already own.

    Oh well, I guess I'll just surrender to Pi and stop complaining about its well deserved popularity...
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  20. ryanvade

    ryanvade Administrator Staff Member Staff Writer

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