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Rock Pi vs Raspberry Pi

Author : Sven Pannewitz, product manager, reichelt elektronik

11 March 2019

reichelt elektronik have broken down the main head-to-head match-up between the Raspberry Pi and the Rock Pi.

Raspberry Pi (Credit: Shutterstock)

The Raspberry Pi has rapidly become the go-to single board computer for a whole range of projects. There’s good reason for that too. Raspberry Pi offers a versatile solution for a range of different challenges. Whether it’s controlling smart lights in your home or office, or building your own entertainment system hub, the pocket-sized computer can be reconfigured and put to work in a variety of useful (and fun) ways. 

Sometimes though, the humble Raspberry Pi just doesn’t cut it. When more power is needed, you might want to bring in the big guns. Some projects are more challenging and require faster network speeds, more processing power, or more on-board memory. 

If you have a project where the Raspberry Pi isn’t enough, you might want to consider deploying the Rock Pi. The Rock Pi is a particularly powerful single board computer from Radxa. It also comes in two different models, with Model A sporting an Ethernet connection, while Model B also packs in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity and optional PoE. 

We’ve broken down the main head-to-head match-up between the Raspberry Pi and the Rock Pi.

More power!

Both the Rock Pi A and B models have a powerful Rockchip Hexa-Core-CPU, which brings far more computing power into play when compared with other developer boards. The Rock Pi comes in 1GB, 2GB and 4GB variants, so there’s plenty of RAM on board too to ensure fast and trouble-free data processing. If your project is processing heavy, you might want to consider deploying the powerful Rock Pi instead of a struggling Raspberry Pi. 

Faster connectivity

If your project depends on a fast connection to the internet, the Rock Pi might also have the edge for you. Both the Rock Pi A and B models have a real Gigabit LAN connection. To get a sense of comparison, the Raspberry Pi only transmits at a speed of 300Mbit. As mentioned, the Rock Pi also sports wireless connectivity with its model B variant and is Wi-Fi-enabled at both 2G and 5G standards. Data is transferred via the speedy Bluetooth 5.0, and if you want to pump out come high res visuals, the Rock Pi has an HDMI 2.0 interface with 4K at 60Hz. 

Plenty of room for expansion

As you might imagine, a more powerful beast like the Rock Pi also means a suitable CPU cooler needs to be installed to prevent the board from overheating, but there are plenty of options out there. 

The Rock Pi also supports an expansion memory or an eMMC expansion card for the Micro SD slot. Another option is to expand up to 2TB with an M.2 SSD hard drive, although this does require an additional expansion board. And finally, if you want to activate the Rock Pi’s RTC function, an RTC battery can be added too. 

If you have a project where you need more power and faster speeds than the Raspberry Pi can provide, then the Rock Pi might well be for you. It’s flexible yet powerful, so for bigger projects past the experimentation phase, you should certainly consider subbing in the Rock Pi to realise your project’s full potential. 

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