1 2 3 4 Previous Next 358 Replies Latest reply on Dec 4, 2013 3:10 PM by qmabary Go to original post
      • 15. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black
        gdstew

        You're missing the point, Raspbian is a two man, unofficial, effort to port debian to an arch that the real Debian maintainers are unwilling to support. Raspbian may vanish tomorrow. At which point you will either need to start compiling them yourself, or move to a piece of

          hardware that someone else is willing to support. You could of course stick with the last Raspbian release if if you like, but that leaves you with other problems.

         

        No, I'm not. I think the worst case scenario you just described is not realistic for several reasons. Raspian is the official RPF distribution. There are now over 500,000 Raspberry Pi's out there, most using Raspian. There

        is nothing to stop another group of people from taking over or forking Raspian if the current maintainers stopped, and I don't see the RPF not trying to find, or having a lot of trouble finding other people to maintain it if that

        happened.

         

        You're right in that nothing is inherently dependant on the CPU, the issue is simply that Debian doesn't want to support the older version CPU on the Pi, nothing more.

         

        I don't think that official support from Debian is a prerequisite for a successful distribution. There are precedents for that thought.

        • 16. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black
          morgaine

          selsinork wrote:

           

          I'd hoped to see something like this where the price difference (in the UK anyway) is approaching zero. Regardless of the merits of each device, it'll be interesting to see what happens next.

           

          With the price disincentive gone, it'll be great to see comparisons on engineering merit with Raspberry Pi Model B.  The Pi still has a technical advantage in media playback, but that is the only advantage that comes to mind at present, whereas at first glance it seems to be below par in every other technical respect compared to BeagleBone Black.  Detailed comparisons would really be useful.  Perhaps we can do that on the eLinux wiki.

           

          My interest isn't in media playback but in computing, networking, home automation, embedding, and hardware interfacing, so Pi's media bullet points don't float my boat.  However, it's undoubtedly the case that the masses think otherwise, and good media handling for $35 is what really sold the Pi in vast numbers.  Plus the hype.

           

          Interesting days ahead.  I hope many other manufacturers join in the fun at this price point.

           

          Morgaine.

          • 17. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black
            morgaine

            I've started adding information on BeagleBone Black to the eLinux wiki BeagleBone page.

            • 18. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black

              > With the price disincentive gone, it'll be great to see comparisons on engineering merit with Raspberry Pi Model B.

               

              Such unbiased comparisons of engineering merit may be difficult to produce.

              If you say the BB clock speed is greater than the RPi, you may be met with the

              objection that the RPi can be overclocked to the same clock speed. 

              If you note the RPI's overclocking potential, you may be met with the objection

              that overclocking does not always succeed, and may result in damaged SD cards.

              If you note the risks inherent in overclocking, you may be met with the objection

              that the risks are overstated and that overclocking the RPi is not actually risky.

               

              If you say the BB is faster, and therefore better for educational purposes

              involving computationally intensive tasks such as IDE's and web browsing,

              you may be told that programming should be learned on a slow machine

              in order to teach the importance of optimization.

               

              If you say the BB has better voltage regulation, you may be told that it should

              be the responsibility of the power supply to regulate it's own voltage output.

               

              If you say the BB works with a wider variety of keyboards without dropping

              or repeating characters, you may be told that debugging hardware problems

              builds character and is a valuable learning experience.

              • 19. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black
                morgaine

                Hahaha. 

                 

                Indeed, the values system of fanbois is a glory to behold, and doesn't obey any known physical laws.

                 

                Fortunately as engineers we can just enumerate the facts that can't be disputed, except by fanbois of course.  And even engineering value judgements of comparative merits and demerits can be given in an NPoV manner as well, and reasonable people will often find them useful, fanbois excepted of course.

                 

                At the end of the day, we can only do our best using the engineer's normal methods of analysis.  Once we've solved world hunger and poverty, then maybe some brave soul will tackle much harder problems like blind fanboism.

                • 20. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black
                  gdstew

                  coder27 wrote:

                   

                  > With the price disincentive gone, it'll be great to see comparisons on engineering merit with Raspberry Pi Model B.

                   

                  Such unbiased comparisons of engineering merit may be difficult to produce.

                  If you say the BB clock speed is greater than the RPi, you may be met with the

                  objection that the RPi can be overclocked to the same clock speed. 

                  If you note the RPI's overclocking potential, you may be met with the objection

                  that overclocking does not always succeed, and may result in damaged SD cards.

                  If you note the risks inherent in overclocking, you may be met with the objection

                  that the risks are overstated and that overclocking the RPi is not actually risky.

                   

                  If you say the BB is faster, and therefore better for educational purposes

                  involving computationally intensive tasks such as IDE's and web browsing,

                  you may be told that programming should be learned on a slow machine

                  in order to teach the importance of optimization.

                   

                  If you say the BB has better voltage regulation, you may be told that it should

                  be the responsibility of the power supply to regulate it's own voltage output.

                   

                  If you say the BB works with a wider variety of keyboards without dropping

                  or repeating characters, you may be told that debugging hardware problems

                  builds character and is a valuable learning experience.

                   

                  I'd say your bias is pretty clear too.  Why don't you wait for real responses instead of just making them up ? Here's a few for now.

                   

                  16 bit memory data bus vs 32 bit for the Pi. Well at least it uses DDR3 vs. DDR2 for the Pi. That will not make up for the lack of bus width though.

                   

                  The power management chip used by the BeagleBoard Black also uses low dropout voltage regulators for one of its 1.8V and one of its 3.3V supplies. Bad engineering eh Morgaine ? Built

                  right into the chip from TI no less.

                   

                  The documentation for the real time PRUs is sorely lacking in the AM3359 Technical Reference Manual, 2 pages and no useful hardware description at all. Not even a block diagram. A search

                  on the TI web site produces only 5 hits all related to forum questions. At least the questions in the forum hint that there is access to better hardware documentation. The PRUs in the 3359 are

                  an upgrade to an existing device so the documentation may still be be "in the pipeline". They are mostly aimed at providing support for industrial real time communications protocols although

                  they apparently (no documentation) can be used for other purposes. The only software tools for it is an assembler which is not yet released for public use although mainly due to efforts at

                  BeagleBoard.org it is supposed to be by the end of this month.

                   

                  The GPU is a proprietary design by PowerVR, which means at least for now, no open source drivers. It supports an OpenGL ES API same as the Pi so X11 hardware acceleration support is not

                  likely for it either. At least it is a few generations ahead of the Pi.

                   

                  No built in camera interface.

                   

                  Edited (again) to add:

                   

                  It has been my experience that overclocking the CPU does not cause data corruption on the SD card, overclocking the memory does. I had one Pi (out of three) all running with 1 GHHz overclock

                  that did corrupt data until I changed memory timing from 600 MHz overclock to 500 MHz and have not had a problem with it since. After that I changed all of them to 500 MHz to be safe. Note

                  that I used the phrase data corruption which is an accurate description as opposed to damaged the SD card which is not.

                   

                  On the plus side for the BB Black:

                   

                  Lots more, and more useful I/O.

                   

                  16 bit LCD interface.

                   

                  More modern ARM architecture.

                   

                   

                  From Morgaine:

                   

                    Indeed, the values system of fanbois is a glory to behold, and doesn't obey any known physical laws.


                  Fortunately as engineers we can just enumerate the facts that can't be disputed, except by fanbois of course.  And even engineering value judgements of comparative merits and demerits can be given in an NPoV manner as well, and reasonable people will often find

                     them useful, fanbois excepted of course.

                   

                  At the end of the day, we can only do our best using the engineer's normal methods of analysis.  Once we've solved world hunger and poverty, then maybe some brave soul will tackle much harder problems like blind fanboism.

                   

                  Yea, these are real good arguments from an normal engineering methods standpoint. Good to see that name calling hasn't fallen out of your favourite responses after your long absence.

                  • 21. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black
                    morgaine

                    Gary, evidently you didn't grasp what was being said.  My reply to coder27 was about all fanbois, not just Pi fanbois.  That includes BeagleBone fanbois and all other fanbois as well, because fanboism has no redeeming properties for technical discussion at all.

                     

                    The technical criticisms that you have presented are very good and useful.  Such observations need to go into the engineering comparisons which are sure to be made between the two boards, and I certainly welcome them.  Knowing and understanding the downsides of any device I use is very important to me.

                     

                    You seem not to have noticed that I pointed out that Pi Model B still has the lead for media playback.  I pointed this out despite the fact that I personally do not use that feature, because it is a technical feature of great importance to many people and it must be mentioned in any balanced engineering assessment.  I mentioned it because I an not a fanboi of any device nor manufacturer, and any valid engineering assessment must list both pros and consEverything has both pros and cons.  The mark of a fanboi is to praise the pros and deny the cons of his or her precious, and my remarks were directed against that ridiculous lack of objectivity.  I would hope that you would agree with that view..

                     

                    This is an engineering forum.  Let's try to stick to engineering assessment, and leave fanboism to others.

                    • 22. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black

                      Gary Stewart wrote:

                      No, I'm not. I think the worst case scenario you just described is not realistic for several reasons. Raspian is the official RPF distribution. There are now over 500,000 Raspberry Pi's out there, most using Raspian. There

                      is nothing to stop another group of people from taking over or forking Raspian if the current maintainers stopped, and I don't see the RPF not trying to find, or having a lot of trouble finding other people to maintain it if that

                      happened.

                       

                      We'll agree to disagree then. 

                       

                      That said, it's interesting to look back at the RPF history. Ubuntu was originally going to be the official RPF distribution, until Ubuntu dropped support. Nobody stepped up to take on a port. Next Fedora was to be the official RPF distribution, but Fedora weren't interested, Seneca stepped in (possibly with some help from the RPF) and produced a port, problems with that port caused it to be fairly quietly dropped by the RPF. Every now and again we hear there may be another version, but again nobody seems to have stepped up to help them with it.

                       

                      Mike Thompson and Peter Green deserve a lot of credit for what they've done with Raspbian, long may it continue. But so far, Mike and Peter appear to be the only ones to have sucessfully taken on such a project. As far as I'm aware it's still mostly a two man show and if I believe what's out there to be read it may even be that Peter has taken on the lions share.

                      So with other past failures, partial or otherwise, I don't believe the argument is as easily dismissed as you make out, if it were then surely they'd have found someone to do the same for Ubuntu or Fedora ?

                       

                      And Liz has said, back on the 1st of March that there's at least a million sold: http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/3375 so there's a potentially much bigger pool of talent available than you suggest.

                      • 23. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black
                        morgaine

                        selsinork wrote:

                         

                        Mike Thompson and Peter Green deserve a lot of credit for what they've done with Raspbian, long may it continue. But so far, Mike and Peter appear to be the only ones to have sucessfully taken on such a project. As far as I'm aware it's still mostly a two man show and if I believe what's out there to be read it may even be that Peter has taken on the lions share.

                         

                        Fortunately that problem will disappear as soon as RPF brings out a next gen Raspberry Pi based on a SoC with a more modern ARM, which can then be supported by standard portable Linux distributions.  That will undoubtedly happen, if we make the very reasonable assumption that the RPF project continues and prospers.  The only question is when.

                        • 24. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black

                          Gary Stewart wrote:

                           

                          The power management chip used by the BeagleBoard Black also uses low dropout voltage regulators for one of its 1.8V and one of its 3.3V supplies. Bad engineering eh Morgaine ? Built

                          right into the chip from TI no less.

                           

                          Did you catch the table in the BBB SRM showing power consumption ?   I was very interested in the Kernel Idling Display Blank figures of 280mA @ 5v, my Pi shows ~410mA in the same condition. So something is doing a better job.

                           

                          Do you have any information on whether LDO3&4 outputs are configured as LDO's or Load Switches ?  I couldn't find anything and I'd like to understand where the differences are, but I think we can safely assume these LDO's are not the same as the 1117's on the Pi. Whether that's the source of the difference or something else is more difficult to ascertain. 

                          I've replaced both the 3.3v & 1.8v LDO's on a couple of my Pi's with switchers based on a TPS54231 and can get down from 410mA to approx 295mA so this has me interested.

                          • 25. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black

                            > The only question is when.

                             

                            We have some clues.

                            The 1st gen RPi was based on the same cpu as the Roku 2,

                            and both were announced mid 2011.

                            The Roku 3 became available recently, using the next generation

                            Broadcom cpu with dual core Cortex A9, with only a slight increase

                            in price over the Roku 2.

                            Sony has already mentioned the 2nd gen RPi.

                            Liz has downplayed the Sony announcement.

                            • 26. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black

                              Morgaine Dinova wrote:

                               

                              The only question is when.

                              I've not been following it closely, but everytime I see some mention of some form of updated Pi the official answer seems to come back as 'not for the forseeable future'. Possibly that's understandable - they still need to make some money from the long awaited camera module, try getting them into schools, and then there's that other as yet unused connector they might want to use.

                              So while you're right, would you bet on the 'when' being anytime soon ?

                              • 27. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black
                                obcd

                                A more modern soc....

                                That's the nice thing about the allwinner and the Ti arm cores as well (Not sure about the last one)

                                They have pin compatible dual core versions of the same soc.

                                Quad core probably already exist as well, but I wouldn't bet on that right now.

                                 

                                Low dropout voltage regulators are not a bad design. The Pi supply is a bad design as it expects 5V with a maximum deviation of 5% and it expects every charger on the market with a micro usb plug do deliver that stable. (Which isn't the case)

                                I also prefer something that accepts like 9 - 15V. The wider the range the more likely it will work and keep working, even if the supply adapter capacitors start to dry out.

                                 

                                I am also always a bit confused when people focus on the Pi pricetag. It's a bit like going to a computer shop and buying a motherboard and cpu, saying you got a pc for 120 euro.

                                 

                                Ok, you can use it without a housing, but you will need a supply, a keyboard, a screen, a mouse and a storage device. Assuming you have those lying around is not a fair comparison in my opinion. 

                                • 28. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black

                                  coder27 wrote:

                                   

                                  Sony has already mentioned the 2nd gen RPi.

                                  Pointer ?

                                  Liz has downplayed the Sony announcement.

                                  One of the places I worked had a running in-house joke that the lifetime of a particular product was only about six weeks. There'd then be a 'new' product, with different code names etc. usually the only difference was a minor tweak here and there, or no difference at all apart from some plug in part.

                                   

                                  So I can understand some downplaying as a 2nd gen RPi could mean almost anything while quite rightly being seen as a 'new' product by Sony.  We'll find out sooner or later, but neither a minor revision or a fully new design would surprise me.

                                  • 29. Re: Pi vs BeagleBone-Black

                                    Luc Cool wrote:

                                     

                                    A more modern soc....

                                    That's the nice thing about the allwinner and the Ti arm cores as well (Not sure about the last one)

                                    They have pin compatible dual core versions of the same soc.

                                    Quad core probably already exist as well, but I wouldn't bet on that right now.

                                    Freescale's iMX6 has, AFAIK, single, dual and quad versions in pin-compatible packaging along with some reduced feature versions of their core in different packaging.  It's used in the Sabre-Lite boards amongst others, better feature set and an inflated price to go with it.

                                     

                                    I am also always a bit confused when people focus on the Pi pricetag. It's a bit like going to a computer shop and buying a motherboard and cpu, saying you got a pc for 120 euro.

                                     

                                    Ok, you can use it without a housing, but you will need a supply, a keyboard, a screen, a mouse and a storage device. Assuming you have those lying around is not a fair comparison in my opinion. 

                                    The BBB seems to be in the same boat, it certainly appears they've cut all the same corners by not supplying a PSU etc either. The Pi and BBB are approx 2 GBP different and you'll need all the same extras for both. That makes a straight comparison of what you get for your money interesting, whether the base price is $35 or $350 isn't so important.  Much more difficult to compare the relative merits of a $35 device to a $350 device objectively, especially if you only have $100.

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