So how do these boards stack up? well they are all slightly different. However they can all run the same basic software.
Some of the obvious differences are the processor speeds, the number of cores, the amount of available ram, the amount of GPIO pins, the community support.
When it comes to processor power the pcDuino3 is the clear winner with a dual core 1GHz processor.
When it comes to on board ram the pcDuino3 is the clear winner with 1 GB of on board ram.
When it comes to networking the pcDuino3 has a slight advantage in that it comes with WiFi built in.
If you are going choose one of the three to run an X-windows desktop I would certainly choose the pcDuino3. With the dual core processor and 1 GB of ram there is a very perceivable performance increase over both the beaglebone black and the raspberry pi.
When it comes to GPIO the Beaglebone black wins hands down. However the pcDuino gets bonus points for being compatible with 3.3 volt arduino shields. That being said there is a little learning curve involved with the pcDuino if you are coming from the arduino world. If however you are comfortable with python, you will love the transition from arduino to pcDuino.
When it comes to community support there is no clear winner. But if I had to choose one I would say the raspberry pi due in large part to the shear volume of information available.
The Pcduino in my opinion is a great platform. The only place where it lacks is in form factor. Both the raspberry pi and beaglebone black are much smaller and size does matter in some projects.
One other huge advantage the pcduino3 has is an on board sata port. This is a really nice feature.
when it comes to price the raspberry pi is certainly the cheapest followed by the Beaglebone black and then the pcDuino3 which cost almost as much as two raspberry pi’s
So in summary If I had to pick a winner between the three it would be the pcDuino3.
All this being said there are still other options when it comes to micro controllers… propeller and arduino both come to mind.
With all these options you are sure to find at least one platform that will work for your project if not two or three or maybe run multiple platforms integrated together on your next project. What a great time to be a maker!
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