which is the Better DIY Platform? Arduino vs Raspberry Pi in 2021.
If you are planning a new tech project and are looking for a small single-board computer to serve as the brain of your design. You are likely to consider one of two devices: the Raspberry Pi or the Arduino. Both are for professionals and hobbyists looking to create exciting new projects with low entry costs.
Raspberry Pi and Arduino boards have advantages, disadvantages. And ideal use cases depending on the requirements of your project. If you’re not sure which board is the best in the battle between Arduino and Raspberry Pi, here’s a quick rundown to help you decide.
Performance and Specifications
If you are thinking of replacing your PC board, we will answer you now: the Raspberry Pi is the only option (at least compared to the Arduino). The latest Raspberry Pi 4 and 4B, offering 1GB to 8GB of RAM and a 1.5GHz quad-core ARM v8 processor, deliver a lot of power on a very small board.
Even the smaller Pi models (Zero and Zero W boards) offer significant power for their size, with a 1GHz ARM processor, 512MB of RAM, GPIO headers for expansion, and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support.
Like the Pi, there are various Arduino models, with the Arduino Uno offering a very small 2KB SRAM and a 16MHz microcontroller for very specific projects. At the other end of the scale is the Arduino Portena H7 with a dual-core Cortex M7 + M4 ARM microcontroller, 8 to 64 MB of RAM, and built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Is this a fair comparison? Probably not, because the Raspberry Pi and Arduino are two very different products. The Arduino is a configurable, programmable board for custom hardware projects, while the Raspberry Pi is a more “traditional” computer in its own right, with support for various Linux distributions and the right hardware to boot.
Speed and performance are a win for the Pi, but the Arduino doesn’t need to run all the complex applications a Raspberry Pi should have (with a full Linux distribution). The only fair comparison could be to the Raspberry Pi Pico, a hobbyist microcontroller board with a dual-core ARM Cortex M0 + processor and 264KB of RAM.
As we said, the Raspberry Pi is a very powerful computer for its size. While earlier models (from the original Pi to the Raspberry Pi 3) may have been quite slow, the newer models (Raspberry Pi 4 and 4B) offer significant performance improvements.
This gives you the option to replace your work computer with a Raspberry Pi. It’s not ideal for gaming (except for retro gaming) or video encoding, but it’s a full-featured server or PC. It can also be integrated into any number of projects, be it the construction of a weather station or the nerve center of a robotic structure.
In some respects, the Arduino does not have the same functionality, but is aimed at a different audience. If you are an experienced programmer, you can program the Arduino to do whatever task you like. This can be a remote control car, a home alarm, a communication system – all this is possible with the right equipment connected to it.
Extending Arduino is the best way to unleash the real power behind it. If you enjoy writing code, this is a great way to create a cheap and simple project. However, the Raspberry Pi offers many of the same benefits, with numerous add-on boards (called HATs) that can be placed on the 40-pin GPIO header on the board itself.
You can choose Arduino for size or power consumption, but if you want performance and functionality, the Raspberry Pi is an absolute winner.
While the Arduino and Raspberry Pi are boards with great potential, that doesn’t mean they are extremely difficult to use. Both boards have their roots in education: Pi was created to help schools and parents reclaim the 80s-style curiosity that encouraged kids to learn to code.
As a microcontroller board, Arduino is a beginner programmer’s dream. The Arduino website itself offers tutorials and code examples to help you create new projects. While the Raspberry Pi allows users to do many things at once, the Arduino focuses on a single target, created and programmed by the user.
Unfortunately, Arduino uses C ++ as the main language for its code. It is not the easiest language to learn or use, unlike the beginner-friendly Python, which the Raspberry Pi fully supports (along with other major programming languages).
If programming isn’t for you, then you don’t need to program on the Raspberry Pi either. Installing a Raspberry Pi OS or another Linux distribution will provide you with a complete operating system, including a graphical user interface that allows you to run standard software like Google Chrome or LibreOffice.
It is also much easier to control and use the Raspberry Pi even from a terminal. Linux terminal commands are easy to learn, but if you prefer to avoid it, you can – this is the success of the Raspberry Pi, offering a very low entry threshold for beginners and hobbyists.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Arduino. However, if you’re willing to accept a more challenging learning curve, this could be the centerpiece of a great new project build, but the Raspberry Pi will help you get there faster.
Power and usability are one thing, but cost is important, especially for a hobbyist project on a modest budget. Fortunately, both the Arduino and Raspberry Pi are extremely cheap to acquire and use.
At the bottom of the Raspberry, Pi lineup is the Raspberry Pi Pico. At just $ 4, this tiny controller is a programmable nerve center for the hobbyist project. Unlike Arduino, it supports C and MicroPython (Python for microcontrollers), which makes the system easier to use.
For full performance, however. Pi 4 Model B runs from $ 35 (for 2GB of RAM) to $ 75 (for 8GB). Depending on the retailer. You can also buy the smaller and less powerful Zero W for $ 10. Other boards (like the older Pi, 2, 3, and 3B) have similarly discounted prices due to their age and lower specs.
Fortunately, Arduino boards are economical as well. There are many Arduino boards available, but some of the most common, like the Arduino Uno, cost around $ 20-30. Other boards (like the Pro Mini) can be as low as $ 10. Mega at $ 60, and the Portena H7 at $ 99.99.
As an open-source board, Arduino also has a number of clones in a similar price range. However, considering the Raspberry Pi Pico only costs $ 4. Raspberry Pi microcontroller is still the best value for money. But this will depend on the performance and power requirements of your particular project.
Arduino vs Raspberry Pi: Which Is Best For You?
One can easily say that there is a winner in this battle, but there is none. Arduino or Raspberry Pi will be a great element of your project. But most newbies will find it easier to set up and use the Raspberry Pi. It also offers more features, functionality, and a much lower entry threshold for absolute beginners.
With its many add-ons and a beginner-friendly OS, there are tons of simple Raspberry Pi projects you can try. You can even pair them by connecting. Arduino to the Raspberry Pi using the GPIO header pins for more extensive projects. However, if you’ve just bought a new Raspberry Pi, you can update it first.
which is the Better DIY Platform? Arduino vs Raspberry Pi in 2021
which is the Better DIY Platform? Arduino vs Raspberry Pi in 2021