Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Performance Comparison and Review

There is so much fun in DIY Raspberry Pi projects such as security camera and digital weather station. Raspberry Pi model 3 B+ is the newest upgrade, being more flexible and powerful, but still low priced. I rcently run test for the best micro-SD card for Raspberry Pi 3

The upgrade brings superior WiFi performance, wired LAN performance, CPU frequency (200MHz faster), and other great modifications but still maintained the 1GB memory.  

Below are the first impressions and benchmarks after a brief but thorough experience with the new Raspberry Pi model 3 B+.  

Hardware 

Pi 3 model 3 B+ has two key features stand out compared to earlier Pi models: metal shield that covers the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi circuitry (assist in RF emissions containment) and the SoC’s metal cover (for dissipating heat). 

But, what are the favorable hardware modifications? 

– Model 3 B+ comes with a push or pull microSD card slot as opposed to the earlier push-to-eject.

– Comes with a premium looking Pi logo that is engaged on its wireless cover. Previous models had the logo being etched on their circuit board, which looked low-class. Further, the Broadcom SoC has a beautiful metal cover. 

– Model 3 B+ has a metal enclosure CPU build that dissipates heat well than the plastic covering on the earlier models: without additional active cooling or heat-sink. 

– Further, it has highly standardized board layout and form factor

The key hardware improvements that could do in the future include: 

– Improve the I/O such as incorporating USB 3.0. ports in place of the current USB 2.0. 

Networking

On-board LAN was a critical aspect of the Raspberry Pi Model 3 that required a major overhaul. 

The model 3 B+ now has the 10/100/1000 Gigabit LAN controller as opposed to just the 10/100 controller. Therefore, the in-build port will not be capped at 100 Mbps (practically ~93 Mbps). Model 3 B+ will thus give you more bandwidth and you won’t need gigabyte networking like before.

Due to the improved Raspbian OS and the Pi 3 B+’s better power, the initial impression with the B+ is excellent.

The test results showed an improvement in the processing power such as fast USB data transfer and better benchmarks performance.

Its CPU has a heatspreader at its top and thus the processor won’t throttle its performance. However, the wireless and wired benchmark test showed no significant difference from the previous Pi 3 that has inferior features.

Exposed Circuits design

My first impression with the Raspberry Pi 3B+ is a great looking circuit board that measures 0.63*3.5*2.2 in.

Notably, all the components are visible: 40-pin GPIO input/output connector, and the 1.4GHz ARM processor.

Also, the board includes micro-SD slot, 3.5mm audio output, HDMI, Ethernet, four USB 2.0, and micro-USB connector. 

Amazing Speed Boost

Just like Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, the all new Model B+ has a 64-bit processor, and in-built wireless connectivity.

Despite not having not many additional features, the Model B+ has some unique tasks that will be completed much easier.

For example, with the processor upgrade that allows faster speeds, it’ll be easier to complete tasks that require huge computing power such as creating a home-theatre PC.

Further, despite having the same 1GB memory, the Model B+ comes with a 200MHz faster CPU.

On the negative side however, Pi 3 Model B+, could not effectively play the YouTube 1080p video. However, you may install VLC through different apps or command line to play SDcard-loaded HD video.

PROS

  • Superior networking and faster processor
  • Highly customizable and easy to install

CONS

  • Ethernet port won’t attain the 1Gbps top speed described.

I used benchmarks from the browser to assess the significance of the 200MHz CPU speed increase.

First, I used the JavaScript Sunspider 1.0.2 and it took 1.92 seconds. Notably, the above is double the speed of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B that takes 2.77 secs.

Requires some Add-Ons

Definitely, if you’ll be utilizing the Raspberry Pi in complex projects, you must add components such as Pi case, fans and heat sinks.

To create an amazing first computers, you’ll need a case that has top ports’ cut-outs and that will be easy to dismantle whenever needed.

Also, you can include a PoE hat adapter to power up the Raspberry Pi through the Ethernet cable-supplied power, particularly when used with motion detectors.

Model B+’s Ethernet port will allows the gigabit transfer speeds with speeds going up to 315Mbps. Your WiFi radio will do nice in Model B+’s 5GHz band.

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