Raspberry Pi 3 Overview Comparison and Speed Tests

By | March 22, 2016

Raspberry Pi 3 Overview Comparison and Speed Tests

Having bought a new Raspberry Pi 3 I decided to compare it to a RasPi 2 and see the differences.
So lets look at the brand new Raspberry Pi 3 including comparing it with a Raspberry Pi 2 and running some performance tests.
The Raspberry Pi 3 now comes with a 64 bit CPU which does mean more power but it doesn’t mean mean a lack of compatibility
All existing Raspberry Pi hardware, peripherals, programs, and projects should work fine on the Raspi 3.
The board layout is familiar with four USB 2.0 ports, Ethernet, HDMI, 3.5 millimeter socket for composite video and audio, and so on.
Raspberry Pi 3 Overview Vs Rasberry Pi 2
40 GPIO pins are still the standard. The CPU is a system-on-a-chip Broadcom BCM2837.
It is a 1.2 GHZ Quad Core ARM Cortex-A53
Inside the system-on-a-chip we also have a video GPU the same as on previous Raspi. Some might ask why not a more powerful GPU but I guess it’s about compatibility.
As most know one of the biggest added features about the Raspberry Pi 3 is it now has built in WiFi.
On the back of the Pi 3 is a Broadcom BCM43438 WiFi and Bluetooth chip.
Raspberry Pi 3 Overview WiFi and Bluetooth chip
The antenna is located in the corner next to the GPIO pins.
Raspberry Pi 3 Overview WifI Anntena Location
It also has 1 GB of DDR2 RAM.
Raspberry Pi 3 Overview Vs Rasberry Pi 2 RAM 1GB
Raspberry Pi 3 VS the Raspberry Pi 2
Raspberry Pi 3 Vs Raspberry Pi 2
Both board layouts are very similar except for of course the WiFi components.
The processors while located in the same spot are different with the Raspberry Pi 2 having a BCM 900 Mhz chip, and the Raspberry Pi 3 having a BCM2837 1.2 GHz CPU.
Raspberry Pi 3 Vs Raspberry Pi 2 CPU Speed
Both have Quad Cores while only the RasPi 3 has a 64 bit CPU.
Since all the components are placed in the same location on both the Pi 2 and Pi 3 the cases are interchangeable.
Speed Test Pi 2 Vs Pi 3
The first test was to simply time the boot speed of Rasbian.
Raspberry Pi 3 Speed Tests Vs Raspberry Pi 2
As you can see while the Pi 3 was faster but it was not by much.
The next test was to run a program and see how long it took to start.
Using Libre Office the start time was better with the RasPi 3 at 6.2 seconds vs the RasPi 2 at 8.1seconds.
Raspberry Pi 3 VS Raspberry Pi 2 Boot Time
While the boot-up speed wasn’t much different, starting programs showed a 30 percent increase in speed.
The last test was to do some video editing by adding a filter to a video.
Again the Pi 3 was faster at 11.7 seconds Vs the Pi 2 at 21.6 seconds.
Raspberry Pi 3 Overview Vs Raspberry Pi 2 Speed Test 3
This last test shows the Pi 3 is much better at running calculations than the Pi 2.
The Pi 3 is a obvious improvement over the Pi 2 from built-in WiFi to a faster CPU.
Some of these test may even improve as software is written to take full advantage of the Pi 3 64 bit CPU.
One major difference is the amps the power supply needs to run the Pi 3. While a Pi 2 can use low amp power supply the Pi 3 almost requires a 2.5 amp supply.
like the original Pi was readily out paced when the RasPi 2 was introduced the Pi 3 has some major improvements.


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