The $35, 64-bit Raspberry Pi 3 is here: now 50 percent faster and with built-in Wi-Fi

By midian182
Feb 29, 2016
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  1. There’s some good news for fans of the Raspberry Pi: as the tiny, single-board computer celebrates its fourth anniversary, a new version of the device has just gone on sale today. Available for just $35 – the same price as its predecessor - the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B is said to carry out most tasks about 50 - 60 percent faster than the Pi 2, and it comes with some impressive new hardware.

    The Pi 3 marks the second major upgrade to the board in just over a year and is the first to feature built-in wireless capabilities. In previous versions of the Pi, USB adapters were required if you wanted Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, but the Pi 3 supports Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (2.4GHz only).

    Another upgrade from the Pi 2 comes in the form of a 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, running at 1.2GHz. The Pi 3’s processor is a pretty big jump from the previous version’s 32-bit 900Hmz Cortex-A7.

    "Our primary goal in moving to A53 from A7 was to get a better 32-bit core," the board’s co-creator, Eben Upton, told Engadget. "A53 running in 32-bit mode outperforms A7 at the same clock speed by 20-30 percent."

    The Pi 3 keeps the same dimensions as its predecessor and retains the HDMI port, Ethernet, MicroSD, and four USB ports. It uses a 400MHz Broadcom VideoCore IV 3D graphics processor, rather than the Pi 2’s 250MHz version. 1080p video support goes up to 60fps from 30fps, and H.265 support is also introduced, but this is limited to 1080p at 30fps.

    In addition to the improved components, the Pi 3 comes with better power management and will launch alongside an official 2.5A power supply, “which will enable users to power their Pi and ‘add-on’ boards all from one power source”

    Upton pointed out that while the Pi 3 supported 64-bit operating systems, the device will ship with a 32-bit version of the Noobs OS. “We're going to wait until someone can demonstrate a concrete benefit to going to 64-bit before we make that our standard,” he said.

    The Pi 3’s hardware upgrades make it “more credible as a PC replacement,” according to Upton.

    The Pi foundation is putting a strong focus on the IoT with its new device, announcing at a launch event that it has worked closely with Microsoft to ensure compatibility between the Pi 3 and Windows 10 IoT.

    “A few hundred thousand” Raspberry Pi 3 boards are going on sale today.

    Here are the full specs:

    • Chipset: Broadcom BCM2837
    • CPU: 1.2GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM cortex A53
    • Ethernet : 10/100 (Max throughput 100Mbps)
    • USB: Four USB 2.0 with 480Mbps data transfer
    • Storage: MicroSD card or via USB-attached storage
    • Wireless: 802.11n Wireless LAN (Peak throughput of 150Mbps), Bluetooth 4.0
    • Graphics: 400MHz VideoCore IV multimedia
    • Memory: 1GB LPDDR2-900 SDRAM
    • Expandability: 40 general purpose input-output pins
    • Video: Full HDMI port
    • Audio: Combined 3.5mm audio jack and composite video
    • Camera interface (CSI)
    • Display interface (DSI)

    Permalink to story.

  2. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,114   +1,379

    On one hand it is good to see the board evolve. But to retain the 100Mbit Ethernet instead of the standard 1Gbit is really pathetic and annoying. For me it is the main reason not to touch it.

    For all the tasks I considered it, I needed a very fast data exchange via Ethernet, and 100Mbit just doesn't cut it. It's buffing why can't they change to 1Gbit at last, for today it should cost nothing, and their CPU is more than capable to handle a single 1Gbit channel.

    Also, since the cost of memory dropped a lot again since the last update, one would expect a better memory option than what they offer.

    For my money, they should at least try to compete with today's smartphones, in terms of the performance, but these boards are miles behind. I have a 3-year old smartphone with better performance than this "new" board.

    When this product appeared for the first time, it offered a terrific value, but as the time went by, the cost of all the components dropped much faster than the speed at which this board was upgraded to keep its value. As a result, it's been steadily devaluing.
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2016
    H3llion likes this.
  3. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,431   +473

    What 3 year old smartphone is out for $35 that can actually run W10, you can plug into ethernet and connect multiple usb devices at the same time?

    So it's not for you, and that is fine, althrough this doesn't mean it's either pathetic or annoying. Besides, the whole point of the RPi was to get kids and emergent countries into developing, not for an old dude to cry about it not serving his purpose.
    Comanche and azzaNZ like this.
  4. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,114   +1,379

    How about 10 of them? - take your pick:

    You are twisting what I said about its pathetic 100Mbit Ethernet, not the entire device itself.

    Judging by all the online videos, adults are the ones who make most of such products. Kids have many ways to learn without one specific product.

    Now you are being an a##hole.
  5. RebelFlag

    RebelFlag TS Addict Posts: 134   +66

    There is not a single smartphone in the link you provided.
  6. Win7Dev

    Win7Dev TS Evangelist Posts: 537   +152

    Why is the wireless faster than the wired option though? That's the real mystery. It was probably a cost saving cut and the developers figured not that many people would bother with hardwiring it.
  7. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,431   +473

    Wireless is never faster
    There is not a single smartphone, nor is there a cheaper alternative to the RPi that can do the same for less (The only cheaper is the Arduino, which is not an alternative). Although nice try randomly googling "alternatives to rpi".

    The way you are expressing yourself in the post tells me otherwise.

    A flies eat feces, that doesn't mean you take a dump to feed flies does it?

    You should really read your post a couple of times, you are being one. Again, you are just ranting at it, ok lets take a look at it.

    If you read, this is because the main controller uses USB width, there is no USB 2.0 that can get you gigabit speed (Remember they can go up to a 480 mbps limit?) and here is the board controller involved, not the CPU.

    This is also a board limitance, they did improve both the procesor and added something that would've otherwise costed you an additional $10 (WLAN & BT) for the same price, boohoo cheap RPi bastards.

    You tried and you failed,

    Yeah, I actually preordered one, dual core (EDIT: My freaking bad, it was SINGLE core 700mhz), 256mb, 2 usb ports that couldn't power an external hdd. 4 years later I can get a whole new set of features, 10 times the speed, 4 times the memory, double the usb devices plugged (No longer have to get a 2 in 1 keyboard/mouse dongle) AND!! WLAN + BT for the same devaluated $35, again cheap RPi bastards.
    Reehahs and RebelFlag like this.
  8. jauffins

    jauffins TS Enthusiast Posts: 85   +24

    Wait, full Windows 10 (and not the IOT shell) runs on ARM hardware? How?!
    Reehahs likes this.
  9. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 1,937   +157

    Does this come with a OS? A power supply? Does it have a box or do you have to buy some kind of case?
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,467   +1,760

    This is great news! Just think, within the decade they'll be coming with Pentium 4's...
  11. Technician

    Technician TS Addict Posts: 677   +113

    RP isn't and never was very impressive in it's capabilities.
  12. Business Direct

    Business Direct TS Booster Posts: 44

    Those aren't 3 year old smart phones like you stated.
  13. Technician

    Technician TS Addict Posts: 677   +113

    What difference does the age make?
  14. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,431   +473

    When you try to bash something, knowing your stuff is very important, you should've learned that in your conversation with @dividebyzero :p

    Are you kidding me? A quad core computer with a gig on ram, network + wlan for $35 that can help a ton of people learn about linux, services, developing, robot building, home streaming or whatever you can think, to me it's very impressive.

    I'm sorry but an entry level AMD E-350 beats a P4 -at least on benchmarks, I don't have a P4 lying around to test it against the E350- :p

    The case is not necesary although if you want one it costs around $10, OS you can download from the RPi website, power supply is a mobile phone charger for the full 4 usb experience they recommend one with 2,5A output.

    Yeah it's the IOT one =/ but still.
    treetops and jauffins like this.
  15. avioza

    avioza TS Enthusiast Posts: 74   +23

    Awsome! Adding the WiFi removes the need to buy and extra $6-7 dollar adapter. My automated brew system is nearing completion and it will be powered by this.

    Though the Pi is a little deficient with exact timing as a microcontroller the price can't be beat. It would be a lot more expensive to do the same thing with an Arduino.
  16. Technician

    Technician TS Addict Posts: 677   +113

    I don't know to whom you refer or what conversation. I also think you are assuming I am not familiar with RP. That would be a wrong assumption on your part.
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,467   +1,760

    Well maybe so but, if you start putting those old Prescotts in them, you'll be able to market them as, "Rasberry PI, Fresh From the Oven"...:cool:
    RoosterFish2 likes this.
  18. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Maniac Posts: 798   +217

    Don't you mean "Still in the Oven"?
    captaincranky likes this.
  19. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,467   +1,760

    Well yes I did. Good catch! (y)

    And now the news, "a young child had his very first Raspberry Pi stolen by a racoon, as it sat on a window sill to cool after a particularly spirited session of, 'Candy Crush' :eek:"
  20. jauffins

    jauffins TS Enthusiast Posts: 85   +24

    Dangit. I got excited for a moment. I'd love to be able to turn my RasPi 2 into some sort of x86-capable machine for running Windows XP or older games.
  21. Technician

    Technician TS Addict Posts: 677   +113

    Lol its nothing to get excited about.
  22. jauffins

    jauffins TS Enthusiast Posts: 85   +24

    I get easily excited, alright?! D:
  23. azzaNZ

    azzaNZ TS Rookie

    Can be powered using standard mini-USB - although it sounds like you can get an 'official' power supply for the new one. Generally doesn't come with case, although you should be able to pick one up online for a couple of dollars.
    treetops likes this.
  24. Technician

    Technician TS Addict Posts: 677   +113

    Anything associated with Braben is a rip off, it's not just what he does, it's who he is. He's a pathological liar.
  25. Row1

    Row1 TS Guru Posts: 326   +13

    An entire computer for $35, and people are crying?

    Most of the parts and software are low-cost or no-cost, so anyone with the knowledge to put these ingredients together in a similarly usable can rival the Raspberry Pi's hefty pricetag whenever they feel like it...

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