Asus looks to challenge the Raspberry Pi 3 with its 4K-enabled Tinker Board

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

There's no arguing that the Raspberry Pi has become a massive worldwide success, resulting in a series of similar single-board computer rivals. The latest is a device from Asus called the Tinker Board, which the company says has the Pi beat when it comes to power and features.

Asus’ offering looks remarkably similar to the Raspberry Pi. The layout, particularly the location of the USB, HDMI, and Ethernet ports, is almost identical to its cheaper competitor, but there are some notable differences.

Compared to the Raspberry Pi 3, the Tinker board boasts double the RAM (2 GB of LPDDR3 dual channel, compared to 1 GB LPDDR2), the latest generation of SDIO, and Gigabit Ethernet.

The most interesting difference is with the processor. While the Tinker Board’s Rockchip RK3288 quad-core ARM Cortex-A17 is 32-bit - unlike the Pi 3's 64-bit Cortex-A53 chip - the 1.8Ghz clock speed is faster than the Pi’s 1.2Ghz . 

The extra horsepower means the Tinker Board supports 4K video and 192kHz/24-bit audio, making it a perfect choice for projects where the Pi 3’s capabilities don’t suffice. Speaking about why it decided to take on the Pi, Asus said: "Raspberry Pi has been in the market for so long, we're here to expand users' choices with more options. And this board has 4K support, higher SoC performance, faster Ethernet transmission, and flexibility for the memory size." 

On sale for £55 – around $68 – the Tinker is the more expensive board. And while it does come with more powerful components, whether it can truly challenge the Pi, which has sold over 10 million units, remains to be seen.

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Kibaruk

TechSpot Paladin
Twice as powerful and twice as expensive, sounds almost like the simulation testing NASA did with Drones, that adding twice the rotors would bring almost twice the power =P
 

VitalyT

Russ-Puss
And yet they are behind with the Bluetooth standard :)

Wasn't it like..."with great power comes great expense...."? :)
 

JohnnyStone

TS Enthusiast
USB 3 would have been nice to use as a server by connecting a USB 3 drive.

Otherwise this is one of the biggest reasons why the Pi has not yet captured my attention, performance. This is coming a lot closer. With this you can begin to build reasonable desktops to use in emerging markets. But I think we are still a way off for this, but it can be done.

The biggest win would be to use it as a Multimedia and streaming box as well as gaming station. Performance is getting there.
 

gusticles41

TS Evangelist
That comparison chart is like putting specs of a Lexus next to a Ferrari. Pi still wins for value...Which is obviously it's appeal.
 

hood6558

TS Evangelist
The appeal of Pi 3 is it's price, but also it's size. The problem with Pi 3 - it's too slow and limited. I had the Pi 2, and my thought was, "if only it wasn't so slow, I'd gladly pay more". The Pi 3 upped performance, and has built-in wifi and bluetooth, but still not enough. Now, this Asus board narrows the gap quite a lot, bringing it much closer to a usable desktop or media streaming PC, with 4k video and 24/192 audio. At $68, the appeal of Asus Tinker Board is still price, and you can actually use it for things that normally require much more expensive hardware.
 

gusticles41

TS Evangelist
The appeal of Pi 3 is it's price, but also it's size. The problem with Pi 3 - it's too slow and limited. I had the Pi 2, and my thought was, "if only it wasn't so slow, I'd gladly pay more". The Pi 3 upped performance, and has built-in wifi and bluetooth, but still not enough. Now, this Asus board narrows the gap quite a lot, bringing it much closer to a usable desktop or media streaming PC, with 4k video and 24/192 audio. At $68, the appeal of Asus Tinker Board is still price, and you can actually use it for things that normally require much more expensive hardware.
I guess I can't argue it's still a decent value, and it sounds like the performance is there. But at that price I'd have a hard time not trying whatever my project is on a Pi.

I made a RetroPi emulator on a Pi 2 model B. It does struggle with N64 emulation and 3D performance. But damn am I impressed with what $35 got me.
 

KillerDAN

TS Rookie
Just tried putting an order for two units.

As it seems CPC/ Farnell "has stopped the sale of the tinker board."

"This is due to an error on the data, Some customers have been having some issues"

Someone can tell more about this error/ issues ?

By the way, I think we missed this on the post: ASUS Link for the Tinker Board:

https://www.asus.com/supportonly/TInker Board2GB