The 10 Best Single Board Computers

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This wiki has been updated 14 times since it was first published in October of 2019. While the Raspberry Pi repopularized the single board computer (SBC) in 2012, they have actually been around in some form since the 1970s. Nowadays they are favored as learning tools for computer science, and can be used to run a number of applications, including home automation, artificial intelligence, robotics, media players, and regular computing tasks such as web browsing and word processing. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Nvidia 945-82771

2. LattePanda Development Board

3. pcDuino9s RK3288

Editor's Notes

July 01, 2020:

Both hobbyists and computer scientists are finding single board computers to be increasingly useful tools for learning, projects, and serious real-world uses. Ever since the British company Raspberry Pi released its first unit, the Model B, in 2012, followed shortly by the more basic and less costly Model A, these stripped-down PCs have been the foundation of a myriad of applications based on their relative simplicity, size, and features.

Since they draw very little power, an SBC can remain turned on around the clock, without requiring a fan for cooling, and without significantly affecting your electricity bill. This makes them ideal for use as web servers, for streaming digital content to a TV, as a booster for Wi-Fi signal, for running security systems, and as home media players, etcetera. The number of practical uses for a single board computer is staggering, and these boundless possibilities fuel the imagination for new and exciting projects.

Some, such as the Seeed Studio Jetson Nano, Nvidia 945-82771, and the Khadas VIM3 are especially good for certain artificial intelligence (AI) utilities, as they allow several neural networks to run in parallel while maintaining low consumption of energy. Uses include the creation of autonomous cars that learn tracks to the best of their ability and compete with one another; cognitive identification devices that distinguish between different objects; and facial recognition devices that identify personal attributes. These are just some of the amazing things that can be achieved with AI using an SBC.

Those getting started in the world of programming and computer science might consider a simpler model that has general functions and features, such as the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-ready Rock PI Rockchip RK3399, ASUS Tinker Board RK3288, and LattePanda Development Board, all of which feature USB and HDMI connectivity for peripheral devices, and are ideal for the novice and professional alike. The most popular unit in circulation remains the Raspberry Pi, and this ranking includes the Vilros Raspberry Pi 4 Basic Starter Kit, which provides a comprehensive package, including a power adapter, metal case, and heat sinks.

Special Honors

Udoo x86 II Ultra. Powerful enough to host all kinds of CPU-heavy applications, such as graphical editors, professional development platforms, and gaming, this compact unit is based on Intel's latest generation Quad-Core 64-bit x86 processors. It comes loaded with up to eight gigabytes of RAM and features an embedded Arduino Leonardo board with a built-in six-axis accelerometer and gyroscope, further adding to its capabilities.

4. Khadas VIM3

5. Seeed Studio Jetson Nano

6. Rock PI Rockchip RK3399

7. Vilros Raspberry Pi 4 Basic Starter Kit

8. Asus Tinker Board RK3288

9. Odroid-XU4

10. Libre AML-S905X-CC

Luke Mitchell
Last updated by Luke Mitchell

Having grown weary of working in office environments, music graduate Luke decided to trade the dismal skies of southern England for the far more agreeable climate of south Asia. Prior to writing for Ezvid Wiki, he established a small agency providing websites for clients all over the world. This enabled him to travel extensively, living for prolonged periods in a number of interesting countries and experiencing several different cultures along the way. When not playing or writing music, Luke likes to ride his motorcycle in far-flung regions where the air is thin and the roads are dusty. His areas of expertise are largely gleaned from his nomadic lifestyle and include travel, computers, automotive goods and accessories, musical instruments and gear, and boats.

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