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Feb
9

Raspberry Pi benchmarked against Beagleboard, low price is long term

by Rob Zwetsloot

Eben Upton reveals to Linux User some of his performance results and how they compared to other popular SoCs

In a recent interview with Linux User & Developer, Raspberry Pi developer Eben Upton got a chance to talk about the performance of the upcoming SoC that is due out later this month.

“Raspberry Pi, in terms of multimedia, outperforms any other dev board in existence – which is nice,” explained Eben, “In terms of general purpose computing, it’s got this 700MHz ARM11, and our benchmark shows it’s about 20 per cent slower than a Beagleboard for general purpose computing. But, you know, it’s a quarter of the price.”

The incredibly low price of the board is in no small part thanks to the deal with Broadcom, and there has been some speculation that this kind of pricing won’t last. Eben, an employee of Broadcom himself, puts the record straight:

“I can say – putting my Broadcom employee hat on briefly – if we sold all our chips to Raspberry Pi, that’d be just great. We haven’t given a price that means that Broadcom is losing money on this activity. It’s not losing money. The understanding that I have with Broadcom is that they are happy to continue providing chips for this project forever.”

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    • http://blog.hangerhead.com Jason Kridner

      I’m looking forward to the article. As I read the above, it seems there are multiple math errors and I’m curious about a bench mark that would have the performance in this range. I believe even ARM themselves will likely tell you that with the proper armv7, neon and vfp optimizations, the speed-up of the ARM Cortex-A8 over the ARM11 is significantly higher than what is mentioned.

      More ARM-based systems coming out to help advance the state of open software on ARM is a really great thing, but if the point is to make a direct comparison to BeagleBoard, it might be worth reminding the audience that BeagleBoard.org targets people looking to be able to make their own devices by being as much open hardware as possible in the performance class of a device able to take on desktop processing tasks and still be accessible for hardware hacking. This is one of the great things of the ARM architecture in that it supports many different vendors and many, many different scenarios.

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    • Greg

      Article doesn’t make any sense.

      “Raspberry Pi, in terms of multimedia, outperforms any other dev board in existence…about 20 per cent slower than a Beagleboard.” Okay, so the entire second paragraph is seemingly meaninglessly.

      “The incredibly low price of the board is in no small part thanks to the deal with Broadcom, and there has been some speculation that this kind of pricing won’t last… The understanding that I have with Broadcom is that they are happy to continue providing chips for this project forever.” So the cheap price which sales boards and CPUs won’t last, which means they won’t sell chips and boards but they are happy to sell chips forever. Doesn’t really make sense.

      Aside from worthless rumor mongering, the article is seemingly pointless.

    • Trevor

      I really have to say this is one of the most useless “articles” I’ve ever read. No substance at all, just a marketing shill. It would have been much more honest to just say “We’ve got a benchmark coming out in the print magazine, thanks for the clicks sucker.”

      “Some of his performance results”? Really? Since when is one number considered some?

      You should be ashamed.

    • swiftfall

      The raspberry pi has a slower processor than the beagleboard but has a better gpu and can get better multimedia from moving the load off the main processor and onto the gpu. This article is not worthless, just very weak.

    • Roger

      Its a teaser for the forthcoming dead-tree edition of LU&D.

      It doesn’t tell me any more than I can read and argue over in the Raspberry Pi forum. I may have a flick through LU&D at WHSmiths when it comes out next week, but if its as incoherent as the above article, I think that is all I’ll be doing.

      There’ll be a flood of stuff about the Raspberry Pi in the next couple of months. This is just trying to jump the gun a little.

    • bernie

      including reasons for delays, the benefits for them to be a charity, and gripes with Canonical,

      Nice tease, all three interest me.

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