Friday 27 February 2015

The RaspberryPi model B+ mark 2

I've just been given a new Raspberry Pi.

It is my 10th Pi and my first mark 2 board, the Raspberry Pi that is claimed to be 6 times faster than a B+.

So it is time to check it out and also measure the current drain using the same test conditions that I've used for my other models.

What exactly is it?

According to the Element 14 box, its a "Raspberry Pi 2 Model B 1GB", and the box also states that it is "6x Faster".

On the RaspberryPi forum it is commonly called a Pi2, but I hope to future-proof this post by referring to it as the Pi B2. This is because I'm half expecting there to be a Pi A2 at some stage.

Having the same foot-print as the B+, the Pi B2 has twice as much memory as the B+ (512MB > 1GB) and uses a quad core ARMv7 Broadcom cpu. The change to ARMv7 should open the door to a wider range of Linux distributions. And of course Microsoft dont want to be 'on the outside looking in' any longer, so are planning to do something with Windows 10 (...I'm truly underwhelmed).

It is certainly noticeably quicker for every operation from sudo apt-get upgrade to running the web browser. And running Gambas 3.5.4 on Jessie it is not only faster to load and more responsive, but the Task Manager cpu% not longer rises to 100%. If fact the little graph just seems to dribble along with a short peak of maybe 20%.

What will I use it for

As I currently have just the one, I will probably use it as the default development board, especially for writing, editing and building Gambas applications.

On the other hand, my eldest granddaughter is just about ready to move on to more complicated games. So maybe KiddiePi could do with an upgrade. It would be good to run GCompris, if someone can get it running properly.

Power consumption

I repeated the very basic current drain checks to determine how the models compare.

Note that these are not absolute indications of power consumption, but an attempt to show some relative figures for comparison between Pi models/versions.

"board only" means nothing connected & no SD card

When I did the original checks on the A+ I was puzzled by the jump in current just a few seconds after power was applied to the bare board (i.e. no SD fitted). So I just repeated the test on a different A+ board. I still get the jump in current from the initial value, but the final values are much lower than they were for the 1st board.

The results for the new design look quite good, and compare favourably with the model A+. (so maybe the A+ could have a RAM upgrade to 1GB without incurring too much of a power consumption penalty?).

As far as I can see, there is no longer any point in buying a B+, even at a substantial discount.

1 comment:

  1. The main limitation of Pi Model B (1st gen if you like) is that blowing up a 12x12x12 cube of TNT in Minecraft takes aaaages minutes to render.

    You gotta pick your priorities