Best Single-Board Computers for Every Use and Budget in 2021

Ever since the introduction of the Raspberry Pi, single-board computers (SBCs) have risen in popularity. While the Raspberry Pi is undoubtedly the most popular maker board on the planet, it's far from the only option. There are development boards for a variety of purposes and at a range of prices. From tiny, cheap single-board computers to beefy desktop-replacement SBCs, you'll find a ton of choices. Check out the best single-board computers for all uses and budgets, from x86 SBCs and ARM SBCs to single-board computers for gaming, cheap dev boards, and more!

What is a Single-Board Computer?

best single-board computers - what is a sbc

As the name suggests, a single-board computer is a device with all of its components such as RAM, a GPU, and CPU baked-in. Compare that to a traditional desktop PC where the motherboard comes sans memory and processors. Furthermore, most SBCs feature smaller footprints than their desktop counterparts. Still, there's definitely variation. Whereas some maker boards arrive in credit card-sized form factors, others are decidedly larger.

What is a single-board computer: A computer with all of its essential components such as RAM, CPU, and GPU built-in. Usually, SBCs are small, about the size of a credit card, or a bit larger but still smaller than the average desktop PC.

What Should You Look for in an SBC?

When selecting the best top single-board computer for your needs, you'll want to consider your priorities. Cost is definitely a factor, with the cheapest single-board computer devices clocking in around $5 USD, and pricey but powerful dev boards retailing for several hundred dollars. Size matters, too. You might want a tiny maker board for wearable tech or a robotics project, or a larger single-board PC for advanced, power-hungry applications.

What you plan to use your maker board for is essential. For basic tasks that don't require much computing power, almost any board will do. But you might need a more capable device for multi-tasking or advanced processing. SBC applications range from basic Linux PCs to retro gaming consoles, smart home hubs, home servers, and a variety of other use cases. Equally as important, underlying architecture and operating system (OS) compatibility come into play. You'll need to figure out what OS, such as Linux, Android, or a non-Linux operating system such as FreeBSD, you'd like to use. Likewise, whether you opt for an x86 or ARM SBC somewhat shapes which OSes you can run. While there are tons of

Single-board computer purchasing considerations:

  • Cost
  • Intended use
  • Size
  • Underlying architecture - ARM vs. x86 SBCs
  • Desired OS

What can You do With a Single-Board Computer?

But what can a single-board PC actually do? Basically, SBCs can tackle virtually any task that traditional desktops and laptops can, with a caveat: this heavily depends on what specific processing power you're working with. While certain single-board computers include desktop-class CPU and GPU power, others are pretty modest. Most SBCs can handle basic desktop use such as web browsing and office productivity. Gaming on maker boards remains a popular pastime, from native Android or Linux gaming to emulation.

With Internet connectivity, Internet of Things (IoT) projects are popular on dev boards. Media and file servers, smart home hubs, VPN servers, whole-home ad-blockers, and a variety of other connected device applications are all possible. With small form-factors and low-power draw, SBCs are great for robotics tinkering. And you can even utilize maker boards for artificial intelligence (AI) in some cases. Although the majority of SBC OSes are Linux-based, you can find Android as well as Chrome OS for building Android PCs and tablets, or Chrome OS desktops and laptops. The opportunities are nearly endless. In fact, the main limiting factor isn't what a single-board computer can do, it's what a specific SBC can accomplish.

What can you do with a single-board computer:

  • Gaming and retro gaming emulation
  • Basic desktop use such as office productivity
  • Server use - media server, file server, VPN server, 3D printer management server, etc.
  • IoT applications - smart home hub, whole-home ad-blocker
  • Robotics
  • AI

Best Overall Single-board Computer 2021 - Raspberry Pi 4

best single-board computers - raspberry pi best sbcs

Hailing from the Raspberry Pi Foundation, the Raspberry Pi 4 reigns supreme as hands-down the best single-board computer for most users. While more powerful SBCs exist, the price-to-performance ratio of the RasPi 4 absolutely blows any competition out of the water. With several different models offering a choice of 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB of RAM, and a low starting price of just $35, the Pi 4 is a fantastic little credit card-sized device. What makes it particularly accessible for makers of all skill levels is its accessibility and versatility. The Raspberry Pi Foundation offers a slew of official resources from forums tp a Linux-based operating system in Raspberry Pi OS. Additionally, you'll find unrivaled community support with a slew of third-party resources ranging from books, hardware accessories, and OSes to forums, blogs, and subreddits. It's a ridiculously well-supported SBC.

Furthermore, the Raspberry Pi 4 works tremendously well for a smattering of different uses. It's equally great as a desktop replacement for writing, editing, image editing, and podcasting as it is for emulation. You can spin up a media server that's actually quite competent, or a cheap file server alternative to off-the-shelf network-attached storage (NAS) device. Smart home hubs, 3D print management servers, and home theatre PCs (HTPCs) with the likes of Kodi all work wonderfully. Admittedly, the Raspberry Pi 4, despite its capabilities, isn't capable of some tasks. Although you can stream PC games to the Pi using Steam Link, it's not going to be able to natively run modern computer games. And since a media server is heavily CPU-intensive, the Pi can't handle video transcoding. But the price is right, it's incredibly well-documented, and the Pi doesn't shy away from a bunch of tasks. Whether you want to run Linux, a game with RetroPie, make a robot car or mess with AI, the Pi can do it all with superb grace.


  • Versatile
  • Affordable
  • Several different RAM options
  • Easy to use
  • Excellent price-to-performance ratio
  • Small footprint
  • Low power draw
  • Great OS compatibility - Linux, Android, Chrome OS, non-Linux OSes


  • Not a true desktop replacement
  • More powerful SBCs available

Raspberry Pi 4 specs:

  • Broadcom BCM2711, Quad-core Cortex-A72 (ARM v8) 64-bit SoC @ 1.5GHz
  • 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB LPDDR4-2400 SDRAM (depending on model)
  • 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz IEEE 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 5.0, BLE
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • 2 USB 3.0 ports; 2 USB 2.0 ports.
  • Raspberry Pi standard 40 pin GPIO header (fully backwards compatible with previous boards)
  • 2 × micro-HDMI ports (up to 4kp60 supported)
  • 2-lane MIPI DSI display port
  • 2-lane MIPI CSI camera port
  • 4-pole stereo audio and composite video port
  • H.265 (4kp60 decode), H264 (1080p60 decode, 1080p30 encode)
  • OpenGL ES 3.0 graphics
  • MicroSD card slot for loading operating system and data storage
  • 5V DC via USB-C connector (minimum 3A*)
  • 5V DC via GPIO header (minimum 3A*)
  • Power over Ethernet (PoE) enabled (requires separate PoE HAT)
  • Operating temperature: 0 – 50 degrees C ambient
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Most Powerful Single-board Computer 2021 - UDOO Bolt

If you're looking for a true desktop and laptop replacement, the UDOO Bolt stands out as the most powerful single-board computer in 2021. Its footprint is larger than that of the Raspberry Pi and other small SBCs. Similarly, whereas many dev boards are ARM-based, the UDOO Bolt is an x86 SBC. As such, it's a Windows 10-capable single-board computer. And the Bolt runs Linux distributions such as Ubuntu and Debian with ease.

You'll find two different variants of the Udoo Bolt: the V3 and V8. Featuring AMD Ryzen embedded technology, the UDOO Bolt V3 rocks a Ryzen V1202B dual-core, four-thread CPU clocked at 2.3GHz with a 3.2GHz boost, and AMD Radeon Vega 3 graphics. Step up to the V8 for a Ryzen embedded V1605B quad-core, eight-thread processor at 2GHz with a 3.6GHz boost and Radeon Vega 8 graphics. The form factor is larger than that of the Pi 4, and comparable to an Intel NUC mini PC. Amenities such as SO-DIMM 64-bit DDR4 RAM up to 32GB, SATA, and 32GB of eMMC storage makes the Bolt beast. It's a true desktop replacement capable of playing modern AAA titles and emulating consoles such as the PlayStation 3 and Wii U. Of course, all of this awesomeness comes at a price - quite literally. The UDOO Bolt V3 retails for over $300, and the V8 has an over $400 pricetag. That's not cheap, but with performance almost double that of an Apple MacBook Pro 13", it's a beefy little computer. For a solid x86 single-board computer that can run Windows, Linux, and high-end applications, this SBC with SATA is an actual desktop replacement.


  • x86 single-board computer
  • Runs Windows 10 as well as x86 Linux distros
  • Two versions, the V3 and V8 both with AMD Ryzen embedded processors
  • AMD Radeon Vega 3 and Vega 8 graphics
  • Can handle high-end emulation and modern AAA gaming
  • SATA onboard
  • Up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM


  • Expensive
  • Larger than most SBCs like the Raspberry Pi

Udoo Bolt specs:

  • AMD Ryzen Embedded V1000 with Microchip Atmega32U4 MCU: V1202B — 2x (4x thread) Ryzen cores @ 2.3GHz/3.2GHz boost with Radeon Vega 3, or Microchip Atmega32U4 MCU V1605B quad-core, (8x thread) Ryzen cores @ 2.0GHz/3.6GHz boost with Radeon Vega 8 graphics
  • Memory/storage: 0GB, 4GB, 8GB, or 16GB DDR4-2400 RAM with ECC support via 2x sockets (supports up to 32GB)
  • 32GB eMMC 5.0
  • M.2 B-Key 2260 for SSDs (also supports PCIe x2)
  • M.2 M-Key 2280 for NVME storage modules (also supports PCIe Gen 3 x4)
  • SATA III connector with SATA power
  • 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.0
  • Gigabit Ethernet port 
  • Dual HDMI 2.0a ports, dual DisplayPorts available through dual-role USB 3.0 Type-C ports
  • 4 x simultaneous 4K@60 displays
  • Radeon Vega 3 or 8 graphics with DirectX 12, OpenGL, and Vulkan support; H.265 decode and (8-bit) encode, VP9 decode
  • Headphone/mic combo jack
  • 2 x USB 3.1 ports
  • 2 x USB 3.0 Type-C 
  • Arduino-compatible MCU I/O:Up to 26x digital I/O (includes up to 7x PWM)
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Cheapest Single-Board Computer - Raspberry Pi Zero and Raspberry Pi Zero W

best single-board computers - raspberry pi zero w

At a cool $5 and $10 respectively, the Raspberry Pi Zero and Zero W are the cheapest single-board computers available. For less than the price of Netflix each month, you can buy a utilitarian SBC perfect for IoT applications. Its 65mm x 30 mm x 5mm footprint is tiny, so it's one of the smallest maker boards you can find. As such, integration into energy-efficient projects is top-notch. You can build robots, smart home security cameras, and a bunch of other low-power gadgets with a RasPi 0 and Raspberry Pi 0 W. You can even make a do-it-yourself (DIY) portable handheld retro games console using kits like the RetroFlag GPi.

Whereas the vanilla RasPi 0 lacks Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, the Pi 0 W (W for wireless) tacks on both 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 BLE. Despite a minuscule size, the Raspberry Pi 0 and 0 W rock USB ports, audio jacks, and microSD connectivity alongside 512MB RAM and a 1GHz single-core CPU. You can even solder on a GPIO header for connectivity with accessories like Pi HATs. Overall, the Raspberry Pi Zero and Zero W are good cheap single-board computers.


  • Affordable
  • Small size
  • Great for robotics, wearables, etc.
  • Well-documented with a massive community
  • Lots of first- and third-party resources
  • Runs Linux well
  • Good connectivity - USB, microSD, audio jack
  • 1GHz single-core CPU, 512MB RAM
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on Pi Zero W
  • Available GPIO header can be soldered on


  • Pi Zero lacks Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • GPIO header must be soldered on

Raspberry Pi Zero specs:

  •  65mm × 30mm × 5mm
  • SoC: Broadcom BCM28351GHz, single-core CPU
  • 512MB RAM
  • Mini HDMI and USB On-The-Go ports
  • Micro USB power
  • HAT-compatible 40-pin header
  • Composite video and reset headers
  • CSI camera connector

Pi Zero W (same as Pi Zero plus):

  • 802.11 b/g/n wireless LAN
  • Bluetooth 4.1, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
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Best ARM SBC for AI, Robotics, PC Use, and More - Nvidia Jetson Xavier NX

There's not much the Nvidia Jetson Xavier NX can't handle. With its beefy Nvidia Volta GPU, the Nvidia Jetson Xavier NX is an AI-capable development board. Powered by a 384-core Nvidia Volta GPU, the Jetson Xavier NX boasts a six-core ARMv8.2 CPU. You'll find 8GB of 128-bit LPDDR4, a 16GB eMMC module, and dual Nvidia Deep Learning Accelerator engines. It's capable of pumping out 4K video with its dual DisplayPort/HDMI outputs, and features excellent inputs/outputs (I/O) ranging from USB 3.1 to GPIO.

With a whopping 48 Tensor Cores and an impressive 21 TOPS of computer power under 15W and 14 TOPS of compute under 10W, the Nvidia Jetson Nano is the best ARM SBC for a variety of purposes. It runs AI applications such as machine learning with equal grace as robotics, desktop use, and even retro gaming. If you need an ARM single-board computer that won't shy away from anything, the Jetson Xavier NX is easily the winner. Alternatively, the slightly less powerful although still capable Nvidia Jetson Nano sports a quad-core ARM A57 CPU, 128-core Nvidia Maxwell GPU, and 4GB of DDR4.


  • AI-capable - handles machine learning, natural language processing, and more
  • Great for robotics
  • Excellent for desktop use
  • Fantastic for high-end retro gaming emulation
  • Great I/O - Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB 3.1, GPIO, HDMI/DisplayPort
  • Up to 21 TOPS of computer power
  • 4K video output
  • Small form factor


  • Expensive
  • Larger than Raspberry Pi and its alternatives

Nvidia Jetson Xavier NX specs:

  • CPU: 6-core NVIDIA Carmel 64-bit ARMv8.2 @ 1400MHz* (6MB L2 + 4MB L3)
  • GPU: 384-core NVIDIA Volta @ 1100MHz with 48 Tensor Cores
  • Dual NVIDIA Deep Learning Accelerator (NVDLA) engines
  • 8GB 128-bit LPDDR4x @ 1600MHz | 51.2GB/s
  • 16GB eMMC
  • 2 x DisplayPort 1.4, eDP 1.4, HDMI 2.0 @4Kp60
  • 10/100/1000 BASE-T Ethernet
  • USB 3.1, 3 x USB 2.0
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Best Budget SBC for AI - Nvidia Jetson Nano

The Nvidia Jetson Nano is an incredibly cost-effective maker board that's capable of artificial intelligence applications. It's powered by a 128 CUDA-core Nvidia Maxwell GPU that's paired with a quad-core ARM A57 CPU. Nvidia offers its Jetson Nano with either 2GB or 4GB of DDR4 RAM. The 2GB variant is nearly-identical to the 4GB unit, but you'll find a DisplayPort and HDMI, two CSI camera connectors, an M.2 slot, and an extra USB port on the 4GB Jetson Nano. Where the Nano excels is at providing a low-cost entry point to at-home robotics and AI projects like machine learning. Although the Nvidia Jetson Nano is a solid board, its CPU isn't the strongest. In fact, the Raspberry Pi 4's processor is faster. Still, the Jetson Nano's GPU blows other SBCs out of the water. For machine learning and AI on cheaper dev boards like the Pi 4, you'll need to invest in an AI accelerator, whereas the Jetson Nano has everything you need for artificial intelligence processing built-in. Its ARM CPU somewhat limits operating system support. But overall, the Nvidia Jetson Nano is the best budget SBC for AI and robotics. [Read: Nvidia Jetson Nano 2GB Review]


  • Affordable
  • Great for AI, robotics, and more
  • 128 CUDA cores
  • Powerful ARM A57 CPU
  • 4K video output capabilities
  • Runs Linux for Tegra


  • CPU is less powerful than the Raspberry Pi 4
  • Limited OS support

Nvidia Jetson Nano 4GB specs:

  • CPU: Quad-core ARM® Cortex-A57 MPCore processor
  • GPU: Nvidia Maxwell™ architecture with 128 Nvidia CUDA cores
  • RAM: 4 GB 64-bit LPDDR4
  • Storage: 16 GB eMMC 5.1 Flash, microSD card reader
  • Video: 4k @ 30fps encoding, 4k @ 60fps decoding
  • Camera: 12 lanes (3×4 or 4×2) MIPI CSI-2 DPHY 1.1 (1.5 Gbps)
  • Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet
  • Display: HDMI 2.0 or DP1.2 | eDP 1.4 | DSI (1 x2) 2 simultaneous
  • PCIE/USB: 1 x1/2/4 PCIE, 1x USB 3.0, 3x USB 2.0
  • I/O: 1x SDIO / 2x SPI / 6x I2C / 2x I2S / GPIOs
  • Dimensions: 69.6 mm x 45 mm


  • USB: 4x USB 3.0, USB 2.0 Micro-B
  • Camera: 1x MIPI CSI-2 DPHY lanes (Raspberry Pi camera compatible)
  • LAN: Gigabit Ethernet, M.2 Key E
  • Display: HDMI 2.0 and eDP 1.4
  • Other I/O: GPIO, I2C, I2S, SPI, UART
  • Power: 5v via microSD or barrel jack.

NVIDIA Jetson Nano 2GB specs:

  • GPU: 128-core NVIDIA Maxwell™ architecture-based GPU
  • CPU: Quad-core ARM® A57
  • Video: 4K @ 30 fps (H.264/H.265) / 4K @ 60 fps (H.264/H.265) encode and decode
  • Camera: MIPI CSI-2 DPHY lanes, 12x (Module) and 1x (Developer Kit)
  • Memory: 2GB 64-bit LPDDR4; 25.6 gigabytes/second
  • Connectivity: Gigabit Ethernet
  • OS Support: Linux for Tegra®
  • Module Size: 70mm x 45mm
  • Developer Kit Size: 100mm x 80mm

Jetson Nano Baseboard specs:

  • USB: 3x USB (2x 2.0, 1x 3.0), USB 2.0 Micro-B
  • Camera: 1x MIPI CSI-2 DPHY lanes (Raspberry Pi camera compatible)
  • LAN: Gigabit Ethernet
  • Display: HDMI 2.0
  • Other I/O: GPIO, I2C, I2S, SPI, UART
  • Power: 5v via USB-C
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Best Single Board PC for Android - Odroid N2

While there are boatloads of non-Linux OSes like the Chrome OS (despite technically using the Linux kernel. Chrome OS doesn't resemble full-fledged Linux distros), FreeBSD, and OpenBSD for SBCs, not many maker boards run Anrdoid well. Even though Android images for the Raspberry Pi exist, functionality isn't great. But the Odroid N2 and the Odroid XU4 are the top SBCs for Android. Despite lacking an official image, the Odroid N2 offers a polished Android image. Similarly, the Odroid XU4 boasts a good Android image as well. If you're looking for a single-board that can run Android, check out Odroid.


  • Powerful
  • Runs Linux and Android well
  • Great community support
  • 2GB or 4GB RAM
  • 4K video output
  • Amlogic S922X quad-core Cortex-A73 @1.8GHz, dual-core Cortex-A53 @ 1.9GHz
  • Excellent I/O - 4 x USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, micro USB, Gigabit Ethernet


  • No Wi-Fi or Bluetooth

Odroid N2 specs:

  • Amlogic S922X (4x Cortex-A73 @ 1.8GHz, 2x Cortex-A53 @ 1.9GHz); 12nm fab; Mali-G52 GPU with 6x 846MHz EEs
  • 2GB or 4GB DDR4 (1320MHz, 2640MT/s) 32-bit RAM 
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • HDMI 2.1 up to 4K @60Hz with HDR and CEC
  • Composite video out jack
  • 4 x USB 3.0, micro USB 2.0 with OTG
  • 40-pin GPIO header
  • Compatible with Linux, Android, and more

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Best Raspberry Pi Alternative - Rock Pi 4

Don't be fooled by its form factor and name. Indeed, the Rock Pi 4 arrives in nearly the exact same size and shape of the Raspberry Pi 4. But its more powerful CPU and GPU coupled with a dedicated AI stack complete with GPU acceleration makes the Rock Pi 4 a better value than the Raspberry Pi 4. And where many SBCs falter, the Rock Pi 4 shines: support. You'll find loads of compatible Linux distros and even an official Android OS. Unfortunately, it's pricier than the Raspberry Pi 4, but if you need the performance boost, the Rock Pi 4 is the best Raspberry Pi 4 alternative on the market.


  • Dedicated AI stack with GPU acceleration
  • Great OS support - Linux and Android
  • Faster CPU and GPU than the RasPi 4


  • Pricier than the Pi 4

Rock Pi 4 specs:

  • CPU: Rockchip RK3399 dual Cortex-A72, @ 1.8Ghz, quad-core Cortex-A53 @ 1.4Ghz
  • GPU: Mali T860MP4 GPU with support for OpenGL ES 1.1 /2.0 /3.0 /3.1 /3.2, Vulkan 1.0, Open CL 1.1 1.2, DX11
  • 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB of 64-bit dual-channel LPDDR4 RAM
  • 40-pin GPIUO header
  • eMMC module
  • M.2 SSD connector
  • HDMI 2.0 up to 4K@60
  • 2.5mm jack
  • 802.11 ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
  • USB 3.0 with OTG, USB 2.0
  • Gigabit LAN
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Best Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Alternative - ASUS Tinker Board and Tinker Board S

best single-board computers - asus tinker board

When it comes to single-board computers, the Raspberry Pi trounces the competition. Aside from desktop-caliber dev boards like the Udoo Bolt and Nvidia Jetson Nano, for credit card-sized SBCs under $100 USD, the Pi 4 is without a doubt your best option. Still, there are some worthy contenders. The ASUS Tinker Board and Tinker Board S both deliver similar performance in a similar package. Sporting the same form factor as the Raspberry Pi 2, 3, and 3 B+, the Tinker Board retains compatibility with RasPi accessories such as cases and GPIO add-ons. Moreover, ASUS supports its device incredibly well with official Linux and Android images. With 4K video output and its RK3288 system-on-a-chip, the ASUS Tinker Board is the top Raspberry Pi alternative available.


  • Same footprint as the Raspberry Pi 3 B+
  • Affordable
  • 4K video output
  • Great I/O
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • GPIO header


  • Not as powerful as the Raspberry Pi 4

ASUS Tinker Board specs:

  • CPU Rockchip RK3288 Cortex-A17 quad-core SoC
  • GPU: ARM Mali-T764 GPU
  • Up to 4K video support
  • 2GB DDR3
  • 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • 4 x USB 2.0 ports
  • 15-pin MIPI CSI slot
  • 40-pin GPIO header
  • micro USB port for power

ASUS Tinker Board S (same as ASUS Tinker Board plus):

  • 16GB eMMC
  • Low-voltage input detection
  • Plug-in detection, audio auto-switching
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Best SBC for Machine Learning - Google Coral Dev Board

best single-board computers - google coral dev board

The Google Coral Dev Board is one of the best SBCs for AI, and more specifically it's an excellent maker board for machine learning. Engineered for use with Google's TensorFlow, the Google Coral can run the TensorFlow Lite neural network with ease. Its Edge TPU provides ample power for machine learning, and the NXP i.MX 8M quad-core Cortex-A53 system-on-a-chip boasts plenty of power for artificial intelligence. Still, it's costly and doesn't work well for desktop use. You could instead use a Raspberry Pi 4 and the TensorFlow module add-on, or just pick up the UDOO Bolt, Nvidia Jetson Nano, or Xavier NX. But if you want a single-board computer that can run on-device machine learning with TensorFlow Lite, the Google Coral Dev Board is a nifty option.


  • On-device machine learning with Edge TPU
  • Powerful quad-core Cortex A-53 SoC
  • 1GB DDR4


  • Expensive
  • Not capable of desktop use

Google Coral Dev Board specs:

  • CPU: NXP i.MX 8M SOC (quad Cortex-A53, Cortex-M4F)
  • GPU: Integrated GC7000 Lite Graphics 
  • Onboard Google Edge TPU
  • 1GB LPDDR4
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The Fastest Single-Board Computer - ODYSSEY X86J4105800

For the fastest single-board computer, and an SBC that can run Windows 10, check out the Odyssey X86J4105800. Powered by an Intel Celeron J4105, its quad-core CPU is clocked at 1.5GHz with a 2.5GHz burst. There's an impressive 8GB of LPDDR4 RAM, a 64GB eMMC module, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth BLE, Gigabit Ethernet, and more. Additionally, the Odyssey X86J4105800 comes with an Arduino co-processor built-in for compatibility with Arduino accessories such as sensors and modules. It's a powerful device with an Intel CPU. Disappointingly, its GPU isn't all that beefy, but the X86J4105800 still performs admirably.


  • Powerful CPU
  • Excellent connectivity
  • Arduino co-processor onboard
  • Intel Celeron CPU
  • Runs Windows 10


  • Not the most powerful GPU
  • Pricey

Odyssey X86J4105800 specs:

  • CPU: Intel Celeron J4105 @ @ 1.5–2.5GHz
  • GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 600 @ 250–750MHz
  • Co-processor Microchip ATSAMD21G18 32-Bit ARM-Cortex M0+
  • LPDDR4 8GB
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth
  • 64Gb eMMC (optional)
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Best Budget Single-board Computer for AI - Rock Pi N10

At its core, the Rock Pi N10 boasts a robust RK3399Pro that includes an onboard NPU (neural processing unit) for artificial intelligence applications such as deep learning. Coupled with its 4GB, 6GB, or 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM and a 16GB eMMC module, the Rock Pi N10 is a good SBC for AI. You'll also find a microSD card slot, M.2 SSD connector, and support for a wide variety of operating systems including Debian Linux OSes and Android. And it's all-around $100. Unfortunately, you won't find Bluetooth or Wi-Fi built-in, although there is an optional module for wireless connectivity. With 3.0 TOPS of computing power and its dedicated NPU, the Rock Pi N10 is a solid budget artificial intelligence-capable SBC.


  • Dedicated NPU with 3.0 TOPS
  • Up to 8GB of DDR3
  • Powerful RK3399Pro and Mali T860MP4
  • 16GB of eMMC
  • M.2 SSD connector
  • Full-size HDMI with 4K@60 support


  • Only DDR3, not DDR4
  • No built-in Wi-Fi or Bluetooth

Rock Pi N10 specs:

  • CPU: RK3399Pro dual Cortex-A72, frequency 1.8GHz with quad Cortex-A53, frequency 1.4GHz
  • GPU: Mali T860MP4 GPU, OpenGL ES 1.1 /2.0 /3.0 /3.1 /3.2, Vulkan 1.0, Open CL 1.1 1.2, DX1\
  • NPU with 3.0 TOPS of compute power
  • Up to 8GB of 64-bit dual-channel LPDDR3@1866Mb/s, 3GB for CPU/GPU, 1GB for NPU
  • 16GB eMMC module, microSD card slot, M.2 SSD connector
  • FUll-size HDMI 2.0 with 4K@60 support
  • MIPI DSI 2-lane connector
  • 3.5mm audio jack
  • MIPI CSI 2-lane connector
  • 1 x USB 3.0 OTG, 2 x USB 2.0
  • Gigabit LAN Ethernet port, optional Wi-Fi and Bluetooth module
  • 40-pin GPIO header
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Best SBC for Gaming - RockPro64

best single-board computer - pine64 rockpro64

The RockPro64 is a fantastic little device. Powered by an RK3399 with dual ARM Cortex-A72 CPU cores and quad Cortex-A53 cores alongside a Mali-T860MP4 GPU, this board from Pine64 is a beast. It's available with 2GB or 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM and utilizes either a microSD card or eMMC module. There's a PCIe x4 slot, great connectivity including USB, DisplayPort, and HDMI. While the RockPro64 lacks built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, there's an optional module, and it does pack Gigabit Ethernet. It's reasonably priced at under $100. There's a Roshambo retro gaming case available for a SNES aesthetic, or you could use the RockPro64 as a NAS device. Powerful but compact, the Pine64 RockPro64 is a great ARM SBC for all sorts of maker projects.


  • Great for gaming
  • Powerful CPU and GPU combo
  • DDR4 RAM up to 4GB
  • 40-pin GPIO header
  • PCIe x4 slot
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • eMMC and microSD


  • No Bluetooth or Wi-Fi - available separate module

RockPro64 specs:

  • CPU: Rockchip RK3399 Hexa-Core (dual ARM Cortex A72 and quad ARM Cortex A53) 64-Bit Processor and CPU: Mali T860MP4 Quad-Core GPU
  • 2GB or 4GB LPDDR4 RAM
  • PCIe x4 open-ended slot
  • eMMCmodule and microSD card slot
  • 1 x USB 3.0Type-C Host with DisplayPort 1.2, 1 x USB 3.0 type A host, 2 x USB 2.0 Host
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • PI-2 GPIO Bus
  • 1 x HDMI 2.0 port
  • MIPI DSI interface, eDP and Touch Panel interfaces, stereo MIPI CSI interface

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Best Single-board Computer 2021 for All Uses and Budgets - Final Thoughts

Ultimately, there's no shortage of single-board computers to buy in 2021. From budget-conscious options such as the Raspberry Pi Zero and Zero W to desktop-replacement SBCs like the UDOO Bolt and Nvidia Xavier NX, you've got a ton of choice. For the majority of makers, a Raspberry Pi 4 is the right pick. It's reasonably-priced, incredibly well-supported, and can handle everything from IoT projects to desktop use and retro gaming with impeccable elegance. If you need to run AI, the Nvidia Xavier NX, UDOO Bolt, and Odyssey X86J4105800 are all solid. The Odroid N2 and XU4 run Android best, with the ASUS Tinker Board as a close contender. And if you need a Raspberry Pi alternative, the Rock Pi 4 is a nifty SBC.

View our range of single board computers available in our store.

Your turn: Which SBCs for 2021 do YOU recommend?

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