Orange Pi 3B: A Game Changer in the SBC Arena?

Orange Pi, a brand historically viewed as a Raspberry Pi clone, has released a new single-board computer that could redefine our expectations. The Orange Pi 3B, despite having lineage tied to its Raspberry counterpart, seems to be charting its course with some remarkable features. A detailed review at CNX Software gives an in-depth analysis, and here's what we deduced.

Unlike its previously released counterparts, the Orange Pi 3B isn’t modeled after the Raspberry Pi Zero form factor. Instead, it's a 5x5 centimeter Linux SPC, decked with a full-sized ethernet port among other amenities. Priced aggressively, it brings a compelling proposition to the table.


We featured Orange Pi B in the latest episode of the Electromaker Show.


Processor: It houses an RK3566, which means the system on the chip has more juice than the Raspberry Pi 3B it seeks to compete against.
Connectivity: One of the standout features is the M.2 M key slot, along with eMMC modules which can be affixed to the board's underside. These range from 16GB up to an impressive 256GB.
Variants: Starting at a modest $34.99 for a 2GB RAM variant, the options stretch to $67.99 for an 8GB RAM variant complemented by 256GB eMMC flash storage. This, by any measure, is an astounding value for a single-board computer.

Orange Pi 3B vs  Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi's extensive community and robust OS have always been its strengths. Every glitch, every problem, has someone talking about it in forums or on Twitter. This vast sea of information means even novices can find fixes or tips quickly.

Orange Pi, on the other hand, has chosen a path less traveled. Each of their releases is accompanied by multiple operating system versions, from Android 11, Ubuntu 2204, Debian 11 & 12, and their proprietary Orange Pi OS. The CNX review mentions that it's improbable for all these OS versions to receive uniform support. This might mean a steeper learning curve for those transitioning from the Raspberry ecosystem. Yet, if one can settle on a stable Linux version and intends to use the Orange Pi 3B for server tasks with basic GPIO functions, there's little to grumble about.

Should I buy an Orange Pi 3B 

Currently, the Orange Pi 3B can be pre-ordered on Amazon. Earlier reports suggesting availability on AliExpress seem to have been premature, as real-time checks suggest it hasn’t been listed there yet.

The Orange Pi 3B might not replace the Raspberry Pi, but it's certainly carving out a niche for itself. Its impressive specs combined with its competitive pricing make it a compelling option for those seeking power on a budget.

For more information on the Orange Pi 3B and to check out their other products, visit Orange Pi's Official Website.

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