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Raspberry Pi 3 B vs B+

Raspberry Pi 3B+ was released in 2018. People may wonder about Raspberry Pi 3 B vs B+. Read this post from MiniTool, you will find out whether you need to upgrade Raspberry Pi 3 B to 3 B+.

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What Is Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi is a series of small single-board computers (SBCs). Due to its low cost, modularity, and open design, it is widely used in many fields. It adopts both HDMI and USB devices. And it is favored by computer and electronics enthusiasts.

Raspberry Pi has derived several generations of products, such as Raspberry Pi 1, 2 B, Zero, 3 B, 3 B+, and 4 B. Except for Pico, which is a single-chip microcomputer, the rest all have an integrated ARM-compatible central processing unit (CPU) and on-chip graphics processing unit (GPU). This post will mainly compare the difference between Raspberry Pi 3 B vs B+.

Hardware Comparison: Raspberry Pi 3 B vs B+

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, is the first third-generation Raspberry Pi with Bluetooth 4.1 and Wi-Fi. Although it is small, it has powerful processing capabilities. Users can use it to process documents, run games, and even watch high-definition videos.

Compared with 3 B, 3 B+ is an upgraded version of it, incorporating many new technological elements, such as the popular 5G-wifi, as well as Bluetooth upgrades, soc upgrades, reduced power consumption, and POE (Power Over Ethernet) and so on, means a further improvement in performance.

CPU Improvements

Although both Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ and Pi 3 Model B are based on the same quad-core 64-bit processor and also based on the Arm Cortex A53 architecture, 3 B+ has increased the CPU speed from 1.2GHz of the original Model B to 1.4GHz. This is almost an increase of 16.7%, which is a relatively obvious speed increase.

However, this does not actually bring much practical benefit, because the CPU is rarely the bottleneck of a small single-board computer like the Raspberry Pi.

Wi-Fi Improvements

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B only supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi. However, Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ has a dual-band wireless antenna that supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi.

In the test, it was found that dual-band Wi-Fi support can reach a throughput of about 100 Mb/s, which is twice the throughput achieved by Pi 3 Model B. It can be seen that the running speed of WI-FI will be qualitatively improved.

Now routers supporting the 5G frequency band have gradually become popular, and more and more users are accustomed to connecting to 5GHz Wi-Fi, so the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ supporting 5GHz Wi-Fi is a predictable improvement.

In addition, Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ also upgrades Bluetooth from 4.1 to 4.2.

Ethernet Upgrade

The board's new Gigabit Ethernet USB 2.0 bridge realizes the upgrade of the Ethernet controller, and the rate is greatly improved. The theoretical maximum throughput is 300Mb/s.

The other part is that the Ethernet supports PoE (Power over Ethernet) interface, which can directly power the Raspberry Pi 3 B+.

Power Management Upgrade

Because of some factors such as cost-saving, the principle of the Raspberry Pi’s electric tube was realized by discrete devices. Especially on the Raspberry Pi 1st generation, due to design problems, there have been cases where the USB interface reverses current.

The Raspberry Pi 3 B+ uses MaxLinear's model MxL7704 power management, which can provide 5 outputs, respectively providing 3.3V, 1.8V, 1.2V, VDD_CORE, and other voltages. This not only improves the reliability of the circuit but also simplifies the design of the circuit.

Do I Need to Buy a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+

The price of the two versions of Raspberry Pi is not much different. Therefore, making this choice can be tricky.

Compared with Pi 3 B, Pi 3 B+ has better network support and a faster processor. With its improved hardware specifications, Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ is excellent. In short, if you are looking for a smaller and lighter computer, Pi 3 B+ is a good choice.

But if you are not too obsessed with the best network speed, the early Raspberry Pi 3 B will suffice. For those who already own Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, there is no need to upgrade to Pi 3 B+.

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