Raspberry Pi Model B+ (B PLUS) 512MB Computer Board
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- 700MHz Broadcom BCM2835 CPU / 512 MB SDRAM @ 400MHz / 10/100 Ethernet RJ45 on-board network
- Full size HDMI / 4 USB ports / Micro SD slot
- More energy efficiency (less power required) / Improved power management: manage more devices from your Pi
- GPIO header expanded (40 pins vs. 26)
- New 4-pole connector replaces the existing analogue and composite video port on the Model B
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As seen on the Manufacturer's website - MODEL B is the original Raspberry Pi, MODEL B+ is the higher-spec variant of the Raspberry Pi. It replaced the original Model B in July 2014. Compared to the Model B it has: More GPIO. The GPIO header has grown to 40 pins, while retaining the same pinout for the first 26 pins as the Model B. More USB. We now have 4 USB 2.0 ports, compared to 2 on the Model B, and better hotplug and overcurrent behaviour. Micro SD. The old friction-fit SD card socket has been replaced with a much nicer push-push micro SD version. Lower power consumption. By replacing linear regulators with switching ones we’ve reduced power consumption by between 0.5W and 1W. Better audio. The audio circuit incorporates a dedicated low-noise power supply. Neater form factor. We’ve aligned the USB connectors with the board edge, moved composite video onto the 3.5mm jack, and added four squarely-placed mounting holes. Flags: Angry ( Show Removed Annotations)
Top Customer Reviews
i bought a "new" one and life continued as normal.
then i remembered i had seen a video on the internet about game emulation of ultra compact computers. i did a quick search and discovered the raspberry pi. it looked like it would do everything i wanted and more.
i tested it out when i got it and found that i can emulate the genesis perfectly, as well as master system and NES. super NES emulation is hit (70-80%) and miss.
i gutted my dead genesis, leaving the small controller board that operates the power/reset buttons and has the controller ports on it. i modified the case to mount the r-pi inside. then i wired the buttons and controller ports to the GPIO pins on the r-pi. i needed to write some custom python scripts to operate the buttons how i wanted, but there are lots of tutorials online.
i now play games with a genuine sega controller. (for SNES games that need more buttons i can plug some wires into the controller end and use my genuine SNES controller, or a usb gamepad.)
after that i started to see what else i could do with this toy computer.
i found software that lets me stream audio and video from my computer and phone to the device.
it works better as a media server than my dedicated WD TV Live Media Player, which cost close to $100.
i even found that i can use my old windows media centre usb infrared receiver and remote.
things for me to still do:
acquire SNES controller ports so that i can wire them permanently into the side of the case.
install a small infrared sensor in the front of the case so that i don't need to use a usb one.
I wanted to address this first: a few reviews here recommend to "just get the kit instead". I would think that this depends on what one really needs and/or already has lying around! Personally, I only needed the Raspberry and a microSD card - not only did I get these two items for under fourty bucks total, but my SD card is a 16GB model with higher speed ratings than the 8GB cards usually in the kits. So, shop around, and keep in mind that the B+ is supposed to cost 35 bucks, just like the B before.
Feb 2015 Update: A new "Raspberry 2 B+" was just announced, with twice the RAM and a quad- core CPU, at the same price. May want to hold off this item if you're interested in RAM/throughput.
WHAT IS THIS NEW "B+" MODEL
It's a moderate update to the now obsolete model B. The highlights are: 4 USB ports instead of 2, more I/O pins, better efficiency. The main takeaway for the buyer is that the Pi now needs a microSD card, and old cases for the B won't fit anymore (same size, slightly different layout).
CPU PERFORMANCE AND POWER
My use case is probably a bit exotic, as I'm putting the Pi to work as a nano (femto?) server. I don't currently need the video circuitry, or the IO ports. But because of the amazing price tag and enthusiastic support community, it still seemed like a good choice. The only thing I had to figure out: how much raw CPU "oomph" does this thing have to run my applications, and how much power does it require?
I came up with what is probably the most unfair benchmark ever, but it did give me the number I needed: the Pi's CPU runs about 200 times slower than an Intel Quad- Core for my intended purposes. Details of this "Spartan army against kid with a stick" comparison in the comments. But the amazing thing is, that it did run! The app uses a relational database, a Java JVM, and complex libraries, and it still was able to compute financial indicators for 200 yearly timeseries per second!
Best of all, it did all this drawing somewhere near 1 Watt of power. I wish I could give more precise numbers, but that's all my Kill-A-Watt would display.
The config tool has an overclocking option built right in. I tried the "Turbo" setting and it was no joke: my CPU- intensive app from above went from 207 timeseries/second to 341 timeseries/second - a cool 65% boost. The Pi did draw more power this way (the Kill-a-watt said "2") and got quite warm. I feel like heatsinks would be called for in that mode, but it's nice to know it's there. In total, there are 5 performance levels to chose from.
I'm very happy with this little marvel. It serves my intended purpose as an ultra-low-power server, and while I wish it came with a better CPU and perhaps power over Ethernet (PoE), I don't see The Raspberry as having any competition pricewise or in terms of community support.
Installed the Raspberry Pi XBMC version and started messing with the config, themes & plug-ins and realized that it does amazing work with all my video files. 1080p MKV? Worked for me. Paid for the decoder licenses (like $6) for WMV & MPG files. Those also work awesome. The HDMI out is more crisp & clear than the WDTV Live box I was using. It is almost like having a new TV.
For this setup I have a NAS with all my video files, which stream to the Pi on my big screen. There is no stutter & all video files I've tried to stream have streamed no problem. I haven't watched all 700 movies in my library, but I'm going to assume that they will all work out just fine. I have not tested a DVD ISO yet, so I can't speak to how well those work, but I have used AVI, MKV, MPG, WMV, etc. All with success.
After that exceeded my expectations, I went out and bought a second microSD card and loaded up the retro video game emulator on that. It was able to play all my NES & SNES ROM files without a problem. The only hangup was getting my USB Xbox 360 controller to work how I wanted while in game, but that's not the Raspberry Pi's fault. Once that was completed though, I was playing NES games on my big screen in a way I would have loved to do as a kid. Crisp clear HDMI graphics despite the simpleness of the NES games. SNES work great. Up next will be the N64.
This device with both it's cost & ease of use make it worth much more than what you have to pay for it. If you have a little bit of technical knowledge and a go-getter attitude you can make this little machine do just about anything you want it to.
Anytime I need a standalone machine for a future task, I will be looking at one of these first.
** 2015 update **
I now have 2 of these. Kodi (XBMC was rebranded) wasn't bad, but it was a bit of a pain in terms of features (not marking off TV shows you had watched so that you can go to the next episode for example), so I started evaluating more options. Plesk is the OS I decided to go with. My wife loves the UI, it has an On Deck feature that puts the next episode of a TV show on the screen to select, so I can't complain.
It also supports CEC functionality, so I don't need a keyboard or mouse for the Pi, the TV remote does the trick. Also makes it so you don't have to try and get an IR receiver to work. I did try to do just that at one point, but the documentation and functionality of those add-ons are not quality and so it was a waste of money.
I still highly recommend a Pi as the core of your home theater. I will be ordering another one in the next month or so.