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Everyone knows and loves Raspberry Pi, but what if it could be faster, say 6x faster. The Raspberry Pi 2 is here to provide you with the same Pi as before but now with double the ram and a much faster processor. The credit-card sized computer is capable of many of the things that your desktop PC does, like spreadsheets, word-processing and playing high-definition video and games. It can run several flavors of Linux (and even Windows 10 free-of-charge) and is being used to teach kids all over the world how to program... Oh yeah, and it still does all that for under $50.
The secret sauce that makes this computer so small and powerful is the Broadcom BCM2836, an ARMv7 Quad Core Processor System-on-Chip, running at 900MHz, and a Videocore 4 GPU. The GPU provides Open GL ES 2.0, hardware-accelerated OpenVG, and 1080p30 H.264 high-profile decode and is capable of 1Gpixel/s, 1.5Gtexel/s or 24 GFLOPs of general purpose compute. What's that all mean? It means that if you plug the Raspberry Pi 2 into your HDTV, you could watch BluRay quality video, using H.264 at 40MBits/s.
The biggest change that has been enacted with the Raspberry Pi 2 is an upgrade to the main processor and an increase of ram from 512MB to 1GB. The RPi2 still utilizes a microSD card to hold your system volume meaning most Linux distributions for the Pi 2 will happily live on a 4GB microSD card but larger cards are supported.
The Raspberry Pi 2's four built-in USB ports provide enough connectivity for a mouse, keyboard, or anything else that you feel the RPi needs, but if you want to add even more you can still use a USB hub. Keep in mind, it is recommended that you use a powered hub so as not to overtax the on-board voltage regulator. Powering the Raspberry Pi 2 is easy, just plug any USB power supply into the micro-USB port. There's no power button so the Pi will begin to boot as soon as power is applied, to turn it off simply remove power. The four built-in USB ports can even output up to 1.2A enabling you to connect more power hungry USB devices (This does require a 2Amp micro USB Power Supply).
On top of all that, the low-level peripherals on the Pi make it great for hardware hacking. The 0.1" spaced 40-pin GPIO header on the Pi gives you access to 27 GPIO, UART, I2C, SPI as well as 3.3 and 5V sources. Each pin on the GPIO header is identical to its predecessor the Model B+.
Note: Due to the processor change from an ARMv6 core chip to an ARMv7 core any existing Raspberry Pi SD card images may need to be recompiled due to a kernel and firmware change. It is better to create a new card or update your existing one rather than loosing valuable data.
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Based on 42 ratings:
2 of 2 found this helpful:
I bought two of the newest Raspberry Pies to test some ideas for remote monitoring via a web interface. (I always buy two, just in case I mess up something. At $40, that's no big deal.) The Pi 2 - Model B is much faster than the Pi-B that I've previously used. It was easy to setup (about 10 minutes). It recognized a USB WiFi card that I had for the older model Pi. I download a bunch of software to it, assigned a static IP address and tucked it away for headless operation via SSH and VNC. Right now, I'm controlling the Pi 2 - Model B via VNC from my iMac. Where was this stuff when I was designing process control equipment pre-2000? With a Pi as the front-end and some custom built Arduino-like clones, I could have controlled the world.
It's a great product, if you're willing to invest a little time to learn how to use it. As they say, a poor carpenter always blames his tools. The Pi is an excellent tool. Become a "good carpenter". Get one or two to play with. Be sure to order the necessary cables and experimental parts from SparkFun. Enjoy!
Faster and no increase in price from previous models/versions. Only down-side it requires more amperage than previous version. My TV has a USB power-always-on port and previous version of the Pi booted up with no issues using this USB port. sadly this newer version just blinks and does boot up. Giving this device it's own plugged in power source it boots up fine. But given this newer version is more powerful it only makes sense that it requires more power to operate.
Received my Raspberry Pi 2 2 weeks ago. Other commitments kept me from attacling it at that time. Had to make trip to Radio Shack to get cable to power unit. Downloaded formatter and NOOBI packages and was up and running in minutes. Linux user since 1995. Right at home here. Have owned 2 quad-core ARM tablets, so I know the available CPU power. Plan to use Pi for remote operation of Ham Radio station.
Rick Barnich KA8BMA
Excellent on-line support/documentation. The microSD card I had was incompatible so $4 to replace that and the Pi2 came up like a champ.
But I have a feeling that this thing will perform even further in the future.
In the past I try to wright some Python program an I gave up because it was so program development was so slow. With then 2 It has been a joy to write code. Nice Job!!
Love this little thing.
It took around 6 weeks to reach Sri Lanka in Economy-Shipping. Product works perfectly. Sparkfun customer care is also really good. Buy this product without having second thoughts!!!
I mounted Windows 10 and star playing with it, very promising
Really, the reviews speak for themselves, but for what it is worth the RPI2 is a very good place for anyone looking to put a lot of processing power into a hobby or prototype project. Very compact, heat doesn't seem to be an issue for this board, easy to setup Windows IoT Core Preview, and has many possibilities. Anyone curious about Windows IoT Core, note that the Preview version is not final and is does not have any form of optimizations for the GPU/Rendering at this time...so certain things run a bit slower than one would expect...but that is due to the rendering being done in software and not hardware. Microsoft should be releasing a newer image sometime most likely after Windows 10 has been launched...and perhaps IoT and Windows 10 developers will get one update between now and then...but don't expect it. Get a case for the board, the black plastic case sold here is good but note that one side inserts into two small slits while the other fits on pegs...if you fail to insert the board into the side slits (opposite of the two pegs) you can still close the case but you won't be able to insert the SD card. Other than that minor issue (i.e. no instructions included with the case to point this out) once fitted properly it is a very slick little dev. board! Product came on time and was packaged well!
Being an experimenter, have had great success using this board for a media player (OSMC) and a stand-a-lone ip camera. There is lots of online support for the beginner and advanced user for hundreds of applications!! This week will be having fun building a camera tracker using the servo hat :-)
This is an outstanding product (and I started with the Intel 8008). All the essentials are convered (storage, video/audio, I/O, etc.). Non-essentials (like RTC) are easily added AND SUPPORTED! The OS offerings and support are nothing short of amazing, and the community of engineers and programmers seem to be a limitless pool of knowledge. I've already used this board to make a Linux tablet (yes, with touchscreen!), integrated it into a product line, and highly recommend it for eductional purposes. You simply can't go wrong with this board!
unit arrived ahead of schedule. Loaded the SD card with Raspian Purchased a Linux based USB wireless Worked beautifully upon power-up Plan to turn it into a home theater computer Experimenting with different Linux OS's A lot of fun, can't beat the price.
2 Weeks ago we installed the PBP 2 on a security system, a replacement for Chinese modules and it has never been as stable and easy to access, not even with the standard mass produced series. Not to mention that for a fraction of the price... Great little computer!
Using it as json serial server to my tinyg from chilipeppr.com/grbl. Setup from scratch was very easy.
So much faster than the Raspi 1 Model B! Better form factor too. and finally all the USB ports I wanted. Nothing to complain about here. Best implementation of the Raspberry Pi computer yet.
Excellent media player
This is my 8th Pi and my second Pi2. I now have one at work and at home.
I enjoyed the Raspberry Pi from when it first came out -- a standalone computer being able to run Linux and being able to support programming of itself, as well as being able to control things via GPIOs, i2c, SPI and be connected to the rest of the world via a network cable. So I have several of the earlier models here (B, A, B+, A+) and while the A variants don't have the wired networking they require less power so they are great for mobile projects powered by batteries.
Of course the original could have been faster -- using it for web browsing was a somewhat slow experience, even while programming and documentation were second to none.
So then I got hold of some Pi 2 and gave one of them a 64 GB micro-sd card, and indeed -- just the four Raspberries showing up on boot seemed to promise improvements; said promise soon made good. The whole system is faster and even more pleasant to use.
And there is still all the nice IO possibilities.
I ran OSMC on a Pi B for the past six months. I switched to this and it is much faster and smoother. I don't think it would compete head to head with a custom built HTPC but for playing media off of a thumb drive it has been phenomenal. I recommend a wireless Logitech keyboard with a track pad on it.
It's a good development platform since it's faster. Not sure if the older pi will be cheaper or if they'll still make it but either way, raspberry pi is an awesome platform to build home automation projects and the like. I wish this would have been around sooner. I might have actually done something with my life.
Device can be configured with Ubuntu and set up with most recent forms of Python and Java. Aside some very brief periods of slowness, which I expected, the device works properly.
Nice unit, working well in my application, but the use of a low-end usb chip causes excessive interrupts. Ethernet is on the usb also, so only 100 MHz and low throughput. Banana Pro has better hardware, but software support is behind Raspberry.
Better performance than my original PI and it's working great so far. I've got the camera connected and motion detection software up and running.
I may be addicted to Raspberry Pi. I've now built 4 1080P IP webcams using Raspberry Pi with the Raspberry Pi camera module. I have 2 of them running MJPEG servers, serving up 1920 x 1080 images from a solar powered station half way up our driveway.
I also run a different Linux distro on public web servers, so using Raspbian is a natural fit for me.
These little computers perfectly balance usability against power consumption, and I like being able to SSH into my webcams :)
Every geek should have at least one. Make it so!
The new Raspberry Pi 2 board is amazing. Working with OpenCV on a $35 computer has never been more fun! One drawback however is the lack of schematic drawings of the board (minus proprietary chip innards of course)...otherwise a big improvement!
It is the original RPi, but very much better, For my purposes huge RAM memory and "disk space"; four core, GREAT price and tons of documentation. I have recommended it to many friends and coworkers!
I use these primarily for prototyping interaction design systems. In the past I used RPi B+ but found the speed to be a bit lacking. With the 2 I can use this as my primary prototyping system and not worry about not having enough horsepower. Love all the community support. Overall the RPi 2 is a great all around workhorse for our embedded computing needs.
A Pi 2!
The already lovable, hackable, dependable Pi is even faster and more hackable. While geared towards hobbyists, learning, and development, there's almost no reason this can't replace your daily desktop!
I purchased this as a Christmas present for my 12-year-old son (who expressed an interest in programming and engineering). Without any previous experience, he was able to get this (and a touchscreen display) up and running in minutes! I would highly recommend this to anyone who wants to learn more in a very accessible way!
Though I had played with Pis for a while, I always just thought of them as nice small computers, but never went too overboard with them. But in my current project, where I am trying to get a computational element in every room of the house these boards are great. I can put room sensors directly on them, read XBee values from across the yard, get full video out of them, do BLE, run a full Linux stack with all of my favorite software and dev platforms, all for a very inexpensive price! I have been buying quite a few of them lately.
The Raspberry pi 2 is faster than the original series. I have used it to run OSMC( media player), As a Linux small computer and now with volumio. Main goal is as a home automation system computer. Plan to run and experiment windows 10 IOT on one of them. Lacks inbuilt Wifi but overall a great product.
There is quite a boost in performance with the Pi2 compared to the Pi1. Apps run a lot better, and the experience is equally satisfying. Bitscope runs great on the Pi2, as does Iceweasel. Well worth the upgrade!!!
The more I use these RPi's the more I love them. Arduino's are nice, and maybe less prone to data corruption, but they can't touch the computing power and versatility of the Raspberry Pi!
I really enjoy my new Raspberry Pi 2! It took a little bit of tweaking my power supply configuration to get it going - power is critical. I am looking forward to working more with it. Both doing test automation, and possibly a product modernization with this.
This is a great little single board computer. Its the perfect platform for learning Debian (Raspian) and Python. Lots of fun and easy to get started. Nice!
Very good product!!! Very good Sparkfun staff for all the assistance which a got. Thanks a lot