Raspberry Pi 2 Model B review: Great, but the Pi 3 is better

£30
Price when reviewed

The Raspberry Pi 2 and Raspberry Pi B+ are both impressive, but which is best for you?

Raspberry Pi 2 vs Raspberry Pi B+: Processor Specs

Compared to the Raspberry Pi Model B+’s Broadcom BCM2835 ARMv6 system on a chip processor, the Pi 2 Model B has a new quad-core Broadcom BCM2836 ARM v7 processor, powering a single-board computer running at 900MHz.

The B+’s single-core ran at 700MHz, so it’s clear that the Pi 2’s quad-core running at 900 MHz is a beast in comparison.

By having the next step up in Broadcom’s chip range, the Pi 2’s BCM2836 chip can push out Broadcom’s VideoCore IV technology at 250MHz, has a 1080p30 MPEG-2 and VC-1 decoder, and a 1080p30 h.264/MPEG-4 AVC high-profile decoder and encoder.

Verdict: Raspberry Pi 2 wins. The Raspberry Pi 2’s quad-core Broadcom BCM2836 makes it capable of rendering high-quality video, and ideal for use in an IP camera. However, if you’re only interested in using your Raspberry Pi for simpler projects, the B+’s Broadcom BCM2836 will be more than up to the task.

Raspberry Pi 2 vs Raspberry Pi B+: Memory and Connectivity

The Pi 2 has 1GB of RAM shared between the GPU and the CPU, which is twice the amount of the B+, and runs 50MHz faster than the B+’s 512MB SDRAM at 400MHz.

You can now push 1.2A to the Pi 2’s four USB 2.0 ports so you can connect power-hungry devices. To do this, however, you will have to use a 2A Micro USB power supply instead of the usual 1.8A 5V USB B power source that the Model B+ uses and the Pi 2 supports.

Other than that, the Pi 2 still has four USB 2.0 ports, uses a 40 pin general-purpose input/output, takes MicroSD cards for storage and also has an ethernet port. There’s also a CSI camera port, and a DSI display port for connecting a Raspberry Pi camera and touchscreen display.

Verdict: Raspberry Pi 2, just. The Raspberry Pi 2 has a wealth of ports, so will be able to handle almost any application you throw at it. While the Model B+ has fewer, it’s still extremely versatile, particularly for a microcomputer. Depending on the project, either Pi could suit your needs.

Raspberry Pi 2 vs Raspberry Pi B+: Price

The Raspberry Pi Model B+ can currently be had for around £25, but that’s only £10 less than the Pi 2.

Verdict: A draw. Both models represent exceptional value for a computer of this size and power.

Raspberry Pi 2 vs Raspberry Pi B+: Potential problems

At launch, the Pi 2 had compatibility issues with older programs, but subsequent developer updates mean most software is now optimised for the Pi 2’s superior quad-core architecture.

As a result, the Pi 2 is now compatible with a larger range of projects than the Pi B+.

Verdict: Raspberry Pi 2 edges it. Despite being released several months ago, the Raspberry Pi 2 benefits from widespread compatibility with most programs – and that’s thanks, in part, to its quad-core architecture. If you’re looking to use your microcomputer for a variety of projects, it’s likely the Raspberry Pi 2 will support them.

Raspberry Pi 2 specifications

ProcessorQuad-core, 900MHz Broadcom BCM2836
Processor socketN/A
RAM1GB
Memory typeSDRAM
Maximum memory1GB
USB ports4 x USB 2
Other portsHDMI
Networking10/100 Ethernet
Memory card readermicroSD
Graphics cardBroadcom VideoCore IV
Sound card outputs3.5mm analogue output; digital via HDMI
Buying information
Warranty1yr RTB
Price including delivery (inc VAT)£30 inc VAT
Suppliercpc.farnell.com

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos