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My Raspberry Pi B+, Raspberry Pi 2, and ODroid C1

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I've written quite a bit about my Raspberry Pis and ODroid over the past few months on one of the forums I frequent so I've decided to merge all of that info together here. Enjoy! :)

Power Consumption

Raspberry Pi Model B+ - Raspbian (Fresh install with LXDE no accessories/network)
  • 2.2 watts on idle
  • 3.1 watts with the single core maxed at 100%

Raspberry Pi 2 - Raspbian (Fresh install with LXDE no accessories/network)
  • 1.5 watts on idle
  • 2.9 watts with all four cores maxed at 100%

ODroid C1 - Lubuntu (Fresh install with LXDE running, no accessories/network)
  • 1.9 watts on idle
  • 4.1 watts with all four cores maxed at 100%

Network Tests

To and from my NAS going through wired 1Gbps ports, no OS tweaks.

Raspberry Pi Model B+ (100Mbps)
  • 93.7 Mbits/sec Download
  • 49.7 Mbits/sec Upload

Raspberry Pi 2 (100Mbps)
  • 94.0 Mbits/sec Download
  • 94.3 Mbits/sec Upload

ODroid C1 (1Gbps)
  • 442 Mbits/sec Download
  • 339 Mbits/sec Upload

To and from my NAS going over WiFi (Edimax EW-7811Un), no OS tweaks.

Raspberry Pi Model B+
  • 50.8 Mbits/sec Download
  • 42.8 Mbits/sec Upload

Raspberry Pi 2
  • 30.7 Mbits/sec Download
  • 30.6 Mbits/sec Upload

ODroid C1
  • 11.6 Mbits/sec Download
  • 17.8 Mbits/sec Upload

Out of network tests, no OS tweaks.

Raspberry Pi 2 wireless
Raspberry Pi 2 Wireless
Raspberry Pi 2 wired
Raspberry Pi 2 Wired
ODroid C1 wireless
ODroid C1 Wireless
ODroid C1 wired
ODroid C1 Wired
*No tests from Model B+ due to it being in use during this test

Unixbench Results (no IO tests)

Raspberry Pi Model
  • Single Core: 74.1

Raspberry Pi 2
  • Single Core: 130.8
  • 4 Cores: 386.8

ODroid C1
  • Single Core: 166.8
  • 4 Cores: 774.6

Overview of each device

These are my personal opinions and observations I've made during my testing.

Raspberry Pi Model B+
The only things that made the Model B+ stand out compared to the other two was the location of the power input (much more convenient for how I mounted it under my desk), that it uses a regular SD card versus the MicroSD, and that it performed better than the rest in the wireless speed tests. The first two can be a pro or con for others so really the only positive thing was the wireless performance. I was planning on continuing to use mine for running MRTG and my IP camera but considering the RPi2 outperforms it in nearly every test, uses less power, and is the same price I'm not sure the benefit for using my Model B+ anymore unless wireless performance becomes a factor.

Raspberry Pi 2
The RPi2 doesn't look that good on paper compared to the ODroid C1 but blows the Model B+ out of the water in almost all of the tests. I like that it detected the WiFi adapter immediately without any issues and only required one file edit to get it to see a hidden SSID, IPv6 is not enabled out of the box so I didn't bother configuring it for this testing. Took some extra steps to get the correct monitor resolution and changing it requires a reboot. Installing Chromium and getting Pepper Flash installed was very simple and Flash ran surprisingly well when I used it. It was noticeably sluggish under normal usage (web browsing, updating and installing packages, compressing and uncompressing files, general desktop navigation, etc...). I connected to a VPS running Windows 7 (FreeRDP) that's about 11ms away and this is where the RPi2 took off. It was one of the smoothest RDP experiences I've ever had and comparable to when I RDP to the same VPS from my Windows 7 laptop. I was browsing websites, SSHing to other servers, running scripts, and it ran smoothly no matter how many things I was doing at once. Compared to the Model B+ and C1, this one wins in terms of remote desktop experience.

ODroid C1
The C1 performed the best in terms of raw performance and even though it hit under 50% of the 1Gbps port's potential, it still beat the 100Mbps ports on both Pi's. The wireless network was painful at best. The speed was severely lacking even though it showed 72Mbps in the GUI and it wouldn't maintain a connection for very long at all (I had to run the Speedtest page at least 10 times before it was able to complete without being disconnected). The wireless adapter was detected right out of the box, connecting to the hidden SSID network was extremely simple, and it grabbed an IPv6 address from my router without issue but with the instability of the connection, it would have me either ordering a different wireless adapter or grabbing an ethernet cable. After having so many issues on previous OS versions getting it to work with my monitor (HDMI to DVI adapter), it finally works perfectly on my monitor but now it's acting wonky with my TV and no matter what resolution I pick I can't get the whole desktop to display on it. I also did not like the smaller HDMI port versus the full-size HDMI ports on the Pi's and I'm not a fan of the unique power input either. This is the only one of the bunch that I would even consider using as a desktop replacement. Under normal usage it's very smooth and responsive, no jumping or slowness while browsing websites even when the page is loaded up with HD images. I was browsing forums without a hiccup and page loads were instant each time. I connected to my Windows 7 VPS over RDP (FreeRDP) with the same settings as the RPi2 and it was like night and day. It was usable but the display was off, there was lag between actions, and browsing the web was jumpy. If you're looking for a good solution for local usage then the C1 takes the cake. If you want to use it as a thin client then it'll work, but I would grab a RPi2 instead if I were you.

Overclocked Raspberry Pi 2

I decided to overclock the RPi2 and rerun some tests to see if I can get closer performance to the C1. I set the CPU to the "RPi2" settings (1000MHz ARM, 500MHz core, 500MHz SDRAM, 2 overvolt) and set the GPU memory from 64MB to 256MB. I then played some Minecraft for the first time and it was pretty fun (Minecraft Pi comes pre-installed on Raspbian). Also I'm seeing a 4-6Mbps gain up and down over wireless with the overclocking for some reason, still nothing compared to wired or the Model B+ but every Mbps helps over the LAN. :)

I ran the Unixbench with the overclocked RPi2 and it closes the gap quite bit between the stock RPi2 and the stock C1. The temperature sensor in the RPi2 showed 53.5'C when the test completed, my infrared thermometer shows the CPU/GPU chip at 34'C while it was on the last few tests. I only ran the 4 CPU benchmark and skipped the single CPU test for the sake of time.

   BYTE UNIX Benchmarks (Version 5.1.3)
   System: jdraspbian: GNU/Linux
   OS: GNU/Linux -- 3.18.7-v7+ -- #756 SMP PREEMPT Wed Feb 18 16:14:51 GMT 2015
   Machine: armv7l (unknown)
   Language: en_US.utf8 (charmap="UTF-8", collate="UTF-8")
   CPU 0: ARMv7 Processor rev 5 (v7l) (0.0 bogomips)
   CPU 1: ARMv7 Processor rev 5 (v7l) (0.0 bogomips)
   CPU 2: ARMv7 Processor rev 5 (v7l) (0.0 bogomips)
   CPU 3: ARMv7 Processor rev 5 (v7l) (0.0 bogomips)
   23:12:11 up 2 min,  1 user,  load average: 0.11, 0.11, 0.05; runlevel 2
Benchmark Run: Thu Feb 19 2015 23:12:11 - 23:36:29
4 CPUs in system; running 4 parallel copies of tests
Dhrystone 2 using register variables       13115973.6 lps   (10.0 s, 7 samples)
Double-Precision Whetstone                     2208.3 MWIPS (9.9 s, 7 samples)
Execl Throughput                               1555.2 lps   (29.9 s, 2 samples)
Pipe Throughput                              763366.7 lps   (10.0 s, 7 samples)
Pipe-based Context Switching                 136544.7 lps   (10.0 s, 7 samples)
Process Creation                               3225.8 lps   (30.0 s, 2 samples)
Shell Scripts (1 concurrent)                   2893.0 lpm   (60.0 s, 2 samples)
Shell Scripts (16 concurrent)                   190.2 lpm   (60.6 s, 2 samples)
Shell Scripts (8 concurrent)                    382.8 lpm   (60.3 s, 2 samples)
System Call Overhead                        1759180.8 lps   (10.0 s, 7 samples)
System Benchmarks Partial Index              BASELINE       RESULT    INDEX
Dhrystone 2 using register variables         116700.0   13115973.6   1123.9
Double-Precision Whetstone                       55.0       2208.3    401.5
Execl Throughput                                 43.0       1555.2    361.7
Pipe Throughput                               12440.0     763366.7    613.6
Pipe-based Context Switching                   4000.0     136544.7    341.4
Process Creation                                126.0       3225.8    256.0
Shell Scripts (1 concurrent)                     42.4       2893.0    682.3
Shell Scripts (16 concurrent)                     ---        190.2      ---
Shell Scripts (8 concurrent)                      6.0        382.8    638.0
System Call Overhead                          15000.0    1759180.8   1172.8
System Benchmarks Index Score (Partial Only)                          548.2

Real World Usage

I switched off my laptop to use my RPi2 for as long as possible to see what kind of desktop replacement it has the potential for...

...well that was depressing. Even with the overclocking I tried using it for about 3 hours straight and be productive. Once I abandoned that idea I started to look for entertainment and that was just as bad. Chromium would crash and burn if I tried to stream anything so I decided to pull some files from my NAS to play locally because I tried streaming music from Grooveshark, but Chromium kept closing itself even if I tried to re-open it after it crashed so I switched to Midori for basic browsing which had noticeably increase loading times for websites I visit regularly. I finally got a media player installed that let me listen to music and it was a good experience, the audio quality through the HDMI cable was good and playback was smooth and responsive. I found out that the volume control in my taskbar was just for show. I gave up on video playback after having less luck getting a GUI installed. YouTube was horrible at all resolutions (240p stuttered on fullscreen). I was tempted to switch to wired internet, but 30Mbps should be enough for normal usage and the wireless connection was stable without any dropped connections so it had that going for it. My RDP experience was still just as good as before so the RPi2 is still top of my list as a thin client.

I switched over to my C1 to see just how different the experience was after spending 3 hours with the RPi2 and it was unbelievably different. My first test was to go onto YouTube to run the same videos to see my experience (wired network vs wireless though) and that was like night and day. Watching the same video in fullscreen at 480p was smooth enough and watching at 720p windowed was even watchable. My TV is only 720p so I just grabbed a bunch of video formats from my NAS and the playback for all of them out of the box, without any adjustments or installing any software, was great. No hiccups, no distortion, and best of all it didn't max all of the CPUs so I could still multitask to an extent (running Kodi fullscreen with some HD test videos caused the mouse to lag but the video wasn't impacted and remained running smoothly). My NAS has a built in web GUI which supports audio and video streaming if you have Flash installed which I did so I started watching a video I could find on my NAS that streamed (MP4 worked nicely without VLC) and it played nicely. Couldn't get VLC player to work, but with all of the media players than came pre-installed I was fine with that. Audio playback was just as good as the RPi2 and the volume could be adjusted in Lubuntu so that's a plus there. Web browsing was perfect, no issues to speak of and no crashes when a site was overloaded with ads or images. I ended up overclocking the C1's CPU from 1.5GHz to 1.7GHz just for fun since I had bought the heatsink addon and the temps were on par with the OC'ed RPi2 without a heatsink according to the internal sensors. The one thing that annoys me to no end with the C1 is that damned micro HDMI port, I can't find a cable or adapter to fit in it that isn't flimsy as hell and causes the video to drop if you breath on it wrong whereas the RPi2 can be dropped from my desk multiple times (as I accidentally test multiple times every time I use it) and continue working normally without missing a beat. Lastly, I decided to RDP into my Win 7 VPS and the experience was the same as before, usable in a pinch but not as good as the RPi2.

It looks like the RPi2 will be better used as a headless box or as a thin client. It might make for a good HTPC but the C1 would work better.


willie 12-12-2015 @ 12:08AM EST

Thanks for posting this! I wonder if you've tried an Odroid XU4 yet. It should be around 2x as fast as the C1.

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