You’ve heard good things about the Raspberry Pi and Arduino, and you can’t decide which is right for your next DIY project. These small PCBs may look similar and even work for the same projects sometimes, but they occupy their own electronics niches.
So, which is right for you, an Arduino or a Raspberry Pi? We’ll explain it all here.
Arduino vs Raspberry Pi: What Is the Difference?
To get an idea of the differences between an Arduino and a Raspberry Pi, it makes sense to explore the most popular board from each brand. The specs of each board aren’t really comparable, but should still be considered when making the choice for your DIY electronics projects.
Arduino Uno R3 Features & Specs
The Arduino Uno R3 is a microcontroller, rather than a mini-computer. A microcontroller is just a small part of what makes a whole computer. This means that an Arduino only provides a subset of the functionality of a Raspberry Pi.
Although the Arduino can be programmed with small applications written in C++, it cannot run a full-scale operating system. Rather than regular connector ports, an Arduino has a series of pins that are compatible with an array of sensors and components. A range of Arduino boards are available.
The Arduino Uno R3 key specs are as follows:
- Microcontroller Chip: ATmega328P (clocked @ 16MHz)
- SRAM: 2kB
- EEPROM: 1kB
- Digital I/O Pins: 14
- PWM Digital I/O Pins: 6
- Analog Input Pins: 6
Raspberry Pi 4 Features & Specs
Unlike an Arduino, a Raspberry Pi is a full-blown computer. It can run operating systems like Linux and Windows, comes with regular I/O ports like HDMI, and packs a lot more power than an Arduino. There are several Raspberry Pi models available, ranging from the diminutive Pi Zero to the more powerful Raspberry Pi 4.
The Raspberry Pi 4 key specs are as follows:
- Processor: Broadcom BCM2711 (quad-core Cortex-A72 (ARM v8) 64-bit SoC clocked @ 1.5GHz)
- RAM: 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB
- Connectivity: 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz IEEE 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 5.0, Gigabit Ethernet
- Ports: 2 x USB 3.0 + 2 x USB 2.0, 2 x micro-HDMI, 2-lane MIPI DSI display, 2-lane MIPI CSI camera, 4-pole stereo audio and composite video, and USB Type-C Power ports
Raspberry Pi Pico Microcontroller Board
It’s worth noting at this stage that Raspberry Pi has its own microcontroller board available. The Raspberry Pi Pico can perform the same role as an Arduino, with a range of models offering different features.