Q&A: RK3188 vs Raspberry Pi?

rpiheatsinkQ: How does the RK3188 chip compare with a Raspberry Pi?

A: Well, to be frank, the Raspberry Pi doesn’t come close to the CPU power of the Rockchip RK3188 – but that doesn’t take into account what the Raspberry Pi is rather than does.

Looking at ‘speeds and feeds’, the Raspberry Pi features a 700MHz Broadcom BCM2835 ARM11 single-core SoC CPU with 512MB of RAM (version 2) whereas the Rockchip RK3188 is a quad-core Cortex A9 processor with a quad-core ARM Mali-400 MP4 graphics engine. On that score, there is no real comparison: the RK3188 is the faster option by a decent margin.

However, the Raspberry Pi has a global community of ideas and experimentation and development going on that is getting the board into more places than its developers probably ever thought possible. As a small computer to encourage kids to get into computing, it’s achieved that goal in spades (not to mention hitting 1.5million in sales).

So if you’re asking ‘RK3188 vs Raspberry Pi’, it’s really the wrong question.

There are many Rockchip RK3188-powered mini PCs but they’re much more ‘appliances’ than ‘tinkering’ devices, so it really comes down to what are you after? If you want a computer that will run apps fast, play games and the like, an RK3188-powered mini PC will do the job.

But if you want a small computer that’s cheap enough to experiment with and replace if you accidentally blow it up, a computer than you can easily program and learn with, the Raspberry Pi is pretty hard to beat.

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