Single-board computers (SBCs) alternatives to Raspberry Pi

Hi all!

Since the beginning of the pandemic it is virtually impossible to buy a RaspberryPi due to the shortage and prices. However, several people commented about the impressive results of using SC with the RBPI 4.

Do you people recommend any alternative to the RBP4 for using SC? Any severe problems when using the alternatives SBCs? Orange Pi ? 4 or 5? Rock 5? Banana Pi? Any recommendation for SBCs that are easier to customize for audio performance?

If you factor in the cost of buying a pi4 and the screen, keyboard and mouse, the price is nearly the same as buying a second hand laptop. Even a 2010 laptop is going to function better than a pi. Not really a single board alternative, but something to think about.

1 Like

LTT on youtube recently (8 days ago) did a video reviewing all alternative. Not from an audio perspective, but something to consider.

If you factor in the cost of buying a pi4 and the screen, keyboard and mouse, the price is nearly the same as buying a second hand laptop.

True. I think most people use headless RPIs, though. They might occasionally hook it up to a screen, keyboard and mouse, but they don’t need to buy those things.

If we believe the Raspberry Foundation, RPI stock should return to pre-pandemic levels in the second half of 2023. (Supply chain update - it's good news! - Raspberry Pi) Let’s see :slight_smile:

1 Like

Another thing I found out after spending many hours troubleshooting the raspberry pi performance, is usb audio isn’t up to scratch on the pi3 all the way to pi1. Single shot, no long release time samples are ok without modulating reverb. But to expect a linux based OS to work fine up to the level of a maybe a celeron for audio isn’t realistic. On the other hand, the bare metal circle based minidexed works great, but doesn’t support usb.

1 Like

Could you rephrase this, it doesn’t make sense, Linux is an os, celeron is an Intel CPU? Also, I run Linux everyday, and audio is better than windows and comparable with mac.

A correction, my fingers type slower than my sub vocalisation: To expect linux on a pi to work to the level of a linux on a celeron…


I haven’t tried to compile/run supercollider on it, but I’ve been using an odroid n2+ to run the pianoteq vst. Works quite well…

1 Like

For CPU the odroid n2+ is good, but it’s not open source hardware AFAIK. There are quite some people with big plans for RPI and then sell them the next week. A RPI 4 4gb should be possible for ± 100 euro these days.

1 Like

From all the comments I think that the dream of 50 bucks computer is over…

Indeed, my intended use for the alternative PI would be for portable/wearable and also networking several of them for audio installations.

Has anyone tried this audio optimization on alternatives RPIs and had good results?

You can get 50 dollar computers, but those would be 2010 laptops and below. They’re free even because the average consumer would have changed their computing needs.

1 Like