When it comes to the development board, making the right choice for your project can be confusing because of the options available in the market. The Arduino and Raspberry Pi are famous development boards used for small and big projects. To avoid confusion and to select the best option, the Arduino vs Raspberry Pi explanation becomes vital.

Each development board has its advantages and disadvantages, and the choice of one depends on your project. We have elucidated these two boards, which will prove to be the best base for your inventions and easy start-up kit to incorporate your ideas.

What is Raspberry Pi?

raspberry pi 3 model to select between raspberry pi vs arduino
Raspberry Pi development board

Raspberry Pi is a mini-computer that can run multiple programs at once. The board was developed in the United Kingdom by the Raspberry Pi foundation to empower students and people technically.

Whether your purpose is learning, creating, or educating, Raspberry Pi has the ability to do it. It is known as a mini computer because it has all the features of the computer like a graphics driver, memory, and processor. The official operating system for Raspberry Pi is called Raspbian. To point out Arduino vs Raspberry Pi in a better way, we should know what Arduino is as well.

The section below will explain the Arduino development board.

What is Arduino?

Arduino development board
Arduino development board

Arduino is an open-source hardware-software ecosystem that renders a wide range of possibilities to bring ideas into creations. Simply putting, Arduino is a Microcontroller. You can execute the same program multiple times with Arduino.

It was developed in Italy to provide students and professionals the base to create devices with sensors and actuators. You can only program it to do a single task by embedding its code in the microcontroller.

Difference Between Arduino and Raspberry Pi: Which is Better?

The below table points out similarities and the difference between Arduino and Raspberry pi. The table can help you read it easily and help in making a fast decision.

Arduino Raspberry Pi
Arduino is a microcontroller Raspberry Pi is a mini-computer with a Raspbian OS
Can run a single program in a loop Can run multiple programs
Available at low cost (cheaper than Raspberry Pi) The cost is higher than Arduino
You need a separate piece of hardware to connect to the internet. and you need to write the code for that hardware as well Can connect to the internet easily using WiFi dongles and Ethernet
Has onboard storage Does not have onboard storage, but have SD card port
You can program in Arduino, C, and C++ You can program in C, C++, Ruby, and Python
Cannot install/support an operating system Supports the Raspbian operating system along with third-party OS like Linux and Android
Can respond to sensors using the code in the microcontroller Requires software to interact with sensors
Processing Speed of 16 MHz Processing Speed of 700 to 1.4 GHz
It is an 8-bit microcontroller with 2 KB SRAM It is a 64-bit microprocessor with 8 GB SDRAM
Has one USB port Has 4 USB ports
Recommended for single tasks like opening a door, reading temperature, and a simple robot Recommended for multiple tasks at one time like a complex robot, home automation, and some intense calculations

When we take a closer look at Arduino vs Raspberry Pi, both differ in terms of purpose and architecture. Raspberry is a fully functional computer with its own peripherals, whereas Arduino is a microcontroller that can be a part of Raspberry Pi.

When it comes to the power supply, both are powered externally and require very little power. However, Raspberry Pi needs an uninterrupted source of power supply. If there is a power failure, the application and software can be damaged. You need to shut down Raspberry Pi completely after the use to avoid any type of damage.

Arduino is a plug and play device. It will run the coded program until it has a power supply and stop once the power supply is stopped. There would be no damage to your hardware or program. It resets the program and points to the beginning of the code to start executing the program again when the power supply is back.

In case of speed, Raspberry Pi has the upper hand than Arduino. Raspberry Pi has processing speed in the range of 700 MHz to 1.4 GHz based on the version. Whereas, Arduino Uno and other versions have the same processing speed of 16 MHz.

Arduino Vs Raspberry Pi – Which development board should you go for?

 arduino vs raspberry pi development board

Still, confused between the two? That’s okay. In this section, we will give you a complete idea of how to choose any one board based on your project’s needs and requirements. The below points will give you an idea of Arduino vs Raspberry Pi on the basis of the project requirement.

Tasks –

The first thing to be considered while deciding on one board is the task to be carried out. If you have a single task with more hardware involved, then you should opt for Arduino. Raspberry Pi should be the ideal choice if it is a complicated process or number of tasks carried out with a single board.

Programming Language –

The projects which require multiple programming languages and operating systems should make use of Raspberry. Whereas, the project which can be coded in C or C++ and burnt on the microcontroller can use Arduino Uno or its other versions as the development board.

Sensors –

If your project demands real-time sensors, Arduino is the ideal choice as it is easy to integrate sensors like analog sensors or any other sensors on the Arduino development board. In the case of Raspberry Pi, sensor integration requires the use of software, and then it becomes complicated to address the sensors.

IoT –

If you want your development board to read the temperature and turn on the AC after reaching a particular temperature, then Arduino can do this efficiently and at a low cost compared to Raspberry Pi. However, if you want to read the temperature, compare it with the data on the internet and send you the result on your smartphone so that you can turn on/off AC using your phone, then you need Raspberry Pi. The latter is a complex task that will require OS, better functionality, and high-level programming language. All these features can be provided by Raspberry Pi only.

Arduino is easy to set up and program, but Raspberry Pi has more features when compared to Arduino. Hence, when it comes to Raspberry pi vs Arduino, the comparison between the two in terms of the best development board will lead you nowhere. The one which is best for you solely depends on your project features and tasks, as mentioned above.

In short, if your project is software-based, involves multiple functionalities simultaneously, needs the internet, requires media accessibility, go with Raspberry Pi – a mini-computer.

On the other hand, if your project is about hardware interfaces, it involves sensors, devices, motors, needs analog-to-digital pins, consumes low-power, costs less, then Arduino – a microcontroller is your friend.

You can get DIY kits for Arduino at minimal cost that can help you understand the development board in a better way.

Final Thoughts on Arduino vs Raspberry Pi

You may know what is best for you and your project in terms of the development board with the Arduino vs Raspberry Pi explanation. While it would not be really fair to compare the Raspberry Pi and Arduino, it would be advisable for you to know the difference between the two boards. Each board has a specialty that caters to the features that are project-specific.

Raspberry Pi would be the ideal choice for a project that needs more complex actions or programs. The Arduino is usually preferred for loop action or singular action projects. You can also use an Arduino board with a Raspberry Pi project to carry out a really complicated task; the other way is not quite done.

Related: The Best Raspberry Pi Alternatives Available Today (2020)