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If you are a tech geek and love to experiment with automation projects, you will love having these single-board computers.

Single Board Computers (SBCs) were widely affected during the pandemic because of a shortage of components. However, everything is getting normal with time, and 2023 has brought many more opportunities and a better environment.

This change in environment can be easily noticed in the price inflation of Single Board Computers. As we know, SBCs are now becoming go-to devices for most general purposes, including home theater, gaming gadgets, and more. 

If you are looking for a low-power alternative to a regular computer, then you are at the right spot. Today in this article, we have listed some of the best single-board computers you can rely on for future projects. 

What is a Single Board Computer? 

As we all know, a computer isn’t a simple machine. It is a collection of various small components like GPU, Processor, RAM, etc., and all these components are well organized in a case. 

But a single-board computer basically breaks all these norms. It is a complete system in which all vital elements, like the microprocessor, memory, and all other essential components, are built or organized on a single circuit board.

SBCs are entirely functioning computers with all essential features like peripherals, USB, serial ports, and more embedded on a single board. 

SBCs may seem less functioning than regular computers. But the reality is quite different. SBCs come in numerous forms, which are not only used in regular tasks but are also adopted in military and aerospace applications. 

What makes a Single Board Computer different from a Regular Computer?

As you have got familiar with what a single-board computer is, it’s common to doubt what makes it different from regular or traditional computers. Well, the answer to this question isn’t that complicated.

As mentioned, single-board computers are systems built on a single circuit board. This directly indicates that SBC doesn’t need any additional case for adding or storing components like case fans, crowded cables, etc. 

However, these construction differences also change the system’s usage and purpose. Single-board computers may not perform like modern desktops. But still, they are widely used and preferred over traditional desktops. 

Where are single-board computers used? 

When you look at the SBC, it may seem like a system with simple infrastructure and less reliability compared to modern high-end desktops. However, computers are adapted as per users’ preferences rather than overall performance. As a consequence, SBC significantly fits in most cases.

The simplicity of SBC is one of its biggest key factors that makes it more convenient and adopted in various industries. Due to its simple and unchangeable structure, SBC commonly shows fewer bugs and conflicts than traditional desktops.

As a result, these systems are widely used in various industries, including smart homes, automotive, medical, commercial, educational, and military applications.

If you are looking for a good SBC, then you are in the perfect place. Here are some of the best single-board computers you can rely on to make your work easier.

Khadas VIM4 SBC

Khadas VIM4 is among the latest additions to the popular Khadas VIM series. This addition to this series is widely known as the best alternative to Raspberry Pi 4. The size of both SBCs is very much similar, but Khadas VIM 4 has a much more powerful processor comparatively. 

Coming to the key features of the system. Khadas has continuously improved user experience by adding distinct features to its SBCs.

This fourth edition in the VIM series included the latest chips and great features like Amlogic A311D2 four or six-core CPU, OOWOW software, HDMI input, dual microphones, options for connectivity including USB C and USB-A ports, Wi-Fi, etc. 

Processor – 2.2 GHz quad Core ARM Cortex-A73 and 2.0 GHz quad-core Cortex-A53 

GPU – Mali G52MP8 

Memory – 8GB

Connectivity – Bluetooth 5.1, Wi-Fi 6 module 

Orange Pi 3 LTS

If you are looking for a budget-friendly and good functional SBC, then Orange Pi 3 can be helpful for you. Orange Pi 3 is a better SBC edition than the Raspberry Pi 3 model because it comes with a faster and more efficient CPU and GPU. 

Due to its peak performance, Orange Pi 3 is an open-source system widely used in tablets, edge computing, cloud computing, etc. The key features of this SBC include support for Gigabit Ethernet, power management, compatible pin functions, and more.

Orange Pi 3 is one of the most suggested SBCs for commercial purposes. You can buy this budget-friendly circuit board if you are a student and want an SBC that fits all your needs.

Processor – Quad 64-bit 1.8GHz ARM Cortex-A53 

GPU – Mali T720 

RAM Memory – 2GB

Connectivity – Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 

ZimaBoard 832

If you hope to find a single board server for your creativity, then we have covered it for you. ZimaBoard is a budget-friendly single-board server that is specifically designed for geeks, DIYers, etc. The best characteristic of this board is its expansibility. 

ZimaBoard is an open-source system that also supports Linux, Windows, Android, and more. This multi-tasking board has both the expansibility of an x86 SBC and the functional power of a microserver.

By these lines, you would already be clear that you can use this board for various purposes, including personal cloud servers, software routers, and whatnot. This low-priced and low-power-consuming system can easily make all your work done.

Processor – Intel Celeron Processor “Apollo Lake”

GPU – Intel® HD Graphics 500

Memory – 8GB

Connectivity – Wi-Fi, 2x USB

Tinker Board S

This SBC is for those who are looking for reliable and stable single-board computers with a budget below $150. Tinker Board S is a durable SBC for DIY enthusiasts and makers.

When we say durable, this includes its overall performance. You can rely on this SBC for your daily tasks, including gaming, high-quality media playback, image stabilization, and more.

The developers of this board have ensured to provide a superior user experience for beginners as they have added a color-coded GPIO header, making pin headers easily recognizable. This SBC also includes a heatsink, which improves its performance and speed. 

Processor – Rockchip Quad-Core RK3288

GPU – ARM Mali T764 

Memory – 2GB

Connectivity – Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 

Libre Computer Board Project

Everyone doesn’t prefer complex systems. Some people just look for a basic setup to perform simple tasks smoothly. If you are one of those people, then the Libre Computer Board is perfect for you as it is simple and budget-friendly.

Libre’s computer board is considered one of the best alternatives for RPi 3 as it has the same form factor to reuse with your existing cases.

Libre’s computer board performs faster and more efficiently than a Pi 3 B model while consuming half power. This is an open-source system that supports both Linux and Android operating systems.

Processor – Quad-Core 64-bit ARMv8 Cortex-A53 

GPU – Mali-450MP

Memory – 2GB

Connectivity – HDMI, GPIO

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B

Raspberry Pi is one of the most known single-board computer series, and here we are talking about the latest Raspberry Pi 4 Model B. This is partially a high-end single-board computer with great processor speed, memory, multimedia performance, and more.

The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B system offers desktop performance similar to entry-level x86 PC systems. Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is one step ahead of its prior model Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, with similar power consumption. We can conclude that you get better but at the same cost.

The key features of this model include 8GB memory, amazing video output, a power input connector, etc. In addition to this, you can also get Raspberry Pi 5 add-ons for better performance and experience.

Processor – Quad-Core CortexA72, 

GPU – Broadcom VideoCore VI

Memory – 8GB

Connectivity – Bluetooth, Wi-Fi

Orange Pi 5

This SBC is again from Orange, with a better version and compatibility to fit your preference. Orange Pi 5 is an open-source board that refers to many interfaces.

This SBC is also denoted as Mini PC as it works very well with different operating systems, including its official Orange Pi, Android 12, Debian11, and other OS. 

These lines would have already hinted to you about its compatibility. This microcontroller board is widely used in tablets, edge computing, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, etc.

Orange Pi 5 offers you abundant interfaces like HDMI output, GPIO interface, etc., for an even more flexible experience. If you want the latest edition of SBC at an affordable price, then you can consider Orange Pi 5. 

Processor – Octa-core 64-bit processor

GPU – ARM Mali-G610 

RAM Memory – 16GB

Connectivity – USB, Ethernet, HDMI

NVIDIA Jetson Nano Developer

This one is a convenient SBC that can be used to run modern AI workloads at minimal price and power. The NVIDIA Jetson Nano developers is an amazing SBC for developers, learners, and makers as it lets you run AI frameworks and models at good processing speed.

This modern SBC is a great medium to let developers connect with modern Al frameworks and applications. From learning AI to building an autonomous bot, a smart home device, etc., Jetson Nano can help you with all your needs.

This SBC has more features like a 40-pin expansion header, microSD card slot, MIPI CSI-2 camera connectors, etc. 

Processor – Quad-Core ARM Cortex-A57 MPCore processor

GPU – NVIDIA Maxwell architecture 

Memory – 4 GB

Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet 


ELEGOO has been taking care of users since 2011 by providing the best open-source hardware by researching, developing, and marketing them for users.

The ELEGOO UNO R3 is one of those amazing products. The key features of this SBC are that this board is way faster than before, as they have replaced the ATMega8U2 chip with 16U2. As a result, you can experience faster transfer rates and more memory than before. 

This microcontroller is integrated with AMD CPU and supports Windows 10 as terms of the operating system. In addition, ELEGOO R3 is considered best for programmers as it lets you upload new code without using an external hardware programmer. 

Processor – ATmega328 P 16 MHz


RAM Memory – 32 KB, 2KB SRAM, and 1 KB EEPROM.

Connectivity – Bluetooth

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is the pre-edition of Raspberry Pi 5 Model B. You will notice a lot of differences between both. But there is a very slight difference in the price. Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is considered the re-engineered and new model in the family or series of Pi. 

Preview Product Rating Price
Raspberry Pi 4 Model B 8GB Raspberry Pi 4 Model B 8GB $86.49

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B has a powerful processor, fast networking, different options in RAM, and many other features. It can result in a great investment if you are interested in learning, making, or Octo print.

You would think we have mentioned Raspberry Pi 4 Model B twice, but you can also notice a slight difference in price and features between both. 

Processor – ARM Cortex-A72 

GPU – Broadcom VideoCore VI

RAM Memory – 8GB

Connectivity – Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Ethernet 

Wrapping up

Single-board computers are getting more expensive day by day. But are they worth investing in? Yes, Single Board Computers are widely opted for due to their low cost, minimal size, and wide range of abilities. So, no doubt you can invest in them.

This article was entirely for those considering purchasing an SBC for working on small tasks or experimenting with automation projects.

You may also explore some best smart plugs for your smart home.

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  • Dhruv Parmar
    Dhruv is a senior content writer at Geekflare, specializing in Career, Computer Hardware, Gaming, Smart Gadgets , Collaboration, and AI topics. With a strong foundation backed by a Bachelor’s in Computer Engineering, he possesses an in-depth…

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