Discussion

Pro or Pi?

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Hello everyone, I'm looking to upgrade my SUPER SLOW Raspberry Pi. I use it as a Bittorrent Sync server. Its read / write speeds are OK for a document or so, but now I have 65+gb and just the other day I formatted my PC and syncing everything down was an absolute NIGHTMARE! I have USB drives connected to the RPi with my folder inside of them. I find it a simple, very VERY cost-effective (power management-wise) way to sync files across multiple machines that are on-off at different times 24/h a day.

Anyways, I came across the Banana Pi and Banana Pro. Is the only difference the Pin configuration and wifi? Are there any differences between the two models that would merit a 20 euro increase? I don't use wifi, I only use wired connections. And 2 USB ports is more than enough, and if I need more, I have a hub. I also don't do any "modding" with the hardware (like cameras, screens, etc). It's just a 24/7 server that syncs files . So... Is there any hardware difference between the Banana Pro and Banana Pi that would make it worth it for me? BTW- I'm not a techie person, but I did sit down and read a lot of tutorials on how to use the RPi. I like to tinker. But I'd need tutorials or explanations or cheat sheets with the codes to input xD haha.

Thank you very much in advance.
tkaiser  
Edited by tkaiser at Sat Apr 4, 2015 10:43

The main problem of all Raspberries is them being limited to just one single USB connection between their heart (SoC -- system on chip) and the outside (there's an integrated 2- or 4-port hub which also contains the Ethernet chip). Both Banana Pi and Pro have a SATA connector, 3 'real' USB ports and a dedicated 1Gbps network implementation, so interfaces don't interfere and you will get sync/NAS performance that is many times faster than with any Rasperry Pi.

Regarding differences: the Pro is sort of an enhanced bug fix version of the Pi (and manufactured and sold by a different company). If you don't need Wi-Fi there's no reason to spend the extra bucks (difference here in germany today: 31.20 € vs. 39.27 €/43.- € -- if you keep an eye on shipping costs the difference might even be lower)

Edited by zkyevolved at Sat Apr 4, 2015 11:16
tkaiser replied at Sat Apr 4, 2015 10:40
The main problem of all Raspberries is them being limited to just one single USB connection between  ...



Thank you for your reply! I also saw that  the Banana Pi M2 has quadcore. Will that translate to better experience? I saw that Raspbian was available  Caught my eye.

Also, is there such a connector as to turn the the SATA connector into MORE USB ports?

tkaiser  
Edited by tkaiser at Sat Apr 4, 2015 11:12
zkyevolved replied at Sat Apr 4, 2015 11:00
I also saw that  the Banana Pi M2 has quadcore. Will that translate to better experience?


Maybe if you use Android only?

The M2 has a completely different SoC (A31s) still with very limited linux support. I would suspect that this device will be supported in a similar manner like A20 based boards (there exist many and the important ones were those from Cubietech) sometimes in 2016/2017 (if at all).

Oh, that case, forget the M2. I saw you replied to me before I got to save. I was wondering about an SATA to USB connector. Does that kind of thing exist? I'm looking for the most cost effective storage. I always thought USB drives were the best since I'm not looking for incredible performance, and they're readily available. A spinning HD makes noise, heat, and is probably more prone to breaking than memory. That's why the SATA wasn't a big deal to me.

Thanks for all your help I ended up buying the Banana Pi from Aliexpress, it was a lot cheaper (the free shipping). The 15 euros I saved from shipping (I checked about 9 different sites) bought me a bunch of stuff :-D So now I have to wait 3 weeks! haha. It's OK, my Pi has been working for me for over a year or so, so it can hold out a little while longer.

When I retire my Pi, I'll take it to my parents house and let them have a backup solution.

Thank you again for your help!

tkaiser  
Edited by tkaiser at Sun Apr 5, 2015 01:16
zkyevolved replied at Sat Apr 4, 2015 11:19
I was wondering about an SATA to USB connector. Does that kind of thing exist?


There is no such thing because the U in 'USB' stands for 'universal'. And while it might be possible to produce some sort of SATA-to-USB bridge chips that just translate USB's UAS protocol to SATA I've never seen anything like this since it makes not that much sense to produce this (because the opposite of this is part of every USB HDD/SDD enclosure: An USB-to-SATA bridge).

BTW: If you fear the disadvantages of spinning platters and moving heads in HDDs then simply choose a SSD. But it won't help with performance that much compared to USB (since there are other bottlenecks existing on the BPi like network and SATA write performance. You will get increased speed and less load but not that much that it's worth to trash your existing USB storage -- just give it a try and report back here)

I would recommend you stick to the new rPi2 - the one with quad core arm6.

The bPi / pro is still in "early" development stages like the rPi was before it got mainstream.

I found that working with the rPi was a joy and a lot easier because of the community is much larger and have more howto's, etc.

The bPi is much faster as a server or similiar but as a bt server i would stick with the rPi to be honest. It is a steeper learning curve of the bPi even though it's an awesome pi.

The only difference in terms of performance for you would be the faster network speed (also the internet speed if you have more than 100mbit). The rPi would do around 200mbit if you use a gigabit usb lan connector but only if it is straight from one dedicated fast usb harddrive. The bPi does that without a sweat at around 250mbit without tweaks. This is of course if you have a ext4 formatted harddrive as it is easier on the cpu.

TL;DR
Raspberry Pi 2 is easier to get working as you want because of more guides and larger community but is slower in terms of network speed.

Banana Pi / Pro is faster in terms of network speed but a only 2 core cpu and more expensive and more difficult to get working as you might want because of smaller community and guides.

When i write easier and difficult it doesn't take THAT much to get it working as you want but being a newb myself (maybe 2 out of a 10 scale on linux systems - a couple of years experience) it is a little more work than a normal pc OS because of the arm architecture.

The rPI2 still has the limitation of its ancestor in term of throughput : it still stupidly share ethernet / Wifi / Usb thru the same channel.
The fact it has quad core will not help.

Banana Pi / Pro is faster in terms of network speed but a only 2 core cpu ...

My Banana is running a dynamic web site (Apache2 / PHP / PostgreSQL), some home automation, Deluge for P2P and it is the head of my home network as well (dhcp, netpd, named, ...) and the load average most of the time around 0.05 and never above 0.15.

So, definitively, I would prefer having good throughput vs a strong CPU that can't do anything as data can't arrive.

To the original question, Banana Pi or Banana Pro (BPI/BPRO) , I can say that Banana Pi is more than enough if you don't need Wifi nor extra GPIO connections.
One little advantage of BPI is RCA connector for video output that is fully compatible with old TV.
For BPRO maybe you may find further support since currently is the newest board and gets all the attention...

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