Graphics on $25 Raspberry Pi Outperforms iPhone 4SYou think that smartphone in your pocket is the end-all, be-all of graphics performance? The Raspberry Pi, a cheap, $25.00-$35.00 computer designed for tinkerers and anyone who needs a computer the size of a pack of playing cards, soundly trumps it.
The Pi boasts middling specs, with a 700Mhz processor and only 256 Mib of RAM, but the one place it does excell is in video. The Raspberry Pi is able to output full 1080P video through its HDMI port. And in additon to that, apparently, the tiny computer also boasts a killer graphics card.
Raspberry Pi claims that the GPU they use on their board, manufactured by Broadcom, has twice the performance of the GPU used in Apple’s iPhone 4S, and that it soundly trumps the GPU used in Nvidia’s Tegra 2 dual-core devices.
Tech demos show that, for $25.00-$35.00, the Pi is quite capable. People have demonstrated the boards playing Quake 3, running XBMC (a video streaming client like Boxee or Roku, but designed to run on computers rather than specialized hardware) very smoothly, and handling complex OpenGL shaders like you would find in a video game or a complex, graphically rich menu.
The Raspberry Pi isn’t out just yet, but they’re ramping up production soon. Storage is handled through an SD card, and, if you opt for the $35.00 model, internet is provided by an ethernet jack. You won’t be getting any fancy features on this computer, but if you are looking at a $25-35.00 computer, then you probably aren’t looking for any. You will need to provide your own screen, keyboard an mouse, or at least something equivalent.
There are plenty of small spots that a compact, cheap computer can fit in. I, for example, need a cheap, stable machine to run the 3D printer I just ordered. Or those connected displays you often see in restaurants, perhaps displaying the latest scores from the local sport? Another ideal spot. These boards could prove to be an extremely powerful thing. Once they come out, that is.