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Cubieboard vs. Raspi

Started by castalla, February 17, 2013, 09:07:34 pm

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The Cubie is promoted (mainly by the usual bunch of 'reviewers' (who seem only able to reprint commercial blurb rather than actually reviw anything in real life) as an alternative to the Raspi.   

What is the actual experience of an ordinary end-user?

1.  The Cubie costs marginally more.

2.  The Cubie is much more difficult to set-up and use for a 'novice' user.  A new user is faced with navigating the hideously awful Cubieboard group on Google Groups in order to discover any useful nformation.   Essentially, the posts by Martin Wild and Romanrm are the only useful material for the beginner - findng their contributions would tax anyone.

2. The choice of viable out-of-the-box distros is severely limited.  A novice is left swimming in a sea of references to the A10 series of  boards, wondering how these actually run on the Cubie most do, but why should it be so obscure?

3.  In contrast to the Raspi, where thee are utilities such as rpi-update and the ability to edit a config.txt file to fine-tune an installation, the Cubie leaves the user in the Wonderland of Linux ....

4.  Whereas the Raspi has 100s of different projects and applications, the Cubie is almost devoid of any development except some applications which are so esoteric that they are of minimal interest to anybody other than the developer themselves.  XBMC is a case in point - there are three specific images available for the Raspi - there's only one implementation of XBMC for the Cubie which seems sub-optimal in performance.

5. The Cubie has Android - enough said.

6.  The Cubie is definitely less robust than the Raspi - the standard simple case gives some protection but really is only an interim solution for a proper case.  The black motherboard looks 'cool', but that's not really the point, is it?

7. Community support for the Cubie is good but often assumes too much technical knowledge on behalf of the questioning user.   Support from Cubie itself is pathetic - they seem content to sell the boards but fail dismally to actually provide any viable support.  My experience has been without the contributions of only 2 users (named above) then I would have either returned the device or simply thrown it in the bin as unusable!

Overall, the Cubie is an interesting project, but little more than that.  In my limited experience it has little to offer over a B series Raspi for the average user.  Reviewers' claims that it is a Raspi 'killer' are simply reviewers' hype. 

Before I get shot down in flames, there's little point in replying that the Cubie is a development board ... development for what?   I've yet to see anything in development that compares with the myriad of developments being carried out by Raspi users.  I can't see this changing significantly in the future.

So, in score terms ... the Cubie gets a 3, the Rspi an 8.

Essentially, I'll use the Cubie as a backup device for my 2 Raspis.  A third standby Raspi would probably have been a better purchase.


Chicken and egg...

Someone needs to create the things you ask for.   No-one is getting paid to do it, and they do it for their own needs / ends.

When there is more community, there will be more things done, and more options.
For now, its whatever people have created, and provided.

I don't get a mention?  sniff  :P

1. -
2. True, thats why I created this site.
3. Already there are several options available, although finding them is a bit painful.
I have offered people space here, but no-one has taken me up on that.

4. (your numbering is broken) 
config is via the fex method, as thats how the chip manufacturer implemented it, and for better or for worse, thats how the drivers implement it.

5. Its early days.

6. I'm not sure why everyone loves android, but if it makes people happy.

7. It will come, they're selling enough to afford to make some now.

8. You're comparing a device thats sold < 3000 units with one thats sold > 1,000,000.  Community support will obviously be better for the rpi at this stage due to that.

You should be happy that there is this amount of community support around a new product, and that people are as helpful as they are.

The A10 is a better board cpu wise - its faster, and once the graphics drivers arrive (which is extremely soon now), you'll start to have better xbmc etc etc.

Essentially you're complaining that everything isn't being handed to you on a plate.
Thats right. 

In this case, people need to go out and make the plates first, so you need to either learn how to make plates, or rely on others to make them.  I can already see great improvement in whats out there for the board in the < 1 month I've been using / developing on mine.  Some of which I've driven myself for my own nefarious needs  8)

Give it time...


I have three Raspberry Pi's and one Cubieboard.  I bought two of the RPi's in the initial frenzy, and one after the second release with 512M of memory.  If the RPi had worked for my application, I would have stopped there, but it didn't.  The Cubieboard has SATA support, a faster processor, and twice the memory than the RPi, all of which will make a difference for my application.  The RPi was intended to be used as a low-cost computer to be used by students to learn how to program.  It's being used for a lot more than that, which is great, and it's nice to see that so many people are finding new ways to use it.

It seems like your complaint is that, with reviews calling it a Raspberry Pi killer, the Cubieboard isn't a Raspberry Pi.  Well, it's not.  A sports car isn't a family sedan, either - there are trade-offs for both.  If people are expecting the Cubieboard to be just like a Raspberry Pi but with more "stuff" they're likely to be dissappointed.

Lawrence already replied to the most of your comments, but I'm still confused by #6 - neither board comes with a case, so I'm not sure why the Cubieboard is less robust than the RPi because of that.  In my application I don't need a case, just mounting holes, so the initial RPi was harder to mount.

It would be nice if the Cubieboard had the same support as the RPi.  I'm pleased that there are so many people working with it who are willing to share their time and expertise with the rest of us who need the help.  I think it is a valid alternative to the RPi, but it depends on the user and the application - neither one is going to be perfect for everyone.


Well, at least it got people talking!

I have offered people space here, but no-one has taken me up on that.

I don't understand that either - surely people can't actually prefer GB over a sane forum structure?

It'll be interesting to see how the Cubie fares over the next few months.