RoadTest Review a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B ! - Review

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RoadTest: RoadTest Review a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B !

Author: matfur92

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Evaluation Boards

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: Atmel SAMA5D3 Xplained , Atmel SAMA5D4 Xplained Ultra , LCD8000-43T-EX1 LCD 4.3 , Microsoft LifeCam HD-3000 , MendelMax 1.5 RepRap 1.4

What were the biggest problems encountered?: nothing for now

Detailed Review:



Hi to all,


I start immediately thanking  infinitely the element14 team for giving me the chance to try and review this fantastic board Raspberry Pi 3 Model B.


I start by saying that this article will be updated a bit at a time in order to follow with me the progress of various steps that make up my review.


So let's start with the classic unboxing.

I want to say that the shipment was very quick and was entrusted to courier UPS which  took care of the pack, handing me this in perfect condition.


Let talk now a bit with images to examine the quality of the board.




And now some details about boards that I have in test comparison :


CharacteristicsRaspberry Pi 3 , Model BSAMA5D4SAMA5D3
Dimensions (L x W x H)85.6× 56× 21 mm135 × 88 × 20 mm125 x 75 x 20mm (10-layers)
ProcessorBroadcom BCM2837 64Bit Quad Core Processor powered Single Board Computer running at 1.2GHz

SAMA5D44 ( 361-ball BGA pack

age), 16x16 mm body, pitch 0.8 mm

SAMA5D36 (324-ball BGA package)

ARM Cortex-A5 Processor with ARM

v7-A Thumb2® instruction set, core frequency up to 536 MHz

MPU, EDBG: 12 MHz quartz

RTC: 32.768 KHz

PHY: 25 MHz

12-MHz crystal oscillator

32.768-kHz crystal oscillator

Main MemoryRAM 1GB LPDDR2 (900 MHz)

2 x DDR2 2 Gb 16 Meg x 16 x 8 banks (total 4Gbit = 512 MB)

1 x SLC NAND Flash 4 Gb 8-bit data (total 4Gbit = 512 MB)

2x 1Gb DDR2 (16M x 16 bits x 8 banks)

1x 2Gb SLC NAND Flash (256M x 8 bits)

Accessory memories


One optional Serial EEPROM SPI

One EEPROM with Mac Address and Serial Number


One 1-Wire EEPROM


One 4-bit SD card connector

One 4-bit Micro-SD card connector

One 8-bit SD card connector

One optional 4-bit Micro-SD card connector

USB4x USB Ports

Two USB Hosts with power switch

One Micro-AB USB device

Two USB Hosts with power switch

One Micro-AB USB device

DisplayDisplay Serial Interface (DSI) and HDMI

One LCD interface connector, LCD TFT Controller with overlay, alpha-blending, rotation, scaling and color space conversion

One HDMI interface and connector

One LCD interface connector, LCD TFT Controller with overlay, alpha-

blending, rotation, scaling and color space conversion

Network10/100 MBPS Ethernet, 802.11n Wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.1One Ethernet PHY (RMII 10/100MHz)

One Gigabit Ethernet PHY (GRMII 10/100/1000)

One Ethernet PHY (RMII 10/100)

Debug port

UART debug on GPIO 12 (UARTS_TXD) and GPIO 15 (UARTS_RXD)

Raspberry Pi 3 + UART/Bluetooth issues

Tutorial: Preparing Raspberry PI for JTAG Debugging

One JTAG interface connector

One EDBG interface

One serial DBGU interface (3v3 level)

One JTAG interface connector

One serial DBGU interface (3.3V level)

Expansion connector40 GPIO, HDMI, 3.5mm analogue audio-video jack, 4× USB 2.0, Ethernet, Camera Serial Interface (CSI), Display Serial Interface (DSI)

Arduino R3 compatible set of connectors

XPRO set of connectors

Arduino R3 compatible set of headers

The SAMA5D36 GPIO,TWI, SPI, USART, UART, Audio and ISI interfaces

are accessible through these headers
Board supply voltage

5V from microUSB @ 2,5 amps

5V from USB, power jack, and Arduino shield

On-board power regulation by PMIC

5V from USB or power jack or Arduino shield

On-board power regulation is performed by a Power Management Unit (PMU)

BatteryNOOn-board battery socketOn-board optional power Cap for CMOS backup
User interface

NO reset button

Status led

Reset, Wake-up and free user push button

One red user/power LED and one blue user LED

Reset, wakeup and free user pushbutton

One red user/power LED and one blue user LED


J4 Main power supply

J11 USB A Device. Supports USB device using a type Micro-AB connector

J16 USB Host B and C. Supports USB host using a stacked type A connector

J1 Serial DBGU (3.3V level)

J13 JTAG, 20 pin IDC connector

J20 EDBG USB connector

J9 Micro-SD connector

J24 SD/MMC connector

J12 Ethernet ETH0

J2 Expansion connector with all LCD controller signals for display module connection (QTouch®, TFT LCD display with touchscreen and backlight)

J5 HDMI connector type A

BAT1 CR1225 Battery holder

J6, J7, J8, J14, J15, J17, J18, J19 Expansion connectors with Arduino R3 compatible PIO signals

J21, J22, J23 Expansion connectors Xplained

J3 JTAG EDBG (not populated)

J10 PIOBU extension (not populated)

J2 Main power supply

J6 USB A device, that supports USB device using a Micro-AB connector

J7 (upper): USB B Host, that supports USB host using a type A connector

J7 (lower): USB C Host, that supports USB host using a type A connector

J23 Serial DBGU 3.3V level

J24 JTAG, 20-pin IDC connector

J11 Micro-SD connector

J10 SD/MMC connector

J12 Gigabit Ethernet ETH0

J13 Ethernet ETH1

J22 Expansion connector with all LCD controller signals for display module connection (QTouch, TFT,LCD display with Touch Screen and backlight

C41 Optional SuperCap

J14 to J21 Seven expansion connectors with Arduino R3 compatible PIO signals

Various test points located throughout the board


It is a mini-pc, every IDE could be used to write your applications in may languages

Compatible IDE : DS-5 Community Edition | ARM DS-5 Development Studio

Compatible IDE : DS-5 Community Edition | ARM DS-5 Development Studio

Supported tools LinuxLink Embedded Linux Development Center for Atmel SAMA5D3 Series | Timesys Embedded Linux


Raspberry Pi 3 is the newest among boards considered. Differently the other two boards, in addition to the computing power, it has characteristics that approach more like a mini computer and to the software world. The two SAMA instead, are moving more towards Arduino (the hardware side), constituting in fact the most direct bridge to the low-level code world. All this thanks to the form-factor compatible with the pinout of Arduino Uno. The sore point of the latter is the ease of use and the getting start guide. These boards are in fact less common and have behind them a much smaller community despite being open source.

As just noted, the great potential offered by Raspberry Pi 3 is the great community that we can find. That provides to this board countless distributions, hardware compatible and guides in many different ways, from the most basic to the most advanced for the most varied topics .




Stay tuned for upcoming news.


Spoiler: distro comparison

  • Peter you are true, but the problems arises if you don't want for any reason that the post will be public until you decide it.



  • There is nothing stopping you from simply editing the post too though, so even though it was not saved as Draft, does not mean it is immutable



  • Yes it is true. I can add that this limitation (that can be considered an issue IMHO) occurs on every other article, question or blog post. I am used to start in draft articles that are updated on the go. It is not rare that one of the times I confirm the last - incomplete - edited version I press the wrong button and it immediately goes online forever !



  • Thanks Enrico image


    As shown in figure, I confirm that you can not remove the publication of a RoadTestReview. It is a shame not be able to put in draft if you're wrong image

  • I did like the 10 best Road Tests.

    I hadn't come across that before.

  • Truing to explain this tip to Matteo I discovered that there is not a complete how-to related to the RoadTest review. I point on this because these are one of the most popular and continuously proposed by Element14 to the users. As I am just working on the PI3 RoadTest review, I also save some screenshots and partial works then at the end I will use it as an example to make a tutorial.



  • Great points Enrico.

    The Save Draft means you can view it but others can't so don't be fooled into thinking it has gone out ...image

  • Hello Matteo,


    as you are selected for a certain product review you are enabled from your Create menu to add a road test review and from the scrolldown list of the review article page you can select just the product(s) you has been selected for. The following image shows a new review article page:


    In this page you start writing your road test (I find it also useful as a notes collector as the testing job goes ahead.

    Every time you need to stop the writing you will see to the bottom three buttons as in the image below:


    Press the Save Draft button as many times you need to close and reopen for editing the article. Then, when the road test piece is ready, you press the Create RoadTest Review button and the article will be published.

    Please note that there is a sort of limitation in this draft/publish feature; if you create the roadtest article, you can edit it further but you can't unpublish it (not 100% sure if the new site version has already solved this issue or not). This occurs (if occurs) also in the articles, blog posts etc. So, if you make the mistake to publish an incomplete article, it is anyway shown to the public.


    Hope these tips are helpful at least for the future image



  • Thank you so much for your vision Enrico, you are quite right about the vision of proactive questions. I could be more flexible in the interpretation ... it was a too long day, sorry.
    Anyway thanks for the link. As for the "draft mode" I could not find a proper parameter, where can I find this in addition to writing in the text this label?


    Thanks in advance



  • Everything we write on this community is expected to be (despite our personal mood) subject to possible critics, always with positive approach. So, I suggest you to review your vision of what the articles means (I.e. something useful for the other users). This automatically exclude any possible misunderstanding like the idea that someone write "sentences". Or - worst - judgments.


    If I can suggest a tip, I have found a good starting point reading past reviews, possibly of similar products. The following link maybe useful to depict a good scenario: The Top 10 IoT RoadTest Reviews of element14