Try out the Raspberry Pi Model 3 B Plus! - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: Try out the Raspberry Pi Model 3 B Plus!

Author: ljakes

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Development Boards & Tools

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?:

What were the biggest problems encountered?: I could not establish a Bluetooth Personal Area Network.

Detailed Review:

Introduction:

 

Thanks to Element 14 for the opportunity to thoroughly test this product to the best of my capability with the support test equipment and test aids that I have at hand.  For this roadtest I will be testing the performance of both the new Raspberry Pi 3 B+ and the previous Raspberry Pi 3 B and compare the results, emphasizing the differences relating to the design changes.

 

Technical differences are:

RPI 3 B+RPI 3 B
ReleaseMarch 2018February 2016
Size85,6 × 56mm85,6 × 56mm
SOCBCM2837BCM2837
CPUARM Cortex-A53
(ARMv8-A)
ARM Cortex-A53
(ARMv8-A)
CPU cores44
CPU clock4x 1400 MHz New4x 1200 MHz
RAM1024 MB1024 MB
USB4x USB2.04x USB2.0
AudioHDMI (digital)
3,5mm jack
HDMI (digital)
3,5mm jack
Network10/100/1000 MBit New10/100 MBit
Wlan2,4/5 GHz WLAN ac New2,4 GHz WLAN b/g/n
BluetoothBluetooth 4.2 NewBluetooth 4.1
GPIO40 Pins40 Pins
PoEyes (prepared) Newno
power inputmax. 7 Wmax. 4,4 W
power source5V Micro USB
min. 2,5 A
5V Micro USB
min 2,5 A

Hardware /Software:

 

This is the product I received:

 

Raspberry PI 3 Model B+ (front side)

 

Raspberry PI 3 Model B+ (back side)

 

No software was provided.

 

 

 

These are the items used that I have on hand:

 

Raspberry PI 3 Model B.

 

 

Logitech K400r keyboard.

 

5 volt 3 Amp ac to dc power adapter.

 

Sandisk U3 32GB µSD Memory Card.

 

P4460 Kill A Watt Power Meter.

 

 

 

 

Discussion:

 

A Visual comparison readily shows the addition of the Power Over Ethernet (POE) Header and Chip, the Metal Heatsink over the CPU, the Dual Band Wireless LAN and the Power Management Integrated Circuit (PMIC) replacing previous discrete power components.  The new Model B+ weighs .31 oz. more.

 

 

I will concentrate on testing the performance of the CPU, RAM throughput, Ethernet (1 Gb/s vs.100 Mb/s), WLAN (5 GHz vs. 2.4 GHz) throughput, power consumption and CPU temperature.  I attempted to setup a Bluetooth Network Bridge to test the performance difference between Bluetooth 4.2 and Bluetooth 4.1 but the current drivers available using the Raspbian OS are insufficient to achieve this.  Also I do not possess the required equipment to test the Power Over Ethernet (POE).

 

The first steps are to load the following latest standard software on the Raspberry Pi3 in the following sequence:

 

    1.  Raspbian Stretch Lite OS dated 18 April 2018, Kernel Version 4.14.34-v7+.

 

    2.  Run update and upgrade to make sure that the latest Linux drivers are in place.

 

    3.  Setup static IP so that I can SSH into the Raspberry Pi3 from my desktop and disconnect the monitor and keyboard from the Raspberry Pi3 and also know exactly where the Raspberry Pi3 is located(IP) on my home network at all times.

 

    4.  Install samba software so I can easily transfer data to my desktop for analysis using Microsoft Excel and inclusion into this report.

 

    5.  Install sysbench 0.4.12 to perform benchmark cpu and memory tests.

 

 

 

TESTS:

 

1. CPU Performance:

 

The following results were obtained using sysbench running primes generator on both Raspberry Pi's at both 1 core and 4 cores:

 

   3B-plus CPU running 1 core                                                                                    3B CPU running 1 core    

 

With 1 core excercised the 3B-plus shows a 52.82s decrease in execution time which translates into a 14.30% improvement. 

 

 

   3B-plus CPU running 4 cores                                                                           3B CPU running 4 cores

 

With 4 cores excercised the 3B-plus shows a 13.16s decrease in execution time which translates into a 14.18% improvement. Performance here compares pretty much the same as the 1 core tests.

 

 

2. Memory Performance:

 

The following results were obtained using sysbench running read and write speed tests on both Raspberry Pi's at both 1 core and 4 cores:

 

   3B-plus memory read running 1 core                                                             3B memory read running 1 core

 

With 1 core excercised the 3B-plus shows a 118.25 MB/s increase in throughput which translates into a 16.37% improvement.  The 1 core memory read test shows an even greater improvement over just the 1 and 4 core CPU measurement.

 

 

   3B-plus memory read running 4 cores                                                            3B memory read running 4 cores

 

With 4 cores excercised the 3B-plus shows a 454.73 MB/s increase in throughput which translates into a 18.77% improvement.  The 4 core memory read test shows an even greater improvement over the 1 core memory read measurement.

 

   3B-plus memory write running 1 core                                                            3B memory write running 1 core

 

With 1 core excercised the 3B-plus shows a 77.97 MB/s increase in throughput which translates into a 14.19% improvement.  The 1 core memory write test shows about the same improvement as the CPU measurements.

 

 

   3B-plus memory write running 4 cores                                                            3B memory write running 4 cores

 

With 4 cores excercised the 3B-plus shows a 349.09 MB/s increase in throughput which translates into a 18.14% improvement.  The 4 core memory write test shows a significant improvement over both the 1 core memory write and all CPU performance tests.

 

Ultimately, the 3B Plus shows the most improvement over the 3B in memory throughput when all 4 cores are running.

 

 

3. Ethernet LAN Performance:

 

The following results were obtained using CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1 on a Windows PC connected to the Raspberry Pi with a 1 Gb/s LAN Switch measuring sequential file throughput.  The U3 Sandisk microSD is specified at a minimum of 30 MB/s speed for both read and write.  As a baseline, I measured the throughput of the microSD card on the PC through the USB 3.0 interface and recorded a 43.92 MB/s Read and 42.33 MB/s performance. This therefore represents the upper limit of the testing capabilities for this setup.  In other words, as long as any results I get with the Pi is less than 42 MB/s I know that the microSD card is not bottle-necking the Pi results.

 

   3B-plus 1GB/s LAN                                                                                         3B 100MB/s LAN

 

The 3B Plus shows a 10.83 MB/s read (transfer from Pi to PC) throughput increase which translates into a 92.60% improvement and a 7.12 MB/s write (transfer from PC to Pi) throughput increase which translates into a 71.66% improvement.  The upgrade to a 1 GB/s LAN on the Raspberry PI B Plus shows a tremendous increase of almost double the throughput in real life.

 

 

4.  WLAN Performance:

 

The following results were similarly obtained using CrystalDiskMark 3.0.1 on a Windows PC connected to the Raspberry Pi B Plus over 5 GHz Wireless LAN and to the Raspberry Pi B over 2.4 GHz Wireless LAN measuring sequential file throughput.

 

   3B-plus 5 GHz WLAN                                                                                     3B 2.4 GHz WLAN

 

 

The 3B Plus shows a 4.64 MB/s read (transfer from Pi to PC) throughput increase which translates into a 89.24% improvement and a 2.37 MB/s write (transfer from PC to Pi) throughput increase which translates into a 40.28% improvement.  The upgrade to a 5 GHz WLAN on the Raspberry PI B Plus shows a significant increase in throughput in real life.

 

 

5.  Boot Time:

 

Boot time was measured at 14.8 seconds for both the Raspberry Pi B and Pi B Plus.  Apparently, the boot time is determined mainly from the microSD Card access time which is the weakest link for this measurement.

 

 

6.  Power Performance:

 

Power measurements were taken using the P4460 KillAWatt Power Meter connected to the 5 VDC adapter and in conjunction with the CPU performance tests previously described.  The efficiency of the 5 VDC adapter was calculated by connecting a 10 ohm load to the 5 Vdc output of the adapter and reading the corresponding P4460 value and determining the difference from 2.5 Watts.  This calculated efficiency is 73%.

 

The readings annotated below were therefore adjusted by .73:

    

Power in Watts3b with 100 Mb ethernet and keyboard3b+ with 1Gb ethernet and keyboardpercent improvement3b headless at 2.5 GHz3b+ headless at 5 GHzpercent improvement
standby0.580.580.00%0.580.580.00%
idle1.682.56-52.17%1.311.90-44.44%
max load 1core**n/a1.902.77-46.15%
max load 4core**n/a3.364.89-45.65%

 

 

There is a 0.58 W draw at standby for both the 3B and 3B-Plus.  All other measurements show an additional power draw of between 44 and 52 percent for the 3B-Plus over the 3B.  This is to be expected due to the 3B-Plus CPU being clocked at 1.4 GHz as opposed to the 3B CPU which is clocked at 1.2 GHz.  Also, the addition of the 1 Gb Lan shows an additional power draw of almost 1 W at idle.  The upgrade to 5 GHz WLAN also shows an additional power draw of almost 0.5 W at idle.  The power consumption increases for the 3B-Plus over the 3B are reasonable considering the increased performance and capabilities realized.

 

 

7. Temperature Performance:

 

Temperature measurements were taken by opening a separate Raspberry Pi SSH window on the PC and periodically running the command:

 

"vcgencmd measure_temp"

 

The ambient temperature during these measurements was 16.2 degrees centigrade:

  

Temprature in °C3b with 100 Mb ethernet and keyboard3b+ with 1Gb ethernet and keyboardpercent improvement3b headless at 2.5 GHz3b+ headless at 5GHzpercent improvement
idle38.6039.70-2.85%38.6039.70-2.85%
max load 1core**n/a50.5049.901.19%
max load 4core**n/a70.9063.4010.58%

 

 

At idle the 3B-Plus CPU heats up only 1 degree centigrade more than the 3B.  But at loading the 3B-Plus shows an up to 11% improvement over the 3B.  This is due to the addition of an aluminum heat spreader on the 3B-Plus.

 

All test results described above are contained in the attached Excel spreadsheet (rasp-3bP.xlsx).

 

 

 

Conclusion:

 

The new Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Plus is quite impressive and performed very well when compared to the previous model.  The 200 MHz CPU speed increase, the addition of 5 GHz WLAN and upgrade to 1 Gb/s Ethernet are all welcomed improvements.  The small additional power draw penalty is well worth the performance gains realized.  CPU Temperature was actually improved by the addition of the aluminum heat-spreader.  Although I could not test The Power Over Ethernet (POE) interface it looks very promising for future applications.

Anonymous