Gigabyte Raspberry Pi alternative – Upgradeable single-board PC revealed

The Raspberry Pi is one of the top devices for tinkerers. Catering to the do-it-yourself (DIY) crowd, the Raspberry Pi is a single-board PC perfect for tons of projects. Among its many applications, Pi boards offer functionality as home theatre PC (HTPC) devices with distros like OpenELEC, low-power servers, and even DIY gaming machines. However, there's a Gigabyte Raspberry Pi alternative. Gigabyte's forthcoming GA-SBCAP3350 is an energy efficient, upgradable Raspberry Pi competitor. [Read: 15 most used SSH commands for Raspberry Pi - SSH for Raspberry Pi]

Gigabyte GA-SBCAP3350

Gigabyte Raspberry Pi alternative - Gigabyte-GA-SBCAP3350
The Gigabyte GA-SBCAP3350 single-board PC is a Gigabyte Raspberry Pi Alternative

Raspberry Pi devices and similar single-board PCs like the Odroid C2 are fantastic devices for running the likes of OpenPHT. Motherboard manufacturer Gigabyte revealed its GA-SBCAP3350. This Gigabyte Raspberry Pi alternative offers a similar feature set to the ultra utilitarian Pi. [Read: How to install XBian on Raspberry Pi 3 - Lightweight Kodi OS]

But the Gigabyte Raspberry Pi alternative is a potential Pi killer. Onboard, you'll find an Intel Celeron N3350 1.6 GHz. What makes the GA-SBCAP3350 a major upgrade from the Raspberry Pi its upgradability. Users may upgrade the RAM to 8GB using its DDR3L SO-DIMM slot. Moreover, rather than using an SD card, the Gigabyte Raspberry Pi alternative employs solid state drive (SSD) storage. [Read: Setup Subsonic with Raspberry Pi 3 - Media streaming server]

Best Plex Client Devices:
  1. NVIDIA SHIELD TV Pro Home Media Server - $199.99 editors pick
  2. Amazon Fire TV Streaming Media Player - $89.99
  3. Roku Premiere+ 4K UHD - $83.99
  4. CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit - $69.99
  5. Xbox One 500 GB Console - $264.99

As CNX-Software reports, it's unclear whether the GA-SBCAP3350 targets the consumer market. Based on its form factor, the Gigabyte Raspberry Pi alternative may instead focus on the enterprise sector. As for operating system support, Windows 10 64-bit compatibility is confirmed. It's not specifically stated if there's Linux compatibility, but as ZDNet reports, that should be fine. [Read: Setup OwnCloud server with Raspberry Pi 3 - Private cloud storage]

Gigabyte Raspberry Pi alternative

Gigabyte's GA-SBCAP3350 isn't the most powerful single-board computer. However, it's a solid potential competitor to the Raspberry Pi. With its SSD storage, Windows 10 64-bit compatibility, and upgradable RAM, this Gigabyte Raspberry Pi alternative carries loads of potential. Yet it remains to be seen how Gigabyte releases the GA-SBCAP3350. If it's solely on the enterprise and embedded systems market, it's possible for consumers to obtain. Though pricing and availability might deter wider adoption. Additionally, real-world benchmarks will determine its applicability to the consumer market.

What this proves though is that manufacturers like Gigabyte should continue offering single-board PCs which offer additional features over the Pi. I use my Raspberry Pi as a retro gaming console and lightweight HTPC. But my biggest qualm is the lack of upgradability. Whereas I appreciate its small form factor, I'd like an upgradable RAM and CPU slot. Therefore, rather than buying a new Pi I can simply upgrade mine. Granted, at its low price point buying a new Raspberry Pi every few years isn't a major issue. Nevertheless, I'm excited to learn more about the Gigabyte Raspberry Pi alternative.

Your turn: What are your thoughts on the GA-SBCAP3350 Gigabyte Raspberry Pi alternative?

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Moe Long

I am a staff writer at SmartHomeBeginner, and a freelance writer with a focus on tech media. I run Cup Of Moe and have been featured in Electromaker, MakeUseOf, The Penny Hoarder, TechBeacon, Cliqist, Bubbleblabber, DZone, and EpicStream. As an HTPC enthusiast, I'm quite fond of my Plex server and enjoy playing with my Raspberry Pi. When I'm not hammering away at my keyboard, I can be found drinking far too much coffee, running, and listening to vinyl.