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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