26 Apr 2016

Raspberry Pi VS Arduino Uno : The Showdown

Arduino VS Raspberry Pi : The Showdown

In the modern world, almost everyone who is into embedded programming with electronics have either an Arduino Uno or a Raspberry Pi. Many people believe that both of them do the same thing and that it is only the price that sets them apart.

It is only when we look into the details that we can find some differences between the two. Let's get straight into it. 

Under the hood

Let's look at some of the specs of the Arduino Uno and the Raspberry Pi B+ as they are the most common once used.

Except that the Raspberry Pi does not have analog pins. It looks as if Raspberry Pi has already won. But there are some differences that make the Arduino a good competitor. Read on to find out !

The Basic Differences

The Arduino is a micro controller which means that when it boots up, it just runs the code that is assigned to it, it has no Operating System. It is a part of a computer. But the Raspberry Pi is a full fledged computer. This may seem advantageous to the Pi in all ways, but it is not so.

Since the Raspberry Pi is a full fledged computer which runs on Linux distributions, it gives you more power and flexibility. But most advantages come with a disadvantage. In this case the disadvantage is complexity. 

 Since the Arduino has no Operating System, it runs the code assigned to it with no background processes to handle thus it is better in terms of reading real time input from sensors , etc.. But the Raspberry Pi might take a while as it runs on an OS and needs to process that extra bit more.

One major difference is that in order to program or use a Raspberry Pi you WILL need an SD card with the required OS ,  keyboard, mouse and and a HD display compatible with HDMI ports The Arduino requires a serial cable and a computer running Windows  XP or later .

Apart from these major differences, there are some other minor differences as well.

Input/ Output Pins 

The Raspberry Pi has a " 3.3 V " Logic where as an Arduino has a "5V" one.
This can be good or bad as some components have a 5V output where as some have 3.3 V. 

The Arduino having a 5V logic can handle 3.3V as well as 5V.But this is not true vice versa.

Do note that the  Raspberry Pi does not have a good history on  handling a  5V output for even a second ! That does put down the Raspberry Pi quiet a bit considering MOST DIY elements these days are powered by 5V.

DC Input

The Arduino and the Raspberry Pi can run on the usual 5V DC input (a.k.a from a USB phone charger.) The Raspberry Pi cannot handle anything above 5V. The Arduino Uno on the other hand is can handle anything from 5V to 20 V as it has an on board regulator.

Unlike Arduino the Raspberry Pi as a computer needs a steady supply of very good quality of 5V. If not there would be some lockups and problems.

Also, the Arduino can run straight of a 9 V battery as it saves the code from the previous session.

Analog Pins

Unlike the Raspberry Pi, the Arduino can directly read analog voltage as it already has an ADC( analog to digtal converter) on board which the Raspberry Pi does not have.

 This does mean that you have to take that extra step on converting it in the Raspberry Pi which might cause some hiccups during the process .


The Raspberry PI is capable of playing back video files at FULL HD and audio files at a good quality while the Arduino is incapable of doing that.Although the Arduino can make tones using a Piezo element , it cannot play Audio straight off without a sound card / sound shield .

The Arduino also cannot play video as it does not have the video card/ Audio card. This is reasonably acceptable as the Arduino is only a Micro- Controller and is not built for Video/Audio output.

The Raspberry Pi can also RECORD video if you have a compatible webcam. Where as the Arduino Uno denies the opportunity .

Wireless Capabilities 

The Raspberry Pi is capable of connecting to the Wi Fi just by hooking it up to the attachment.
Where as the Arduino needs its more expensive Wi Fi shield . This might be a disadvantage .

The Rasperry Pi also can connect to bluetooth with the help of the bluetooth module. The same goes to the Arduino Uno .

Choosing the Right One

Choosing the right board heavily depends on your project that you will be doing. Here is the compiled list of some of the projects.

If you are doing with something which involves reading input from sensors, then Arduino would be your best bet as it has a good compatibility with most sensors whether it is Analog or digital.

If you are making a project that has a graphical user interface, then the Raspberry Pi would be the one for you as it can handle Video and Audio output whereas the Arduino cannot.

If you are a beginner to electronics, DIY , etc ... ,  then the Arduino would be you best bet as there is a big community out there which could help you to get up and running.

To Sum Up

Both these boards are really good when compared to each other but these both do different things.The choice is left upon the type of project that you will be working on.

These differences have  covered  all of what you need until you get fairly advanced. If you are that advanced person you can also combine them both to make a deadly combination ! For now
happy hacking !


If you want me to make any changes or if you want to do it , feel free to do so.

Sources = Images : Google Images . Specs : http://www.arduino.cchttps://www.raspberrypi.org/