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Pros: After going through two RPi's of them constantly locking up when running high processor intensive programs on them and the forums simply saying "you need a better power supply" when i had a ATX supply hooked up. I wanted to try something with more power. And the Banana Pi is the solution to such a problem. The thing is fast! I'm able to transfer files to it while apt-get updating programs with it barely slows down! Combine this with the gigabit adapter and makes response times with web applications and daemons snappy. Utilization the same switch mode power regulator that is on the B+ it makes it nearly as efficient with it taking around 300-400mw of power. I have not tried out the IR or OTG cable yet. But this is the first embedded device that has not crashed and burned when I ran a lot of programs on it.
Despite what some YouTubers have said about the Banana Pi, the board that I received had perfect solder joints around the GPIO pin headers and do not look hand-soldered at all.
Another big thing is price. Many embedded solutions go into the hundreds of dollars, the Banana Pi was just 10-15 dollars to that of the Raspberry Pi and it's a price I would gladly pay to get more ram and faster bandwidth.
Cons: The PCB board is amazingly thin! Line this board up next to the Raspberry Pi and it's half of the thickness. It feels like you're holding a piece of card-stock paper which makes me question its durability on robotic applications that may vibrate the board. The lights on the board are also really bright so if you're going to make a DIY case for it go for some tinted acrylic to calm down the Christmas tree effect from the red power, green heartbeat, and blue Ethernet.
The thing that made it lose one egg was processor placement of the board. I find myself setting the banana Pi upside down to that heat can rise away from this Pi which may actually be a good thing as I pointed out all of those bright lights are now towards the ground. A happy compromise is to build a case with the board standing vertical. I know they did it because they were running out of room on the top of the board with ALL of the options they give you. But it presents a challenge to cool the thing if you try to overclock or if you put it in a harsh non-air conditioned environment.
I found it a little annoying with their Raspbian load it immediately jumped into the X desktop with bananapi username rather then auto-starting "bpi-config" so I can let it know right away to not start X and to change the password of the default user. All of tha tis taken care of now.
Other Thoughts: If you love the RPi but you are just looking for a little bit more power. the Banana Pi will be perfect for you. If you are looking for something cheap to run android on the Banana Pi is there for you as well thanks to the ARMv7 processing. It is a board for more seasoned veterans of Pi's as the forum support is not nearly there as much as it is for the Raspberry Pi. But after setting up all of the daemons that I run on my Banana Pi, the procedure was identical to the Raspberry Pi except I hardly had to wait for 100's of megs of programs to install.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: I now own 4 of their MMC cards because I do a lot of work with embedded computing (raspberry Pi, Bannana Pi's) as well as a Kodak camera. And so far I have not had a single one fail on me. Transfer rate using a USB 2.0 style interface within the embedded environments has been around 11mb/sec write with a 26mb/sec read which is good. Please understand that things like the Raspberry Pi there is no USB chip and all of the data is being bounced right off of the ARM processor so there is going to be loss of bandwidth no matter what in my configuration. I got it very quickly from the company and it was new and sealed in the package all good!
Cons: This is going to sound -really- nitpicky. But they put stickers on their boxes stating that you can win an Ipad air. But they tell you nothing about how to actually -do- that. With a little bit of google-fu you can find out where. I can't do it because facebook is evil. Oh well. Not going to remove stars over something dumb like that.
Other Thoughts: Silicon Power is one of those companies which is really trying to get their name out there for being a reliable memory company. With a lifetime warranty on their products which is something not even Kingston is doing much these days. It's slowly becoming my new go-to company whenever I need MMC or CF based storage.READ FULL REVIEW
Pros: Currently the power supply has been installed for 2 weeks and have not had any issues thus-far. Was replacing a defective coolmax 700 watt power supply. The fan is silent. The power supply itself has not generated any heat on me. And from the general LED load on my APC 1500 even though it's 50 watts more then my last power supply I did notice a 8-10 percent drop in its amperage load which is nice to see.
Cons: It's a little pricey but it's worth it!
Other Thoughts: I guess some may complain about the price of a platinum 80 rated power supply. But I understood that it requires a lot of effort to have both stable power conversion and efficiency. If power kWh prices are ridiculous where you live and you still like your gaming rig then Platinum 80 supplies will pay for itself in under a year.
Since I knew it takes a lot of effort to get that kind of power conversion, I knew the parts in a platinum 80 PSU should be better then the $20-50 supplies I had in the past. From the fans failing and exploding , to the transformer inside shreeking! To even one of the cheap-o power supplies exploding a harddrive on me. A power supply is something you do not want to cheap-out on. Save yourself the headache and go for something quality.