Friendship ended with Raspberry Pi, now Pine64 is my best friend.
@polarisfm what are the top differences?
@reenii The RPi 4 has a BCM2711. Broadcom chips (or at least those in RPis) are kind of janky (notably the "GPU"). This has gotten better but they still require a ton of binary blobs. Binary blobs aren't acceptable to me, especially on a device aimed at education. Raspbian/Raspberry Pi OS, while based on Debian, has weird incompatibilities with Debian for the sake of backwards compatibility with the Pi Zero.
@reenii Pine64's HardRock64 costs the same (starts at $35 US), has a well designed SoC (RK3999) that can run completely blobless.
Assuming you don't care too much about the binary blobs, the main advantage is that the RK3999 is a much more standard ARMv8 chip than a lot of Broadcom's cheaper offerings (like those found in RPis). You'll find it much easier to transition from an RK3999 to a more common, high-end ARMv8 SoC than you will coming from a BCM2711.
@reenii Of course this depends on the kind of development you're doing. If you're doing higher level stuff, it may not matter at all.
@reenii There are other RK3999 based Single Board Computers. I'm just generally a fan of the work Pine64 does. The Pinebook Pro is lovely, the Pine Phone is neat, and they're generally friendlier to the Free Software community than the Raspberry Pi foundation is (in my opinion).
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