Raspberry Pi is the most recognizable name in the single board computer niche. Raspberry Pi boards are the most popular, having the largest following and the most active community. There is more software and project guides available for Raspberry Pi than for all the other SBCs combined. This makes it a great choice for practically anyone, but especially for people who want to set up a project as a hobby and for first-timers.
Pro Can handle basic day-to-day operations a PC can without a problem
While older versions of the Pi have had some annoying performance issues, the latest version has had a 50%-60% performance increase from the Raspberry Pi 2. This makes it a pretty decent choice for an everyday PC and it can perform basic tasks like opening and editing documents or browsing the web without a problem.
Pro The largest and most active community
Raspberry Pi has the largest following of any single-board computer. The number of guides, tutorials, and software available for the Raspberry Pi is unmatched by any other competitor. A regular user has close to no chance to run into a problem that hasn’t been covered already. If a web search doesn’t yield any results, the users on the official forums are very responsive and will usually reply within a day.
Pro Can play 1080p videos at 60fps
The Pi 3 can play 1080p videos at 60fps, which is a significant upgrade from the previous Pi 2 which ran at 30 fps. However, the built-in browser has a problem with running YouTube videos at 60fps but by using another browser such as Firefox which is installed separately there should not be any problems with running videos at 60 fps.
Pro Good GPIO functionality
The Raspberry Pi 3 model B offers 40 GPIO pins to be used within their projects. This is a very reasonable number of pins for most projects that will need them. The special communication protocols officially supported are the following: IIC (Inter-Integrated Circuit), SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) and UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver-Transmitter). The GPIO functionality explained above allows the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B to be connected with various peripheral devices and, as a result, expands the functionality of the board. For example, IIC and SPI buses can be used for attaching multiple analogs to digital converters which can be used to “read” analog channels like thermal sensors, humidity sensors, CO2 sensors, etc. Meanwhile, UART can be used for communication between multiple Raspberry Pis.
Pro Lightweight and fast booting Raspbian Pixel now also runs on PCs and Mac with i386 processors and little RAM
It is now also available for free ( USB booted) on PC or Mac based on i386 processors. Works well and boots fast.
The minimum USB key size needed is 2 GB. Pi promotors are working on an HDD bootable version too.
Pro Great legacy gaming support
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B can be also be used as a console emulator using an OS image called RetroPie. Setting up RetroPie the first time will only take about 30 minutes on average for someone who has never done it before, and even less for experienced users. You can emulate various platforms ranging from early ‘80s legacy consoles like the NES to more recent ones like the Wii and PlayStation Portable.
Pro Can be turned into a fully-functional multimedia center
You can easily turn any Raspberry Pi into a fully functional home media streaming station with its ability to stream 60Hz Full HD videos. You just have to hook the Model B up to a Full HD monitor (through an HDMI cable), decent speakers (the Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity will allow the use of the wireless ones). Then download applications (Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, and Kodi, for example, are all supported out of the box) and your home multimedia station is ready. Once built, you can even control the media station using an Android or iOS app.
Con Not as powerful as some other SBCs
While still a very powerful single-board computer, it’s not as powerful as some other SBCs. For example, it has some problems with streaming 4K videos; and even at Full HD, it has problems with YouTube. It is also unable to run newer games even if they are not very demanding such as Team Fortress 2 or DotA.