When comparing Banana Pi vs Rock64, the Slant community recommends Rock64 for most people. In the question“What are the best single-board computers?” Rock64 is ranked 9th while Banana Pi is ranked 33rd.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Official support for multiple Desktop-version Linux distros
Banana Pi officially supports Fedora, Arch, Lubuntu and openSUSE. It also can be used with Raspbian (Debian derivative) or Android.
Pro Additional keys for booting or shutting down
Pro SATA port
Pro Onboard Wi-Fi
Most models have an onboard Wi-Fi.
Pro Excellent compatibility with Raspberry Pi software
Other than having a port of Raspbian (the official OS for Raspberry Pi) available for use with full capabilities, Banana Pi can also use many applications that were originally written for Raspberry. One of these is WiringPi, a C/C++ library which gives easy access to Raspberry's I/O with a strong Arduino flavor. But that is just one example of the many open source projects being ported to Banana Pi.
Pro USB 3 Bus support
Pro Beats Raspberry Pi on price and performance
Pro Can have up to 4gb of low power RAM
Pro Gigabyte ethernet
Pro 4K/60h hdmi 2a
Pro Barrel power connector
More rugged connection. Less likely to be damaged.
Pro Extra Gpio pins
Pro Main header Pi 3 pin layout
Can use Pi shields
Con Bad software support
Con Does not fit most Raspberry Pi cases, even though it's where it clearly has gotten the inspiration from
The Banana Pi is pretty noticeable a Rapberry Pi lookalike and the name does not hide this information either. Unfortunately it's a bit larger than the Raspberry Pi, making it very hard to fit into most Raspberry Pi cases.
Con No off-the-shelf camera modules
The A20 chip that the Banana Pi uses lacks a true Camera Serial Interface implementation, instead it uses a parallel camera interface. The problem with this is that there are no off-the-shelf camera modules that support this and can connect to the Banana Pi, but it should be mentioned that the makers of Banana Pi have promised to create a camera module that is supported by it.
Con Power connector is not MicroUSB or MiniUSB
Can't use power banks as a power source because of that.