When comparing Raspberry Pi Zero vs The Parallella Board, the Slant community recommends Raspberry Pi Zero for most people. In the question“What are the best single-board computers?” Raspberry Pi Zero is ranked 3rd while The Parallella Board is ranked 12th. The most important reason people chose Raspberry Pi Zero is:
Costs just $5.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Extremely cheap
Costs just $5.
Pro The largest and most active community
Raspberry Pi has the largest following of any single-board computer. The amount 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 Extremely small size
The Raspberry Pi Zero measures only 6.5cmX3cm and is 0.5cm thick. Making it one of the smallest (if not the smallest) single board computer that can run a desktop OS.
The small size makes it extremely portable and manageable, compared for example to the original Raspberry Pi which often looked clunky and large when strapped on something that would be moving.
Pro Can easily be powered from any external battery pack
Because of its small size and because of the ARM based processor which is extremely energy efficient, it can be run with any kind of external battery pack, even those that are used to charge phones.
This makes it perfect for portable projects that need to be run even when not close to an energy source.
Pro Can run a full HD display at 60FPS
The GPU that the Pi Zero uses is relatively powerful. In fact, it should be able to run a full HD display at 60FPS without any problems.
Pro Easy to install the official OS
All Raspberry Pi boards run Linux as a default OS, the Debian-based Raspbian specifically. Setting up Raspbian on a Raspberry Pi is a breeze and even someone who has not installed an OS before can easily do it.
By simply following the official documentation, you download the relevant software on the microSD card and boot up the board. After this, you can simply follow the instructions to install the OS.
Pro Fast if the OS is compiled properly
If the kernel is compiled properly (like re4son kernel for Kali linux) it's surprisingly fast.
Pro Amazing performance because of the Epiphany coprocessor
The Parallella Board makes use of the Epiphany III coprocessor which is invisible to the OS unless directly addressed through its APIs. It currently boasts 32 gigaflops from its 16-core variant with a promise of 100 gigaflops for a 64-core model which will be available in the future.
Pro Great board for programmers to experiment on different platforms
The Parallella is a great board for programmers to experiment programmin on ARM, FPGA and the Epiphany architecture in one compact package.
Pro Completely open source
Parallella uses open source hardware. The drivers are released as open source as well. All the details about the board designs and schematics can be found on GitHub.
Pro Ships with open source development tools geared towards Epiphany development
Parallella ships with several open source tools geared towards developing for the Epiphany architecture. Some of these tools include a C compiler, Eclipse, OpenCL SDK/compiler and runtime libraries.
Con Impossible to find one actually selling for $5
Usually out of stock or with shipping fee higher than $5.
Con No Ethernet port
The Raspberry Pi Zero has no Ethernet port, which means that the only way to connect to the internet with it is through a WiFi dongle or a USB Ethernet port.
Con Needs micro-B USB to USB-A converter
In order to connect the Pi Zero to peripherals, it needs a micro-B USB to USB A converter since it only has micro-USB ports and most peripherals don't use that.
Con Has only two micro-USB ports
Due to its small size (and price) the Raspberry Pi Zero only has two micro-USB ports, and one of them is for power which leaves only one port for peripherals.
Con No built-in storage
SD Card required to boot, which further increases the price.
Con No built-in Wi-Fi
Raspberry Pi Zero has no built-in WiFi card.
Con Not great for media streaming
The Parallella board was built to give everyone access to a mini-supercomputer. It's strength lies in the Epiphany which makes it great for parallel computing and image processing, unfortunately it's not good with media (audio and video) streaming.
Con Requires dedicated software development
Since it uses a different architecture than most boards, out-of-the-box software is not compatible with it. Instead, there's a huge GitHub repository with official ports of popular software compatible with the Parallella Board.