Hot on the trail of the updated Raspberry Pi Model A+ help , The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced another new device: the Raspberry Pi 2. The new Raspberry Pi 2 is six times faster than the previous version, B+, and can even run Windows 10 (albeit a special version).

Let’s see what that means.

Hardware changes

While the previous upgrade from B to B+ was largely iterative, the recently released 2 has some major hardware changes.

The processor has been upgraded from a 700 MHz single-core ARM Broadcom BCM2835 to a 32-bit quad-core 900 MHz Broadcom BCM2836 ARM processor. RAM also jumped from 256MB in the original B and 512MB in B+ to as much as 1GB in 2B.

The exterior dimensions of the 2 haven’t changed much from the B+. It still has the same four USB ports, an HDMI output, a Micro USB power port, and 40 general purpose input/output (GPIO) pins.

Productivity increase

Hardware upgrades bring a major performance boost to the Raspberry Pi. In an interview with The Register, the head of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, Ebon Upton, claims that they are now making a “usable PC.”

Measuring relative performance in the real world is not an easy task, especially as I explained in my article on computer components. comparing multi-core processors with single-core processors. Benchmarks are used to provide some basis for comparison.

On their website, the Raspberry Pi Foundation states that a 6x increase in performance is «typical for a multi-threaded CPU benchmark like SysBench.» For other tests, the increase is as low as 1.5x in «single-threaded CPU tests» and up to 20x in «neon-enabled multi-core video codecs».

Like it or not, the new combination of a faster processor, three more cores, and double the RAM will make it noticeably faster in day-to-day use and allow you to run much more intensive applications.

Windows 10 support

The Raspberry Pi Foundation is «working closely with Microsoft» to bring Windows 10 to the Raspberry Pi 2. This is huge news. While Linux is a great operating system, it’s definitely not for everyone.

As in other versions of the operating system , the version of Windows 10 that Microsoft is developing for the Raspberry Pi 2 will be, according to the foundation, «free for manufacturers» but will likely only work with Universal apps. because of the ARM architecture.

The exact specifics of how this will work have not yet been announced. You can sign up for the Windows Developer Program to stay in the know or have peace of mind knowing we’ll be looking into installing Windows 10 on Raspberry Pi as soon as we can.

What does all of this mean

We are big fans of the Raspberry Pi. I use the one I installed in an old guitar amp. everyday. Christian and James also use them all the time. Our only complaint with our Raspberry Pis is that they are too weak — this latest update changes that. I’m very excited to see what people — including us — can do with this extra power.

We also keep a close eye on the evolution of Windows 10. So far, we’ve been impressed with a lot of the changes, and we really like the way Microsoft is interacting with the user community. Personally, I have high hopes for Windows 10, especially when it’s installed on a $35 Raspberry Pi.

Getting a piece of pi

100,000 Raspberry Pi 2s have been released for sale today. You can expect them to fly out the door. I already ordered mine. If you’re interested in buying one, check out the Raspberry Pi website for links to the fund’s retail partners.

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