You may have heard of ODROID. Maybe you keep seeing what is being mentioned when Raspberry Pi alternatives are being discussed, or perhaps you already have one.

Regardless of how you came to know about ODROID, deciphering the differences between the many models and figuring out which one to buy can be quite confusing.

This article will serve as a comparison guide for different ODROID models to help you choose the best model for your needs. Let’s start.

What is ODROID?

ODROID means open + android . Marketed as a development board, the ODROID is not meant to compete with the Raspberry Pi, but to complement it! Many different models are available and have been produced throughout the history of ODROID, which first appeared in 2009.

While ODROID devices prefer Android software, they can run other versions of Linux. Models range in price from $30 to $80 and can even be purchased from a mini-cluster of computers with up to 32 cores!

ODROID projects range from simple home automation and basic desktop use to clustered academic research and media file storage. Check out this great example:

The best part is that there is so much variety with ODROID that there is something for everyone.

Want a small, low power device? Of course. Want to do some complex calculations? No problem! Yes, the Raspberry Pi is very good at general purpose computing, but since most Pi models are very similar in specs, you may want the variety offered by ODROID boards.

If you’re wondering why you hear about the Raspberry Pi all the time but hear very little about ODROID, we recommend reading our article on why the Raspberry Pi is more successful than ODROID.


odroid board model comparison guide

ODROID C0 is designed for small and low power projects. You can easily embed this board into your clothes.

It has a battery-powered circuit and comes with many USB, infrared, and general purpose input/output (GPIO) interfaces as unpopulated connectors. This saves a lot of space, but means you’ll have to solder a bit for anything more than basic hardware projects.

The C0 has a 1.5GHz quad-core processor (ARM Cortex-A5) and one gigabyte of DDR3 SDRAM.


odroid board model comparison guide

ODROID C1+ is slightly older and more expensive than C0, but still offers some distinct advantages. If you’ve ever seen a Raspberry Pi, then you won’t be surprised by the credit card size form factor suggested here.

The C1+ is equipped with the same processor and RAM as the C0, but this time it also uses a gigabit Ethernet port and some full-sized USB ports.

The C1+ can be considered functionally identical to the C0, just without the power circuit or space savings.


odroid board model comparison guide

ODROID C2 is an incremental improvement of C1+. Like the Raspberry 3, the C2 uses a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor. Unlike Raspberry Pi, ODROID C2 comes with 2GB RAM and HDMI 2.0 which supports 4K video at 60Hz.

This device works perfectly as a media center, and a powerful heatsink ensures adequate heat dissipation even under the heaviest loads.


odroid board model comparison guide

ODROID HC1 represents a significant step up from simply copying a Raspberry Pi. The name stands for «Home Cloud One» and the oversized case is designed to be expandable and has room for a 2.5″ hard drive or SSD.

The HC1 is perfect as a home cloud media server, and the clever chassis design doubles as a giant heatsink.

Processor power is provided by an ARM Cortex-A7 octa-core processor coupled with 2GB of RAM. This model certainly has the power to meet your media needs.


odroid board model comparison guide

ODROID HC2 («Home Cloud Two») is a slight improvement on HC1. Costing about 40% more than the HC1, you might be disappointed if you expect 40% more performance.

The HC2’s heat-dissipating chassis is larger than the HC1’s and has been enlarged to accommodate a 3.5″ hard drive, not just a 2.5″ hard drive or SSD (although those smaller drives are still a perfect fit).

HC2 is ideal for running small software development stacks like Docker, WordPress or Apache. It’s also equally useful for running a file server.


ODROID XU4 odroid board model comparison guide

The ODROID XU4 is a step back to the «traditional» Raspberry Pi design, although this model adds a cooling fan and moves the host port layout.

Like previous models, the XU4 is powered by an ARM Cortex-A7 processor with 2GB of RAM. You get USB 3.0 host ports, but only HDMI 1.4a.

Despite more than doubling the price of the Raspberry Pi, the extra processing power provided by eight cores means the XU4 is capable of emulating game consoles that the Pi can contend with, such as the Playstation Portable or Nintendo 64.


odroid board model comparison guide

The ODROID XU4Q is almost identical to the XU4 in every way, however, this model requires a 10% performance reduction in exchange for a fanless heatsink. This model is really quiet!

The XU4 is the way to go if you really need processing power, otherwise the XU4Q is a good choice if you want a quiet computer.

Which ODROID model should I buy?

With so many options available, it can be difficult to choose the right computing device. C0 is ideal for low-power IoT or wearable projects, but C2’s support for 4K video is very impressive.

The HC1 and HC2 are ideal for building your own low-cost media server array, while the XU4 is ideal for computing-intensive applications.

If you’re looking for project inspiration, how about these Lego Mindstorms projects, a Linux-based car computer, or how about these Arduino lighting projects? These tutorials are not ODROID focused, but it would be easy enough to adapt them and make them work with your ODROID devices.

ODROID devices come in such a huge variety of models that there is sure to be something for everyone. If you’re unsure why not take a look at the best single board computers ?

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