- The Orange Pi 5 is more readily available and packs more processing power than the upcoming Raspberry Pi 5.
- The Orange Pi 5 has support for up to 32 GB of RAM, while the Raspberry Pi 5 only supports up to 8 GB.
- The Raspberry Pi 5 has better third-party support for accessories and expansions compared to the Orange Pi 5.
- Overall, the Raspberry Pi 5 is the better choice due to its extensive third-party support and customization options.
Which option to choose between the Raspberry Pi 5 and the Orange Pi 5? The DIY computing community waits with bated breath for the release of the Raspberry Pi 5. However, it does beg the question of how the Orange Pi 5 stacks up against the upcoming release. The only thing that is certain as the world approaches the October 23rd release of the Pi 5 is that tinkerers will be spoiled for choice.
The Orange Pi 5 certainly has quite a bit to like about it. It is more readily available as a SBC than its competitors and packs quite a potent punch. DIY enthusiasts on the hunt for the heart of their next project might do well to look at the Orange Pi 5 before battling to get a preorder for the latest Raspberry Pi.
Raspberry Pi 5 vs. Orange Pi 5: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Raspberry Pi 5
|Orange Pi 5
|Quad-core ARM Cortex-A76
|Octa-core Rockchip RK3588S
|Maximum Memory Supported
|Maximum Displays Supported
|Two displays at 4K operating at 60Hz
|Two displays at 4K operating at 60Hz, single display at 8K supported
|Raspbian or other Linux distros, some support for ARM-based Windows
|Orange Pi OS, Android 12, Debian 11, and some support for ARM-based Windows
|HDMI, GPIO, USB, and a PCI-E 2.0 Lane, Wi-Fi 5 or 802.11ac
|HDMI, GPIO, USB, M.2, a PCI-E 2.0 Lane; Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.3 available on the 5B model
Despite having similar aims, there is quite a difference in terms of raw specs for both SBCs. The Raspberry Pi 5 is a marked improvement over the Pi 4, but it has less overall processing power than the Orange Pi 5. On paper, this should be an open-and-shut comparison, but there is always a bit more to things.
Raspberry Pi 5 vs. Orange Pi 5: What’s the Difference?
In terms of raw performance, the Raspberry Pi 5 does lag behind the Orange Pi 5, which has more processing grunt for any number of tasks. This comes from having one set of cores operating at the same chipset as the Raspberry Pi 5. An additional four cores are set aside for use with the A55 ARM processor.
- 8nm process design
- CPU speed: 2.4 GHz
- Supports Orange Pi OS, Android 12, and Debian 11
- Supports HDMI 2.1 8K video output and access to NVMe SSD hard drives
So, theoretically speaking, with supported applications, you should notice a marked improvement in performance on the Orange Pi 5 if migrating over from any comparable Raspberry Pi SBC. The Raspberry Pi 5 is a massive improvement over the Pi 4, offering a substantial boost in performance and throughput.
The Orange Pi 5 is just that much further ahead, though. For developers building their bespoke applications, this extra power could come to great use. Hobbyists who aren’t comfortable behind an IDE might want to stick with the mountain of support for the Raspberry Pi line of SBCs, however.
In terms of raw graphical power, the Mali G610 and VideoCore VII are roughly equal in most tasks. You’ll notice a marked difference for things like video processing, image encoding, and other more strenuous tasks. However, for most practical uses, you won’t notice much of a difference.
Both SBCs come with a maximum display resolution output of 8K, which isn’t going to be typical usage. Users looking to use a SBC as a desktop replacement can drive a pair of 4K displays operating at 60Hz, which is more typical usage. You’ll likely have to add additional HDMI outputs through expansion boards. However, in its default configuration, you should be fine for single monitor usage.
SBCs typically aren’t gaming centerpieces, but both of these handle compatible emulators like RetroArch just fine. You could probably skirt by with consoles like the Nintendo GameCube if you do a little tweaking in the configuration files to maximize performance.
When it comes down to it, 8 GB of RAM on a SBC should be plenty for most practical applications. For more demanding needs, you’ll be left with the Orange Pi 5 as the only real option. The Orange Pi 5 comes with support for up to 32 GB of RAM, per a recent revision and release for the hardware itself.
- Designed to house 4x Raspberry Pi 4B, 3B+/3B, or other B models
- Each baseplate is independent
- The thickness of a 2.5" SSD cannot exceed 7mm
It comes at a cost, however, as you’ll spend substantially more on an Orange Pi 5 with the highest level of RAM than you would on a comparable Raspberry Pi 5. When you consider the RPi 5’s starting price of $60 in comparison to the Orange Pi 5’s $89, prices mount quickly.
Overall connectivity is roughly the same between these two SBCs. You’ll find connections for USB with 3.0 and 2.0 standards supported. HDMI is also a given. Where things really start to differ is the implementation of the general-purpose input/output (GPIO) headers. The Raspberry Pi 5 comes with a 40-pin connector by default, with its slew of gadgets and accessories as a standard.
The Orange Pi 5 standard model comes with a 26-pin header, which greatly reduces your choices for accessories and expansions. You can opt for the Orange Pi 5 Plus model, which does have a 40-pin connector like the Raspberry Pi line of computers. However, compatibility between the two isn’t a given.
You’ll have to test things on a case-by-case basis. This leaves the Orange Pi 5 in an odd spot. It is a more capable single-board computer on paper, but it lacks the option for more robust connectivity. Tempering your expectations is going to be a requirement if choosing the Orange Pi 5.
Operating Systems Supported
If you’re getting into a single-board computer, you’ll need to be comfortable with Linux. That’s just a simple fact of life. It will come down to what flavor of Linux you’re more comfortable using. Orange Pi 5 comes with an Android variant as its primary operating system, with options for the likes of Debian and other Linux distros.
- Compatible with Raspberry Pi 4B/ 3B+/ 3B/ 2B/ B+/ Pi Zero/ Pi Zero W/ Pi Zero 2 W
- LED matrix displays the status of the GPIO pin
- The 5V power light is red, and the 3.3V power light is pink
Raspberry Pi 5 has the continued legacy of support its older siblings carry, so you’ve got Raspbian and other compatible Linux distros. You can also find bespoke ARM-compatible Linux variants intended for singular use cases, like RetroPie.
There is some support for Windows on both SBCs, but you’re not going to have the best time. ARM-compatible Windows is certainly functional, as seen by the lower-tier Windows tablets on the market. However, that usually denotes some level of driver support. You’re losing out on applications that make Windows an option worth considering in the first place.
Third-party support for accessories and HATs is where Raspberry Pi 5 pulls away from other SBCs. Nothing else in the single-board computer space has the same level of support for peripherals as the Raspberry Pi. To call it the industry standard would be doing a grave disservice to the sheer breadth of hardware available to expand the capabilities of the SBC.
The Orange Pi 5 does have additional expansions available, but you’re going to have to hunt for those to get what you’re really after. In some cases, what appears to be compatible, like something using the Plus model’s 40-pin connector, might not even work. If you’re looking to do bespoke builds, custom tablets, or anything else, go with the Raspberry Pi 5.
Raspberry Pi 5 vs. Orange Pi 5: 5 Must-Know Facts
- The Raspberry Pi 5 has better third-party support.
- The Raspberry Pi 5 has a substantial performance boost over the Pi 4.
- The Raspberry Pi 5 looks to capitalize on the extended hardware with better driver support.
- The Orange Pi 5 is more powerful than the Raspberry Pi.
- The Orange Pi 5 has less extensive third-party support.
Raspberry Pi 5 vs. Orange Pi 5: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Choose?
So, which of these SBCs is the better choice? While the Orange Pi 5 is certainly a capable SBC on its own, the Raspberry Pi 5 is the real winner. It isn’t nearly as powerful as the Orange Pi 5, but the third-party support for the computer doesn’t lie. You’ve got plenty of options for customizing your Raspberry Pi 5 to suit your needs, rather than hunting for compatible components with the Orange Pi 5.