Allwinner H3 Boards Comparison Tables with Orange Pi, Banana Pi M2+, NanoPi P1, and H3-OlinuXino-NANO Boards

Allwinner H3 SoC has now found its way into many low cost development boards, including several Orange Pi Boards, Banana Pi M2+, NanoPi M1, and Olimex H3-OlinuXino-NANO, and it might be difficult to choose among the list of boards available, so tkaiser has written a buyer’s guide for boards supported by Armbian, with some of the key differentiating factors, and on my side, I thought it might be a good idea to draw a comparison table between the boards.

Allwinner_H3_Development_Boards

Since a table with 10 boards would be hard to read, I made two tables: one with boards with 512 MB RAM + Orange Pi PC / PC Plus, and a second table with higher end boards with 1 to 2 GB RAM, and more features. But first let’s talk about Allwinner H3 SoC since it’s common to all boards. It’s a quad core Cortex A7 processor clocked at up to 1.2 GHz (plus if overclocking but this may lead to overheating), with a Mali-400 MP2 GPU, and support for H.264 and H.265 videos up to 4K @ 30 Hz.

With this mind, the first table takes care of the ultra-low cost boards that sell for less than $20, except the Olimex board which has not been released yet, and could  cost a little more.

Orange Pi OneOrange Pi LiteNano Pi M1Orange Pi PC / Orange Pi PC PlusH3-Olinuxino-NANO
RAM512 MB512MB or 1GB1GB512 MB
Storagemicro SD card slotmicro SD card slot
PC Plus adds: 8GB eMMC
micro SD card slot
Ethernet10/100MNo10/100M
Wireless ConnectivityNoWiFi 802.11 b/g/nNoPC Plus only: WiFi 802.11 b/g/nNo
USB1x USB Host port
1x micro USB OTG port
2x USB 2.0 host ports
1x micro USB OTG port
3x USB 2.0 host ports
1x micro USB OTG port
2x USB 2.0 host ports
1x micro USB OTG port
VideoHDMIHDMI, 3.5mm AV jackHDMI
AudioHDMIHDMI, on-board microphoneHDMI, AV, on-board microphoneHDMI
I/Os and other peripherals40-pin Raspberry Pi connector
CSI interface for camera
40-pin Raspberry Pi connector
CSI interface for camera
IR receiver
40-pin Raspberry Pi connector
DVP interface for camera
IR receiver
40-pin Raspberry Pi connector
CSI interface for camera
IR receiver
2x 40-pin headers
Power5V via power barrel
5V via header
5V via micro USB port, or 4.7 ~ 5.6 V via VDD pin5V via power barrel
5V via header
5V via micro USB port
Dimensions69×48 mm64×50 mm85×55 mm50×50 mm
Listed Price$9.99$12$11Pi PC: $15
Pi PC+: $19.99
N/A
Shipping$3.39$3.39$10$3.43N/A
Total$13.38$15.39$21Pi PC: $18.43
Pi PC+: $23.42
N/A

Followed by a second table with boards with more memory, fast storage, Gigabit Ethernet, and so on.

Orange Pi 2 / Orange Pi mini 2Orange Pi PlusBanana Pi M2+Orange Pi Plus 2EOrange Pi Plus 2
RAM1GB2GB
Storagemicro SD card slot8GB eMMC flash
Micro SD slot
SATA (via USB to SATA bridge)
micro SD card slot
8GB eMMC flash
16GB eMMC Flash
Micro SD slot
8GB eMMC flash
Micro SD slot
SATA (via USB to SATA bridge)
Ethernet10/100MGigabit Ethernet
Wireless Connectivity802.11 b/g/n WiFi (except in mini 2)WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
USB4x USB 2.0 host ports
1x micro USB OTG port
2x USB 2.0 host ports
1x micro USB OTG port
3x USB 2.0 host ports
1x micro USB OTG port
4x USB 2.0 host ports
1x micro USB OTG port
VideoHDMI and AVHDMIHDMI and AV
AudioHDMI, AV, on-board microphoneHDMI, AV, on-board microphoneHDMIHDMI, AV, on-board microphone
I/Os and other peripherals40-pin Raspberry Pi connector
CSI interface for camera
IR receiver
Power5V via power barrel
5V via header
5V via power barrel
5V via micro USB port
5V via power barrel
5V via header
Dimensions93×60 mm112 x 60 mm65×65 mm108×67 mm
Listed PricePi 2 – $30
Pi mini 2 – $25
$39.00$39.90$35.00$49.00
ShippingN/A$3.75$0$3.57$3.26
TotalNot for sale anymore$42.75$39.90$38.57$52.26

Some remarks

  1. There’s no difference between boards with regards to the 40-pin Raspberry Pi connectors, and only H3-Olinuxino-NANO will have a different pinout, as well as more I/Os. It will also be the only open source hardware board of the list.
  2. SATA implementation are using a USB 2.0  to SATA bridge since Allwinner H3 does not come with either SATA. PCIe, or USB 3.0 interface, and performance is not different, and in some case lower, than simply connecting a USB hard drive to the board.
  3. Boards with 4 USB ports + micro USB OTG will share the bandwidth through a USB hub controller, so performance may be impacted, and boards such as Orange Pi Plus 2E with 3 USB ports that do not use a USB hub controller should have better USB throughput.
  4. Voltage regulator
    • SY8106A used on most Orange Pi boards allows for finer tuning of the CPU voltage, and a better control of CPU throttling and heat management
    • The GPIO driven voltage regulator on NanoPi M1 and Orange Pi One/Lite only allows for 1.1V and 1.3V voltage selection
    • Banana Pi M2+ is set to work at 1.3V only.
  5. Boards with eMMC flash should provide a significantly better user experience thanks to much faster random I/O compared to most (micro) SD cards
  6. Memory type matters. It has been found that boards with DDR3 memory tend to overheat much more than boards with DDR3L memory. At the time of writing, Xunlong Orange Pi boards are all based on DDR3L memory, but Banana Pi M2+ and NanoPi M1 boards are fitted with DDR3 memory instead. [Update: It has be discovered that Orange Pi One/Lite are actually using DDR3 memory, and do not overheat, so more investigation is needed to find out what the problem may be]

Please let me know if I should add anything to the table, or corrections need to be made.

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