Cubieboard 3 Vs. Raspberry Pi: Which is the Best?

When choosing between Cubieboard 3 vs. Raspberry Pi, most enthusiast programmers and software developers already have their favorite pick cast in stone.

However, for a new user or average designer, deciding which is ideal for your project, between Cubieboard and Raspberry, can be challenging.

If that is you, this article got you covered. 

Table of Contents

What is Cubieboard?

Cubieboard is a small, complete, fully-functioning ARM (Advanced RISC Machine) built into a single board. The Cubitech Limited Company makes it from Guangzhou, China.

The machine runs on AllWinner A 10 SoC (System-on-a-chip), popularly used on smartphones, cheap tablets, and media PCs. 

Cubietech has released various versions of Cubieboards, from Cubieboard 1 to Cubieboard 6, each with its version of ARM Cortex processors. Cubieboard 3 uses two ARM Cortex A-72 processors. 

What is Raspberry Pi?

Raspberry Pi is a Small Computer Board (SBC) the size of a credit card you can connect and use with your TV or Monitor.

Raspberry Pi Foundation has released various machine versions, from Raspberry Pi 1 to Pi 4.

The latest series, Raspberry Pi 3 and Pi 4 run on Broadcom BCM2711 C SoC and a 64-Bit version of ARM Cortex-A27 processor called AARM-64.

Raspberry Pi connected to a laptop

Raspberry Pi is connected to a laptop.

Cubieboard 3 Vs. Raspberry Pi 4: The Difference

Even though they’re both Reduced Instruction Set (RISC) Computers, Cubieboard and Raspberry have distinct features that set them apart. 


Generally, Raspberry Pi 4 is rectangular but with a relatively small form factor, allowing it to fit in the palm comfortably. It measures 8.56 cm x 5.65 cm.

Cubieboard is also rectangular but with a larger layout measuring 11 cm x 8cm and only 1.4mm thick.  

Raspberry Pi 4 is more compact, making it a suitable option for projects, devices, or situations that require limited space. Its small form factor also means you can comfortably carry it more quickly than the Cubieboard 3.

Otherwise, since Cubieboard offers additional GPIO and more space for components, it’s more suitable for complex projects.


Regarding raw performance, Raspberry Pi 4 has a significant edge over the Cubieboard 3 for GPU and CPU. This is because the 64-bit ARM SoC used in Raspberry Pi 4 is an advanced version of the two ARM Cortex-A72 processors used on Cubieboard 3.

Even though the Allwinner A83 Octa-Core in the Cubieboard is clocked at 1.8Hz, while the 64-bit ARM is clocked at 1.5HZ, the Raspberry is still more capable.

The Raspberry Pi company continues to advance its VI GPU video cores, with the Pi 4 using the Broadcom Videocore VI 500 MHZ.

This feature enables Raspberry to run three Radeon HD—5000, 6000, and 7000.

You may experience some glitches, especially when upstreaming, but this isn’t a major problem, as it guarantees 4k resolution even on a desktop environment.

Cubieboard, on the other hand, runs the PowerVR G6230 (Rogue) and Mali-400MP for graphics.

What we like the most about these graphics is that they are fragment processors.

You can split the screen or use a single Cubieboard on up to 4 different platforms without a single drop in performance.

But the downside is that you only get a maximum 1080p resolution.

Memory and Storage

The A80 Cubieboard comes fully armed with 2 GB RAM of DDR3. It also onboards an 8-line EMMC chip to expand the storage to 64GB.

Note that A10 and A20 Cubietechs don’t support EMMC chips because they lack the features required for the EMMC interface.

As mentioned, Cubieboard 3 has two USB 3.0 ports for SATA cables.

This means you can connect external storage devices like HDDs and SSDs via SATA cable and expand your memory further. 

You can add tSD, Nand Flash, and MicroDisc without compromising your ARM speed.

On the other side, Raspberry Pi comes in all storage sizes-1GB, 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB RAM—depending on user needs.

You can expand this storage to 64GB using a MicroSD card, the maximum amount of storage you can get. 

Software and Operating System

Cubieboard 3 is ideal for Ubuntu but runs other operating systems, including Android, Lubuntu, Debian, and Arch Linux.

In addition, we found it is specifically supportive when used with Armbian, an OS optimized for ARM-based devices.

Raspberry Pi 4, on the other hand, is primarily made for Debian Linux. However, it supports operating systems, including Fedora, Ubuntu, and Windows 10 IoT.

Number of Software Available

While both ARMs are open-source software, Raspberry Pi 4 is the clear winner for the software available on their platform. The main reason for this would be their countless number of users.

They are supportive and create various software and tools available for their communities. 

Raspberry Pi 4 only costs $35. Cubietruck three costs about $85. This should tell you why many new users will opt for Raspberry Pi 4 at the expense of Cubietruck 3 and their willingness to share resources.

Cubieboard Vs. Raspberry – FAQ

Does Raspberry Pi 4 Have SATA Port?

The designers equipped the SBC with SATA Bays with ports for connecting to external storage devices.

Cubieboard 3 Vs. Raspberry Pi: What is the Most Powerful Raspberry Pi 4?

The most powerful Raspberry Pi 4 would be Raspberry Pi 400. This all-rounder ARM Computer on a compact keyboard features a dual-display, 4k output alongside the market’s most powerful GPU and CPU.  

Cubieboard 3 Vs. Raspberry Pi: What are the Uses of Cubieboard 3?

Cubieboard is a flexible and scalable SBC designed to replace the default Linux OS by customizing it to your liking. It provides a low-cost platform for running all Linux OS software designed for ARM computers.

Coding with Raspberry Pi

Coding with Raspberry Pi

Which One Should You Choose?

The tag of war between Raspberry Pi 4 and Cubietruck 3 is complex without a clear winner.

While Raspberry Pi 4 wins in all the categories mentioned (except storage) and is less than half the cost of Cubietruck 3, it’s only open-source software.

On the other hand, Cubietruck 3 guarantees the benefits of working with open-source software and hardware. It’s more scalable and functional, no matter the project.

The best ARM, therefore, will boil down to the complexity of your project and the type of software you need.