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I have a Model B Raspberry Pi, but what are the differences between this and the new Model B+?

Also apart from the physical differences, what could I do with a B+ that I can't do with my Model B?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 13 down vote accepted

Here's a list of the key differences (taken from my own blog at http://www.recantha.co.uk/blog/?p=10323)

  • 4 USB ports – for the first time, you’ll be able to have a keyboard, mouse and wifi dongle plugged in without needing a powered hub. Bear in mind, you will probably need a more powerful power supply for the B+ if you want to use all 4 ports. They’re recommending a 2A supply. Of course, if you’re just using a mouse and a keyboard then a 1A supply will probably be absolutely fine.
  • Better USB hot plug capability – you should be able to plug in your wifi dongles in without reboots!
  • A new Ethernet port with activity lights.
  • The USB and Ethernet ports are now all in a straight line, rather than in the B’s staggered arrangement.
  • The yellow composite video port has gone and there is now a combined 3.5mm jack that provides audio and the analogue video signal.
  • The HDMI port, the CSI (camera) and DSI (display) ports have all moved slightly.
  • The micro USB power socket has changed sides. This means that all the ports are on the same side of the Pi – so cable management is much better with the B+.
  • The B+ sports a 40-pin GPIO header (compared to the B’s 26) and no longer has a P5 and P3 header. All the GPIO is on that one header now. The 26 pins to the left (nearest the corner) are backwards compatible so all your add-on boards will work (with the exception of any audio boards like the Wolfson which requires the P5 header which is, of course, not on the B+).
  • 4 mounting holes, conveniently located on the corners of the board rather than the 2 oddly-placed holes on the B.
  • On the back, the B+ uses a micro SD card (as opposed to the B’s full size SD card) with a push-push action (i.e. you push it in and it locks in place, you push it again and it clicks out). The card still protrudes slightly (presumably to make it easy to remove) but the (metal) slot is a vast improvement on the flimsy plastic of the B.
  • Much clearer silk screen labelling in general.
  • Lower power requirements – it will use between 0.5 watts and 1 watt less than the model B.
  • Much better audio output thanks to a dedicated power supply.
  • Rounded corners! (Still doesn’t fit in an Altoids tin but who cares! The aesthetic change is welcome)

In terms of doing new things with it, obviously you've got more GPIO pins, so if you want more inputs or outputs then the B+ is for you. Plus it's much easier to plug USB things in to (less need for a powered hub). If you're doing robotics with a portable power supply, the B+ will last longer on it thanks to the lower power consumption.

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Do those extra GPIO pins include analogue inputs? –  Peter Mortensen Jul 28 at 21:09
    
I have discussed the powered hub issue in another answer. –  AsheeshR Jul 29 at 2:17
    
Peter, no, there are no analogue inputs. The SOC CPU doesn't support it. –  recantha Jul 29 at 4:48
    
Great answer :) –  ppumkin Jul 29 at 8:44
    
What about I2C? I read in previous threads that there were problems with it (can't remember if it was I2C HW issues internally in the Broadcom SOC or if it was SW I2c...). Is there any improvement regarding this? –  GeertVc Aug 1 at 6:26

You cannot do anything more, or special with the B+ other than connect a few more GPIO. Software is all the same across A,B and B+. B and B+ already have maximum RAM of 512MB SDRAM.

The main differences are:

  • More PINS in row! (Original 26 + New 14) new ones with a total of 40 but 2 headers less
    • As pointed out by @joan total GPIO's (General Input Output)
    • B = 17 increased to B+ = 26
  • 2 more USB ports thanks to the new LAN chip. Still 100mb LAN
  • Micro SD instead of bulky SD
  • Better power! This is great for WiFi and generally is more efficient!
  • Better audio thank to better power circuits!
  • Different form factor with 4 square mounting holes and the USB connectors are flush with the edge.

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The diagram is misleading. The B+ has 26 gpios in total on a 40 pin header. The header pins also include ground, 3V3, and 5V rails. –  joan Jul 28 at 12:31
    
I don't understand? The official Pi foundation says, and I quote The GPIO header has grown to 40 pins, while retaining the same pinout for the first 26 pins as the Model B and I can see it on the pictures. Whether is GND or Voltage, or EEPROM, it still counts as IO –  ppumkin Jul 28 at 13:53
2  
I can see the confusion. It's hard to come up with a good phrasing in a short sentence. The P1 header of 26 pins has been renamed to J8 and now contains 40 pins. P1 gave access to 17 gpios. J8 gives access to 26 gpios (plus 2 more reserved gpios). The pins which aren't connected to gpios are connected to fixed voltages (0V, 3V3, 5V). It may be pedantic but every now and then people ask how to switch the 5V and 3V3 rail pins on/off. –  joan Jul 28 at 14:04
    
Right so all you saying is I should change the 40 GPIO's to "PINS" :) Makes sense. –  ppumkin Jul 28 at 14:58
    
The Pi schematic shows "GPIO EXPANSION" for that header. –  joan Jul 28 at 15:48

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