I just saw a picture of a Pi on the Element 14 website, and noticed some of the components are different colours and shapes to my Pi, (which was from E14).

  • The colour of the RCA plug (Mine is black, not blue)
  • Colour of the Audio jack (Mine yellow, not black)
  • Printing on the Ethernet port (Mine on metal on the top, not on a sticker on the back)
  • Shape of the long components. (Mine regular cuboids, with a flat top)

So they're obviously not all the same. In fact, could they all be uniqe?

  • Mine doesn't look like that either. It could be that was one of the beta boards and that the design evolved before production. – Jivings Jul 17 '12 at 16:17

The beta boards look rather different from the production boards. However, I have two production boards (one from RS and one from Farnell), and though they look very similar, there are minor differences between them. Not the least, the top of one SoC says "hynix" and the other says "SAMSUNG".

There are minor differences between the labelling of some of the other components too. However, neither of my boards have a big "CE" stamped on them, but I know that many do (between "Power" and "C1"). The RPi Flickr group is interesting to browse for minor variations such as these.

Incidentally, I don't know if the "CE" stamp is meant to be "China Export" or "European Conformity" - I'm guessing the latter, but it isn't the correct symbol for either! ;-)

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  • Cool, thanks. You wouldn't know why they might be different? – ACarter Jul 18 '12 at 15:20
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    Mainly just slight variations in batches of components used to construct the boards. Some of the components will be sourced from multiple suppliers, and they will differ slightly. I don't know why some have a CE mark and some not, but my guess is that the early boards don't and that this is something that has been added to the boards produced later. If that's true, I'd be interested to know how many production boards were made without the mark, and if there's likely to be any rarity kudos associated with them! – Darren Wilkinson Jul 18 '12 at 15:41
  • @darrenjw There were definitely some early boards printed without CE marks because the certification requirement was only decided so late in the day, the foundation said early ones would have stickers and later ones would have them printed on. As to quantities, I've no real idea. – berry120 Jul 18 '12 at 15:44
  • Mine doesn't have a mark, and mine didn't arrive till early july. Thanks for your help darren. – ACarter Jul 18 '12 at 15:48

There may be minor differences between different boards - different batch runs could use slightly different components in appearance, though I'd expect them to be functionally identical (at least to within some reasonable margin of error.) It's not unusual at all on these sorts of devices.

As to whether they're all unique though, the answer is no - I have two that look identical, and I can imagine in the vast majority of cases ones from the same batch will be practically identical.

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  • Cool, thanks. You wouldn't know why they might be different? – ACarter Jul 18 '12 at 15:20
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    Just as a matter of course because companies sometimes use slightly different components in each batch as they have them available or as they become available. Simple example, but if a functionally equivalent, blue RCA plug was found cheaper than the current yellow one they were using, the manufacturer may well switch - it means the board is still up to specification, but keeps costs down. It's perfectly normal practice when manufacturing electronics, you'll likely see similar things with other devices (such as Arduino / Beaglebone.) – berry120 Jul 18 '12 at 15:47

A few beta boards were sold on eBay, prior to the production boards going on sale. They could be slightly different, but the RPis I have seen from Farnell and RS are the same.

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  • Cool, thanks. You wouldn't know why they might be different? – ACarter Jul 18 '12 at 15:20

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