I am working on a (time-sensitive) project using an RPi3 Model B, but I require as much computational power (for computer vision application). I heard that the new RPi3 Model B+ is out and has a better processor, better Bluetooth (important for my application), and better thermal management.

I have heard about how the Raspberry Pi products typically run out very quickly and that there is a long wait before the next stock comes out.

Also, I am using a touchscreen (PiTFT), which Adafruit says is not currently compatible with the new RPi but they will update that soon.

Also, I wasn't sure whether or not the NooBs OS for the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B is compatible with the Model B+.

Therefore, my question is, given that I need to build this project by early April, do you think there would be any advantages to wait until then to buy it or should I immediately buy it now? I guess I am concerned that, given this is a new product, whether they might be any sort of problems that prevent its application in my project (for example with regards to the PiTFT), and that I might be buying this device assuming that these problems would be fixed in time, but eventually is not done so in time for my project.

P.S. - Let me know if this question is too broad and how I can improve it, given that this is my first time on this website.

  • There is no definitive answer to this question. Only you can weigh the risks involved and make the call whether to wait or not. – Steve Robillard Mar 15 '18 at 19:00
  • Buy one now, i've got mine. Its a useful speed boost, don't bother with noobs, flash Raspbian direct to the sd card. It is fully compatible with previous model. – CoderMike Mar 15 '18 at 19:00

The primary benefit of the B+ is more network throughput. The processor core itself is not any faster, just clocked 10% faster with a slightly newer rev of the SoC (same arm core), with proper cooling you can achieve the same calculation performance by overclocking.

From an engineering and design perspective, implementing on newly released hardware is somewhat problematic. Besides the production shortage associated with newly released products, there is also the possibility of bugs (hardware and software/firmware), physical incompatibility, and just general surprises that crop up. You should be prepared to deal with integration issues completely unrelated to your application.

If it were me, I would target the established product (B) and evaluate or plan to upgrade to the B+ when you are satisfied with its availability and performance. The performance gain is not worth the risk of missing a deadline or delivery date.

That being said, RPI foundation has recently expanded its distributors . Although production shortage is still possible. There are many suppliers with large stocks. For example, looking at available stock on digikey, newark-element14, and seed studio there are over 25,000 Pi3 available for immediate purchase and overnight delivery. I'm not quite sure why the Pi Zero is still so difficult to get, but at least for the full size products there track record is getting better.

I would not be concerned with availability in the long run, but for a brand new product and your deadline being next month, you can either take the risk and buy now or simply postpone the upgrade until next year, for example.

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  • Do you know anything about NooBs compatibility? So there is no computational boost, but speed boost? Because that is also quite important for our application too. – TanMath Mar 15 '18 at 19:41
  • Noobs is not an OS - its an installer. Its used to install an OS. Its simpler to flash your OS directly - Raspbian is the most common on the Pi. Pi3B+ seems faster to me, and runs much cooler. I could only overclock my Pi3B to 1350MHz (with heatsink and fan) my Pi3B+ is currently overclocked to 1475MHz (no heatsink, no fan). – CoderMike Mar 15 '18 at 20:21
  • @CoderMike no i understand it is an installer, but i wanted to know if it works with PI3B+. Like if I want to install another OS apart from Raspbian, or use a Lite version, I need internet connection and I heard about something with internet connection not compatible for RPi3B+ – TanMath Mar 16 '18 at 6:50
  • Yes, noobs works with Pi3B+. New versions released on launch day : raspberrypi.org/downloads – CoderMike Mar 16 '18 at 10:28

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