Esp32 vs raspberry pi

Thread Starter

k1ng 1337

Joined Sep 11, 2020
701
Good Day,

I have been working with the Arduino Uno and have reached some of its limitations primarily regarding memory storage for the purpose of storing sensor data. The time has come to purchase one of the following

1) SD card module for Arduino Uno
2) Esp32 and SD card module
3) Raspberry Pi

I've mostly decided to buy either 2 or 3 so my question to this forum is: Between Esp32 and Pi, which platform would you recommend? I am aware of the differences and have experience with both C and Linux. There are many features of the Pi that I don't care about such as web servers and GUI's although the additional investment (both time learning and money) may prove worthwhile.

My primary interests are:
- prototyping on breadboard where short circuits and unknown signals are relatively common
- basic robotics
- recording sensor data where a binary dump is sufficient
- scholastic experimentation

I am leaning towards the Esp32 for $16 vs a Pi that is currently upwards of $100 although this topic is concerning time spent learning one or the other, the costs per board are negligible.

Regards
Mark
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
15,511
I have been working with the Arduino Uno and have reached some of its limitations primarily regarding memory storage for the purpose of storing sensor data.
Since you already know how to use Arduino Uno, why not consider Mega?

I am leaning towards the Esp32 for $16 vs a Pi that is currently upwards of $100
You're comparing apples to oranges.

I don't know anything about ESP32, but a quick check yielded a 240MHz single or dual core processor and 512KB RAM.

For $15, you can get a Raspberry Pi Zero W 2 with a 1GHz quad core and 512MB RAM. Seems like this would be a lot more bang for the buck.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
28,155
ESP32 and rPi are two different things.

ESP32 is a programmable module with internet capabilities. It allows one to create IOT solutions.

rPi is a complete computer system with internet access when you add a keyboard, mouse and display.
 

bertus

Joined Apr 5, 2008
22,133
Hello,

@MrChips , There are many types of Raspberry pi's.
Dennis mentioned the Raspberry Pi Zero W 2, wich can be used for IoT:
https://www.raspberrypi.com/products/raspberry-pi-zero-2-w/

Specification
1GHz quad-core 64-bit Arm Cortex-A53 CPU
512MB SDRAM
2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n wireless LAN
Bluetooth 4.2, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), onboard antenna
Mini HDMI port and micro USB On-The-Go (OTG) port
microSD card slot
CSI-2 camera connector
HAT-compatible 40-pin header footprint (unpopulated)
H.264, MPEG-4 decode (1080p30); H.264 encode (1080p30)
OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.0 graphics
Micro USB power
Composite video and reset pins via solder test points
65mm x 30mm

Bertus
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
7,148
You're comparing apples to oranges.
ESP32 and rPi are two different things.

ESP32 is a programmable module with internet capabilities. It allows one to create IOT solutions.

rPi is a complete computer system with internet access when you add a keyboard, mouse and display.
Exactly my thinking on this. Choose based on exactly what your needs and wants are. Each has limitations. Each has selling / buying points.

Ron
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
2,767
Hello,

@MrChips , There are many types of Raspberry pi's.
Dennis mentioned the Raspberry Pi Zero W 2, wich can be used for IoT:
https://www.raspberrypi.com/products/raspberry-pi-zero-2-w/

Specification
1GHz quad-core 64-bit Arm Cortex-A53 CPU
512MB SDRAM
2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n wireless LAN
Bluetooth 4.2, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), onboard antenna
Mini HDMI port and micro USB On-The-Go (OTG) port
microSD card slot
CSI-2 camera connector
HAT-compatible 40-pin header footprint (unpopulated)
H.264, MPEG-4 decode (1080p30); H.264 encode (1080p30)
OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.0 graphics
Micro USB power
Composite video and reset pins via solder test points
65mm x 30mm

Bertus
And now, we also have the option of Raspberry Pi Pico - a microcontroller for IoT.
https://www.raspberrypi.com/products/raspberry-pi-pico/
 

Thread Starter

k1ng 1337

Joined Sep 11, 2020
701
Exactly my thinking on this. Choose based on exactly what your needs and wants are. Each has limitations. Each has selling / buying points.

Ron
I'm trying to evaluate which suits my needs better. The general response from my Google search is they are entirely different systems and cannot be compared blah blah blah. Most go on to say they can be used interchangeably for many things which maddens the unhelpful. Clearly the Esp is what I'd call stand alone whereas the Pi is an all out operating system. For these reasons it would make sense to further study Arduino / Esp as I'm much more hardware oriented.
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
2,767
I'm trying to evaluate which suits my needs better. The general response from my Google search is they are entirely different systems and cannot be compared blah blah blah. Most go on to say they can be used interchangeably for many things which maddens the unhelpful. Clearly the Esp is what I'd call stand alone whereas the Pi is an all out operating system. For these reasons it would make sense to further study Arduino / Esp as I'm much more hardware oriented.
Again, for the tasks you mentioned, you can use them Interchangeably. You don't need the cost of the pi, so esp32 will be good enough. If you don't need wifi or Bluetooth connectivity, you can also look for a microcontroller (Arduino) with more memory and you're done.
 

Thread Starter

k1ng 1337

Joined Sep 11, 2020
701
Again, for the tasks you mentioned, you can use them Interchangeably. You don't need the cost of the pi, so esp32 will be good enough. If you don't need wifi or Bluetooth connectivity, you can also look for a microcontroller (Arduino) with more memory and you're done.
I'm thinking about long term learning, initial costs are moot. For amateur to intermediate robotics the crossroad is at esp vs pi so it's a matter of learning one or the other or both, each having an extensive learning curve.

This forum is probably not the best to ask this kind of question as many probably haven't used both. Thanks though to all for their time and patience. :)
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
2,767
I'm thinking about long term learning, initial costs are moot. For amateur to intermediate robotics the crossroad is at esp vs pi so it's a matter of learning one or the other or both, each having an extensive learning curve.

This forum is probably not the best to ask this kind of question as many probably haven't used both. Thanks though to all for their time and patience. :)
I agree. It is best to ask someone that gives you the answer you want to hear or someone who gives you a definitive answer so you have someone else to blame at a later date. No reason to invest any time to to set objectives and research to match your needs and the device capabilities yourself.
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
15,511
If I was going to do robotics, I'd be more inclined to go with a bare metal approach to get real time response. For everything else, I'd go with RPi.

I'm partial to the Pi Zero W for $10 (after having the $9 "computer" company go out of business).
 

MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
2,767
If I was going to do robotics, I'd be more inclined to go with a bare metal approach to get real time response. For everything else, I'd go with RPi.

I'm partial to the Pi Zero W for $10 (after having the $9 "computer" company go out of business).
Are you recommending a "bare metal approach" to an OP that can't even decide between an EsP32 and Raspberry pi or are you fantasizing about how you would eventually go to production with a robotics project if you would ever get around to building a robot yourself. And while you answer, please let us know what your definition of robot might be.
 

Thread Starter

k1ng 1337

Joined Sep 11, 2020
701
I agree. It is best to ask someone that gives you the answer you want to hear or someone who gives you a definitive answer so you have someone else to blame at a later date. No reason to invest any time to to set objectives and research to match your needs and the device capabilities yourself.
I'm making this post while on break at work, please forgive me for not having eight arms and two brains. I appeal to the opinions of those schooled and experienced in their craft to save myself a good deal of time and often this comes across (on the internet) as lazy which is unfortunate as I do spend a good deal of time researching all sciences. These types of generic information gathering topics never seem to go over well made evident by your condescending remark but don't worry I have tough skin. Good day :)
 
One nice thing with the Pi is since it is basically a computer you can do everything on it and not have to upload to the board, download extra compilers and such for your board, and things of that nature.

If you need precision timing or interrupt capabilities neither Pi or ESP will be much help... There is a lot of overhead going into interrupt routines to account for.

I have a couple Pi zeros running projects and can say for general tinkering and figuring out how new chips and things work you can't beat them without a lot of time and money for custom boards and such. I also have a couple ESP12 boards running some other projects. Both seem to perform about the same, but being able to connect a keyboard and screen to a Pi and work directly on it is nice. Sure you can do it as a serial device or ssh, or however, but it's not the same.
 

ErnieM

Joined Apr 24, 2011
8,353
Having used both the rPi and the ESP32 I would recommend going with the rPi as it is a complete controller with lots of I/O to control things.

I recently completed a test stand built on a rPi that runs some high current relays while sensing 20 channels of current draw. What is cool is you can write and run the program all on the same computer.

While I also like the ESP32 I keep that to IOT things like the 4 channel RGBW controller that runs the under counter LEDs in my kitchen.
 

Wolframore

Joined Jan 21, 2019
2,583
To make it even harder, now we have the new
Raspberry Pi Pico - microcontroller $4
Dual core M0+ @ 133 MHz
256K SRAM
2MB Flash
26 GPIO, 2 each, UART, I2C, SPI; 16 PWM 3@ 12 Bit ADC
supports C/C++ and microPython
 

Thread Starter

k1ng 1337

Joined Sep 11, 2020
701
Interesting replies although I'm not sure where you people are finding these prices on the raspberries. I would appreciate an ebay or Amazon link for one that you have purchased. There's so many options for Pi it has been a deterrent buying one until now and I certainly don't need a powerful one.
 
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