Released in 2018, the raspberry pi 3B+ was the third ever seemingly capable upgrade to the raspberry pi 3B. With the 3B and Pi 3B+ having significant advantages over the Pi B+ and Pi 2, one would wonder what’s the difference between the 3B and 3B+?

We’re here now in 2019, taking a look back at how it once took the world by storm!

In today’s blog, I’ll be covering the following:

  • Specifications and Features of 3B and 3B+
  • Comparison of model 3B and 3B+
  • Accessories and kits to help you get started

Specifications and Features

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, first of the third-generation Raspberry Pi with Bluetooth 4.1 and WiFi. Packed with high processing power in a petite body, it’s capable to process documents, control robots, run large games, and even watching HD videos!

It’s impressive what this little thing could do!

The features that allowed for it:

  • Quad Core 1.2GHz Broadcom BCM2837 64bit CPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • BCM43438 wireless LAN and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) on board
  • 100 Base Ethernet
  • CSI camera port for connecting a Raspberry Pi camera
  • DSI display port for connecting a Raspberry Pi touchscreen display
  • 4 USB 2 ports / 40-pin extended GPIO

Raspberry Pi Model 3b+

Maintaining the same mechanical footprint as the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, this iteration comes with upgraded Bluetooth, Ethernet, and PoE capabilities

It’s Features include:

  • Broadcom BCM2837B0, Cortex-A53 (ARMv8) 64-bit SoC @ 1.4GHz
  • 1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM
  • 2.4GHz and 5GHz IEEE 802.11.b/g/n/ac wireless LAN, Bluetooth 4.2, BLE
  • Gigabit Ethernet over USB 2.0 (maximum throughput 300 Mbps)
  • Extended 40-pin GPIO header
  • Full-size HDMI
  • 4 USB 2.0 ports
  • CSI camera port for connecting a Raspberry Pi camera
  • DSI display port for connecting a Raspberry Pi touchscreen display
  • 4-pole stereo output and composite video port
  • Micro SD port for loading your operating system and storing data
  • 5V/2.5A DC power input
  • Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) support (requires separate PoE HAT)

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B vs Model 3B+

When you take a look at both models and their respective features, you’ll find that the model 3b+ is the more feature-rich. What are the differences and its indication then?

Model 3B Model 3B+
Processor Broadcom BCM2837 SoC @ 1.2Ghz Broadcom BCM2837 SoC @ 1.4GHz
Ethernet 100Base 1000Base
WiFi 802.11b/g/n Dual-Band 802.11ac
PoE No Yes
RAM 1GB 1PDDR2 1GB LPDDR2
Ports 1 DSI
1 RCA
1 HDMI
4 USB
1 DSA
1 RCA
1 HDMI
4 USB

Based on the specs comparison above, there are two important differences observed:

Processor clock speed

The maximum clock speed being at 1.4GHz instead of 1.2GHz usually brings a significant performance increase, wherefrom the early tests based on a beta release of the OS, a 15% performance boost is seen. However, you probably won’t see much real-world benefit as CPU is rarely the bottleneck on a small single-board computer like the Raspberry Pi.

Incremental upgrade to Ethernet, and WiFi Capabilities

WiFi Improvements: Dual-band WiFi support has been found capable of about 100 Mb/s throughput in testing, doubling what the Pi 3 Model B achieved.

Ethernet capabilities: Gigabit Ethernet support further boosts WiFi performance, which ups maximum throughput to about 300 Mbps

PoE support: This allows for powering of your Raspberry Pi 3B+ over its ethernet connection, easing power control as there’s no need for wiring in any sort of switch or relay now

Choosing between Raspberry Pi 3 Model 3 and 3B+

If you already own the 3B, you probably don’t need the 3B+, but you should still have heavy considerations due to its clear performance upgrade.

However, with the release of the new Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, it’s hard to argue that’s the better option in terms of performance.

3B+ vs Pi 4?

Stay tuned, I’ll cover a 3B+ and Raspberry Pi 4 comparison in a future post.

Raspberry Pi 3b+ Accessories

Want to know how to turn your Raspberry Pi 3B or 3B+ into a computer in no time?

The recommended list of kits and accessories below will easily help you get started with the 3B and 3B+!

Note: Despite the differences seen between the two, accessories like enclosures, HATs, kits built for the model 3B will also fit the 3B+! (Apart from the following case)

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B/B+ Cases

Thermal throttling and heat issues have been widely talked about in the Raspberry Pi community. Hence, I’m recommending these cases to help keep those high temperatures away from your project!

Featuring:

  • Dual Fan
  • Ultimate Cooling
  • Aluminum Alloy
  • CNC Machining
  • Easy To Mount

Unlike other cooling systems, it’s super quiet as well!

USB Wall Power Supply 5VDC 2.1A

Perhaps the most important accessory for your Raspberry Pi 3B or 3B+ as without this, there’s no power! You can simply power it up alongside a micro USB cable!

As the Raspberry Pi 3B/3B+ supports 2.1A, this is a perfect choice!

Note: This uses the American Standard, for Europe standard heard here!

micro SD Card with Card Reader-32GB (Class 10)

Another important accessory for your Raspberry Pi 3B/3B+ is a micro SD card as, without this, you can’t store your files and operating system!

With only $5.6, you can get this 32GB super cost-effective micro-SD card!

Raspberry Pi Camera Module V2


Want to capture photos and videos on your Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and B+? This Raspberry Pi camera module V2 is the one for you!

The Raspberry Pi Camera Module V2 is a new official camera board released by Raspberry Pi Foundation

  • It carries an 8 megapixel Sony IMX219 image sensor which has a great performance in catching the high resolution of images and videos
  • The image sensor can output up to 3280×2464 pixel static images ,1080p30, 720p60 and 640x480p90 video

Lazy to source for individual components and get it one by one? Fear not, here at Seeed, we got just the thing for you!

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Kits

Quick Starter Kit for Raspberry Pi 3 Model B

With this starter kit, you can easily get started with the Raspberry Pi 3B or even 3B+ without the hassle of sourcing for individual components!

Yes, it includes all the necessary accessories ranging from the power supply, an SD card with preinstalled NOOBS, HDMI cable and more!

Here’s the full list of parts:

Summary

That’s all for today! I hope that this guide helped you better understand the differences between Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and Raspberry Pi 3B+

Interested in more Raspberry Pi accessories and products? You can check out our entire Raspberry Pi products here on our Bazaar page!

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