Raspberry Pi: Five alternatives for hackers and modders

Intel MinnowBoard Max

If the Raspberry's Pi's slightly long-in-the-tooth, ARM-based processor doesn't have the necessary grunt then perhaps the more powerful x86-based CPU on the Intel MinnowBoard Max will meet your needs.

The MinnowBoard Max outspecs the Pi in many areas, with a 64-bit CPU running at about double the clock speed and with twice the RAM.

The extra grunt comes at an additional cost, with the board selling for $99 or $129 for a slightly higher-specced version. The first boards are projected to be sent out from the end of June this year.


  • Processor: $99: 64-bit Intel Atom E3815 (single-core, 1.46 GHz). $129: E3825 (dual-core, 1.33 GHz)a 64-bit Intel Atom system on a chip (SoC)
  • Graphics: Intel HD graphics @ 400MHz ($99) and @ 533MHz ($129)
  • Video/Audio: microHDMI connector
  • Memory: 1GB DDR3 RAM ($99) and 2GB DDR3 RAM ($129)
  • Storage: One MicroSD
  • Connectivity: One MicroSD, one SATA @ 2.3Gbps, one USB 3.0 host, one USB 2.0 host, one serial debug, one 10/100/1000 Ethernet.
  • Expansion: Eight buffered general purpose input-output pins, with support for PWM on two pins. I2C and SPI bus. System firmware flash programming header.
  • Dimensions: 99mm x 74mm
  • Power: 5V DC
  • Operating system: Debian GNU/Linux, Yocto Project Compatible, Android 4.4 System

Image: MinnowBoard

By Nick Heath

Nick Heath is a computer science student and was formerly a journalist at TechRepublic and ZDNet.