Raspberry Pi SETI@Home - B model comparison

I have a few Raspberry Pi computers and, as I have said before, they are amazing. I have a mix of ‘B’ models – some have 256 MB of RAM (r1) while others (r2) have 512 MB.

I had a spare r1 and r2 so I decided to try a Raspberry Pi SETI@Home test. I put SETI@Home on both to see how much the RAM impacted their average performance over the span of one month. Other than the RAM, both of these units were completely identical. The results were somewhat surprising.

The setup

For this comparison, I obtained two identical (8GB class 10) SD cards and installed the same version of Raspbian. I then installed SETI@Home from these directions. Both of these computers were linked to the same Boinc/SETI@Home profile and were not running any other services. The profile specified that the unit should pretty much run SETI@Home 24/7.

The results

In one month, I looked at the average credit for both units and was somewhat surprised.

  • r1 model (256MB) – 3.45
  • r2 model (512MB) – 11.29

As the numbers indicate, the r2 model processed significantly more units in the span of one month. The total credit also indicates this is not a miscalculation as the total credit was 279 and 484 for the r1 and r2 models, respectively.

Final thoughts

This test isn’t scientific and it’s possible other things caused the performance difference. With that in mind, this is a case which may show how the additional (free) RAM on the r2 board is quite helpful.