Raspberry Pi Models and Specs: A Comprehensive Guide

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What flavor of Pi is your favorite?
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The Raspberry Pi has become an iconic machine in the world of tiny computers. This pocket sized board is so cool—and I know I sound biased. But it's true! You can use them for so many projects.

Finding the best Pi model can sometimes be tricky. That's why we took the time to break down each Raspberry Pi into this list. Compare specs and learn a little about the history of how the Raspberry Pi has evolved over the last few years.

Raspberry Pi specs

Raspberry Pi Model Released USB Ports CPU RAM Bluetooth WiFi
Raspberry Pi 1 B Feb 2012 2x USB 2.0 700MHz 512MB No No
Raspberry Pi 1 B+ July 2014 4x USB 2.0 700MHz 512MB No No
Raspberry Pi 1 A+ Nov 2014 1x USB 700MHz 512MB No No
Raspberry Pi 2 Feb 2015 4x USB 900MHz 1GB No No
Raspberry Pi Zero Nov 2015 1x Micro USB 1GHz 512MB No No
Raspberry Pi 3 Feb 2016 4x USB 1.2GHz 1GB 4.1 LE Yes
Raspberry Pi Zero W Feb 2017 1x Micro USB 1GHz 512MB 4.1 Yes
Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Mar 2018 4x USB 2.0 1.4GHz 1GB 4.2, BLE Yes
Raspberry Pi 3 A+ Nov 2018 1x USB 2.0 1.4GHz 512MB 4.2, BLE Yes
Raspberry Pi 4 June 2019 2X USB 3.0, 2X USB 2.0 1.5GHz 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB 5.0, BLE Yes

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Raspberry Pi 1 Model B

Pictured: Raspberry Pi 1 B

The first Raspberry Pi was released in 2012. This original edition, known as Raspberry Pi 1 B, was met with great success. Everyone wanted to get their hands on this tiny computer to see what it could do.

Raspberry Pi 1 specs

Released USB Ports CPU RAM Bluetooth WiFi
Feb 2012 2x USB 2.0 700 MHz 512MB No No
Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+

Pictured: Raspberry Pi 1 B+, a revised edition of the Raspberry Pi 1 B which released in 2014.

The Raspberry Pi 1 B was followed with an updated edition known as the Raspberry Pi 1 B+. The most noticeable change was the addition of two additional USB ports.

Raspberry Pi 1 B+ Specs

Released USB Ports CPU RAM Bluetooth WiFi
July 2014 4x USB 2.0 700 MHz 512MB No No
Raspberry Pi 1 Model A+

Pictured: Raspberry Pi A+

This model follows the release of the Raspberry Pi B. The Raspberry Pi A+ is smaller than the Pi B, but just as powerful. It has the same processing speed in a slimline package. Unlike the Pi B, it only features 1 USB port and no Ethernet port.

Raspberry Pi A+ Specs

Released USB Ports CPU RAM Bluetooth WiFi
Nov 2014 1x USB 700 MHz 512MB No No
Raspberry Pi 2

Pictured: Raspberry Pi 2.

What's better than one Raspberry Pi? Two! This is the Raspberry Pi 2, a wonderful successor to the original Raspberry Pi. It comes with 4 USB ports and more CPU power than before, clocking in at 900 MHz.

Raspberry Pi 2 Specs

Released USB Ports CPU RAM Bluetooth WiFi
Feb 2015 4x USB 900 MHz 1GB No No
Raspberry Pi Zero

Pictured: Raspberry Pi Zero.

Raspberry Pi meets shrink ray with this super teeny model known as the Raspberry Pi Zero. This super slim model comes with a few upgraded features. The CPU on this edition can reach speeds up to 1GHz. The USB ports have been dropped in favor of a Micro USB port and Micro OTG port.

Raspberry Pi Zero Specs

Released USB Ports CPU RAM Bluetooth WiFi
Nov 2015 1x Micro USB 1 GHz 512MB No No
Raspberry Pi 3

Pictured: Raspberry Pi 3 B.

The Pi reached new heights with the release of the Raspberry Pi 3. This model is just a little bit faster and a lot more versatile. Long gone are the days of isolation, these Pi's are open to multiple wireless channels including both WiFi and Bluetooth.

Raspberry Pi 3 Specs

Released USB Ports CPU RAM Bluetooth WiFi
Feb 2016 4x USB 1.2 GHz 1GB 4.1 LE Yes
Raspberry Pi Zero W

Pictured: Raspberry Pi Zero W.

The Pi Zero was seriously upgraded with the release of the Raspberry Pi Zero W. This tiny computer is packed with a micro USB port, a micro OTG port, and a 1 GHz processor like the Pi Zero. But the team took their efforts a step further by including both Bluetooth and Wireless capabilities—making it perfect for small, mobile projects.

Raspberry Pi Zero W Specs

Released USB Ports CPU RAM Bluetooth WiFi
Feb 2017 1x Micro USB 1 GHz 512MB 4.1 Yes
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+

Pictured: Raspberry Pi 3 B+.

The Raspberry Pi 3 B+ is an excellent edition to the lineup of modern Pis. It's my go-to board for most projects and it's no wonder why! This board comes with a 1.4 GHz processor, Bluetooth, WiFi, 4 USB ports, and a reputation to back it up!

Raspberry Pi 3B+ Specs

Released USB Ports CPU RAM Bluetooth WiFi
Mar 2018 4x USB 2.0 1.4 GHz 1GB 4.2, BLE Yes
Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+

Pictured: Raspberry Pi 3 A+.

The Raspberry Pi 3 A+ is a slimmed down edition of the B+. It has the same processor as the B+, reaching speeds up to 1.4 GHz. In lieu of 4 USB ports, the Pi 3 A+ has only 1 USB port. In keeping with the recent Pi models, it comes with both Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities.

Raspberry Pi 3 A+ Specs

Released USB Ports CPU RAM Bluetooth WiFi
Nov 2018 1x USB 2.0 1.4 GHz 1GB 4.2, BLE Yes
Raspberry Pi 4
 Photo: Raspberry Pi 4

Pictured: Raspberry Pi 4

The Raspberry Pi 4 really packs a punch compared to its predecessors. You can choose from one of three RAM upgrades, there are four USB ports, and it comes with the most powerful CPU yet. The Pi 4 is quickly taking the stage as developers create software to take advantage of all of the new features.

Raspberry Pi 4 Specs

Released USB Ports CPU RAM Bluetooth WiFi
Raspberry Pi 4 2X USB 3.0, 2X USB 2.0 1.5GHz 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB 5.0, BLE Yes
Raspberry Pi Compute Module

The Raspberry Pi Compute Module has gone through several iterations; it lacks the normal interface ports and functionality of a normal Pi, and is meant more for business and scientific users. I won't cover the versioning of this one in great detail but you can read more about the Compute Module on the Raspberry Pi website.

Finding the best Raspberry Pi for your project depends on your project needs. Consider factors like size, mobility, and necessity of each hardware component. In general, you’ll find the newer models have more power and features that open your Raspberry Pi projects to a myriad of potential.

For example, the Pi Zero is suited for small projects. We were able to fit the Pi Zero inside an old NES controller just to run RetroPie!

But the Pi 3 B+ is great for things like setting up a Raspberry Pi media server or Pi powered MIDI synthesizer.

If you want the latest and greatest—you may want to snag a Pi 4 to see what it's capable of.

Looking for new Pi project ideas? Check out our list of Raspberry Pi projects to get started.