New flavor of Raspberry Pi 3 comes with a juiced-up CPU and speedier Wi-Fi

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+

A new version of the Raspberry Pi 3 has been unleashed, with a faster processor and notable improvements on the connectivity front.

The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ is on sale now, and maintains the same price point at $35 (around £25, AU$45). It’s powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 processor which runs at 1.4GHz (compared to 1.2GHz for the Raspberry Pi 3’s CPU).

The beefier processor benefits from power-related optimizations and a new heat spreader, which allowed for the higher clock speed to be reached.

The other main boons come on the networking front, with a Cypress CYW43455 chip providing dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi (whereas only 802.11n was supported in the original Pi 3) and Bluetooth 4.2 (a step up from the previous Bluetooth 4.1).

Wireless wonderment

Couple that chip with an improved antenna, and the Pi Foundation claims the B+ delivers somewhat better performance when it comes to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, but “far better performance” when we’re talking about 5GHz.

The new board also has Gigabit Ethernet over USB 2.0 for faster wired networking speeds. The Foundation claims the Model B+ is capable of “roughly three times the wired and wireless network throughput” of its predecessor.

Finally, the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ now supports Power over Ethernet (PoE), with a PoE HAT capable of providing the necessary 5V of power set to arrive in the near future.

It’s a tidy upgrade for the compact computer board, and one that will doubtless tempt Pi enthusiasts and tinkerers everywhere to reach for their wallets.

If you’re short on ideas when it comes to what the Raspberry Pi is capable of, then look no further than our extensive feature on various Pi projects. Furthermore, we recently reported on a new DIY kit from Bang & Olufsen, which lets you make your own smart speakers with a Raspberry Pi.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).