In Pictures: 16 matchbox PCs - small but powerful

These tiny systems, ranging from bare-bones boards to full-blown, ready-to-run PCs, are ideal for hackers and hobbyists who want to create their own powerful machines.

Basic boards: Part 3 And a couple more: The $89 Korean-made Odroid U2 (left) packs in a Exynos4412 Prime ARM Cortex-A9 quad-core processor, much faster than the Pi's ARM-powered Broadcom SoC.

Another board that's used widely in automation projects is the Arduino (right), now available in a whole cornucopia of editions. The emphasis here isn't on power or speed, though: The Arduino Uno ($55 for the bare board, $60 for a retail box version), shown here, sports an 8-bit RISC processor running at a mere 80MHz (an Intel Core i7 runs around 3GHz).

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