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Selecting the Right SBC for Edge Applications: A Decision-Making Guide.


In the realm of technology, the task of selecting a suitable Single Board Computer (SBC) for edge applications might initially seem straightforward. Yet, beneath the surface lies a labyrinth of considerations that can confound even the most seasoned decision-makers. Analogous to purchasing a new car, where factors like cost, brand reputation, and environmental suitability play pivotal roles, the process of choosing the right SBC demands meticulous attention. From understanding the unique demands of the application's environment to navigating budget constraints and identifying essential technical specifications, each step requires careful consideration.

When considering purchasing a new car, some may initially perceive it as a simple task. However, upon closer examination, various factors complicate the decision. Typically, the first consideration is cost—is the budget sufficient? From there, preferences diverge. Some prioritize brand support, others prefer flexible features, while still others focus on environmental factors such as weather, commute distance, or local road conditions.

With this analogy in mind, let's delve into the first step of our SBC decision-making guide: understanding the intended environment of the application. Factors such as temperature range, humidity, accessibility, end-user profile, power availability, network infrastructure, indoor/outdoor placement, vibration levels, local regulatory laws, and surveillance presence must be taken into account.

Budget considerations are crucial. Realistically, we aim to maximize performance while minimizing costs. This leads us to the next step: gathering information to determine the suitable SBC for the task at hand.

For instance, if the application involves basic tasks like checking emails and web surfing, a tablet may suffice instead of a full-fledged computer. Conversely, resource-intensive activities like training large language models typically require substantial computational power—akin to running a data center. Understanding the application's requirements permits the understanding of the SBC price target. If, for instance, a Celeron dual-core processor meets the software demands, opting for an expensive multi-core processor like an Intel Core-i9 would be unnecessary.

Once all relevant application information is gathered, it's prudent to create a list of SBC requirements. Prioritize these requirements—identifying must-haves and negotiable aspects. If every requirement is deemed crucial, it's vital to reassess and identify the most critical ones. Rest assured; Contec’s engineering solutions team is available to assist in refining these requirements to tailor a suitable solution. (If you want to learn more about system requirements: ( https://blog.contecamericas.com/difference-between-hard-minimum-system-requirements )

The next step involves navigating the Contec e-shop to identify the SBC that best aligns with the established requirements. For your convenience, we are providing a requirements table to aid in this selection:


Main Board


Form Factor


I/O Slots (Qty)






Memory Capacity (GB)


Power Supply Type


Power Supply Wattage


System I/O


Video Output Type


Video Output Ports (Qty)




Serial Port






LAN Ports (Qty)


Lan Port Type


Data Acquisition & Control


Other I/O




Pointing Device


Storage Requirements


Hard Drive Type


Hard Drive Architecture


Storage Capacity (GB)


Optical Drive


Other Storage


Software Requirements


Operating System


Application Software


Environmental Requirements


Operating & Storage Environment










Shock & Vibration


RoHS (Level)




Prop 65




Certificate of Compliance Printed


Certificate of Compliance Printed and Signed


Regulatory Requirements


Safety (Country)


EMC (Country)




Quality System Requirements


Environmental Requirements




Government Requirements








Documentation Requirements


Device History Record printed


Certificate of Compliance Printed


Certificate of Compliance Printed and Signed





In conclusion, selecting the right SBC for edge applications demands thorough consideration of environmental factors, budget constraints, and application requirements. By following this decision-making guide and leveraging our expertise, you can confidently choose the optimal SBC for your needs.

Learn more about our SBCs