Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. Or more simply, you load on some code and it can read sensors, perform actions based on inputs from buttons, control motors, and accept shields to further expand it’s capabilities. Really, you can do almost anything.
All Arduino boards have one thing in common: they are programmed through the Arduino IDE. This is the software that allows you to write and upload code. Beyond that, there can be a lot of differences. The number of inputs and outputs (how many sensors, LEDs, and buttons you can use on a single board), speed, operating voltage, and form factor are just a few of the variables.
The Following table shows the comparison between the two popular Arduino board. It is primarily a comparison between Arduino Uno vs Mega 2560.
Arduino Mega 2560 Vs. UNO – Key Features and Specifications of Both
2560 comes with 256KB flash memory, 4KB EEPROM, and 8KB SRAM.
Software and Hardware ReviewThe Arduino Mega 2560 is featured with four UARTs (hardware ports), means you will get the top speed through multiple ports. The UNO provides the same through its NewSoftSerial library software. But as the software connection may be a bit slower, so if your design is pushing limits at maximum level, then it is recommended that you use Mega 2560 board. I.e. you can use the primary port for debugging and the secondary port for the communication.Performance ComparisonThe Pulse Width Modulation is a key difference between the both. Use of PWM cuts down the need for a motor with a varied voltage which is not ideal for a controller. Still, you can use PWM with the 6 pins and some extra coding on UNO, but having 14 pins on Mega gives more steady voltage during the partial power on and off situations.All these means Mega is more preferable, right?Well, not absolutely. The price of Mega is what leads the users to go to the Arduino UNO board. Though it takes some extra coding and circuitry, the UNO can be available only at the half price of the Mega 2560 if you are going for all original parts.Also, the chipset is soldered in Mega 2560, while the UNO has more comfortable socketed chip design. Many will not find this as a big issue, but the memory of Mega 2560 can only handle 10,000 uploads/compiles. After it, the chipboard will toast. In this case, the socketed chipboard can be replaced in the UNO.At last, the Mega 2560 is less common than the UNO development board. Mega has a non-standard software, but you can work with different devices and coding for it.RecommendationIf you want to write considerably complex programs involving Ethernet shields and Micro SD cards it is recommended to go for Arduino Mega 2560 board. Be aware, this board is almost twice as expensive as Arduino Uno.If you are just getting started with Arduino, or if you want to create simple applications such as temperature sensor, gps interfacing, stepper motor control, alarm system, interface accelerometer, – You should go for Arduino Uno!If you are a DIY hobbyist of Arduino, or in the professional field of Arduino circuits, then knowing about the exact key features and the pointable differences between the leading Arduino boards will help you to get the truly desired output from your design.
|Features||Arduino Uno||Arduino Mega 2560|
|Operating Voltage of the Microcontroller||5 V||5 V|
|Typical Supply Voltage for the board||7 V – 12V||7 V – 12 V|
|Digital I/O Pins||14 (includes 6 PWM outputs)||54 (includes 15 PWM outputs)|
|Analogue Input Pins||6||16|
|Max DC Current per I/O Pin||20 mA||20 mA|
|Max DC Current for 3.3V Pin||50 mA||50 mA|
|Flash memory of MCU||32 KB||256 KB|
|Bootloader footprint||0.5 KB||8 KB|
|SRAM of MCU||2 KB||8 KB|
|EEPROM of MCU||1 KB||4 KB|
|Clock Speed||16 MHz||16 MHz|
||USB via ATMega16U2||USB via ATMega16U2|
|Board Dimensions (Length)||68.6 mm||101.5 mm|
|Board Dimensions (Width)||53.4 mm||53.4 mm|
Cheap Arduino Uno R3
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Cheap Arduino Mega 2560
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