Comparison and selection of 500 MHz oscilloscopes
This review presents comparison of 18 models of our oscilloscopes with bandwidth 500 MHz. To simplify the comparison, a brief description of the features of each series in which there are such models is given. This will help you figure out how some series of oscilloscopes differ from others and which model you should choose.
The series presented in the review: Tektronix MSO5, Tektronix MSO4, Pico Technology PicoScope 6000E, Tektronix MDO4000C and Tektronix MDO3. In addition, the review includes several series that appeared a long time ago, but are still being produced. These are the series: Tektronix MDO3000, Tektronix MSO/DPO5000 and Tektronix TDS3000C.
Also you can use comparison table, which presents all the proposed models of oscilloscopes, sorted in ascending order of bandwidth, and also provides their main characteristics: the number of channels, sampling rate, record length, etc.
And if you have not yet decided what kind of bandwidth is needed to effectively work with the signals of your project, then read this article:
In addition to analyzing specifications, price comparison is an important step in choosing the best oscilloscope. For clarity, this figure shows the base prices of all models from this review, expressed as a percentage of the most expensive model. This comparison will help you assess the availability of each oscilloscope in its standard configuration. For example, the figure shows that Pico Technology's eight-channel PicoScope 6804E model is three times cheaper than Tektronix's eight-channel MSO58-BW-500 model.
On the image blue nine models from the new, most relevant series of oscilloscopes are highlighted in color. green five models are highlighted in color, in which, with the help of options, a full-fledged radio frequency spectrum analyzer with an operating range of 3 GHz or 6 GHz can be activated. On the right side brown four models are highlighted in color, which appeared a long time ago and are already outdated, however, due to their past popularity, they are still being produced.
The exact cost of the device you are interested in, taking into account the necessary options and additional accessories you can find out quickly by sending us a request by E-mail. Please note that many models have discounts and some models have special promotions. Options for further lowering the purchase price are discussed here:
Tektronix MSO5 - the newest and most technologically advanced series
In series Tektronix MSO5 there are three oscilloscopes with bandwidth 500 MHz. These are models MSO54-BW-500 (4 analog channels), MSO56-BW-500 (6 analog channels) and MSO58-BW-500 (8 analog channels). This series is very functional, it belongs to the latest line of Tektronix oscilloscopes, equipped with a large Full HD touch screen with a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels and a user interface thought out to the smallest detail.
First appeared in the Tektronix MSO5 series FlexChannel technology, thanks to which any of the analog channels of the oscilloscope can be converted into 8 digital channels by simply connecting the TLP058 probe. This allows you to add the required number of digital channels right in the process of work, up to 64 pieces for an 8-channel model. 34 types of automatic measurements are provided as standard, and with the help of additional options, you can perform decoding and analysis serial digital protocols.
MSO5 oscilloscopes are equipped with a large memory (62.5M points per channel), while the digitization of signals is performed using accurate 12-bit ADCs. Fast search for rare signal anomalies is possible thanks to DPO technologies measuring over 500,000 waveforms per second. If you need to expand the bandwidth of these models up to 1 GHz, simply activate a special digital code in the oscilloscope menu.
The Tektronix MSO5 500 MHz oscilloscope models are recommended for well-funded labs working on complex multichannel analog and digital system designs.
Tektronix MSO4 series is a bit simpler than MSO5
In series Tektronix MSO4 there are two oscilloscopes with a bandwidth of 500 MHz. These are models MSO44-BW-500 (4 analog channels) and MSO46-BW-500 (6 analog channels). This series is similar in many respects to the series MSO5. It has an identical user interface, Full HD touch screen, all channels support the technology FlexChannel, signal digitization is performed using accurate 12-bit ADCs, the search for rare signal anomalies is also performed using DPO technologies measuring over 500,000 waveforms per second.
But the MSO4 series is simpler than the MSO5 in such parameters: the screen diagonal is 6 cm smaller, the built-in sample memory is 2 times smaller (31.25 million points per channel), there is no model with eight channels. But the MSO4 models are more compact, weigh less and cost less. In addition, the bandwidth of these models can be extended up to 1.5 GHz using a digital code.
The Tektronix MSO4 500 MHz oscilloscope models are recommended for laboratories working on complex multi-channel analog and digital system designs.
Pico Technology PicoScope 6000E - a series with an optimal combination of price / features
Pico Technology is a UK-based company that produces innovative oscilloscopes that connect to a computer via USB. Their oscilloscopes are equipped with large amounts of internal memory and contain powerful specialized processors that perform all signal processing on board in real time. Already processed data arrays are transferred to the computer via the USB interface, which provides the same response time for the user interface of the computer program as for classic oscilloscopes with an integrated display and control buttons.
In series PicoScope 6000E there are four oscilloscopes with bandwidth 500 MHz. These are two eight-channel models: 6804E (8 analog channels with 8-bit ADC) and 6824E (8 analog channels with ADC of variable capacity 8-12 bits) and two four-channel models: 6404E (8 analog channels with 8-bit ADC) and 6424E (8 analog channels with ADC of variable capacity 8-12 bits). In addition to the analog channels, these four models also contain 16 digital channels that can be accessed using TA369 probes (one probe adds 8 digital channels). Standard provides 15 types of automatic measurements, and decoding and analysis of about twenty serial digital protocols is the base function.
The PicoScope 6000E oscilloscopes come with a huge built-in memory (512M points per channel) as standard. Fast search for rare signal anomalies is ensured by DPO technologies measuring up to 300,000 waveforms per second. Each instrument comes with the powerful PicoScope 6 software, compatible with Windows, Linux and macOS operating systems. The user interface in the form of a computer program makes it possible to use large 4K monitors with a resolution of 3840 by 2160 pixels, which clearly show the smallest details of the signals.
The 500 MHz PicoScope 6000E series oscilloscope models provide excellent measurement capabilities, but are significantly less expensive than comparable models with an integrated screen.
Tektronix MDO4000C - a series of oscilloscopes with a built-in spectrum analyzer
Series Tektronix MDO4000C is unique due to the spectrum analyzer built into the oscilloscope. In the MDO4000C series, only one model has a bandwidth of 500 MHz, this is the MDO4054C. It contains 4 analog channels, 16 digital channels (which use the P6616 probe) and an additional RF channel of a full spectrum analyzer with an upper frequency range up to 3 GHz (option SA3) or up to 6 GHz (option SA6).
If you are designing a device that contains an RF module, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or any other wireless interface, then the MDO4054C oscilloscope is the best choice. In this model, the representation of the signal in the frequency domain is not the usual fast Fourier transform (FFT), but the full spectrum of the signal obtained with separate RF input with very high sensitivity (up to -148 dBm). Another feature of the MDO4054C is that the signals from the analog and digital channels of this oscilloscope and the signal from its RF input precisely related in time. This makes it possible to relate events in the frequency domain to their causes in the time domain, and vice versa.
The MDO4054C oscilloscope is equipped with a large memory (20M points per channel), while signal digitization is performed using 8-bit ADCs (up to 11 bits in high-resolution mode) at up to 2.5 GS/s. Fast search for rare signal anomalies is possible thanks to DPO technologies measuring up to 340,000 waveforms per second. 33 types of automatic measurements are provided as standard (30 in the time domain and 3 in the frequency domain), and with additional options, you can perform decoding and analysis many serial digital protocols.
The Tektronix MDO4000C 500 MHz oscilloscope model is recommended for laboratories that work on complex analog and digital system designs containing RF modules.
Tektronix MDO3 - a new series of oscilloscopes with an integrated spectrum analyzer
Recently Released Series Tektronix MDO3 contains an additional RF channel of a full-fledged spectrum analyzer with an upper frequency range up to 3 GHz (in this it is similar to the series MDO4000C). But unlike the MDO4000C, the MDO3 has a signal from its RF input not tied in time with analogue and digital channels. At the same time, the MDO3 series is equipped with a Full HD touch screen with the same user-friendly interface as the series MSO4 and MSO5, but the digitization speed, built-in memory and screen size are less than those of the older MSO4 and MSO5 series, and the cost is slightly lower.
The Tektronix MDO3 series has two 500 MHz bandwidth oscilloscopes. These are models MDO32-BW-500 (2 analog channels) and MDO34-BW-500 (4 analog channels). In addition to analog channels, both models also include 16 digital channels (which use the P6316 probe) and an additional RF channel. a complete spectrum analyzer with an upper frequency range up to 1 GHz (option 3-SA1) or up to 3 GHz (option 3-SA3).
MDO3 oscilloscopes are equipped with ample memory (10M points per channel), while signal digitization is performed using 8-bit ADCs (up to 11 bits in high-resolution mode) at up to 2.5 GS/s. Fast search for rare signal anomalies is possible thanks to DPO technologies measuring up to 280,000 waveforms per second. 33 types of automatic measurements are provided as standard (30 in the time domain and 3 in the frequency domain), and with additional options, you can perform decoding and analysis many serial digital protocols.
The 500 MHz Tektronix MDO3 Series oscilloscope models are recommended for budget-limited labs working on analog and digital system designs that contain RF modules.
Other 500MHz Bandwidth Oscilloscope Series
This page highlights the main features and main differences of the most interesting 500 MHz oscilloscope models we offer.
But in addition to the models listed above, there are several series that appeared a long time ago and are already outdated, but due to their past popularity, they are still being produced. These series also have 500 MHz bandwidth oscilloscopes with many useful features and reasonable prices that you may be interested in.
These are the models:
- Tektronix MDO3052 (500 MHz, 2.5 GS/s, 2 analog + 16 digital +spectrum up to 3 GHz)
- Tektronix MDO3054 (500 MHz, 2.5 GS/s, 4 analog + 16 digital +spectrum up to 3 GHz)
- Tektronix DPO5054 (500 MHz, 5 GS/s, 4 analog channels)
- Tektronix MSO5054 (500 MHz, 5 GS/s, 4 analog channels + 16 digital channels)
- Tektronix TDS3052C (500 MHz, 5 GS/s, 2 analog channels)
- Tektronix TDS3054C (500 MHz, 5 GS/s, 4 analog channels)
Additional information on this topic
We deliberately did not overload this review with the technical details of the oscilloscope design and a detailed description of their options. You can read all this on the pages individual series of oscilloscopes. But for those who want to understand the issue as much as possible, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with this information:
12 criteria for choosing the best oscilloscope (in Russian) (30 pages; 7 MB)
Oscilloscope Basics Tutorial (in Russian) (60 pages; 2 MB)
Tektronix Oscilloscope Probe Selection Guide (18 pages; 2 MB)
To simplify the process of choosing a digital oscilloscope, you can use our experience and recommendations. We have over 20 years of practical supply experience and can immediately answer many questions about models, options, delivery times, prices and discounts. This will save your time and money. For this it's simple call us or write to us at E-mail and we will be happy to answer your questions.