The original Raspberry Pi was an adorable little machine. It was originally designed as an accessible system on which young people could learn to program. Fully affordable and risk-free compared to a home computer. It is impossible to create a new generation of programmers without awakening the desire to play and tinker.
However, the development team of this device could not imagine what it would turn into. First Pi also became a darling of the maker scene. We’ve seen thousands of projects in which the Pi has been tailored for anything you can imagine.
Coupled with the Arduino, the sky really was the limit. Best of all, it was the perfect low-cost computer for needy students. Especially those who lived in parts of the world where there was not enough middle income to afford something better. For about $ 35 plus a cheap keyboard and mouse, you can turn any old TV into a desktop computer.
We’ve seen several new generations of Pi since then, and now, in 2019, the Raspberry Pi 4 has been released with a lot of fanfare. Whether you’re a die-hard Pi fan or just recently getting curious, we’re going to debunk this wonderful little machine. so you know if it’s right for you.
Okay, but what is a Raspberry Pi?
To clarify things, all Raspberry Pi computers are standalone system-on-chip computers. Think of the Raspberry Pi as the inside of a smartphone or tablet that you need to connect your own input devices and display to. It is a computer, stripped down to its most important components, and sold as one printed circuit board.
At first glance, this may not seem very attractive, but it has always been the case that every generation of Pi offers a lot of computers for money. Not just as a curiosity, but as a practical tool for many different scenarios. The bottom line is that the Raspberry Pi is a low-cost computer made from mobile phone components that is much more than a toy.
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So, is the Pi 4 for me?
While the Raspberry Pi is a phenomenal little machine, it’s not the best choice for everyone. There are two main questions you need to answer before tackling one.
First of all, will the purpose you present for the device be included in its computing capabilities? The Pi 4 has a lot more horsepower than the previous model. So in the past, the answer could have been no, but now it could be yes. We’ll discuss how much more powerful this new machine is later in this article.
The second question you need to answer is whether the software you want to run will in principle run on the Pi. The Pi runs a Linux operating system specifically compiled for the ARM processor architecture.
In most cases, this means that your application should run on Linux and while running on the ARM version. Given the limited processing power of even the latest Pi, we do not recommend emulating the more common x86 architecture. It might be better to choose an alternative.
What will I need in addition to my Pi 4?
When you buy a Pi 4, you only get a computer board. For power, you can use a standard USB-C cable connected to a regular USB power source. This could be your TV’s USB port or an old phone charger. As long as it can output 5V at 3A, you should be fine.
The Pi Foundation recommends its own official 15.3W USB-C wall charger. The Pi 4 has significantly higher power requirements, so you’ll have to double check. Although it can run with less power, as soon as processing requirements are processed or too many peripherals are connected, instability can occur.
You will also need a display that can be connected to the micro-HDMI jack. So you probably need an adapter.
The Pi doesn’t have any extra storage built in, which means buying or recycling an SD card. You can pick up the pre-installed card along with the Pi 4, or simply download the software onto the card you already have on another computer.
Pi 4 is a bare board. If you need, you will have to provide your case. This is optional and many people use their Pi computers without a case at all. You can buy an official case, 3D print it, or just do something by hand. The options are endless.
What’s new in Pi 4?
This is one of the most complete updates to the Pi. While the first generation Pi was a product of clever compromises, the Pi 4 has a feature set that rivals any typical computer.
You can choose from three RAM configurations: 1 GB, 2 GB or 4 GB. While you won’t be able to upgrade later, choosing the right option is critical.
There are two micro HDMI ports with support for dual 4K displays. Four USB ports, two of which are USB 3, provide more than enough space for peripherals. Moreover, the Pi 4 has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Previous models required a USB dongle for these functions. Wired Ethernet is present and working as before.
The big star of this new Pi is no doubt the quad-core Cortex A72 SoC. This new mainstream chip is three to four times faster than the Pi 3. Depending on the specific application. This puts it at a level where the Pi 4 could be used for typical day-to-day desktop tasks.
You can download almost any operating system and applications that run on the ARM architecture on the Pi 4, but most people will need Raspbian, a special version of Debian Linux designed for the Raspberry Pi.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing, Raspbian is not quite ready for the latest hardware release. Therefore, some users hoping to run certain game emulators or other popular Pi applications may want to wait until the developers working on these projects have fixed all the flaws.
Should i buy an older Pi?
Since this new Raspberry Pi 4 is much faster than the previous model, should you buy the older model? That’s a good question, especially since the price of the new Pi is the same as previous models. So if you’re willing to pay the asking price for the Pi 4, then obviously this is the best value for the money.
This does not mean that all third-generation devices and older ones suddenly become useless. If you can find them for significantly lower prices than the Pi 4, there is still a lot you can do. There is also a much more mature software library for older models out there right now. Many inexpensive pre-owned Pi computers are expected to hit the market in the near future.
Eat pi and eat too
Get a Pi and eat it too
Amazingly, you can now get an entry-level desktop for $ 35! It seems like there must be some kind of trick here, but the truth is that computer technology has advanced so much that most computers are more powerful than most users need. The latest version of the Raspberry Pi is a perfect example of a “good enough” computer. They say you can’t eat pie and eat it, but clearly that doesn’t matter when it comes to Pi.