• StrawberryPigtails@lemmy.sdf.org
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    1 month ago

    Been able to use rPis as a desktop for a while now. The 2s and 3s weren’t particularly pleasant but it was doable. The Pi 4 8GB with an USB3 jump drive as root partition was a lot more pleasant, at least until you hit thermal throttle.

    Right now though, there are more powerful options in the same price point, once you account for power, storage and optionally, a case. At least for desktop and home server use.

    The Raspberry Pi’s just aren’t the go to hardware for the home lab anymore. Probably won’t be again unless the price comes back down on the Pi’s or the price on new and used amd64’s goes back up.

    • errer@lemmy.world
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      1 month ago

      The software ecosystem for RPi is just so much better than every other board in its category, even if the hardware isn’t technically the best bang for buck

      • StrawberryPigtails@lemmy.sdf.org
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        1 month ago

        If you mean for ARM based systems (not just SBCs), I would agree, but the software and support ecosystems for amd64 systems far surpasses even the rPi ecosystem because you have backwards compatibility with a lot of the legacy x86-64 and x86 code. And because they support UEFI, distributions don’t need to explicitly support your particular version of your ARM processor so you can run pretty much whatever OS you want.

        Not long ago I saw a one of those old small Dell Optiplex workstations with a 4th gen i3, 8GB ram and a 256GB SSD on Amazon for $100 USD. There’s a new BeeLink with an N100, 16 GB RAM, and 500 GB SSD for $200. They’d both be great for any home lab project that doesn’t need the GPIO of the rPi. And they are both in the same price range.

        Don’t get me wrong, if I needed to kitbash a desktop or small server together in a hurry, I would probably be using a Pi3 or Pi4 because I’ve 6 of them collecting dust from when my self hosted services outgrew their available compute. I replaced them with a keyboard damaged laptop with a 6th gen i5 and my old desktop with a 4th gen i5. But if I needed to buy something today, I’d be doing some price comparisons first.

        If you like Pi’s, use them. They are great kit. But if price or (more recently) power consumption are your primary consideration, it’s no longer as simple a choice as it was pre-pandemic. It’s worth looking around now.

        Of course, none of this applies if you need the GPIO. But then you’re looking for project boards, not desktop or home server systems. Different set of criteria. And a different set of head aches.

      • k4j8@lemmy.world
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        1 month ago

        Thin clients! I “upgraded” from a RPi3 to an HP T630 that I got new off of eBay for $65, including power supply (and case). I was able to upgrade the M.2 storage easily. I use mine as a home server running over a dozen Docker containers. It’s x86 instead of ARM too.

        The only bad part was installing Linux. It took a while for me to figure out where the UEFI expected the boot files and documentation isn’t great.

        • Schwim Dandy@lemm.ee
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          1 month ago

          I see. I went a bit pricier and am running a refurbed EliteDesk 705 G4-Mini for one of my linux desktops but I’m also running linux desktops with a Pi4 and 5 elsewhere. All three have been working great but as you mentioned, running linux on ARM takes away a lot of software options, unfortunately.

      • StrawberryPigtails@lemmy.sdf.org
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        1 month ago

        Sure, but “better” is massively subjective. For me, when I set up a pi, I’m not usually making use of the GPIO or the camera inputs. I’m generally throwing together a headless server. To do that, in addition to the board itself, I need storage, power, heat sinks, an fan and usually some sort of case.

        Using the prices at CanaKit as a rough guide, you can come up with this search on Ebay.

        The first entry I saw drew my attention. It’s a 7th gen i5 with 16GB RAM and a 120 GB SSD. Not sure the 500 GB HDD would survive shipping, but it’s $100 shipped. Biggest concern is that the seller only has 65 sales. Possible scam?

        On the higher end of that bracket there is this. 6th gen and only 8GB RAM, but the seller does have a history.

        With the prices on the Pi5 your potentially getting into the price range where it might make sense to look at the Beelinks mini PCs, based around a 12th gen Intel.

        Like I said, prices right now are at a spot where I can’t just say throw a Raspberry Pi at the problem. They are great boards but for someone self-hosting their own services they don’t necessarily always make sense anymore.

        • Schwim Dandy@lemm.ee
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          1 month ago

          With the prices on the Pi5 your potentially getting into the price range where it might make sense to look at the Beelinks mini PCs, based around a 12th gen Intel.

          Wow, wish I had known about that before. That looks amazing! I ordered one and will give it a shot. Do you happen to know of a community based around mini-pcs? If not Lemmy, forum, etc. I use places like Tomshardware but would love to see things like the Beelink when they pop up.

          • StrawberryPigtails@lemmy.sdf.org
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            1 month ago

            Not that I’m aware of.

            The only time I heard anyone talking about it was on the podcast Self-Hosted . Supposedly it’s a NUC clone with performance similar to a then current (2023) mid range laptop and draws about the same amount of power. I think they said the N100 processor had Intel QuickSync for hardware transcoding.

  • macniel@feddit.de
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    1 month ago

    Well yeah of course you can. The pi 400 is even an official computer kit turning it into a homecomputer akin to a commdore 64/amiga 500/acorn/bbc micro etc.

    • davel [he/him]@lemmy.ml
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      1 month ago

      That’s a poor analogy given that the Pi 5 & Pi 400 are incomparably more powerful than 1980s home computers, and I don’t think OP was asking if a Pi 5 can run WordPerfect or VisiCalc.

      • macniel@feddit.de
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        1 month ago

        Okay, I wanted to say that the computer would be integrated just like the computers I mentioned.

      • Gamma@beehaw.org
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        1 month ago

        Did you really think they were comparing the pi’s capabilities with a commodore…? It was obvious that they were comparing the form factor.

    • wowwoweowza@lemmy.ml
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      1 month ago

      Forgive me but the Pi is an order Of magnitude better than the dinosaurs you mention.

      • macniel@feddit.de
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        1 month ago

        NO WAY. Sorry I didn’t realise how a

        64-Bit CPU with a clockspeed of 1.8 Gigahertz with RAM of up to 8 Gigabytes, USB connectivity, HDMI outs, Wifi and other shit

        could EVER be superior to a (respective to an Amiga 500)

        16-Bit computer with a speed of 7.16 MEGAhertz with 512 KILOBYTES of RAM

        You REALLY opened my eyes.

        (sorry for being overly sarcastic)

    • biscuitswalrus@aussie.zone
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      1 month ago

      Yes, you’re right about voltage and amp combined, but the problem is modern phones and their charges don’t generally want to be doing high amps at 5v, they increase their voltage to 9v, 15v or, 20v. Which like you would point out, is not the right voltage.

      Personally I just feed 5v in via a ubec like this: https://core-electronics.com.au/ubec-dc-dc-step-down-buck-converter-5v-at-3a-output.html since I usually have some kind of 12v battery powered thing going on with mine and lots of 12v ac-dc adapters for bench testing and charging. Lots of ways to power them but it’s definitely not just ‘grab your usb-c charger and it’ll be right’ which can be frustrating for people since it’s almost all other usb-c things will ‘just work’.

  • GustavoM@lemmy.world
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    1 month ago

    I’m typing this on my rpi 4 w/ 2GiB (with three tabs open on my brave browser w/ also a youtube video playing on the background) and its good enough as is for daily tasks.

    • gianni@lemmy.ca
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      1 month ago

      Be aware that Brave is essentially a scam and there are other privacy-focused browsers that might suit your needs.

      • Zeoic@lemmy.world
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        1 month ago

        Nah brave is fine. Just disable the crypto stuff like everyone else

          • Zeoic@lemmy.world
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            1 month ago

            Wasn’t aware of that last one, thats not great…

            Im not married to brave and would switch if i found something better, but the first two points seem like a non-issue to me tbh. The auto complete is coming from their free search engine. What do you think happens when a service with ongoing costs is free?

            As for the second one, I did mention to just turn off all the crypto stuff… The way they do it is fairly common with general donations elsewhere anyway.

            I just find brave works well on all my devices, and has a good cross device sync. Nothing else I have tried could match it.

            • RippleEffect@lemm.ee
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              1 month ago

              What’s wrong with Firefox? They’ve been around a long time and are currently in a good spot as far as speed/compatibility goes

              • Zeoic@lemmy.world
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                1 month ago

                I have tried it out a few times in the last couple of years and inevitably run into sites that just won’t work with it. Especially at work. I keep hoping it gets better, but it never seems to.

                • RippleEffect@lemm.ee
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                  1 month ago

                  I can understand that. Given even edge runs a modified chromium if I recall correctly, everything is being developed for that. I use edge since its built in when sites aren’t working, which isn’t often for me. That said, on my work laptop, I use exclusively edge.

  • pbjamm@beehaw.org
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    1 month ago

    I am sure you can, but you will likely get better performance from a mini PC for roughly the same price.

    • rotopenguin@infosec.pub
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      1 month ago

      Yeah, an intel N95 puck will absolutely demolish any Pi. By the time you add a case, a drive, a stable power brick, enough memory, a cooler, you’re at the same price. With a PC, you’re getting an NVME drive (2 pcie3.0 lanes because Intel can’t let it eat the i3 market) @ 800MB/s. With a Pi, you are living off of a microSD card running at 50MB/s (and that craters with any writing or seeking).

    • macniel@feddit.de
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      1 month ago

      you can get a mini PC for 87€ with BETTER performance than the Pi 5?

      We are looking at:

      2.4 GHz, 4GB of RAM, 4kp60 HECV de/enconding.

      • pbjamm@beehaw.org
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        1 month ago

        87€ does not include case, power supply, or microSD. Realistically close to 120€ to get a working system and for that kind of money yes you can get a newish Celeron powered PC with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD/NVME.

        I am doing conversion from Canadian Dollar so my calculations and what is actually available in Europe might be off a bit. It is totally possible here though.

  • Luis Norambuena@programming.dev
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    1 month ago

    I own two Raspberries 1, a Raspberry 4 8GB and a Raspberry 5 8GB. I wouldn’t recommend the 4 as a full-fledged desktop replacement, but the 5 has been very smooth so far.

    I’m currently using the latest Raspberry Pi OS Lite and installed KDE on top.

  • Captain Aggravated@sh.itjust.works
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    1 month ago

    I used a Pi 4 as a desktop computer for awhile. If you’re going to do that, get the most RAM you can.

    I also ended up using Ubuntu MATE rather than Raspberry Pi OS. PiOS didn’t hold up do daily use, their PIXEL desktop isn’t particularly well made.

  • arcadefx1@lemmy.world
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    1 month ago

    I do. Installed Ubuntu on my Pi 5. It’s for my kid’s school work and web browsing. I use it also for some software development (VSCode, Angular and Go).

  • Mactan [he/him]@lemmy.ml
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    1 month ago

    they have come a long way since the old pi 2 that would max out it’s cpu just wiggling the mouse around on the desktop

  • Titou@sh.itjust.works
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    1 month ago

    Never used it but yep you probably could. I’ve took a look at it’s specs and it is has powerful as og vintage laptop we love to use.