Raspberry Pi 4

I’ve been mighty glad there’s a Micro Center sort-of-near me. They’ve consistently sold Raspberry Pi products at (or sometimes a few dollars under) the MSRP.

For the Pi Zero/Zero W, though, they have a quantity penalty rather than a quantity discount, to discourage people from buying them by the boatload and flipping them on Ebay.

The Pi 4 looks like an awesome upgrade, so I’m going to just have to get one. I have three older models doing various things around the house (media center, temperature/humidity/barometric pressure graphing, and a Home Assistant server).


I think what you meant to write was this: “Well perhaps ‘non-standard’ isn’t the right term for this but ‘not common.’”


Any you’d then want to look at the ESP32. :slight_smile:

I like the ESP-01 boards for very low I/O count ESP8266 projects–you basically get two I/O, but that’s enough for most little displays, sensors, etc.

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If that’s what you want to do, then I would strongly suggest you pick up a used chromebook for $80 or so. You can use one of these SBCs to do the same work, but you’ll need more hardware and it will be up to you to get all of the software working. It’s a fools bargain.

If you want a little SBC to play around with, look at the OrangePi boards. In particular the OrangePi Zero board is super fun to play with.

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I’m bummed by the mini-HDMI ports (they break so easily, and they are nowhere near as ubiquitous – I’d much rather have the option for a single, regular HDMI port), and the much higher power requirements. The cool thing about the old Pis is you could basically run them off of a humble 1-2A (5-10W) USB wall wart. Now you need a 15W minimum PSU if you’re going to be doing anything intensive on it.

Of course, I’ll still buy one. They are awesome little devices and when starting at $35 (I always get an official case which bumps up the cost a little) it’s hard to say no to one of these. Even my old, very long in the tooth first gen model B lives on sitting with my other network equipment as a Pi Hole and does a smashing job at it.


Not pleased with the changes to the connectors. It means spending more money on a power adapter and video cables just to try it out.

The improvements in throughput for USB and networking is very welcome, however I am concerned with some of the heat specs I’ve seen so far. It seems like it’s walking the edge of no longer being able to operate without forced cooling.

The dual 4k video outputs seems like it should have been a premium option and not the standard. Or at least keep one standard size HDMI port like others here mentioned. And it sounds like while it supports 4K, the experience isn’t even all that great anyway. I’ve never understood the push to use these things for regular use desktop computers as they will always be way under-powered for that purpose. I’ve always loved them for learning on, and for running all kinds of hardware/software projects. Hopefully future versions won’t erode the accessibility that has made them so popular.


Or it could be that English is complex and words can mean many things. Just stealing from Meriam Webster here:

3 : something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example : criterion quite slow by today’s standards

4 : something set up and established by authority as a rule for the measure of quantity, weight, extent, value, or quality

By means of 3, micro-HDMI is not standard as they are not in common use by general consent. But there is a ‘standards’ organization which authorizes them, so it meets definition 4.

It was pretty darn clear that @Lanthade meant the “by general consent” definition. And by that meaning, micro-HDMI connectors are certainly non-standard. They probably amount to a low single digit percent of all HDMI connectors. And they probably have an even smaller use rate than the full sized connector. That meaning that if you find a device with such a connector on it, the full sized connector is way more likely to actually be plugged into something.

If we want to go full up pedant like @agies seems to want to, then there isn’t a connector named micro-HDMI. It’s an HDMI v1.4 Type-D connector.


Totally agree. Between the ESP8266 and the Raspberry Pi, I haven’t had to consider any other platforms on any of my projects for several years now. And as a bonus, I can just keep writing code in Python on both of them.

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I run a Pi Desktop at home.

It is more costly than a Chromebook. The cables add up, a lot. The $12 power adapter, $10 video cable, $25 powered hub, and so on and so on and so on do add up quickly. And you still need to run with a keyboard, mouse, and some kind of display (I am currently running a 720p HDMI TV set, so I’ll probably really end up spending $100 or more on a new monitor).

So yes, on one side: you are spending $200+ to get the same functionality as a Chromebook that you could pay $80 for.

But there is a lot of cool stuff that you can do with a PI that you can’t really do with a chromebook. It has a different focus. It’s fun to play with, it’s fun to have a cool little *nix box to play with, and it is expandable and upgradable and can do cool stuff.


Well stated. I guess they were both thinking of different definitions of the same word.


Fortunately, the older models have been kept in production (mostly to supply industrial users). I might un-retire one of my first-gen units to see how well it handles a software-defined radio receiving dongle with rtl433. I have a Pi 3 running one, and there it uses about 7-8% of one CPU core, so I think it would be usable.

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Replying to your last paragraph, yes, I agree, there’s a lot of fun stuff you can do with these boards. That’s why I mentioned the Orange Pi Zero board which lets you do lots of that cool stuff with just a $10 board.

So, chromebook+OrangePiZero seems like a good solution. :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t be surprised if a stick-on heat sink would be sufficient. I’ve had no difficulty with a Pi 3 (not 3+ with the heat spreader) and a small heat sink, with no need for a fan. My 3+ doesn’t seem to have any cooling issues even without a heat sink.

Along with the RPi4, Raspbian Buster is coming soon.

“The flatter appearance was driven by a few factors,”

Oh dear, I hope they haven’t gone for flat monochrone icons, like Microsoft did. That looks like shit.

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I have a few of those laying around, but I haven’t actually needed to use them yet. In some cases though, I’ve throttled the speed down to keep the generated heat in check. Contrary to what seems to be a common belief, faster isn’t always necessary. But controlling heat and providing clean power will likely help with extending the life span of the electronics.

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shrugs the Chromebook is a good piece of kit. The Orange Pi Zero seems like a good piece of kit too.

If you need all the bits to log in directly to the Orange Pi Zero, you’re going to end up needing about the same number of dongles and such for the Orange Pi Zero as the Raspberry Pi Zero W, which is about the same price. You might be able to remote into it from the Chromebook, but that is a little iffy.

Just checked and the 4GB version is completely sold out in my country:(

Talking with a supplier, the ones out there are for reviewers and influencers. The actual shipments start in three weeks.

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My understanding is that Thunderbolt no longer carries royalties; it’s just that it’s plain expensive.

A dual-port Alpine Ridge controller(and the new hotness Titan Ridge is $9.10) has a stated tray price of $8.55; and it’s not a Thunderbolt port unless it has 4x PCIe lanes and DisplayPort; so that would take you from a SoC with a PCIe lane to hang the USB from, plus HDMI presumably in keeping with Broadcom SoC’s set-top-box legacy to something with at least two DP outs and 8 PCIe lanes dedicated just to video.

USB-C alt modes at least dispense with the PCIe requirements; but would likely still require using newer USB silicon than they did; which is more costly than doing the exact same thing but with a different physical connector.

None of the above makes me a fan of micro HDMI; I’m distinctly not; but by contrast it looks like a micro-HDMI connector costs 4-5 cents more than a standard HDMI connector in quantity(possibly a smaller difference in larger quantity; but the gap is pretty narrow even in the several hundred to a thousand range) and requires no change in chip capabilities.

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Hmm…so can I play N64 games now on Retro Pie?

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