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Using raspberry pi 4 B as an everyday desktop?

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:47 am
by Anshul333
Hello, my laptop died last month and a week after that new raspberry pi got released.
I am thinking to use raspberry pi 4 as my everyday desktop. I am a computer science undergrad and used my laptop primarily for YouTube and a bit of C++ coding and programming my Arduino.
My question is that can a raspberry pi be used for -
1. YouTube videos (720p should be enough)
2. A bit coding
3. Retro gaming and some office related tasks.
4. Net browsing

Re: Using raspberry pi 4 B as an everyday desktop?

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:05 am
by hansotten
Yes, the RPi 4B can be used for the tasks you mention. At least the 2 GB version looks like a good candidate.

It will not be a real portable solution a laptop offers, more a desktop replacement.

If portability and ease to setup (Raspbian and the firmware are updated all the time now in these early days), get a Chromebook or Windows notebook and start working.

Costwise maybe a bit more expensive.

But if you do not have accessories like keyboard, mouse and HDMI monitor the cost of a RPi 4B setup adds up.

Re: Using raspberry pi 4 B as an everyday desktop?

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:13 am
by Anshul333
hansotten wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:05 am
Yes, the RPi 4B can be used for the tasks you mention. At least the 2 GB version looks like a good candidate.

It will not be a real portable solution a laptop offers, more a desktop replacement.

If portability and ease to setup (Raspbian and the firmware are updated all the time now in these early days), get a Chromebook or Windows notebook and start working.

Costwise maybe a bit more expensive.

But if you do not have accessories like keyboard, mouse and HDMI monitor the cost of a RPi 4B setup adds up.
Thanks for such quick reply. I am not that much concerned about portability than I am about cost and I do have all the accessories you mentioned.

Re: Using raspberry pi 4 B as an everyday desktop?

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:29 am
by B.Goode
Anshul333 wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 6:47 am
Hello, my laptop died last month and a week after that new raspberry pi got released.
I am thinking to use raspberry pi 4 as my everyday desktop. I am a computer science undergrad and used my laptop primarily for YouTube and a bit of C++ coding and programming my Arduino.
My question is that can a raspberry pi be used for -
1. YouTube videos (720p should be enough)
2. A bit coding
3. Retro gaming and some office related tasks.
4. Net browsing

Prior discussion in these forums here: https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/view ... 3&t=245207

Re: Using raspberry pi 4 B as an everyday desktop?

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 7:39 am
by Gavinmc42
Been using this Pi4B1 for the last two weeks since my Celeron Mint box died.
I was expecting some compromise but with the latest Buster upgrade everything is fine.

Not everything I need as a replacement is working yet.
But I have done coding while browsing and watching /listening to YT.
That did not even make it break a sweat, still had nearly 300MB free and CPU temp was < 55C.

I will be getting a 4B4 for compiler and kernel compiling and Netboot server etc.
That is harder work. A 4B2 might be ok for server?

Re: Using raspberry pi 4 B as an everyday desktop?

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:06 am
by chuUK
2 weeks with Pi4 4GB. Replaces desktop 2009 Dell tower with 4gb.

Raspbian is more fragile than Mint I was previously using. Quite a few re-installs after it broke or refused to boot.

The Pi4 also got way too hot when pushing it with video work so I bought a shim fan for £10 and average 40-45C (peak 55c).

There was an update a few days ago that fixed the problems of YouTube 1080p60fps in Chromium and dropped the CPU temp a little.

As an everyday computer it is more than fine. Raspbian is so light I haven't used more than half of the RAM at any one time. Rendering video is a little slow.

The Pi4 is brilliant. If only ARM hadn't been sold to SoftBank :-(. The Pi4 makes me proud to be British and it continues a fine and rich history of computing the UK. The chaps at the top deserve a visit to the Queen. If Mr Dyson has one cause of vacums(!) surely Pi people deserve a few!

I've worked in the computers for years and the last time I felt so happy about a piece of tech, was 2009 Applie iPod Touch. The previous Pi's were great but they did struggle as a desktop machine - especially websites like Facebook, Google Docs etc. Whilst the 4 isnt a rocket ship, it is fast enough to use as a working desktop in web development and light video work.

Re: Using raspberry pi 4 B as an everyday desktop?

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:19 am
by jamesh
Eben already has a CBE, if he gets any more awards his head will explode.

Re: Using raspberry pi 4 B as an everyday desktop?

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:23 am
by clicky
chuUK wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:06 am
The Pi4 is brilliant. If only ARM hadn't been sold to SoftBank :-(. The Pi4 makes me proud to be British and it continues a fine and rich history of computing the UK. The chaps at the top deserve a visit to the Queen. If Mr Dyson has one cause of vacums(!) surely Pi people deserve a few!
:+1:

Plus another prior discussion: https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/view ... 3&t=244171

Re: Using raspberry pi 4 B as an everyday desktop?

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:05 am
by Gavinmc42
If only ARM hadn't been sold to SoftBank
That raised a few eyebrows and some people might be feeling a little uncomfortable.

But FPGA support tools are coming along.
Design your own RISC-V PC in a FPGA?
RISC-V is becoming popular in China and India, I wonder why?

Can you design your next PC on a Pi4?
I did cross compile the complete gcc toolset for the RISC-V on a Pi3B+.
Using the Pi4 to learn how to make cpu's in fpga's? Yes please.

Re: Using raspberry pi 4 B as an everyday desktop?

Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:46 am
by pik33
Using the Pi4 to learn how to make cpu's in fpga's?
Making CPU in FPGA is simple, but.. what for? (if you are not a professional working for a CPU making company)

The purpose of making a CPU inside FPGA is:: instead of a lot of different logic circuits you make a simplest possible CPU ("nanoprocessor:) ) using customized instruction set and customized word legth and voila: it does its job using 500 LEs instead of sophisticated logics which costs 5000 LEs. And you don't need to make every job in nanoseconds..

I did an implementation of a retrocomputing machine in an FPGA board: the board costs something about $700... and the CPU works at something about 120 MHz/30 MIPS, then the graphic "chip" (also my project) struggles to display fullHD in 4 colors due to slow onboard RAM used for the framebuffer.

The RPi4/1G costs $35, has already 4 cores of CPU and 1 GB of fast RAM. It can display 4k in true color and I can write an emulator of the retro CPU on it, if I want, using optimized assembly code...

So yes,, FPGAs are fine, but not at the price level they are now.

RPi lacks some realtime high frequency GPIO related stuff but then you can always add a $8 Parallax Propeller chip to it and if you want analog inputs the Atmegas are even cheaper.
RISC-V is becoming popular in China and India, I wonder why?
Maybe because it is open?