Budget 0-20k Raspberry Pi or Something else


Ryunosuke

Well-Known Member
Adept
Intended usage: Seedbox, NAS, Media Server, Android and Linux Sandbox and Beginner Python coding machine
Unable to decide what would be a more cost efficient option, Raspberry Pi 4 (8GB) Kit from Silverline or some other small form factor system such as NUC. First question though, Is there even any offering from mainstay manufacturers that could compete with Pi? By that I mean, x86 architecture based. How is Nvidia Jetson ? Basically is there any other option to rival Raspberry Pi in the market with versatility and ease of use?
 

JMak

Well-Known Member
Disciple
Intended usage: Seedbox, NAS, Media Server, Android and Linux Sandbox and Beginner Python coding machine
Unable to decide what would be a more cost efficient option, Raspberry Pi 4 (8GB) Kit from Silverline or some other small form factor system such as NUC. First question though, Is there even any offering from mainstay manufacturers that could compete with Pi? By that I mean, x86 architecture based. How is Nvidia Jetson ? Basically is there any other option to rival Raspberry Pi in the market with versatility and ease of use?

Just in case you wish to buy the pi then you may Contact @Ageing stud, he has a great setup if he is willing to part from it
Pi 4, 4gb ans screen and case etc
 

codelad

Member
Disciple
Intended usage: Seedbox, NAS, Media Server, Android and Linux Sandbox and Beginner Python coding machine
Unable to decide what would be a more cost efficient option, Raspberry Pi 4 (8GB) Kit from Silverline or some other small form factor system such as NUC. First question though, Is there even any offering from mainstay manufacturers that could compete with Pi? By that I mean, x86 architecture based. How is Nvidia Jetson ? Basically is there any other option to rival Raspberry Pi in the market with versatility and ease of use?
Disclaimer: Have not used any Pi - release 3 and beyond.

While the Pi is indeed a versatile device - you can sort of do anything on it that you can on regular desktop hardware, but as you would expect (given the hardware limitations) you would be doing nearly everything a lot less efficiently than on regular hardware. Where the Pi shines is, if you intend to use it as a device dedicated to a certain task alone (or a set of small tasks).

To illustrate, I have used the Pi as a dedicated motion capture device, as a dedicated music client, an emergency backup/storage machine, etc. And these are times when it really was useful and practical. I have also attempted to use it as a media server, and as a general-purpose fallback machine (something I can use from time to time, in place of a laptop/desktop). Here, even with the most barebones software and stripped down configuration, it still was impractical and slow. Of course, it's manageable and you can still use it this way if you absolutely must. Still, if you have a desktop where you can code, coding on your PI is going to be frustrating (unless you are coding *FOR* the Pi, which is a wholly different thing).
 
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Ryunosuke

Well-Known Member
Adept
Coding on Pi isn't a priority for me. Seedbox and NAS role would suffice. I have a desktop and a laptop. Space constraints force me to avow dual boot setup on either thus wanted to tinker with Linux on Pi. I'm not looking at it as my Windows replacement, rather a Linux complement. My experience with SBC goes back to early 2010s with Arduino, when that too was in it's infancy. Been out of tech scene for quite some time and was hoping that by now that performance of such things wouldn've caught up to expectations.
The Pi4B revision has been reviewed to be quite a capable device so was thinking that maybe now it can pass muster for such varied roles.
 

codelad

Member
Disciple
Coding on Pi isn't a priority for me. Seedbox and NAS role would suffice. I have a desktop and a laptop. Space constraints force me to avow dual boot setup on either thus wanted to tinker with Linux on Pi. I'm not looking at it as my Windows replacement, rather a Linux complement. My experience with SBC goes back to early 2010s with Arduino, when that too was in it's infancy. Been out of tech scene for quite some time and was hoping that by now that performance of such things wouldn've caught up to expectations.
The Pi4B revision has been reviewed to be quite a capable device so was thinking that maybe now it can pass muster for such varied roles.
Right. The newer Pi hardware should be far more powerful and much more capable. With the older Pis that I use, I have often faced stability issues (especially with Pi 1).

You very likely know this already - I doubt it's going to cut it anywhere close, as a full-blown NAS server. Should be fine for casual use, though. And of course, it would be ideal, if you are looking at something to tinker with. Also, there's this to consider - the Pi community is possibly the largest and most active, and somewhere you are likely to find solutions, should you need help.
 

Ryunosuke

Well-Known Member
Adept
Right. The newer Pi hardware should be far more powerful and much more capable. With the older Pis that I use, I have often faced stability issues (especially with Pi 1).

You very likely know this already - I doubt it's going to cut it anywhere close, as a full-blown NAS server. Should be fine for casual use, though. And of course, it would be ideal, if you are looking at something to tinker with. Also, there's this to consider - the Pi community is possibly the largest and most active, and somewhere you are likely to find solutions, should you need help.
Community support is one of the prime reason I opted for Raspberry Pi rather than Jetson or LattePanda or Beagle board. As for NAS duties, I'm hoping it would be better than my current setup of accessing network shares of various machines on my Android TV and hooking the external HDD directly to Nokia ONT through it's USB port. I'm fully prepared for the fact that many things might not run out of the box and I'll have to do it myself but that is also what I'm hoping for. To be able to learn things anew and relearn stuff I have forgot, with the help of community tutorials and videos. After all said and done, if the Pi is able to work as always-on Seedbox and NAS, I'm more than happy. Although this isn't my long term goal with Pi. Such tasks in future(after an year or so) would be relegated to respective dedicated hardware.
Currently considering this to buy: https://www.silverlineelectronics.in/raspberry-pi-4-desktop-kit-with-raspberry-pi-4-8gb-board-4.html
 

burntwingzZz

Active Member
Adept
i would recommend invest more get asrock x300 desk mini put amd 200 ge something ,would suffice everything hell lot of powerful and long term and scalable
 

codelad

Member
Disciple
As @burntwingzZz points out, beyond a certain price point the Pi (or any such boards) just isn't worth it. A couple of years ago, I switched several tasks from my Pi hardware to a low-power AMD Hudson based hardware - a Jetway industrial mini-ATX board with on-board CPU, that cost well under 4k + 8GB memory. This machine still runs decently well and functions as a poor man's NAS, a media server, hosts my Subversion repository and is also occasionally my 24/7 download machine.

Beyond 5k, I don't see myself buying a Pi, unless if it is to explore (and as you said, tinker) with the device itself. Then of course, there's the form factor to consider.
 

Ryunosuke

Well-Known Member
Adept
I get the point. I've been considering the 8GB version of Pi mainly to avoid any hardware based bottleneck for aforementioned tasks. @codelad In your experience with Pi, did a point ever come when you wished it had a more RAM? If 8 gigs of RAM would be an overkill and consequent increased cost would defeat the purpose of getting a low cost, low powered device, then which iteration of Pi would hit the proverbial sweet spot? Because as 8 GB version isn't so easily available even from authorized sellers, I have no issue in getting a pre-loved unit thus further driving my cost down.
 

burntwingzZz

Active Member
Adept
@codelad true , initially raspberry pi etc looks exciting than you run services such nas etc than you feel its very under powered its sensible to jump on less power ful atx , even old atom boards would work well
 

codelad

Member
Disciple
...@codelad In your experience with Pi, did a point ever come when you wished it had a more RAM? If 8 gigs of RAM would be an overkill and consequent increased cost would defeat the purpose of getting a low cost, low powered device, then which iteration of Pi would hit the proverbial sweet spot? Because as 8 GB version isn't so easily available even from authorized sellers, I have no issue in getting a pre-loved unit thus further driving my cost down.
Once you start pushing hard, you invariably run into several bottlenecks - not just the memory, but also with the CPU, I/O, thermal issues and stability. From running several Pi 1 devices with 512 MB memory, I have faced issues with running a DLNA server (anything above 720p just wouldn't play), and as a motion capture setup (when I tried to merge the images as a video file in the device, it just won't handle the load).

Obviously, you'll realise that you can work around some of these by adjusting your setup, and that with some, the Pi isn't going to cut it.

A more modern (and powerful) revision may resolve some of these hardware limitations, but I can't quite say for certain where the "sweet spot" may lie. I recently got a Pi 2 (with 1 GB memory), but haven't used it much.

All said, the Pi is a fun device and I run several of them. Once I'm able to set up a basic Arch Linux installation and get wireless configured, to the point where you can SSH into it - from there on, you have a neat little (largely self-contained) remote device. With a decent phone charger, you can basically plug it in anywhere and use it for anything. One of my favourite use cases is as a MPD server. It's quite easy to set up, and with enough storage attached - even something as simple as a USB thumb drive, I can stream music to any other device in the house (and control it from our phones, as there are neat Android MPD clients available).

If you don't necessarily need the latest and the greatest Pi revision or are unsure, it's not at all a bad idea to pick up an older used Pi. I've seen them sold here for below 1k, and you can get several for the price of one newer Pi (the way I look at it - YMMV).
@codelad true , initially raspberry pi etc looks exciting than you run services such nas etc than you feel its very under powered its sensible to jump on less power ful atx , even old atom boards would work well
While this is partly true, I personally don't always look at the Pi as something to get things done with. It's also a fun device - something you could experiment with and learn from, and try stuff that you won't (or can't) with a regular machine. And I think this is where the Pi (and similar boards) really shine.

For several years, I ran a very low-power Atom 230 (something I could keep powered on 24/7 should I need it), and at some point relegated some tasks to the Pis. And now (with my Atom 230 long gone), I do the same with a low-power AMD Hudson and the Pis. I say this, just to drive home my point that the Pi still has a place alongside regular hardware.
 
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ibose

Well-Known Member
Disciple
At home, I am still running a RPI 2B as a Pi-Hole network wide ad blocking appliance and while it also does duty as a media/file server with a 2 TB USB drive. I am running it headless with Raspberry Pi OS. As codelad mentioned it really depends on your usage as long as you recognise its capabilities and limitations. From what you mentioned in your first post (except perhaps seedbox and Android), I think any RPI from v2 onwards will suffice.
 

t3chg33k

Well-Known Member
Disciple
I have a Raspberry Pi 4B 4 GB purchased in May and an Argon One case imported in the midst of the lockdown along with a 5V-3A power adapter which allows the Pi to run at 2.147 GHz with temperatures in the mid-40s.

I cannot offer much of a discount as I had to spend quite a bit on getting probably the best case for the Pi and I am anyway not absolutely keen on selling it, but can do without it if I can get a good offer.
 

Ryunosuke

Well-Known Member
Adept
I get the limitations of Pi, to some extent, that's why I don't expect it to be a backup device for my desktop or laptop. I have demarcated it's usage according to my proficiency with the device.
In the initial phase, as a beginner, I will be using Pi as a Linux machine. Re-learn the Bash commands and networking interoperability of Linux with Windows and Android devices. I used to do this in my college days with VMware virtual machines on my desktop. That's how learnt it back then, messing around with VMs. Now I have a couple of physical devices and small home network so want to take the steeper route of real world implementation based learning.
When I'm bit well versed with Pi and Linux, I'll try my hand at Pi based Seedbox and NAS. Expect it to work because from what I have heard and read, with newer revision, Pi makers have separated the USB and Ethernet bus so to have both running simulataneously isn't going to be much of an issue now.
If it doesn't cuts it as per my usage then I shall move on to my ultimate goal with Pi; a Media Streaming DAC.
PCIe based cards just don't cut it when it comes to HiRes audio while companies such Allo and Khadas have made their whole marketing model based on simplicity and versatility of Raspberry Pi.

Picking on the other facet of the conversation; doing a price - vs- performance analysis, please tell me 2 things;
  • In budget of under 10K, what kind of "desktop" configuration can I find, inclusive of processor, RAM, MoBo and casing and PSU ? Be it Atom based or AMD one, if they have such a thing (because I don't know)
  • How much a "desktop" configuration with specs same as Pi 4 (8GB RAM, 1.8Ghz processor etc) would cost?
For the above both, please consider retail market rates.
 

Ryunosuke

Well-Known Member
Adept
Thank you, will make a separate thread regarding my journey with it. Have already zeroed in on Pi Hole as first project to try after getting back my bearings with Linux environment.
 

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