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[SOLVED] Could I use a Raspberry Pi as my main PC?

NOT_PROVIDED_16

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Hi, I'm looking to replace my 10 year old laptop.
Would a Raspberry Pi be powerful to use as my main pc? I would need something to browse the web, plus print from a USB printer.

Also could a Raspberry handle 1080p video?
 
Apr 18, 2020
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All it would be used for is Web browsing, editing office documents, printing and maybe maybe watching YouTube videos...
I've been using an RPi4 for exactly that for about 5 months and I haven't had any issues. Another great thing is that you could have multiple MicroSD cards with different OSs on, for example one with retroarch or lakka for emulating games.
 
Hi, I'm looking to replace my 10 year old laptop.
Would a Raspberry Pi be powerful to use as my main pc? I would need something to browse the web, plus print from a USB printer.

Also could a Raspberry handle 1080p video?
Compared to a 10 year old laptop it would do pretty well,they do have hardware support for 1080 videos so that's going to be ok but printing from USB might be difficult you will have to see if there is a linux distro with drivers for your printer.
 

NOT_PROVIDED_16

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Compared to a 10 year old laptop it would do pretty well,they do have hardware support for 1080 videos so that's going to be ok but printing from USB might be difficult you will have to see if there is a linux distro with drivers for your printer.
I have tested the printer in Linux Ubuntu on my laptop, it works perfect. I don't think it will make a difference on a Raspberry PI... :unsure:
What Raspberry PI would you recommend? Raspberry PI 4 ?
 

OldSurferDude

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Shouldn't be a problem, but I would advise that you make of a list of your "must have" and "wants" criteria for a computer. Your costs for a complete RPi system (monitor, mouse keyboard) is typically more than a cheap laptop of the same performance.

From my reading, the only downside to a RPi 4 is the requirement for cooling ... heat sink, fans. In an enclosed volume, even a 3B+ doesn't do so well.

Good luck with it.
 

NOT_PROVIDED_16

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Aug 21, 2015
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Shouldn't be a problem, but I would advise that you make of a list of your "must have" and "wants" criteria for a computer. Your costs for a complete RPi system (monitor, mouse keyboard) is typically more than a cheap laptop of the same performance.

From my reading, the only downside to a RPi 4 is the requirement for cooling ... heat sink, fans. In an enclosed volume, even a 3B+ doesn't do so well.

Good luck with it.
I already have all the peripherals, i kept all of them after i sold my desktop pc a few years ago (because i never used it)
From your understanding what would perform better? Raspberry PI or a budget laptop (a new laptop would haft to cost under £150)
 

OldSurferDude

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I already have all the peripherals, i kept all of them after i sold my desktop pc a few years ago (because i never used it)
From your understanding what would perform better? Raspberry PI or a budget laptop (a new laptop would haft to cost under £150)
OK, you got me there! I was assuming (bad assumption) that you were in the USA where electronics are really cheap, eg one can find a $75 new laptop (2GB RAM, 16GB flash drive, touch screen)

You don't say what you're going to be doing with it. It will be good for most things that don't require a lot of bandwidth, (streaming video, websites with lots of pop-ups and annoying videos, etc) But for making appointments, reading articles, etc. it will be fine. You'll have to lower your expectations of quick response time.

Make sure your monitor is compatible. RPi is only HDMI,
 

NOT_PROVIDED_16

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OK, you got me there! I was assuming (bad assumption) that you were in the USA where electronics are really cheap, eg one can find a $75 new laptop (2GB RAM, 16GB flash drive, touch screen)

You don't say what you're going to be doing with it. It will be good for most things that don't require a lot of bandwidth, (streaming video, websites with lots of pop-ups and annoying videos, etc) But for making appointments, reading articles, etc. it will be fine. You'll have to lower your expectations of quick response time.

Make sure your monitor is compatible. RPi is only HDMI,
All it would be used for is Web browsing, editing office documents, printing and maybe maybe watching YouTube videos...
 
Apr 18, 2020
11
0
20
1
All it would be used for is Web browsing, editing office documents, printing and maybe maybe watching YouTube videos...
I've been using an RPi4 for exactly that for about 5 months and I haven't had any issues. Another great thing is that you could have multiple MicroSD cards with different OSs on, for example one with retroarch or lakka for emulating games.
 
If you are interested in looking there is a YouTube channel Explaining Computers. One of his focus interest are SBC of all types and he gives very good rundown of the strength and weakness of each type as he reviews. He has a few 'lineup' comparisons as well. Be a great place to check.
 
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NOT_PROVIDED_16

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Aug 21, 2015
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If you are interested in looking there is a YouTube channel Explaining Computers. One of his focus interest are SBC of all types and he gives very good rundown of the strength and weakness of each type as he reviews. He has a few 'lineup' comparisons as well. Be a great place to check.
Its funny you say that, I was watching one of his videos while I read your message! 😂
 
One thing which was not mentioned (actually, two):
  • you need another computer to prepare the SD card RPi is booting from;
  • you almost need another computer to make backups of these cards. SD Cards are not well suited for multiple rewrites, and you don't want to reconfigure your RPi every time that SD fails to boot.
 

NOT_PROVIDED_16

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Aug 21, 2015
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One thing which was not mentioned (actually, two):
  • you need another computer to prepare the SD card RPi is booting from;
  • you almost need another computer to make backups of these cards. SD Cards are not well suited for multiple rewrites, and you don't want to reconfigure your RPi every time that SD fails to boot.
Didn't think of that, thanks for the heads up. So regardless of using a Raspberry PI am my main pc. I would most definitely need to use a windows based pc to make the boot drive? Isn't there any way this can be in Linux?
 

scodd

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From a pi I can login to office.com and use the web apps, run teams, host meetings, login to tenant.sharepont.com, tenant-admin.sharepoint.com, portal.office.com, Azure, O365, all of it and run it from a pi. Kinda fun. Now that they have relaxed security a bit since we are working from home I can RDP to my work laptop when I need access a client VPN, data centers or visual studio. The Pi 4 is now my workstation and my company laptop is a jump/development server.
 

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