Saturday, December 4

Raspberry Pi: what is it, how does it work and what models are there

There are more and more areas where the people who prefer “do it yourself” and create your own stuff. This can be applied to furniture such as chairs, tables, flowerpots, coat racks, photo frames or even computers.

Mini PC 2021: what are they and the best options, from Windows to Apple’s Mac Mini

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Because yes, it exists a type of PC prepared to be “fiddled”: the Raspberry Pi. In ConsumerClear we have talked about laptops and miniPCs, but so far we have spent very little time on these small motherboards that have become very popular in the DIY community (Do it yourself).

Raspberry Pi: what is it

The Raspeberry Pi is, in essence, a computer. Specifically, it’s a motherboard that it could well be that of a miniPC due to its size and that it does not usually exceed 100 euros -depending on the model and what it brings-. Of course, it is not functional by itself.

That is, it is necessary to “complete” the Raspberry Pi for it to work. This is where the great appeal of these motherboards begins, since we can choose which components to add according to our needs.

In short, it is a computer that is missing a few parts – none particularly difficult to obtain – and that facilitates the assembly of the PC to taste.

What you need to function

Own Raspberry foundation explains very easily through five steps what a Raspberry Pi needs to work:

  • 1. Insert an SD card as storage memory with an operating system
  • 2. Connect the motherboard to a monitor or TV
  • 3. Connect a keyboard and mouse
  • 4. Connect via Ethernet (or WiFi -this is optional-) the network
  • 5. Connect the Raspberry Pi to the power supply

With these steps, our Raspberry Pi will work properly. But remember that this is the minimum necessary and, part of the grace of these teams, is to experiment a little.

What operating system to choose?

The most advisable thing is to go to the Operating System that they offer from the Raspberry foundation itself: Raspberry Pi OS. It is a simple and intuitive OS that can be ideal for beginners.

Despite this, it must be borne in mind that there are dozens of options and alternatives that adapt to what each user is looking for. Some of the most popular are:

  • Arch Linux: one of the most popular, it is the most recommended if we want to have a desktop computer.
  • OS RISC– An operating system that is NOT Linux-based, so it is special. It is an incredibly fast OS -as it only occupies 4 MB-, but we lose simplicity and it is less intuitive
  • OSMC: an operating system focused on turning our Raspberry Pi into a multimedia center. That is, to have a kind of Smart TV.

These are just some of the most popular. Depending on the choice of our operating system, we can convert the motherboard into a multimedia playback center, an emulator for old game consoles, a common desktop computer or an accessory for home automation -such as a smart mirror-.

What Raspberry Pi to buy

Now, there are several models of this motherboard that exist, distinguishing between two types (general): Model A and Model B. Model A is cheaper and usually includes fewer USB ports and no Ethernet port; while B is more complete.

Apart from this, there are different Raspberry Pi: from number 1 to number 4 -specific cases: Raspberry Pi 4 Model A, Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, etc.- and some models called “Zero”, which stand out for being more compact . But what are the most interesting models?

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B +

By 67.97 euros, this motherboard offers more than enough equipment to mount a miniPC to our liking. This Raspberry Pi has a quad-core processor with a speed of 1.4 GHZ, in addition to being one of the most complete models in terms of connectivity.

The 3 Model B + has:

  • one Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Full size HDMI
  • 2 USB ports
  • 2.4 or 5 GHz WiFi band
  • Bluetooth 4.2

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with starter kit

Some Raspberries come with beginner or starter packs. In other words, it includes everything you need to assemble it and start rolling.

By 147.99 euros, this pack includes a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B that has 4 GB RAM and a Cortex-A72 CPU, which allows it to support content in 4K resolution at 60 fps, in addition to having a Bluetooth 5.0 and WiFi connection.

The rest of the pack, apart, includes the power cable, the microSD card, a box to mount the miniPC, a fan and heatsinks.

Raspberry Pi 100437

But if we want to invest as little as possible, this model of 49.99 euros it may be ideal to start experimenting with this type of device. This Raspberry is very simple: it has an HDMI output, an Ethernet port and USB 2.0 ports.

* ConsumptionClaro’s team of journalists and experts rigorously and independently recommend products and services to our readers. Every time you buy through some links added to this text, receives a commission.

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