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Small Form Factor Rasberry Pi 400

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by sandys, 8 Jan 2021.

  1. sandys

    sandys Multimodder

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    Anybody played with one of these yet, I'd like to know of its suitability as desktop computer for kids schooling what with new lockdowns as I still see some people complaining about having to share kit with kids and asking me for computers and bits etc, being the known local computer guy.

    I've already given most of my crap away at this point, shame it wasn't 18 months ago I could of set them all up with Coda Spirits, so I was looking at what other relatively cheap options there were.

    The PI 400 seems on the face of it ideal at 90 odd quid so long as you have a screen etc. the question is, is it, I've never played with one?
     
  2. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Yeah, a little bit. I've a hands-on piece over on Hackster, and there's another in this month's Custom PC.

    They're general, though, and you're asking some specifics there. The Raspberry Pi 400 is surprisingly powerful, but that's viewed through the lens of it being a low-cost Arm system. It's not as fast as even a cheap x86 desktop. You've also got software compatibility to consider: last I checked, tail end of last year, Zoom wouldn't work on the thing - which means remote work and school might not be a go'er depending on what platforms you're looking to use.

    Best advice I can give you is to pick up a cheap Raspberry Pi 4 Model B 2GB and try out the target software. If it runs on that, it'll run on the Pi 400 - better, in fact, 'cos the Pi 400 has twice the RAM and a faster SoC.
     
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  3. sandys

    sandys Multimodder

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    I was gifted some Pi 3s that have been gathering dust, I've not even plugged them in :eek: , spose I should have a look, would similar apply or would they be too low spec, I might just pick up a pi400 and dick about with it, I figured most things run through a browser and certainly in my daughters school they have access to remote machines for nearly everything so for them provided I can remote desktop into it with a pi400 I guess it would stomp that, so the only outlier would be live lessons with Teams/Zoom and the kids who's schools don't have same setup.

    A quick bit of googling/youtubing seems the 400 can do office365 and googledocs via browser and it even looks fast, it might be a go, provided I can set it up such that anyone can plug it in and run, and I don't become mr tech support, anymore than I already am.
     
  4. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    There are differences on the GPU side that might mean something that works on the Pi 3 won't work on the Pi 4/400 and vice-versa, but most stuff is comparable - so if it runs on the Pi 3, it'll run on the Pi 400 but faster.
     
  5. sandys

    sandys Multimodder

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    Thought I'd have a bash and fire up the 3, yup, its not a speed demon and my little box seemed to have problems keeping cool, well I assume that's what the little thermometer flashing up now and again in the top right means, this could be because there is a screen on the enclosure with no driver and was running at max brightness generating its own heat, so had the odd hard lock.

    Whilst not speedy considering it only has 1Gb, running off a 16GB sdcard of unknown speed and from the looks of your link above, pi3 has about half the performance, there's potential there for the 400, I was able to log on to my office 365 drive and print powerpoints and excel with patience, whether it's worth the time effort I'm not sure, but an actual PC is tough to make for that price without scavenging parts, which is something I don't want to do, might get one and have a play for my own general interest.

    Nice little beginners guide BTW :thumb:
     
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