The Raspberry Pi 4

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I’ve had pi’s for a long time; 2, 3, zero and now the 4. With 4Gb. Cool…

So – is it good enough to replace a desktop?

Quick answer is yes.

Longer answer is as long as you aren’t doing video editing or wanting to play 3d games and stuff that requires a lot of fast processing. For standard day to day stuff – it’s great.

I’ve set mine up with an 8Gb Transcend SD card. The pi was originally supplied with an unbranded 16Gb SD card pre-installed with latest Raspian. I hate to say the amount of time i wasted on that. It eventually loaded and trying to do anything with it was horrendous, slower than the 3b and it kept hanging…

Being the brave soul I am – I decided to use that install to move over to a small second hand SSD I had laying around. Again – the amount of time I wasted!!! Lets not go there.

Moral is:

  • Use a good quality, fast SD card
  • Don’t use second hand SSDs (or at least check them first)

Anyways – after a lot of messing – I am writing this using WP’s block editor in Chromium. Even starting Chromium previously on the old pi – even with a working SSD was a no go – it would just lock up. So far – this one seems great. I’ve a YouTube video playing and a couple of other windows open. And still running on just the SD card.

Sound quality out of the headphone jacks is great. It does use micro-HDMI so it’s important to not forget that or have kids who hoard cables and don’t mind you raiding their stash. Wifi speed is great as well – this is all down to the much improved architecture of the pi. more UARTs, improved USB bus and not everything going through the same bus.

Temperature wise…

This is maybe a bit of a different story. I’ve no fan on and it’s in a case. The temp is now around 70 deg C as measured by (from

/opt/vc/bin/vcgencmd measure_temp

This seems a bit excessive so maybe I need to flash the firmware. I don’t really want to use a fan as this connects onto a few GPIO ports and I want to use a pi cobbler on this for doing some electronics stuff. That said – I will try it and see what it turns out like. I’ve no intention of clocking the thing so well – maybe just leave it.

It does need a 5V 3A USB C power supply. Not a biggie but maybe you will need to get one.

In short – if you are looking for a new working machine, don’t mind getting your hands dirty and aren’t wanting to do processor intensive work then you could do a lot worse than a Pi 4.


A few days later – I’m still happy with it – I’ve noticed a few issues with the wifi keeping dropping but that could be the range. I’ve also found out that I needed to do a lot of work with the SSD to get it working well. I’ve written about this in another post.

HINT – The SSD wasn’t broken – the USB/SATA interface needed an update.

I plan to use this one the coming weeks as my main machine and see how it all goes. I’ve code to write and things to build so it should get a good work out.

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