helpme
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Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Sun Sep 08, 2019 1:49 pm

Thinking of whether to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM. What are some good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4? What are some applications that can only be handled by the latest Rpi4 and cannot be handled by older versions?

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topguy
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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM? with 4G RAM?

Sun Sep 08, 2019 2:00 pm

What are some good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4?
You want one..
What are some applications that can only be handled by the latest Rpi4 that cannot be handled by older versions?
Applications that uses more than 700Mb of memory most likely.. like proper desktop work where you want to have many browser tabs open while still being able to edit code/documents as an example.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:10 pm

Note that unless you go tab-happy in a browser, it is very likely that a Pi4B2 will be sufficient for typical "PC desktop" uses. The Pi4B4 is more aimed at very heavy programming and development work.

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clicky
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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:17 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:10 pm
Note that unless you go tab-happy in a browser, it is very likely that a Pi4B2 will be sufficient for typical "PC desktop" uses. The Pi4B4 is more aimed at very heavy programming and development work.
I wouldn't that call heavy :roll:

Heavier? Heavy-ish? Nah, sorry...

Just lightweight, 'enthusiast grade'... 4GB is a bit tight for anything even so slightly serious. Oh, I am not saying not possible - just not comfortable.

Heater
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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:30 pm

clicky,

You did not say anything there.

Prey tell, what do you consider "heavy"? What is your idea of "serious"?
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

ejolson
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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:43 pm

Heater wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:30 pm
clicky,

You did not say anything there.

Prey tell, what do you consider "heavy"? What is your idea of "serious"?
According to the lead developer of FidoBasic, given a project consisting of a million lines of code, serious developers refactor the code into 100,000 files consisting of ten lines each and then use the Eclipse IDE to edit all the files at the same time. Moreover, with n-level meta programming, it is possible that compiling a 10-line file will consume all available memory even on a 4GB Raspberry Pi 4B.

I sometimes worry that Fido is barking mad.

Moonmarch
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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:55 pm

I'm going to say you would be able to use 64 bit operating systems more effectively, the Raspbian operating system is 32 bit designed to run on the RPI computer, a more powerful computer can run more powerful operating systems which will require more ram, for example 32 bit Chromium versus 64 bit Chromium, I haven't tried this idea out myself 'm going to say 64 bit Chromium should run faster, because the latest versions of internet browsers which include Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox are 64 bit.

I wouldn't say the 64 bit operating systems will have more programs or more security patches, 64 bit OS is supposedly more powerful than the 32 bit OS.

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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:29 pm

If you are interested in using the Pi as a desktop I would get the 4 GB model. If you are unsure what you want to do I would get the 4 GB model. If you have a specific use case that is really and truly expected to last the entire expected lifespan of the Pi and you are really really sure I would buy the Pi model sized for the task at hand. In all other cases I would buy the 4 GB model unless you are constrained by either space, power or require USB boot For the incremental cost you are adding future proofing. Software suites are not going to get smaller, you are unlikely to decide to run less software on it. You are going to spend more money on the other "stuff" (case, fan or passive heatsink, keyboard, mouse, monitor, cabling, SSD?) than on the Pi SBC.

As a benchmark I do mostly general purpose desktop stuff. Email, web browsing, watch videos, movies, light programming, and some office crap (docs & spreadsheets). A 4 GB model works well for this and I can open a reasonable number of browser tabs, with Spotify playing in the background without running out of memory.

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clicky
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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:40 pm

Heater wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:30 pm
clicky,

You did not say anything there.

Prey tell, what do you consider "heavy"? What is your idea of "serious"?
Depending on what you're doing but one typical usage (for me) over last 5-6 years of professional engagement was:
  • local DB (mysql, oracle in docker, mssql in docker, postgress, etc)
  • DBeaver (won't work on Pi4) or Sqirrel
  • IDE for Java (IntelliJ works nicely on Pi4 - unlike Eclipse :( ) and JavaScript (Visual Studio Code)
  • command line tools including maven for builds and running tests:gherkin, selenium, and such + server itself
  • oh, and a browser with console on, too...
Pretty much 'full stack' dev (end to end + all the tests)

No way all would fit 4GB. Even if I move DB to separate Pi, running server code along with IDE wold be tight fit - build and/or running tests at the same time - not really.

LibGDX I don't consider 'heavy' developing - I produced RPi (Buster) version of it. Not much - some scripts changes, some light development on missing (moved forward) interface implementations and such - and still couldn't have IDE and maven build in the memory at the same time (1.5mil lines of code - probably only a portion of it compiled really).

I had to swap my 8GB Dell laptop 5+ years ago for 16GB MBP to do so. 16GB is still holding :)
Having RPi with 8GB (and then times two or three) would do - it would allow much more serious development on RPi. 4GB - nor so.

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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:00 pm

So funny when people say 4GB is too small.

When I started out 32KB was a lot. I did fairly hardcore C development on 386 PC's with 4MB RAM. C code hasn't changed, but what has changed is the ability of the people writing the development systems to write decent memory efficient code.

Latest Eclipse doesn't work on the Pi because the build system is now so complicated, no one knows how to make it work on an ARM system. Even Debian cannot get it to build. I moved to VSCode.

You can do great development work on the PI4GB. You just have to be sensible how you do it. If 4GB isn't enough, either move to a better workflow, or try buying something that costs more than $55.
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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:52 pm

I believe the Raspberry Pi 4 can make a very capable desktop once the V3D drivers are more mature. We are definitely not yet seeing it at it's full potential due rather incomplete video drivers, even so, I can still play 1080p 60fps reasonably with just a little screen tearing as is.

If you choose to add a heatsink and fan, the system overclocks well. Should not be a problem to overclock CPU to 1.8 GHz and GPU to 600mhz with very gentle voltage boost and proper cooling. Some people have bumped up to 2 GHz but the voltage boost is no longer as gentle and heat production rises with it.

When running at stock speed, the machine operates adequately without any additional cooling as long as the the workload is occasional short bursts. As a desktop replacement it is very competent for general browsing without any cooling. Larger workloads like gaming and such will cause the CPU to begin to throttle after a few minutes without additional cooling. Enclosed cases will result in the Pi throttling
faster under heavy workloads. Outside a case in the open, I think it operates adequately without additional cooling for most general workloads. The throttling on the Pi is far gentler than that you see on most mobile phones.

I am very pleased and believe the 4 will show even more capability as software and drivers are polished up more. It is definitely worth the money and the performance is far greater than the $55.00 price tag for the 4 GB Pi 4 even as is. The deal will only get better with the polish of software, firmware and drivers that is already making great progress.

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clicky
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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:49 pm

jamesh wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:00 pm
So funny when people say 4GB is too small.

When I started out 32KB was a lot. I did fairly hardcore C development on 386 PC's with 4MB RAM. C code hasn't changed, but what has changed is the ability of the people writing the development systems to write decent memory efficient code.
I didn't say 4GB is too small - just not up to current requirements for 'heavy development' (some corporate end to end stack of technologies and IDEs). I blame the latest software for the issue - modern IDEs are monsters when it comes to resources (CPUs and memory) and we have more and more 'apps' that are monstrous - web browsers with tiny bit of JS + CSS packaged as standalone apps. They just gobble memory like there's no tomorrow. I won't go on a tangent there trying to point to what I've seen as MD5 hash library in that technology doing :roll:

BTW I have already self imposed to use Pi4 as much as I can for all my non-commercial work. I would do it for everything - but requirement to run stupid, small Win code and amount of time it would take me to make all in order (and some I have already failed like Citrix client on Buster) - including linux version of mssql (in theory it should work) and setting up Cisco based VPNs (again probably it will work with some tinkering but I would need more time to dedicate for all to work).

Also, I must admit that I am probably more spoiled than you. I didn't start with 32KB originally - but whole 48KB (no points if you guess which computer it was)! LOL :P My first 'serious' work was with 512KB but I was lucky that my uncle bought me an 'extension' so I had full megabyte!
jamesh wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:00 pm
Latest Eclipse doesn't work on the Pi because the build system is now so complicated, no one knows how to make it work on an ARM system. Even Debian cannot get it to build. I moved to VSCode.
Since Eclipse would be perfect on Pi4 with its incremental compilation strategy I invested some time to understand it. I've found out that project dropped support for 32bit some time ago - so it is not just matter of compilation for arm platform (I've mastered it - LOL) but matter of retrofitting support for 32bit again. Not impossible but I've left it for some time in future when I get more time/motivation to look at it again. I have asked a few people around to help but so far got nothing back :(
jamesh wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:00 pm
You can do great development work on the PI4GB. You just have to be sensible how you do it. If 4GB isn't enough, either move to a better workflow, or try buying something that costs more than $55.
Oh, by all means - 4GB suddenly moved it from 'masochist' to only 'slightly more patient' developer niche. Currently I am missing FreeCAD and Eclipse the most - rest of it works quite well.

Speaking of using Pi4 I've just got another idea to try out and this could be good 'forum' to voice it. Since memory is limited somehow and CPU to the extend, but network throughput and disk not that much - I've just 10mins ago (another topic inspired me) got an idea to try:
- why not use one pi4 (4GB) as 'graphical terminal' (some nice windows manger and such), plus another Pi4 (or better plural) to run programs over shared filesystem (NFS drive) as headless X11 using main Pi as terminal? That way I can easily run IntelliJ (with its enormous memory intake) + big maven build + visual studio code along with (local-ish) DB, Chrome + Thunderbird, etc - all on same physical terminal and mouse/keyboard while code taking memory of different (raspberry pi) machines. That can somehow alleviate lack of memory... That would be interesting (last millennium) project to make it seamless. :)

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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:09 pm

clicky wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:49 pm
Since Eclipse would be perfect on Pi4 with its incremental compilation strategy I invested some time to understand it. I've found out that project dropped support for 32bit some time ago
While not incremental as you edit it, my understanding is that the traditional Unix make utility coupled with a reasonable factorization of the problem into separate files will rebuild only the parts of the project changed between compilations.

Since Eclipse seems to be another one of those 64-bit-only applications, does it work on the 4GB Pi 4B using the AArch64 version of Debian?

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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:13 pm

I would say 4K is a big one.
PCIE USB3
PCIE GIGABIT
DUAL SCREEN SUPPORT

otherwise a 3B+ with the swapfile increased to 2gb+
is extremely capable and 1080p is still plenty enough!

https://wpitchoune.net/tricks/raspberry ... _size.html
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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:56 pm

pi-tastic wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:13 pm
PCIE GIGABIT
Are you sure gigabit Ethernet on the 4B uses PCI Express?

For a while the 3B+ was selling for US$ 25 in many places. At that price, depending on your needs, it's a great option.

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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:00 pm

ejolson wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:56 pm
pi-tastic wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:13 pm
PCIE GIGABIT
Are you sure gigabit Ethernet on the 4B uses PCI Express?
It doesn't.

The main USB controller uses PCIe.

The Ethernet uses an internal memory mapped controller.
Unreadable squiggle

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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:02 pm

ejolson wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:56 pm
Are you sure gigabit Ethernet on the 4B uses PCI Express?
It doesn't, it uses a gigabit MAC on the SoC with an external PHY chip.

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pi-tastic
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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Tue Sep 10, 2019 4:05 pm

[/quote]
It doesn't, it uses a gigabit MAC on the SoC with an external PHY chip.
[/quote]

Awesome! thanks for the update.

;-)
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clicky
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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:27 pm

jcyr wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:40 pm
clicky wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 12:49 pm
Currently I am missing FreeCAD and Eclipse the most - rest of it works quite well.
Eclipse is a monumental resource pig, even on high end PC!
LOL - I think that killed it at the end. But, that's only if you pick Eclipse with everything in it. If you go with only Eclipse for Java developers (not JEE and all the other 'goodies' - or crap however you see it) then it is far more reasonable.
BTW I've recently started Eclipse (2.1 on JDK 1.2) on laptop from 1999 - 700MHz Celeron with 128MB of ram and 40GB of HD and it worked more or less at par with IntelliJ on 2016 MBP (i7 on 4.somethingGHz with 1500MB/s SSD). I'm talking of delay between changing a file (or two) and press 'start' to run the same program.
ejolson wrote: Since Eclipse seems to be another one of those 64-bit-only applications, does it work on the 4GB Pi 4B using the AArch64 version of Debian?
+1 - Only downside is that by default 64bit OS/apps do take slightly more memory than 32bit so we're going to lose some of benefits having 4GB of RAM

chuUK
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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:10 pm

Don't do it. Don't buy. Unless you want to spend your days fixing a broken OS like it's 1999.

Gave my last remaning Pi4 to my daughter to play with and even after a reinstall of the OS it still super flaky. She hates it, too.

Had a good one yesterday: The mouse was working but not moving the cursor!? Imagine that in this day and age. I swear I can't remember such as poor computing experience since Win 95/98.

YouTube is a joke for the hardware available. Crashes, screen freezes, lag - oh my god - chromium lags like its running on 512K of memory. Scrolling is like treacle. But hey, their a charity so that's all right then isn't it. Kids learning and tinkers tinkering love it so that's good enough for them.

For desktop use, spend that £50 on an old PC and run Mint on it or get an x86-based SB that cost a few bob more but will be so much easy to use.

6sn7
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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:11 pm

I bought a Rpi4 with 4G RAM primarily for a low cost NAS for doing rsync backups from various systems.
Configured a set of flash drives on a USB hub RAID10 with a hot spare. Mdraid is not that fast on the Pi so the 4GB of RAM provides enough buffer cache head room to make it worth while. The initial rsync of a whole system is somewhat painful, but the subsequent incremental rsyncs are okay.

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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:02 am

chuUK wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:10 pm
Don't do it. Don't buy. Unless you want to spend your days fixing a broken OS like it's 1999.

Gave my last remaning Pi4 to my daughter to play with and even after a reinstall of the OS it still super flaky. She hates it, too.

Had a good one yesterday: The mouse was working but not moving the cursor!? Imagine that in this day and age. I swear I can't remember such as poor computing experience since Win 95/98.

YouTube is a joke for the hardware available. Crashes, screen freezes, lag - oh my god - chromium lags like its running on 512K of memory. Scrolling is like treacle. But hey, their a charity so that's all right then isn't it. Kids learning and tinkers tinkering love it so that's good enough for them.

For desktop use, spend that £50 on an old PC and run Mint on it or get an x86-based SB that cost a few bob more but will be so much easy to use.
The RPi has a built-in troll detector. If it detects a troll it starts doing strange things.
Minimal Kiosk Browser (kweb)
Slim, fast webkit browser with support for audio+video+playlists+youtube+pdf+download
Optional fullscreen kiosk mode and command interface for embedded applications
Includes omxplayerGUI, an X front end for omxplayer

jamesh
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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:07 am

chuUK wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:10 pm
Don't do it. Don't buy. Unless you want to spend your days fixing a broken OS like it's 1999.

Gave my last remaning Pi4 to my daughter to play with and even after a reinstall of the OS it still super flaky. She hates it, too.

Had a good one yesterday: The mouse was working but not moving the cursor!? Imagine that in this day and age. I swear I can't remember such as poor computing experience since Win 95/98.

YouTube is a joke for the hardware available. Crashes, screen freezes, lag - oh my god - chromium lags like its running on 512K of memory. Scrolling is like treacle. But hey, their a charity so that's all right then isn't it. Kids learning and tinkers tinkering love it so that's good enough for them.

For desktop use, spend that £50 on an old PC and run Mint on it or get an x86-based SB txhat cost a few bob more but will be so much easy to use.
So what we are dealing with here is a device that is clearly not working correctly yet the person with it is unable to realise that their experience is not what the majority see. And also seems unable to fix the problems or return the device for replacement which is what any normal person would do.

So I suggest you take his 'advice', from whichever orifice it appeared, and treat it with the contempt it deserves.

EDIT: Worth noting that this poster has been asked a number of questions by Pi engineers to try and help him with his problems, and has answered, AFACT, none of them, which does making support rather difficult. I am now suspecting someone who came here specifically to troll, and was never interested in getting help. C'est la vie.
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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:39 am

gkreidl wrote:
Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:02 am
The RPi has a built-in troll detector. If it detects a troll it starts doing strange things.
Clearly the Pi has one of the best built-in troll-detectors available.

Back on topic: A Pi4 with 4 GB RAM is a great desktop machine. With enough RAM, Linux buffers IO (input/output) data and files so efficiently. The external package "zram-config" helps, too.
More RAM makes the µSD-card limitations less important. Of course a USB3 memory stick or similar improves that a lot.

Our Pi4 flies and runs rock-solid with µSD-card only. The Pi4 has got very impressive hardware and excellent software. Can recommend its 4 GB version to the thread creator. And I wouldn't give back a single bit of its 4 GB RAM.

I do understand Jamesh well, since I too started programming on 8-Bit computers where we virtually knew every byte. So today we veterans indeed despise blown-up applications known as "memory hogs" (Speichersäue). But when in Rome, do as the Romans do. So when today we have to use a browser or similar, 4 GB RAM are very very helpful. My wife always crashed our Pi3 with 1 GB RAM by visiting Amazon with a few browser tabs, because it's one terrible memory hog website and current Linux kernels don't like low-memory-situations. The Pi4 with 4 GB RAM masters this memory-hog trap perfectly. :-)
Last edited by Fidelius on Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:46 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Good reasons to buy the latest Rpi 4 with 4G RAM?

Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:42 am

clicky wrote:
Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:17 pm
W. H. Heydt wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:10 pm
Note that unless you go tab-happy in a browser, it is very likely that a Pi4B2 will be sufficient for typical "PC desktop" uses. The Pi4B4 is more aimed at very heavy programming and development work.
I wouldn't that call heavy :roll:

Heavier? Heavy-ish? Nah, sorry...

Just lightweight, 'enthusiast grade'... 4GB is a bit tight for anything even so slightly serious. Oh, I am not saying not possible - just not comfortable.
I guess there are 2 sides of the story. I would say the same about the pi zero W.
The 4B, I wouldn't buy, because unless you want to watch 4k video footage, hardware decoded, there's no reason to switch over.
The $80 price tag, new accessories to buy, higher power draw, aren't worth the upgrade over a $35 Pi3B+ to me.

The 3B+ with overclocking runs easily at 1,5Ghz, same speed as the 4B stock. And it works just for what I need. 480-720p videos, browsing, YouTube, LCD hat, programming with code oss, all work fine for me.
Pi 3B(+) also has a lot more accessories for sale on the gray market.

I don't use dual monitor, so
The benefits are too small for me to upgrade.

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