Nathidraws
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Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:56 pm

Could they have originally made Raspberry Pi using x86?

All I know about ARM is that Raspberry Pi uses it,
and because of that, it doesn't have as much of a variety of software as Windows,
because most of them were made to support x86, and not ARM. :(

(If what I said was incorrect, please correct me) :?


Anyways, I hope someone can answer those two questions. :)

Thanks,
Nathan




Edited as of 7th December 2018:



I compiled all the points that were made in this forum post as of 6th December 2018:
Excluded points made by others if already pointed out beforehand
Btw this was pretty fun to make. :)
jamesh wrote:
  1. Very cheap
  2. Extremely common
  3. Used in mobile phones
  4. x86 processor would have put the pi at four times it's price
    drgeoff wrote:
  5. x86 couldn't be powered by a low cost power supply
  6. Rare to find x86 as small and vaguely similar
  7. ARM is much more suited, in part because it doesn’t run Windows.
    echmain wrote:
  8. Freedom from the Meltdown and Spectre attacks
    HawaiianPi wrote:
  9. Power efficient
  10. Could be run from phone chargers (not recommended with Pi3 series)
  11. Used in lots of embedded applications as well (your router, smart TV, etc.)
  12. Running Linux means there is lots of free software
  13. More recent Raspbian Stretch Desktops include the Recommended Software package installer, which is arguably easier than Windows

  14. How to install software on a Pi:
    - Run "sudo apt install <package>"
    - Run the program you installed
  15. Windows has the extra step of re-booting; very few things require that in Linux and you don't have to stop doing anything else while you updating
  16. GPU built in
    Heater wrote:
  17. Installing Raspbian is less of a nuisance
  18. Variety of software is large

    DavidS wrote:
  19. ARM is RISC, so no microcode layer, making it possible to keep the design simpler for the same performance.
  20. RISC OS is ARM only, and the first OS for the ARM (still around)
  21. ARM assembly language is simple to learn and a joy to program in (unlike x86 assembly)
  22. ARM has been a 32-Bit CPU since its introduction in 1985 (no GDT/LDT/TSS on ARM)
  23. One of the best desktop computer CPU archetectures around
  24. ARM will not run x86 Windows OS's
After the second page, I felt as if it went off topic, so I stopped looking for points after that page.
Then again, I think this is definitely a good amount of information to back up ARM.
Thank you all for your inputs. I greatly appreciate every one of you. :D
Last edited by Nathidraws on Fri Dec 07, 2018 12:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:47 pm

The benefits are multitudinous.

ARM processors are very cheap and extremely common, they're the ones used in Apples and all other mobile phones. Had the raspberry Pi used a x86 process it would have been four times the price...
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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:57 pm

jamesh wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:47 pm
The benefits are multitudinous.

ARM processors are very cheap and extremely common, they're the ones used in Apples and all other mobile phones. Had the raspberry Pi used a x86 process it would have been four times the price...
... and you wouldn't be powering it from a low cost power supply.

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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:06 pm

Nathidraws wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:56 pm
Could they have originally made Raspberry Pi using x86?


In the sense that you could make something smallish and vaguely similar, I imagine so. There faintly similar SBCs using some form of x86 on the market but they don’t appear to sell a lot.
The real problem is the power required to run an x86, which is compounded by the needs of anything even faintly related to Windows. Which of course is what people would immediately expect to use.
ARM is much more suited, in part because it doesn’t run Windows. There are many, many, more ARM cpus out there too.
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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:19 pm

Thanks guys :D

Very interesting information.

I appreciate everyone on this site so much because you all seem to always give great answers to questions :)
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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:22 pm

They (RPF) made their bed, let them lie in it.

Been lying in that bed now for a few years, it's bloody comfy. I'm sure millions of other users agree but if the OP can come up with an SBC as successful as the Pi using an x86 processor (actually any SBC) I'm more than willing to listen.
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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:25 pm

The main benefit is price. The Broadcom ARM based SoC is also quite power efficient, so power supplies are small and inexpensive (the original Pi computers could be run from phone chargers, but that's not recommended with the Pi3 series).

ARM based architecture is not limited to the Pi. Quite the opposite, actually. It's used in most mobile devices and lots of embedded applications as well (your router, smart TV and many other appliances in your home probably have an ARM processor).

And running Linux means there is lots of free software, much of which with source code available for you to mod if you so desire. There is loads of software for ARM/Raspbian (just not Windows software).

It's a shame so many have been brainwashed by Microsoft. There is a whole world of computing out there that the Lemming-like masses will never see.
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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:42 pm

HawaiianPi wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:25 pm
..

And running Linux means there is lots of free software, much of which with source code available for you to mod if you so desire. There is loads of software for ARM/Raspbian (just not Windows software).

It's a shame so many have been brainwashed by Microsoft. There is a whole world of computing out there that the Lemming-like masses will never see.

:(
I've used Windows for pretty much all my life. But I do know there is more out there..

I know software isn't just on Windows, but in my opinion, it's just a lot easier to setup on Windows
because most of the time, installing software on Windows just involves:
  • Downloading software from internet
  • Running installation window
  • Double clicking the executable file

I'm pretty new to Linux tbh, but I'm willing to learn a lot about it. :)

And recently I've found out about a few useful commands and also a lot of software that I didn't even know you could get on Linux or Raspbian.
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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:55 pm

Yes, Linux is not Windows, but it's not necessarily harder, just different.

Recent versions of Raspbian Stretch Desktop include the Recommended Software package installer, which is arguably easier than Windows. You can find it under Preferences in the menu.
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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:01 pm

Nathidraws wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 10:42 pm
I know software isn't just on Windows, but in my opinion, it's just a lot easier to setup on Windows
because most of the time, installing software on Windows just involves:
  • Downloading software from internet
  • Running installation window
  • Double clicking the executable file
By comparison....

How to install software on a Pi:
1. Run the command "sudo apt install <name of package>". (There are graphical ways to do this if you prefer.)
2. Run the program you just installed.

For quite a number of things on Windows, there is the extra step of re-booting the system. Very few things require that in Linux. Indeed, most of the time, you don't have to reboot when you do a general system update. Nor do you have to stop doing anything else while you do so. You will never get "Installing updates. Do not turn off machine." when you want to shut down at night. And, because of the very low power requirements of the Pi, you can just leave it running, anyway.

For numbers: Tablets and phones (almost, but not quite, exclusively ARM): 1 billion per year.
Desktop and laptop PCs (pretty much entirely x86, Intel and AMD): a bit less than 100 million per year.

Therefore, *the* dominant computer processor sold around the world every year is...ARM.

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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:02 pm

-Downloading software from internet
-Running installation window
-Double clicking the executable file

sudo apt install

Done.

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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:16 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:01 pm
How to install software on a Pi:
1. Run the command "sudo apt install <name of package>". (There are graphical ways to do this if you prefer.)
2. Run the program you just installed.

For quite a number of things on Windows, there is the extra step of re-booting the system. Very few things require that in Linux.

Indeed, most of the time, you don't have to reboot when you do a general system update. Nor do you have to stop doing anything else while doing so.

You will never get "Installing updates. Do not turn off machine." when you want to shut down at night. And, because of the very low power requirements of the Pi, you can just leave it running, anyway.

For numbers: Tablets and phones (almost, but not quite, exclusively ARM): 1 billion per year.
Desktop and laptop PCs (pretty much entirely x86, Intel and AMD): a bit less than 100 million per year.

Therefore, *the* dominant computer processor sold around the world every year is...ARM.
You're right :)
Also that first sentence about how to install software on Pi made me laugh, because it's actually easier than it is on Windows. :D
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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:22 pm

In all honesty, the Pi was never intended to run software, it was supposed to make it easier for people to learn how to make their own.
So any benefits from installing on Windows VS installing on Linux, are irrelevant.


And on defense of Windows, the only tine installing something requires a reboot, is if it modifies a running service that is essential to system operation and can't be restarted or registry file.
The last time I had to do that was... I don't even remember.
Last edited by Imperf3kt on Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:28 pm

Imperf3kt wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:22 pm
In all honesty, the Pi was never intended to run software, it was supposed to make it easier for people to learn how to make their own.
So any benefits from installing on Windows VS installing on Linux, are irrelevant.
That's true. :?
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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:33 pm

Nathidraws wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:16 pm
Also that first sentence about how to install software on Pi made me laugh, because it's actually easier than it is on Windows. :D
B b b b but... I have to use the keyboard! :shock: ...imagine Psycho shower scene music here...

;)
Last edited by HawaiianPi on Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:34 pm

Imperf3kt wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:22 pm
In all honesty, the Pi was never intended to run software, it was supposed to make it easier for people to learn how to make their own.
So how do you learn how to make software without running other software? Admittedly most things you need are pre-installed, but the Pi is still just as capable as a Windows computer at installing software, and except for web browsers reading bloated pages or large databases, just as capable of running it. Not as fast, but much cheaper to buy and run.
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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:38 pm

HawaiianPi wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:33 pm
B b b b but... I have to use the keyboard! :shock: ...Psycho shower scene music...

;)
That's true. :lol:

Then again, to find software on windows you'd have to probably use the keyboard too. :P
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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:56 pm

davidcoton wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:34 pm
Imperf3kt wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:22 pm
In all honesty, the Pi was never intended to run software, it was supposed to make it easier for people to learn how to make their own.
So how do you learn how to make software without running other software? Admittedly most things you need are pre-installed, but the Pi is still just as capable as a Windows computer at installing software, and except for web browsers reading bloated pages or large databases, just as capable of running it. Not as fast, but much cheaper to buy and run.
As I understand the opening post, the OP has asked why RPi went with ARM, that doesn't support his/her favourite program.

My response was intended to point out that the Pi was never made so you could run your favourite game / media player / internet browser, etc on a cheap computer.
It was so you could make your own one day.

In other words, I was saying that I think too many people are using a Pi in ways not intended, with no intent on learning anything, wanting something you just install your favourite program on and play games on.
In my opinion, the benefit of using ARM here, is that you need to learn a few things, as is the Pi's intended purpose.
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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:02 am

Imperf3kt wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:56 pm
davidcoton wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:34 pm
Imperf3kt wrote:
Wed Dec 05, 2018 11:22 pm
In all honesty, the Pi was never intended to run software, it was supposed to make it easier for people to learn how to make their own.
So how do you learn how to make software without running other software? Admittedly most things you need are pre-installed, but the Pi is still just as capable as a Windows computer at installing software, and except for web browsers reading bloated pages or large databases, just as capable of running it. Not as fast, but much cheaper to buy and run.
As I understand the opening post, the OP has asked why RPi went with ARM, that doesn't support his/her favourite program.

My response was intended to point out that the Pi was never made so you could run your favourite game / media player / internet browser, etc on a cheap computer.
It was so you could make your own one day.

EU worked at Broadcom at the time of his idea of a SBC to teach children coding, as the standard and quantity of applicants for Computer Studies was reducing year on year.

The are several videos and podcasts relating to this and it would of been better if the OP had researched 7 years of RPi before posting, imo...
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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:36 am

..
I know software isn't just on Windows, but in my opinion, it's just a lot easier to setup on Windows
because most of the time, installing software on Windows just involves:
  • Downloading software from internet
  • Running installation window
  • Double clicking the executable file
Rofl, what a complicated installation process - why isn't it just 1 step like on linux?

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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:45 am

pootle wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:36 am
  • Downloading software from internet
  • Running installation window
  • Double clicking the executable file
Rofl, what a complicated installation process - why isn't it just 1 step like on linux?
I know I know :?
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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:39 am

Nathidraws wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:45 am
pootle wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:36 am
  • Downloading software from internet
  • Running installation window
  • Double clicking the executable file
Rofl, what a complicated installation process - why isn't it just 1 step like on linux?
I know I know :?
While the difference on how software installs are handled is a good point, that is a consequence of using Linux, and is actually independent of the choice of an ARM processor as opposed to an x86 design.

What ARM really brings to the table is low cost and low power requirements. Since there are a lot more ARM designs that have at least a GPU built in, that is also a cost, board space, and power savings advantage.

Really, when you get right down to it an ARM design is going to be cheaper than an x86 design. If your target market is kids--where their parents are buying something the kid may accidentally destroy--keeping to end device really cheap is a very big advantage. As it happens, being able to sell the boards at such a low cost also opens up a great many uses that wouldn't happen with a more expensive board (and didn't; prior to the launch of the first Pi, the most popular SBC in the DIY/maker community was the Beaglebone at $90). The low cost also made it feasible for people with projects that need multiple Pis to make that happen. My first "project" involved 6 Pis.

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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:27 am

pootle wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:36 am
..
I know software isn't just on Windows, but in my opinion, it's just a lot easier to setup on Windows
because most of the time, installing software on Windows just involves:
  • Downloading software from internet
  • Running installation window
  • Double clicking the executable file
Rofl, what a complicated installation process - why isn't it just 1 step like on linux?
Oh, you mean
sudo apt install program
Yes, allow installing additional packages
Package cannot be found, do you want to install this similar package instead?
Yes install mystery package I have no idea why I need it
Create desktop file
Change permissions
Run program
Program cannot run because dependency is missing
Install dependency
Run program
Dependency installed in wrong place, program won't run
Google where it should be instwlled
Install dependency
Incorrect package installed (the one it couldn't find earlier)
Download package source manually as tar file
Build source
Install package
Run program


I take it most people here have never heard of .msi
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Re: Are there any benefits from the Raspberry Pi using ARM?

Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:43 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 1:39 am
What ARM really brings to the table is low cost and low power requirements. Since there are ARM designs that have at least a GPU built in, that is also a
cost,
board space, and
power savings advantage.

If your target market is kids, being able to sell the boards at such a low cost is a really big advantage and also opens up many great uses that wouldn't happen with a more expensive board.
I love this, man :)
Last edited by Nathidraws on Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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