How Much Does a Raspberry Pi Cost? – What to Look for in a Single-Board Computer

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The Raspberry Pi brand was launched in 2012 and has since sold more than 31 million units. Tinkering with the Raspberry Pi is very enjoyable, and you don’t need to break the bank to get this computer, which can be used in performing one or two tasks around the house. Due to the Raspberry Pi’s infinite application, you might also be looking to buy this useful gadget.

But before even going any further, how much does the Raspberry Pi cost? Likewise, what factors should you consider when looking for a functional Raspberry Pi. If these are questions you’ve been asking yourself, here’s an in-depth guide on this matter.

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The Price of The Raspberry Pi 

All over the internet, the Raspberry Pi’s affordable price is something that everyone’s looking to buy to carry out projects. This device is marketed as a $35 computer, and its core is designed to function exactly like a computer. Nonetheless, this price doesn’t take into account other needed connections that are needed for the smooth use of this computer.

Moreover, the power source isn’t also considered when calculating this price, with the Raspberry Pi’s newest model needing a minimum of 2.5A to operate smoothly.

You also haven’t considered the shipping cost, meaning you’ll need to spend at least $42 to have the Raspberry Pi delivered. Therefore, if there are several other items you’ll need to buy to have for your Raspberry Pi to function correctly, including:

  • MicroUSB %v power cable of a minimum of 700mA with a minimum price of $5.
  • A $20 pibow case.
  • An SD card to be used by the Raspberry Pi as the storage device with a 4G card costing $7 more than enough.
  • Mouse and USB keyboard, which total $15.
  • A $3 HDMI cable.
  • Speakers priced at $12.
  • With this, a $120 HDMI monitor is the average price for a small LCD that has HDMI.
  • A $6 Ethernet cord.

These items mentioned above are the essential things you need to run your Raspberry Pi properly. Therefore, adding up all these costs needed to run your Raspberry Pi will increase its price way above the popularly stated $35 price. This is even without including an HDMI monitor.

Do you want a WIFI or a larger SD card? If so, you’ll need to spend more money, with the price of a USB dongle being $20 while a bigger 32GB SD card is $20. After adding up all these costs, the Raspberry Pi-powered computer that has 512 RAM will cost you over $250.

You can get more powerful computers on the market for this price, with a good example being the Lenovo G580 with a 500GB storage, 4GB RAM, and a 2.4GHz Core i3 chip.

If you have many of the components, such as the monitor with HDMI, you’ll be able to save a huge sum of money. Nonetheless, the monitor situation is still quite tricky since you’ll still need to fork out at least $89 for an Asus monitor, which is the cheapest one on Amazon.

It’s thus evident that even though the Raspberry Pi’s $35 price might sound exhilarating, you shouldn’t be happy just yet. This is because you’ll end up spending lots of money that almost equals that of a standard and more powerful computer.

Things To Consider When Searching For A Raspberry Pi 

You need to consider several things when deciding which Raspberry Pi to buy, and these include:

Purpose

Knowing what’s the intended use of your Raspberry Pie is an essential factor you must consider before buying this device. This is important because the eight different models differ in CPU speed, CPU core, network connectivity, RAM, peripheral expansion, physical size, and many other aspects.

Therefore, if you want a device that provides you with greater horsepower, then the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ is a perfect choice. This is because this gadget incorporates the largest number of cores, the quickest CPU, as well as the biggest RAM. 

In contrast, if your objective is a device that won’t be used in CPU consuming tasks, doesn’t need network connectivity, and is small enough to be hidden in small spaces, the Raspberry Pi Zero is a great choice.

Price

In addition to the price of your Raspberry Pi, you need to consider how much money you’ll spend on the peripherals needed when using it. In most countries, the Raspberry Pi price ranges between $5 for the Raspberry Pi Zero to $35 for the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ and 3B. If you buy the Raspberry Pi Zero, a USB hub for your keyboard and mouse will be necessary. You might also need a display adapter and a wireless adapter.

If you don’t have most of the needed peripherals, be ready to set aside enough money as the total costs might be huge.

Availability

Finding a Raspberry Pi to buy might not always be straightforward if you live in some countries. Therefore, you need to consider this when thinking of buying this machine, which might be harder or easier to find particular versions depending on your location in some countries.

This is especially worse right after the release of newer versions, with the newer models taking several days to weeks to reach specific markets.

Models

In your search for a Raspberry Pi, you must have noticed some models have a “+” added after the name. This usually shows that these models feature newer improvements that boost its overall performance.

For instance, the Raspberry Pi 2 Model B features two mounting holes and USB ports, while Model B+ has four mounting ports, four USB ports, increased GPIO, a quicker CPU, and consumes less power. The sane is seen with the Raspberry Pi model A with 256 MB RAM, but the model A+ having a MicroSD slot, 512MB RAM, and improved GPIO.

Conclusion 

The Raspberry Pi’s affordable price is something that most people find appealing, thereby luring them into making a purchase. However, after reading this detailed article, you now know that other items are needed to use this device, and this further raises its price. You also have in mind the factors to consider when looking to buy a Raspberry Pi.   

About the Author Dan

Just a random guy who likes to build things. Providing tool knowledge, appliance/device testing tips, and DIY project info in an easy-to read & non-intimidating style.