Part 1: Using the Raspberry Pi 4 as a Desktop Replacement for a week

Here are the following parts of this series:
Part 2: Setting up a Raspberry Pi 4 to use as a desktop

The Raspberry Pi is a powerful device in terms of ways how you can use it. But is it good and powerful enough to replace your desktop computer?

I always wondered if it would be possible to use a Raspberry Pi as a desktop replacement. I tried it with every generation but it didn‘t really work out. It‘s mostly the single core performance as well as the RAM that lacks performance causing the whole experience to literally stutter.

Raspberry Pi 4 introduction on
The Raspberry Pi Org describes it as a “desktop computer”, but is it one? Image:

But hey, there is a new generation! The Raspberry Pi 4 has been announced last week on June 24th, 2019 and I ordered it immediately – even before reading the specs because I was so afraid that it could be sold out quickly…

First things first – what’s new? Here’s a quick roundup of what’s been updated or what’s new:

  • Faster processor (1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 CPU)
  • True Gigabit Ethernet (no USB bottleneck anymore)
  • 2 of the 4 USBs are USB 3.0 connected to the CPU via PCIe
  • 1, 2 or 4 GB (I got the 4GB one of course)
  • Dual Micro-HDMI with support up to 4k60
  • Upgraded VideoCore VI graphics

What I currently use and what the Raspberry Pi 4 will do

Right now I am using the upgrade MacBook Pro 15″ 2018 with a six-core i7 that boost up to 4.5 GHz with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. It is connected to an eGPU running an RX 580 connected to an AMD Radeon RX 580 which drives a 4K panel.

I use it for developing web applications using the latest Angular, maintain WordPress pages, cut short videos, edit photos and browse the web.

The Raspberry Pi 4 will be used for the same purposes for one week. No MacBook Pro at home. (When I’m on the go I will keep using my MacBook 12″)

The Raspberry Pi 4 will be tested in these tasks:

  • Managing and answering E-Mails
  • Editing documents online in iCloud
  • Video editing
  • Photo editing
  • Developing web applications with the Angular CLI and some IDE

It is a powerful device but it’s still behind an Intel Atom, this is for sure. But since the Raspberry Pi Organisation describes it as a desktop computer I will be curious to find out how good it will perform.

Here are the following parts of this series:
Part 2: Setting up a Raspberry Pi 4 to use as a desktop

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