Let me start by saying that I like the Raspberry Pi, I own four of them. I’m also a big fan of the Foundation’s aims. The title of this piece is pure click-bait.
That said, I happened to be perusing the second-hand listings for computers on eBay recently, in response to a forum post, and was amazed at how much you can get for not a lot of money. The prices were so reasonable they got me thinking.
It must be something about January, as I have written before about the price of second-hand PCs, back in 2013. I’ve also asked where the cheap computers were, because prices seem to stay pretty static for new computers, with very little change in real-world performance.
That means you can pick up a lot of machine for little money. How little? Well cheaper than a Raspberry Pi.
The Cost of Pi
The Raspberry Pi was designed to offer an affordable computer to encourage tinkering and learning, and it does. The Pi Zero retails for around £4 ($5), if you can get hold of one. They go up to about £30 for the most powerful model (the Pi 3 Model B at the time of writing).
That is just for the board though. To actually use it you also need:
- Power supply
- Storage (SD card)
- Keyboard and mouse
For the purposes of this exercise I assumed we were using an existing monitor or TV (as the Pi was designed to). I also decided to ignore the keyboard and mouse as the cost cancels out regardless of which option you choose. Continue reading…