Author Topic: Looking for a new computer- Raspberry Pi or fully fledged?  (Read 3888 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Looking for a new computer- Raspberry Pi or fully fledged?
« on: December 20, 2015, 03:49:33 PM »
Hello fellow mustachians, today I bring you a question I think is fairly obvious to answer, but I'll ask anyway for reassurance since I can never make up my mind on my own.

I want to do really light gaming, but at the same time I feel like I shouldn't, because it will distract me. Also, to get a gaming computer would be really expensive. Clearly, in 15 year old terms, without even trying, I am rich ($2500) because I never want anything. Well now I'm looking into getting a new pc because I want a desktop. I'm selling my old laptop to a friend for $250 or $300. My dad is giving me a Christmas gift of $150 towards whatever i want. The raspberry pi in question with all necessary little things they don't tell you about would cost me $90, not including $100 for a LCD tv that I could use to double for my GameCube to replace my giant CRT. Anyway, the computer I'm looking to build will cost about $500 after the monitor. That's a huge difference.

$170- becomes 20 after dad, +$230/280 after friend.
$500- becomes $50-100 after both,

Raspberry pi does basic tasks, ARM so not compatible with much, but MIGHT potentially do the job. No steam or half life 1 though.

Fully fledged PC could do everything I want, but since it is budget it might be underwhelming for me. Could play games which is basically what I'm looking at in terms of power, but right now I'm doubting myself, why should I game when I could build my hobbies up? I have no other.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Looking for a new computer- Raspberry Pi or fully fledged?
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2015, 05:17:00 PM »
A Rasberry Pi is a very neat gadget, but I suspect if you go that route, you'll find yourself wanting a better primary computer in the near future.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Looking for a new computer- Raspberry Pi or fully fledged?
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2015, 06:40:23 PM »
Yeah forget about using a raspberry pi as a gaming computer.

Have you considered getting something second hand? There'll be heaps of dirt cheap desktop PCs and components in the used market.

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  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Looking for a new computer- Raspberry Pi or fully fledged?
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2015, 09:41:45 PM »
A Raspberry Pi is a poor desktop computer if you care about doing anything other than basic web browsing, and if that's what you care about, you should buy a Chromebook.  That there are a few things ported to it doesn't mean it's going to be generally useful.

If that's what you want (a basic computer that approximates a desktop from 15 years ago), go for it.  They're cheap.

But for $150, with some savings, you could build a very nice machine that will handle some modern games for less than $1000 (significantly less, if you go with used parts), and that will last you a long while.


  • Magnum Stache
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Re: Looking for a new computer- Raspberry Pi or fully fledged?
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2015, 10:30:47 PM »
A raspberry Pi is quite underpowered as a primary computer. I use it as a small webserver, and it's great for that. But don't expect it to hold up as your daily driver.

Just get a proper computer.

At a $500 price point, you might be better off price wise getting a pre built. It depends where you're sourcing your parts from though. If you're getting them used you're probably better off building, but getting them new, it's a toss up. Especially if you don't have a Windows license available as a college student (which you're not I see).

Don Jean

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Looking for a new computer- Raspberry Pi or fully fledged?
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2015, 02:00:52 AM »
Your Mustachian spirit is nudging you in the right direction by placing the seed of doubt in your mind about making decisions based on the entertainment of video games. You would be well off learning to ween yourself off from the drug akin addiction and dopamine inducing hysteria that is video gaming. Your stache' will benefit and you may find yourself with a better physique and a sharper mind.

I get it. It's fun. It's engrossing. You may argue in a bout of self-rationalisation that it is relaxing; however, it is unequivocally a waste of time. You are given a short and precious amount of time on this earth. Time is a non-renewable resource that is constantly being expended whether or not one makes productive use of it.

Use this opportunity to reforge and enrich yourself and society by taking up new hobbies and learning new things. There will be times when you will be bored. You will yearn for the time filling activity that is gaming but look past the superficial drudgery. You can be bored playing games too yet there is a difference in how you experience bored.

When you are bored and you do not fill that time with the mirage of distractions available today--social media, blogs, gaming, phones--a magical thing begins to happen in your brain. You begin to synthesis short-term memory into long-term memory. Your attention span and retention of new information when focused on a task will increase. The neurons in your brain will fire randomly and what were once unrelated disparate events are forged into a beautiful firework explosion of creativity. You begin to make new connections between the ideas in your mind.

In a time past, I gamed heavily and there was a laundry list of reasons why I would tell myself that it was in my best interest. If you believe that's an intense way to look at something, you need to wake up to the cold-water slap of reality. EVERYTHING you do is a manifestation of your priorities whether you choose to admit that to yourself or not. When you understand this element in the nature of existence, you are endowed with a new superpower. The power of conscious choice.

To answer your direct question, there are good budget options that will admirably perform the tasks that most users require of them. Chromebooks are excellent, reliable, and cost-effective. When you are at home, you can attach a monitor and wireless keyboard/mouse. On the go, you have a durable, light and functional machine. A little bargain hunting and you can have this set-up for under $500 assuming you don't already own the peripherals.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Looking for a new computer- Raspberry Pi or fully fledged?
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2015, 04:02:22 AM »
I own a raspberry pi (version 1) and have to warn you that it is not meant for everyday use. It is meant for tinkering with electronics. Actually it not really cheap as you have to buy all the extras to be able to use it. Also it is slow and not very stable, so not the best for web browsing and games.

But if you like tinkering and don't mind to spend a little extra on sensors and other parts you could gain some highly valuable experience in software and electronics engineering.

For a simple PC would do well to build your own from parts. That is the cheapest way to get a PC that works well. You should be able to make a good light gaming PC for about $400 with new parts and less if you can get things second hand. Don't expect to play Fallout 4 on this. But it should run games that are a few years old quite well.


  • Walrus Stache
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Re: Looking for a new computer- Raspberry Pi or fully fledged?
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2015, 11:04:29 AM »
Don Jean is 100% right on all counts.  And I say that as someone who really enjoys playing computer games.  There's a reason so many of life's great ideas come in the shower, on the toilet, or as you're falling asleep in bed! :D  It's also the reason I stopped listening to the radio on my commute--it leaves my mind free to do whatever it wants.

Aaaaanyway, back to your original question.  I think there are a few questions you should ponder before jumping into this:
Is there a particular reason you want a desktop vs a laptop? 
What's wrong with your current laptop?
Why do you feel the need to game on a computer instead of the gamecube?
Why do you need your own computer in the first place?  Does your family have a shared computer you could use instead?
and lastly, the most mustachian question:
why aren't you investing your $2500 in retirement!? :D  I say it half-jokingly.  But your best asset when investing is time, and if you start now, you'll give yourself a huge head start.  That's what I'd tell my 15-year-old self.