Author Topic: Raspberry Pi  (Read 1415 times)

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Online The Latinist

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Re: Raspberry Pi
« Reply #15 on: July 06, 2019, 11:34:14 AM »
I have not pulled the trigger, yet. I’ve been watching the news and reviews, too, and while it looks good on paper I’m not yet convinced they’ve found the best compromise. True gigabit Ethernet on a dedicated bus is good, as is USB3, hardware video decoding and the availability of increased RAM.  But the increased power consumption and elimination of the full-sized HDMI are negatives. And the continued reliance on SD cards for storage and boot make that now the weakest point of the board.

I have a small aluminum heatsink on my 3B+ already. As long as it doesn’t require a fan, that’s okay with me.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2019, 11:36:17 AM by The Latinist »
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Offline BAWRFRS

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Re: Raspberry Pi
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2019, 12:22:23 PM »
I have not pulled the trigger, yet. I’ve been watching the news and reviews, too, and while it looks good on paper I’m not yet convinced they’ve found the best compromise. True gigabit Ethernet on a dedicated bus is good, as is USB3, hardware video decoding and the availability of increased RAM.  But the increased power consumption and elimination of the full-sized HDMI are negatives. And the continued reliance on SD cards for storage and boot make that now the weakest point of the board.

I have a small aluminum heatsink on my 3B+ already. As long as it doesn’t require a fan, that’s okay with me.

I agree with you in part. I have a couple tiny heatsinks on my 3B, but not my 3B+. Both are in official cases, and I try to take off the top when I run them (more important on the 3B than on the 3B+). But yeah, it seems to me that if passive cooling isn't doing enough, you probably should be considering a totally different form factor (and/or maybe you're trying to do too much and the Pi isn't the right tool).

And while I agree that the SD card has been a weak point, the SD card is a highly compact, low power draw, and neat solution. And the A1 rated cards are quite a bit better than prior types at things like random i/o speed. Obviously nothing will beat an SSD or HDD in that regard, but then you lose the elegance factor. I was going to say that if you had to have a fan and hook up SSD or HDD, then maybe the current form factor is something they should yield on ... something like the Mac Mini form factor might be more appropriate. But there are those who use Pi in embedded systems and the small form factor is valuable to them. To those of us who is it as an ersatz desktop PC, nothing of value would be lost if it increased in size from a deck of cards to a trade paperback book.

I'll concede too - I like USB boot, and in fact, have thumb drives that are clones of my microSD cards. Those don't add much clutter, of course. I've also experimented with attaching external HDD as storage and even booting from those (inconsistent results, even with powered drives).

For a long time they were insistent that they were as firm on the $35 price tag as anything in their design. But they have blinked on that a bit by offering the 2GB version at $45 surcharge and 4GB at $55. If they are really gunning for lower-end desktop performance, they may be wise to reconsider  the form factor on their "top of the line" model. It's not meant to be a mobile solution ... and a desktop user (e.g., kid learning to code) doesn't need it to be tiny.* Allowing the next Pi to be the size of a trade paperback book or something similar might open up some design alternatives that could solve some of these issues with temperature and (reliable/fast/persistent) storage, while keeping the price low.

They are really pushing what can be accomplished at that price and in that form factor. They always have, but it seems that the current design is really bumping up against practical limits. The ad-crazy modern web makes it all the more difficult. That's a monster whose appetite for system resources is never sated. I suspect that in most cases, the need for a lot of the speed, increased RAM, and so forth is because of how difficult the browsing experience is otherwise. But the browser is a pretty indispensable piece of software, even for kids learning coding.

*An upgraded Pi Zero W/WH could serve the embedded market.]
The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.  - Bertrand Russell

Offline BilLumberg

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Re: Raspberry Pi
« Reply #17 on: July 09, 2019, 11:50:30 AM »
I set up a 3 B+ this weekend as a NAS using openmediavault. Very easy to set up and so far is working nicely. Only using it for music files at the moment, but plan on trying out HD video this weekend. I will also measure the power consumption. If everything works well it will replace a older PC that was using between 300-350 watts per hour to host most of my media. One nice thing is I was able to use the same network name for the pi and the shares as the old PC so all my playlists still work.

One thing I like about the SD card is it is so easy to switch what the pi is used for. The one I set up as a NAS was being used as a retropie. Swap out the card, now it is a NAS. Pop the other card in and it's back to a retropie.

Looking forward to what the pi 4 will be capable of.
 

Offline BAWRFRS

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Re: Raspberry Pi
« Reply #18 on: July 09, 2019, 12:19:32 PM »
I set up a 3 B+ this weekend [...] plan on trying out HD video this weekend.
...
Looking forward to what the pi 4 will be capable of.

In my experience the 3B and 3B+ streamed HD video well under LibreElec. However, I am still pretty old school when it comes to video, so I don't quite see a need for a media center experience for me. We either stream Netflix (on Roku or DS's old Xbox), or we play DVDs (Redbox, or our own collection) directly into the TV. We even still have boxes of VHS tapes and a player or two that can still play them. Can't think of how a Pi-based media center would be of value to us.

Youtube never streamed well on the Pi except at Standard Def, and even then, you might still experience fits and starts (playing haltingly - much more common occurrence at 720p than 480p, but both can be affected). Not sure it's any better on the Pi 4 ... unclear to me what the issue is but I think I've read about issues w/ hardware acceleration, encoding, and so forth. I suspect that an HD stream that wasn't larded up with DRM stuff would play just fine, but that's just a hunch.

You make a good point about the ease with which you can swap out OS due to its use of microSD cards. Although that's not something that would be useful to me, I can see it being a super helpful feature for others.

I'm old enough to remember that the symptom of a computer being too slow was that you could out-type it. These days, for the typical user, speed issues reveal themselves in loading web pages and playing video (esp. YT video).  It's not lost on me that the latter relates to consuming content (bloated & advertising-supported), rather than creating it.

The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.  - Bertrand Russell

Online The Latinist

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Re: Raspberry Pi
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2019, 01:01:23 PM »
The streaming issue with YouTube is that Chromium does not support hardware acceleration of video decoding on the Linux.  So even though the graphics processor is capable of it, it’s all being handled by the CPU. That said, even VLC on the RPi4 seems not to be able to take advantage of the hardware decoding for local videos.  I expect that to change, though support it’s unlikely to come to Chromium.

I did read a while back about Ubuntu trying to enable hardware decoding in a Chromium snap based on a patch developed by the Fedora.  I don’t know if anything came or it. Of course Raspbian isn’t snappy; is Ubuntu MATE yet?
« Last Edit: July 09, 2019, 01:07:00 PM by The Latinist »
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Offline Captain Video

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Re: Raspberry Pi
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2019, 02:49:56 PM »
I have not been keeping up.

VLC on the Pi would certainly make my life easier.

Has anyone seen 2 different videos playing at the same time on duel screens yet?  I can always split them across a 3840 x 1080 comp and stretch across both screens but 2 independent videos would be ideal.

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Online The Latinist

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Re: Raspberry Pi
« Reply #21 on: July 09, 2019, 03:59:51 PM »
I doubt that it could handle two full-screen HD videos until the hardware decoder is working.  From what I’ve seen, it’s not perfect even with one video at 1080p.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline Captain Video

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Re: Raspberry Pi
« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2019, 04:09:32 PM »
is the hardware decoder not working with OMXplayer?

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Online The Latinist

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Re: Raspberry Pi
« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2019, 07:23:30 PM »
is the hardware decoder not working with OMXplayer?

I don’t know.  I don’t have a Pi4, and the reviews I saw which demonstrated video playback on it only tested Chromium/YouTube and VLC. This is a new chipset, though, so I wouldn’t be surprised if driver support is not yet implemented.
I would like to propose...that...it is undesirable to believe in a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true. — Bertrand Russell

Offline Captain Video

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Re: Raspberry Pi
« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2019, 08:02:03 PM »
yea microcenter got them in the store but sold out before I had time to get one, As soon as the next shipment comes in I'm grabbing one to test with.
“Don't explain computers to laymen. Simpler to explain sex to a virgin.”
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Offline stands2reason

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Re: Raspberry Pi
« Reply #25 on: July 09, 2019, 09:59:47 PM »
using between 300-350 watts per hour

I think you mean watt-hours per hour, or just watts.

Offline BilLumberg

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Re: Raspberry Pi
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2019, 11:25:36 AM »
Yeah, just watts. Those old computers can really use some power. The 300-350 was sitting idle with just the PC and UPS with no monitor. Recently purchased a kill a watt meter and it's kind of fun seeing how much simply updating to newer tech can save electricity.

Going to try a little 5000maH power pack that has pass-through charging as a UPS for the NAS pi so I wont need to hook up a monitor to log in every time the power blips. There is probably some way to do it through the network, but I have not looked into that yet.

Offline stands2reason

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Re: Raspberry Pi
« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2019, 03:44:01 PM »
My gaming laptop has a quad-core i5 and 1050Ti( both 2017, 14nm). The power adapter is rated for 120W. The TDP of the CPU & GPU is about 2/3 of that. When you consider computation per watt-hour, transistor size is a big deal. My MacBook (also 14nm silicon) could use as little as 5 W when idle.

Online The Latinist

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Re: Raspberry Pi
« Reply #28 on: July 16, 2019, 02:42:14 PM »
Be aware that there is a fundamental flaw with the RPi 4’s USB-C power sink implementation; they shorted two pins which must remain isolated. It seems to have been an effort to save one resistor by running both pins into one.  The result is that the RPi 4 cannot be charged with any ‘e-marked’ power adapters (those that contain active circuitry to determine the type of device attached).  That includes most higher-end adapters including the one that comes with USB-C MacBooks.  It may be several months before they can get a revision out.
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Offline brilligtove

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Re: Raspberry Pi
« Reply #29 on: July 16, 2019, 02:52:44 PM »
Is that short something you can break?
« Last Edit: July 16, 2019, 02:57:04 PM by brilligtove »
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