Raspberry Pi 4 Offers Up 2 GB For The Price Of One

The Raspberry Pi 4 represents a significant performance increase over previous generations, unlocking potential applications that were simply beyond the abilities of these diminutive Single Board Computers (SBCs) in the past. Some would even argue that the Pi 4, with a quad-core Cortex-A72 running at 1.5 GHz, now holds its own as a lightweight ARM desktop computer for those interested in finally breaking free from x86.

In light of the considerable upgrade in processing power, the choice to outfit the base model Pi 4 with just 1 GB of RAM always seemed a bit odd. So it’s little surprise that the Raspberry Pi Foundation has decided to shift things around and lower the price of the 2 GB model to the traditional $35. In a blog post this morning, Eben Upton said that with RAM prices falling over the last year, the company thought it was time they passed the savings onto the customer.

This change comes just two days before the Pi’s 8th birthday. There has been speculation that the Pi 4 is capable of operating with 8 GB of RAM and unveiling that news to coincide with this anniversary would have been a clever marketing move. Alas, it looks like we’ll have to continue to wait.

For those who are invested in the 1 GB model, have no fear. Rather than delete the product from the lineup entirely, the company will be keeping it available for anyone who needs it. So if you’ve got a commercial or industrial application that might not take kindly to the hardware getting switched out, you’ll still have a source of spares. That said, the pricing for the 1 GB model won’t be changing, so there’s no cost advantage to using it in new designs.

Combined with news that compatibility issues the Pi 4 had with generic USB-C power supplies was fixed with an under the radar board revision, it seems there’s never been a better time to upgrade to the latest and greatest version of everyone’s favorite Linux board. Happy Birthday, Raspberry Pi.

54 thoughts on “Raspberry Pi 4 Offers Up 2 GB For The Price Of One

    1. It’s more than a theory. Not making it available seems to be either a deliberate choice by the Pi folks, or pricing/availability by the memory manufacturer. I suspect a combination of both.

  1. If there are two things I’d wish for to augment my RasPi 4 (it’s already running a true 64-bit kernel and userspace and has hugetlbfs support enabled in the kernel for better performance on things like hash table lookup and DMA-from-userspace) would be:
    * 8GB ram (rather than 4)
    * Ditch the USB 3 and take its PCIe lane for an NVMe SSD.
    I am seriously thinking of doing the latter to mine (with a few pairs harvested from a SATA cable) but I expect the former would be more of an undertaking….

    1. eMMC is a lot more practical than PCIe for systems where low price is the focus. The eMMC drive on my ODROID is screaming fast. Also, that USB port is a primary selling point and its market would be much more limited without it.

    2. I would give up on 8 GB of RAM for now. Look for that in 2022 when they release a Raspberry Pi 5. They could release 2/4/8 SKUs.

      Some have talked about modifying it by hand… good luck not killing it.

    3. I for one was happy to see the USB3.0 support show up in the RPI4. USB2.0 was way to slow for any ‘storage’ application (as was the shared Ethernet port). So now, I can run the / file system off of an external SSD (rather than the SD card) and hang another external HDD on there for the primary storage as an example of a simple relatively fast compact file server now. Aside from the speed, you also have the increased power each port can supply for any addon USB boards that may need a bit more juice.

  2. The article didn’t say if the 4GB (unless I missed it) would be say reduced to the 2GB price…. Anyway, nice to see the vendor pass on some cost savings! For most headless applications 1-2G is ‘swimming’ in memory.

    1. 2GB model was poor seller and 4GB was best, this fixes it. Also I guess they offset some of the higher profit from 4GB model into lower priced 2GB model as maybe the ram price change alone wouldn’t save full $10. Just a guess.

  3. more hype… over the years I’ve learned from bitter experience that the RPi is a piece of crap hyped up by a bunch of zealots who know very little about high performance computers. It is laughable to see a 64 bit CPU with multiple cores restricted to 4GB of RAM and to make matters worse (MUCH WORSE) there is not even the possibility of decent high speed virtual RAM (the average RPi user wont even know I’m talking about a high speed disc interface here – e.g. SATA SSD). To even compare it with a modern x86 CPU beggars belief.

    So what do you actually get for $55? An SBC with 4GB of RAM running at 1.5GHz? What about a case, PSU, HDD, ketboard, mouse, display? Add it all up and you can put together a damn good little x86 PC that will wipe the floor with the RPi.

    Ah yes but the RPi lets you play with I/O ports. Hell for a few bucks you can do the same with a PIC micro controller. But I guess that would mean the average RPi programmer would need to learn to program.

    1. I agree raspberries are hyped up, but they are far from being useless. What you actually get with a pi is a well-supported ecosystem and superb performance per watt. Sometimes you just need a device that sits between a microcontroller and a desktop computer in terms power consumption and performance. A raspberry pi fills that niche quite well

      1. Indeed.

        A “damn good little” x86 system for a small email server supporting four users is overkill.

        An ARM based SBC email server doesn’t need a dedicated “ketboard”, mouse or monitor. Can use an old laptop drive with a USB-IDE adapter costing about £2.

        And more importantly, will use a fraction of the power when idle. Which is likely to be most of the time with only four users and two domain names.

    2. My … My… Are we jealous or something that there is a 35-55 dollar small fan-less computer that actually works great out of the box? I like having a full Linux stack of utilities at my finger tips in a small package, The RPI is swimming in memory (even 1G is overkill for most things), plus lots of add-on boards and I/O to play with for fun automation projects. I can run it headless, or have a GUI if I want. Who needs a keyboard, mouse, and displays (but hey, you want ’em you can certainly add them…)? Just use SSH to manage your RPI. For the things I do, High Performance??? I don’t need blazing speed for my applications. I can program in ‘C’, Assembly, and get to the registers if I want… Or go higher level with Python, Pascal, Perl, even Fortran … You name it. So….What’s not to like???? Back in my younger days we were controlling hydro plants with much much less resources available. When I came on-board, we were running 16Mhz Motorola 68xxx cpus at the time… We still have some 8 Mhz Z-80 systems out there in comm sites, and 25Mhz 68332 RTUs controlling substations…. So having all this horsepower and resources available in a tiny package is REALLY a ‘luxury’.

      I don’t treat my RPIs as ‘workstations’ — like you are trying to shoehorn the RPIs into… I already have them. All of my home workstations and servers our state of the art AMD Ryzen 3000 based systems. The RPIs are just FUN and useful. Take anywhere and put anywhere and do many many things from robotics, automation, to lowly dns servers, to small web servers, file servers… you name it…. Lots of resources available without having to design from the ground up. And yes, I work with Arduinos, Sonoffs, Beagle Blacks, etc. too.

      Nuff Said. I like my little RPIs :) .

    3. So, where is your design?

      Where can I get your 16GB ARM Core, low power machine for say $200,$300?

      Show us on the doll where the raspberry pi touched you.

      Some of us don’t need a 300W machine to serve a few files. Like that little website you have, the one you still code in framemaker, where you were supposed to learn some java, a little HTML maybe…

      find me a pic that can do I2C, SPI, PCM, Serial, HDMI, CEC.

      What, I can’t login to a microcontroller?

      I use my Pi for JTAG Programming, and controlling a bunch of I2C and SPI devices, something the average PIC just can’t do.

      Maybe you use your little ESP32 to serve that webpage, that you hard-coded, where you use 3 different “lightweight” frameworks to toggle a little LED, dependant on your 4Ghz machine, running 3 containers to properly format a message that the ESP32 can understand.

      Computing so cheap, it’s almost disposable. the $5 Pi and Pikrellcam beats the pants off any motion detection camera on the market out there.

      1. I’ll leave you to wallow in your own deluded self importance but for the sake of other readers I’ll correct your misinformation regarding the PIC: most PICs can do I2C, SPI and Serial in ***HARDWARE***

        “the $5 Pi”… more hype. Where can you get a Pi Zero for $5?

    4. The raspberry even as is hyped is far from crap as is actually a godsend for us who where used to have to pay 300$+ for an sbc because a microcontroller was insuficient.

      You are overestimating your knowledge on HPC, not all uses have the same needs and the advantages of 64bits are not only in the addressable memory, also you need more than you have to use to put a functional raspberry to put a functional x86 unless you go to the second hand market.

      1. I’m humored to be accused of being a Windows user by Bill Gates himself. :P

        I was responding to osprey, as he mentioned the keyboard, monitor, and mouse as costly extras you need for a Pi. If your use case requires a monitor, then the little PC you build instead will also require a monitor.

    5. Please keep in mind that the RasPi is, first and foremost, intended as an educational tool to expose students to programming, IT, and general CS prior to studying those subjects in university (preferably Cambridge (c:). The creators had that vision and executed on it. Very well, too, I should add. The fact that it’s caught on like wildfire and is used in all sorts of projects and even commercial products is purely coincidental. They try to accommodate the hobby and industry crowd by rearranging the layout, upgrading its capabilities, introducing the compute modules, etc.; and, for sure, they’d love to hear about neat projects people come up with using RasPi’s, but education is still their focus, not us (i.e., hobbyists).

      BTW, speaking of hype, who’s doing the hyping? I’ve never heard of the RasPi Foundation doing anything that I’d consider hyping up. They do product announcements, sure, do you think that’s hyping it up? If anything, they do wider press releases when they address mistakes and goofs they’ve done (e.g., the light sensitivity, the PoE hat, this USB-C power implementation). For that last one, they barely mentioned that they’ve released a new rev. to fix it. When the problem was first discovered they went on various forums to explain what’s happening, why, how it didn’t show up during their product dev., and lessons learned.

      So, I love my RasPi’s. I can learn to code it baremetal to write games in Python like in the new book they’ve just published. I’ve got most versions from v1 to v3 (no v4, yet), I think I even got a couple of Model A’s somewhere, and I’ve not killed one so far. If I do, it’s $35. I just don’t go out for lunch for a week and it’s paid for. (c:

      1. “BTW, speaking of hype, who’s doing the hyping?”…

        Articles like this that claim: “[Raspberry Pi] now holds its own as a lightweight ARM desktop computer for those interested in finally breaking free from x86.”

    6. The Pi is not marketed as a high performance computer. Even the 4 is clearly only meant for basic desktop tasks, which even a 3 can in fact do reasonably well.

      The Pi is meant for educational, digital signage, and embedded systems/lightweight server applications. With appropriate steps to protect the SD card, it can be extremely reliable. My first big install with them in 2015 is still running.

      The power supply for a pi is a random phone charger, and the display is a TV. Making a custom case is often part of the DIY project.

      A similar X86 will not have the easy deployment of SD cards, it will use far more power and may even require a fan, or a heatsink which can get dusty and need maintenance. The power supply may get hotter, and may be harder to replace (Power supplies seem to fail more often than any Pi).

      PICs have an important place, but they don’t have an Ethernet port, or WiFi, unless you add those things.

      Most of the time, if I’m going to bother DIYing something, it’s going to be connected, because as far as I’m concerned just about anything man-made benefits from connectivity.

      The Pi is a very convenient way to add high bandwidth networking and remote administration.

      They’re not supercomputers. This isn’t Cray. They’re Raspberry Pi’s, and they basically define the expectations for modern hobby SBCs these days. They’re really good at what they do.

      1. “A similar X86 will not have the easy deployment of SD cards,”…

        Actually using something like “Kingston FCR-MRG2 Generation 2 microSD Reader,” you can use a micro SD card in much the same way via a USB port. Linux, Winblows and FreeBSD allow you to boot and install from USB and in the case of Linux and FreeBSD (don’t know about winblows) you can just continue to use the SD card as a disc.

        “[x86] will use far more power and may even require a fan, or a heatsink which can get dusty and need maintenance.”…

        But lots of people are finding that they need to add heat sinks (some even fans) to their RPis otherwise they overheat and throttle back. Tests have shown that a RPi 4 can’t run at 1.5GHz (sustained) because it quickly overheats and automatically throttles back down to 1.0GHz (without a heat sink).

        “The power supply for a pi is a random phone charger,”… “The [PC] power supply may get hotter, and may be harder to replace (Power supplies seem to fail more often than any Pi).”…

        To be fair people tend to use the cheapest PSU they can get away with for a PC so it’s not surprising they tend to fail so often. But on your “first big install with them in 2015 (still running)” did you use a cheap and nasty random phone charger?

        1. The main reason ppl don’t boot their PCs off SD cards is that there are a lot better options available on a PC, like SSDs, even spinning rust edges out the performance of a SD on a typical USB 2.0 connected reader (USB 3.0 readers are coming in, but it’s likely that not many in the installed user base have it.)

        2. You could use an SD reader, but it’s a bit hackish.

          And I didn’t exactly use a cheap nasty charger. That install used a 5 port one from Amazon with five star reviews, and to be perfectly honest I don’t actually know if it’s still running the same PSU, but I’m pretty sure it is (And the pi boards themselves, plus the SD cards are the same).

          Still, the cost was in the tens of dollars, I pretty much looked for five stars and UL listing. And the last time I had to replace one(Different install) in the field in a hurry, I ran to the QFC next door.

          They use the lowest common denominator of parts while still maintaining the possibility to make things reliable.

          It’s basically a similar market position to Arduino, minus some of the unreliable that comes from the common use of those craptastic male jumper leads.

          Intel NUCs already exist, along with tons of “Like the pi but better performance” clones out there. The Pi isn’t trying to replace your gaming PC.

          It runs Kodi and Apache servers, and lets kids mess with linux without trashing a real PC(Which makes the SD card model almost essential).

          They do what they do extremely well, although I do wish they had a realtime clock, and built-in solar charging for a 2.4v lto battery, just because off-grid use is common.

    7. I partially agree with you. If you want to turn the Pi intro a PC, when you add all the stuff around it is good to swing just a bit more and get a proper x86 PC. For regular PC use, just the fact that you can use a proper SSD with it would be worth it. Plus, you can really get refurbished laptops for that price already. Pi is quite a bad choice for a stand alone PC only because of what you can get into the market at the price of a fully equipped pi + peripherals.

      On the other hand, there are plenty of applications where people use the Pi where you don’t need a monitor, mouse KB etc. I have one like that too, I paid (EUR) 35 for the pi, 8 for the SD card and 2 for the USB cable. It plugs into a free port of a 10 port USB supply. I could not get a x86 equivalent for that money. Bare in mind, electricity counts too, so having a 24/7 thing consume 4W instead of 40W matters. For me, the extra 36W would be >100 EUR in electricity per year.

    8. There’s always one isn’t there.

      Is the Pi the best thing ever? Of course not. Is it the best spec ARM SBC? No, there are other boards with better specs. Is it the SBC with the most community knowledge, support, etc? Arguably yes.

      Anyway, sure you can build a PC, but with cheap x86 CPUs starting at around the price (and size) of the entire Pi SBC, nevermind motherboard and RAM…

    9. Meh. No computer platform makes any sense if it doesn’t have the software.

      You can buy a PIC and write your own software in assembly or C to toggle pins.

      Or you can buy a Raspberry and toggle pins with a shell command, and half a hundred other ways. And then you can go do something else with it. Turn it into a video player, or a NAS, or a webcam, or a GIT server, or a Cloud, or a home control system. Or do whatever else you can build on top of the huge software library that is available for the PI, written by thousands of people.

      The PIC is an MPU which is good at toggling pins. The PI is a PC desktop system which also has the possibility of toggling pins.

      You’re comparing apples and pears. If you have been buying your Raspberry PIs as a replacement for PIC controllers for all these years you mention, you have been misleading yourself for quite a long time.

      But even so. I should advise you to buy Arduinos (AVRs) instead of PICs. It seems to me that your conception of The Average RPi Programmer is based on comparison with yourself. You value yourself as better than The Average RPi Programmer. But that doesn’t explain why you are so peeved. My guess is that you are less good than The Average PIC Programmer. And for you, there is the Arduino ecosystem.

      And don’t put the Arduino ecosystem down just like that. It’s not just about the Arduino boards with ATMEGA328. It’s also about the ESP8266 boards, the ESP32 boards, LPC cpu’s (ARM Cortex M3 and M4), and a bunch of other quite performant CPUs with hardly any operating system to speak of.

      1. “But that doesn’t explain why you are so peeved.”…

        I am peeved because of all the hype surrounding the RPi as is the case with ***THIS*** article proclaiming that the Pi “now holds its own as a lightweight ARM desktop computer for those interested in finally breaking free from x86.”

        Ok, so you want to use an ARM SBC as some kind of embedded device – more power to you, but there are other ARM SBCs out there, some more powerful some cheaper so why do we need to put up with the RPi hype.

        “My guess is that you are less good than The Average PIC Programmer.”… What is this guess based on?

        I mentioned the use of PICs because they are a very cheap way to ***LEARN*** to interface to the real world. If you blow up an I/O pin on a PIC then you have lost VERY little. Often you can just replace the PIC iteself. Often you can easily try replacing a PIC to see if a problem persists with the circuit and it is the PIC that has developed a fault. Using an SBC to learn is MUCH more expensive.

    1. This is the internet, where people from around the world can instantaneously share ideas, information, and opinions. Especially malcontents.

      Osprey can be as angry as they like. It doesn’t ruin my enjoyment of these cheap, small, power efficient Linux computers.

  4. Hi,
    You know what amazes me? You can get a decent computer (ie: the pi) for $35 (!)
    If I want, in my opinion, /slightly/ better machine, ie, a chromebox with a celeron, 8 gb ram, and and SSD of, lets, say, 128GB, I can’t get it. The cheapest Chromebox I can find is way above $350.
    Where does the gap come from? Why can’t you get a PI-like machine, for like $200, but with better specs? It the CPU /that/ expensive?
    I would love to have a bunch of cheap, more or less disposable boxes to use as linux-test-servers, for instance. I have been looking all over the net, but all you get is Windows-boxes for 400-500, or Chromeboxes for allmost the same price (!?)

    Why the gap?

    1. Bestbuy (US)

      >$119 – Lenovo – 100e 11.6″ Chromebook – MediaTek MT8173C – 4GB Memory – 32GB eMMC Flash Memory – Black
      >$179 – Lenovo – IdeaPad 1 14″ Laptop – AMD A6-Series – 4GB Memory – AMD Radeon R4 – 64GB eMMC Flash Memory – Platinum Gray

      1. Hi, thank you for your answer, but it only emphises my point. In the Netherlands, I can get a chromebook for 250 – easily. It will have 4GB ram, 32GB SSD, FULL HD screen, and a keyboard. And USB3 charging, AND batteries. ok, the screen will not be great, but that /has/ to mean that the motherboard can cost only, like, $30 max?
        If i go on ebay, and query for chromeboxes,
        they /start/ @ $250.
        To me, that is amazing…..

    2. For me an Intel NUC was the choice. If you don’t count the screen, <200 gives you a quad core celeron (J3455 or even J5005) , maybe 4-8GB RAM and SSD and power supply. Low power as well.

      Depending on what you have or want, there are also some mainboards with celeron CPUs at lower price than the NUC. THere are also mini PCs similar to NUC from other manufacturers, but at least where I live thy are not the best value for money.

      My NUC used as HTPC and home automation: https://www.electrobob.com/10002-server/

    3. I purchased an Asus Chromebox for ~150 USD in late ’16. Add in a cheap SSD and some extra RAM, its my daily Ubuntu machine for dev work at home. Just looked on Amazon and apparently that model is no longer offered new but I am seeing Samsung and Acer models in a similar price range.

      1. Those 1007u are little rippers, only real world ~20% slower than the low end i5 mobiles. Mostly the same silicon, unlike those atom based celerons that bench high, but trip over their own shoelaces on random stuff.

    4. “You know what amazes me? You can get a decent computer (ie: the pi) for $35 (!)”
      Add to that a header that allows you to do much ‘more’ than a PC, and a slot for a camera interface, its fan less…. Again, what’s not to like? It’s a wonderful time to dabble in electronics without having to build everything from the ground up.

      1. ‘more’ I do not buy. That’s getting into the rabid save the world device mentality that sets off reasonable ppl against pi fanaticism.

        Most of the pi argument come across as…
        It can do X (blinky light stuff better done with arduino)
        It can do Y (struggling to be a home server hampered by bad storage interfaces)
        and and and (Flakey version of a kindle fire 7 with a $10 keyboard case)

        But there are a few things it’s “just enough” computer for.

        1. I’ve yet to see where I can, out of the box do I/O stuff with my ‘high power’ Linux full tower desktop. Plus the ‘form factor’ allows me to set a PI or PI Zero anywhere. So I’ll stand by my ‘more’ comment for things that ‘I” do (your criteria may be different) and can treat it as a PC++ (all the tools available on a PC + I/O interaction). Yes there are things the Arduino or a Grand Central M4 can do better…. and when I may need that, I can connect an Arduino to the PI to get the functionality (analogs, or tight real-time timing) or talk to an EPS over wifi or… Or add a board/hat to the pi itself. multiple servo pulse handling is handled for me via a hat. Pi isn’t good for that out of box, but sure can send commands to the hat to get good precise functionality via SPI or I2C. The board I have can handle 16 servos at one time and can support multiple of those if I need them. The PI opens so many doors not available on a ‘normal’ desktop PC….

          1. I’ve not paid attention, but isn’t the issue of I/O around the ooerating system? Peoole used to do all kinds of things, then it became harder.

            But I have a parallel port on my i7, and surely it could be controlled with a custom driver.

            If the Pi can use I/O lines, is it so different, or because the version of Linux for the Pi has a general purpose driver?

            There was a time when many were programming at bare metal, but they had to constantly write I/O because their programs weren’t running on top of an OS.

  5. I’ve used the Maestro USB servo controller with the PI. Works fine. But I sure wouldn’t want to try to put my workstation in a robot controlled car/airplane with the Maestro…. or several large desktops on my work bench to play with electronics … These small RPI makes it really cheap, easy, and fun to interface to the real world with several of them spread across your workbench doing different things… Yes, there are ways to give you Workstation PC some I/O externally through the USB port(s). Talk to Arduino for example. They probably even still make PCI boards for input/output for a price if you have the slots available for them. Back when, we even used the parallel printer port for some interaction. But why bother now with all the very cheap SBCs out there that can fit in model rockets, cars, planes, trains, robots, etc.? With built in Wifi and all the different add-on boards with sensors and such, the possibilities are endless…. All this, plus using tools and apps you find in a full workstation. Still a PC++ to me. My workstations have their place. My RPIs have theirs.

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