Pi3, Pi4 or Pi5?

In the past, it was often best to just buy the latest Raspberry Pi model available. However, with at least three models now on the market, choosing the right one has become more complicated.

Pi 2 or Older

Don’t! While you might still be able to find an old Pi, the Pi 2 and older models lack support for the ARM64 instruction set, and some software might not support them anymore. Compared to newer models, these are extremely slow. There is no reason to get one of these, even if it is a few bucks cheaper than a newer model.

Pi 3

This is the oldest Pi model that is still widely available. If you are planning to build a small media player that runs only a single application, it usually offers enough performance. One drawback is the old Micro-USB power connector. It is less robust than the newer USB-C connector, and power supplies with a Micro-USB connector are not very popular anymore.

Pi 4

The Pi 4 is a modernized version of the Pi 3. It comes with a USB-C power connector, and you can get versions with 2GB or 4GB of RAM, making it a better choice for more complex installations. In our opinion, the 2GB version offers the best value for money. If you need a lot of RAM, the Pi 5 might be a better choice.

Pi 5

The Pi 5 is a powerhouse. Is fast boot time important to you? Do you want to run more than just a music player on the Pi? Do you want to use many HiFiBerryOS extensions and even run a Logitech Media Server on the system? Go for the Pi 5! The more applications you want to run on the same Pi, the more memory you should get. However, for many applications, 4GB will be sufficient.

The major disadvantage of the Pi 5 is the price. There is no “low end” 1-2GB version of the Pi 5, and there probably won’t be in the future. If you are on a tight budget and don’t need the power, you might still consider using the Pi 4.

May 17, 2024

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