Updated: Jun 22
The Raspberry Pi foundation finally launched their brand new Raspberry Pi 4 8GB RAM version. Although there are a lot of other competitors like the Lattepanda and Orange Pi here in this article lets discuss how good actually the new Raspberry Pi 4 is? And should you really upgrade?
There aren't many differences between the Raspberry Pi 4 4GB model and the 8GB model apart from obviously more ram and USB type C power management.
The new 8GB model ships with same Broadcom BCM2711 present in the 4GB varient which is a Quad-core Cortex-A72 [ARM v8] 64-bit SoC clocked at 1.5GHz, but overclocking is enabled up to 2.1 GHz.
Also, they moved the SMPS closer to the USB type C port, this mainly has to do with the power input to the board itself. The new 8GB model can take advantage of the higher current supply as compared to the 3A restrictions on the earlier version of the Pi 4. The higher current input will also show advantages when you connect an external drive to the Raspberry Pi 4, as you won't have to worry about underpowering the CPU.
Although the more RAM and higher current input will not really help much in emulation and stuff. But with other applications like building a server and or home NAS, this will an awesome feature for the new Raspberry Pi 4. Also as Raspberry Pi has released the 64-bit "Raspberry Pi OS" formerly known as Raspbian. We can actually take full advantage of the 8GB RAM.
Is it really worth it?
The new Raspberry Pi 4 8GB model is a really big deal, but you might be wondering is it any good as compared to other single board PCs like the Lattepanda.
The Lattepanda's highest-end version offers 4GB RAM along with inbuilt 64 GB storage coupling with other benefits like the ability to run full Windows 10 and an Intel Cherry Trail Z8350 Quad Core CPU.
On the other end, the Raspberry Pi offers 8GB RAM and no inbuilt storage what so ever, although it doesn't support Windows 10 OS, it has its own lightweight Linux distro known as the "Raspberry Pi OS" formerly known as the Raspbian OS.
So, as compared to these is the Raspberry Pi any better??
And the answer is, that it totally depends on the User. The highest-end version of the Lattepanda cost $209 with windows 10 Enterprise License and on the other hand, the highest-end Raspberry Pi costs around $75. Although when compared features and functionality the Lattepanda is much superior then the Raspberry Pi, but greater functionality also ships with a greater cost. So, if you have the budget to spend on a Lattepanda surely the best choice will be to go for the Panda instead of the Raspberry Pi.
So should you switch from the older Raspberry Pi 4 to the newer one??
With the new 8GB RAM version, having more RAM will not benefit in tasks like Emulation but on actual desktop usage, it will show its benefits over the long term run.
So, to conclude. If you are using the Raspberry Pi for stuff like emulation, then you should better stick to the old one but for other tasks like building your own server, clusters, the new 8GB model will have some real benefits over the 4GB or the 2GB model.