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What is Raspberry Pi ? Beginner's Guide

Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized computer that plugs into your TV and a keyboard through HDMI and USB port.
Satyam Yadav

What is Raspberry Pi ?

The Raspberry Pi is a credit card-sized computer that can be connected to a TV and keyboard through HDMI and USB ports. It is a versatile computer that can perform many of the functions of a desktop PC, including word processing, spreadsheet management, gaming, and more. Additionally, it plays videos, however the quality varies depending on the Raspberry Pi version.

What is Raspberry Pi ?

The Raspberry Pi Foundation, a UK charity, developed the credit card-sized Raspberry Pi for various electronic projects, including robotics, gaming, and home automation.

Its low-cost platform aims to promote basic computer science education. With over 19 million units sold since its 2012 launch and 3 million units sold in 2016 alone, the Raspberry Pi is among the best-selling computers ever made.

Different Types of Raspberry Pi's

1. Raspberry Pi Model B (February 2012) : 

- Broadcom BCM2835 SoC

- ARM11 processor 

- 700 MHz

- 512 MB  RAM

- 2 USB 2.0 ports

- 1 HDMI output 

- 1 Ethernet port 

- 26-pin GPIO header.

2. Raspberry Pi Model A (October 2012) :

- More Affordable and Compact than Model B 

- 256 MB RAM 

- No Ethernet port 

- Used in power-efficient applications

3. Raspberry Pi Model B+ (July 2014) :

- Advanced version of Model B 

- 40 GPIO Pin header

- 4 USB 2.0 ports

- MicroSD card Slot

- Better audio output and power management.

4. Raspberry Pi Compute Module (April 2014) :

- Aims at industrial and commercial use 

- More compact and modular

- BCM2835 SoC

- Small in size hence can be integrated with different PCB designs

5. Raspberry Pi Model A+ (November 2014) :

- Upgraded version of Model A 

- Same form factor as the Model B+

- Same features as Model A

- 256 MB RAM 

- No Ethernet  port

6. Raspberry Pi 2 Model B (February 2015) : 

- 900 MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor

- 1 GB RAM

- 4 USB 2.0 ports

- 1 HDMI port

- Improved version of previous models

- Supports various operating systems

7. Raspberry Pi Zero (November 2015) :

- 1 GHz single-core ARM11 processor

- 512 MB RAM

- MicroSD card port

- Mini-HDMI output

- More compact 

- Less expensive

- Features composite video output

8. Raspberry Pi 3 Model B (February 2016) :

- 4 USB 2.0 ports

- Quad-core 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A53 processor

- Bluetooth 4.1

- Wi-Fi connectivity

- Supports 64-bit operating systems like Raspbian 0S 

- Enhanced power management and thermal performance

9. Raspberry Pi Compute Module 3 (January 2017) :

- Upgrade to compute module

- Includes an eMMC flash storage

- Faster and powerful BCM2837 SoC

- Upto 1 GB RAM

- For business and industrial applications

10. Raspberry Pi Zero W (February 2017) :

- Upgrade to Model Zero

- Wi-Fi 

- Bluetooth 4.1

11. Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ (March 2018) :

- Upgrade to Model 3B 

- Quad-core 1.4 GHz ARM Cortex-A53 processor 

- Better Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity

- New thermal management system

- Support for Power over Ethernet (PoE) using separate HAT add-on.

12. Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ (November 2018) :

- Same specification as the Model 3 B+

- But smaller in size 

- More power efficient

- No Ethernet port

- Dual band Wi-Fi

- Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity. 

- For portable and battery-powered applications, such as drones and remote sensors.

13. Raspberry Pi 4 Model B (June 2019) :

- Quad-core 1.5 GHz ARM Cortex-A72 processor

- Upto 4 GB RAM

- 2 USB 3.0 port

- 2 USB 2.0 port

- Gigabit Ethernet port

- Wi-Fi

- Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity

- 2 micro-HDMI port

- Supports  two 4K displays simultaneously

14. Raspberry Pi 400 (November 2020) :

- Unique Computer built into a keyboard

- Same specs as the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B

- More compact and integrated form factor

- Pre-installed microSD card with the Raspberry Pi OS

- Built-in power supply

- GPIO header for expansion

- Designed for education, home computing, and general-purpose use.

Pros and Cons of a Raspberry Pi

There are several pros and cons to using a Raspberry Pi. Here are some of the most notable:

  • Relatively inexpensive compared to other single-board computers.
  • Can be used as a desktop computer, for normal usage.
  • Low power consumption makes it ideal for use as a Home server.
  • Ability to interface with a huge range of hardware through its GPIO pins.

  • Limited processing power and memory compared to desktop computers.
  • No built-in storage means you'll need to use an SD card for your operating system and data storage.

What Can You Do With a Raspberry Pi ?

Raspberry Pi is a credit card sized computer that you can use for various electronics projects. You can use it as a media centre, game console, web server, or to create your own projects. In this guide, we will show you some of the many things that you can do with a Raspberry Pi.

Media Centre - Raspberry Pi is among the most widely used devices. You can connect it to your TV and use it to play videos, music, and games. You can also use it to stream content from the internet, such as movies and TV shows.

Game Console - You can connect it to your TV and play all kinds of games, including retro games that you can't play on modern consoles.

Web Server - This allows you to host your own website or blog on the internet. You can also use it to run web applications such as WordPress or Drupal.

Finally, you can use a Raspberry Pi to create your own projects. There are literally thousands of possibilities here, limited only by your imagination. You could create a security system for your home, an automated plant watering system, or anything else that you can think of.

Setting Up Your Raspberry Pi

If you're new to the Raspberry Pi, this guide will show you how to get started by setting up your RaspberryPi and installing the Raspbian operating system.

Raspberry Pi

Step 1 - You need a Raspberry piKeyboardMouse, and a Monitor to complete setup easily. You can also use your Laptop to complete setup, using VNC viewer or SSH (we will create a tutorial on that soon).

Step 2 - You will also need a SD Card to install the Raspbian OS on it and attach it to raspberry pi

You can download the latest version of Raspbian from the official Rasperry Pi website ( Once downloaded, unzip the file and write it to an SD card using Etcher ( or by using Raspberry Pi imager tool.

Step 3 - Now attach KeyboardMouse to raspberry pi and connect it the Monitor using HDMI cable.

Step 4 - Nothing will display on the screen, because your RaspberryPi is not running yet. Connect it to the Power Supply to Turn it on. Remember to use at least 3.0 amps for RaspberryPi 4 and 2.5 amps for RaspberryPi 3.

Step 5 - After completing the initial setup by selecting the country, language, and timezone, proceed to the next step by clicking on "Next". You will then be prompted to create a password. Once you have set up your password, configure your screen settings. For internet connectivity, you have the option to use either a Wifi or WLAN connection.

Step 6 - Now if it asks to update then complete the process and Boom. Enjoy your new computer.

Alternatives to the RaspberryPi

If you're looking for alternatives to the RaspberryPi, there are a few options out there. The BeagleBone Black is one such option. It's a single-board computer that's similar in many ways to the Raspberry Pi, but it's a bit more powerful and comes with more I/O pins.

Another option is the Odroid-C2. This is another single-board computer that's similar to the Raspberry Pi, but it has more power and connectivity options.

Finally, there's the Banana Pi. This is a credit card-sized computer that's similar to the RaspberryPi in terms of specs and features. However, it doesn't have as much support from the community as the other two options.


If you're looking for a low-cost, single-board computer that you can use to learn programming or build simple electronics projects, it is a great option.

In this beginner's guide, we've covered what the Raspberry Pi is, what its specs are, and some of the basics of using it. We hope this has been helpful in getting you started with your own project.

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