What are the best low-cost hardware solutions for a home server (cloud, media center, personal website)?
Here’s the Deal
Slant is powered by a community that helps you make informed decisions. Tell us what you’re passionate about to get your personalized feed and help others.
It is now also available for free ( USB booted) on PC or Mac based on i386 processors. Works well and boots fast. The minimum USB key size needed is 2 GB. Pi promotors are working on a HDD bootable version too. See More
Lightweight and fast booting Raspbian Pixel now also runs on PCs and Mac with i386 processors and little RAM
While still a very powerful single-board computer, it’s not as powerful as some other SBCs. For example, it has some problems with streaming 4K videos; and even at Full HD, it has problems with YouTube. It is also unable to run newer games even if they are not very demanding such as Team Fortress 2 or DotA. See More
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B can be also be used as a console emulator using an OS image called RetroPie. Setting up RetroPie the first time will only take about 30 minutes on average for someone who has never done it before, and even less for experienced users. You can emulate various platforms ranging from early ‘80s legacy consoles like the NES, to more recent ones like the Wii and PlayStation Portable. See More
Raspberry Pi has the largest following of any single-board computer. The amount of guides, tutorials and software available for the Raspberry Pi is unmatched by any other competitor. A regular user has close to no chance to run into a problem that hasn’t been covered already. If a web search doesn’t yield any results, the users on the official forums are very responsive and will usually reply within a day. See More
You can easily turn any Raspberry Pi into a fully functional home media streaming station with its ability to stream 60Hz Full HD videos. You just have to hook the Model B up to a Full HD monitor (through an HDMI cable), decent speakers (the Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity will allow the use of the wireless ones). Then download applications (Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, and Kodi for example are all supported out of the box) and your home multimedia station is ready. Once built, you can even control the media station using an Android or iOS app. See More
The Raspberry Pi 3 model B offers 40 GPIO pins to be used within their projects. This is a very reasonable number of pins for most projects that will need them. The special communication protocols officially supported are the following: IIC (Inter-Integrated Circuit), SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) and UART (Universal Asynchronous Receiver-Transmitter). The GPIO functionality explained above allows the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B to be connected with various peripheral devices and, as a result expands the functionality of the board. For example, IIC and SPI buses can be used for attaching multiple analog to digital converters which can be used to “read” analog channels like thermal sensors, humidity sensors, CO2 sensors, etc. Meanwhile UART can be used for communication between multiple Raspberry Pi’s. See More
The Pi 3 can play 1080p videos at 60fps, which is a significant upgrade from the previous Pi 2 which ran at 30 fps. However, the built-in browser has problem with running YouTube videos at 60fps but by using another browser such as Firefox which is installed separately there should not be any problems with running videos at 60 fps. See More
While older versions of the Pi have had some annoying performance issues, the latest version has had a 50%-60% performance increase from the Raspberry Pi 2. This makes it a pretty decent choice for an everyday PC and it can perform basic tasks like opening and editing documents or browsing the web without a problem. See More
The ODROID GPIO pins operate at 1.8V which means that it cannot support most accessories and sensors on the market which operate at 3.3V or 5V. But this can be fixed for the XU4 with the XU4 Shifter Shield which adapts them for voltages used in the market. It comes at an extra cost of $18 though. See More
Early revisions of the C2 use a 2.5mm power socket instead of the micro USB port available on the board or any of the other USB ports. While not a drawback in terms of strength of the board, it's a bit annoying having to order a new power supply to work with the C2. Later revisions of the board can use the USB port for charging. However, ODROID recommends using the power socket if there are several devices attached to the board because they can increase the draw up to 2A and a lot of cheaper USB power adapters won't do 2A. See More
It's not unusual for the C2 to have a "Mode not supported" message when first booted up and connected to a monitor through the HDMI port. This can be fixed by logging through SSH and editing the boot.ini on a FAT partition on the SD card to set the correct HDMI resolution and the process is detailed pretty well on the ODROID wiki but it may be out of scope for some users and pretty annoying for the rest. See More
Help millions of people make better decisions.
Each month, over 2.8 million people use Slant to find the best products and share their knowledge. Pick the tags you’re passionate about to get a personalized feed and begin contributing your knowledge.