Raspberry Pi goes 2GB for the price of 1GB in honour of mini-computer's eighth birthday

Let's hear it for tumbling memory prices

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It has been eight years since order books opened for the diminutive Raspberry Pi and the foundation has celebrated by knocking $10 off the price of the 2GB incarnation, reducing the thing to $35.

The cut is permanent and attributed to a fall in the price of the RAM used by the machines. Memory prices have been tumbling of late and Pi customers are the latest to benefit.

Those prices don't seem to have touched the 4GB version, however, which remains at $55. Regarding this point, Eben Upton of the Pi maker told El Reg the 4GB product "was barely sustainable for us at $55," adding that "it cost a lot more than $10 to add the extra 2GB to get from 2GB to 4GB."

So anyone hoping for more price cuts should not hold their breath: "We were already leaning very far forward there."

It's a shame, since the 4GB version affords some intriguing possibilities, although a Linux desktop will chug along happily enough on 2GB.

A hint that something was in the air could be detected in recent weeks as stocks of the 1GB version ran low in the channel. While the Pi team will keep the 1GB version available for commercial or industrial users, who don't much care for change, its price will remain at $35, meaning that most end users will opt for the encheapened 2GB version (and, frankly, have a much better time of things).

The first edition Raspberry Pi 1 Model B arrived in 2012 featuring a 700MHz Arm processor and a paltry 256MB of RAM. It had just enough horsepower to run the likes of Quake III and the Linux of the day but, to be honest, was little more than a plaything; a bit of nostalgia for those who remembered the BBC Micro and an inexpensive way to introduce a child to the delight of hijacking the family TV for a serious coding session.

It has since sold more than 30 million, with multiple updates seeing the CPU jump from 32-bit to 64-bit and the speed creep upwards to 900MHz, then 1.2 and 1.4GHz before the 1.5 GHz of today. RAM similarly increased, swiftly to 512MB then 1GB and finally the 4GB possible with the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B.

The Pi has also enjoyed a camera connector and hobbyists have busied themselves with the General Purpose Input-Output (GPIO) pins to create a seemingly unending number of add-ons for the device.

It has also suffered the odd bump or two, with notable borkages including the infamous Power Over Ethernet, Hardware Attached on Top (PoE HAT) fiasco that left USB devices struggling, or last year's USB-C resistor cock-up, which resulted in the Pi 4 being ignored by certain power adapters.

Still, the foundation is to be commended for not hiking its prices with every generation (unlike certain hardware vendors). By our reckoning, $35 in 2012 money is nearer $40 today, but the Pi has resolutely stayed soldered to $35 for an entry-level Model B.

Though it pains our grinchy vulture hearts to say it, happy birthday.

Now, about that heat coming off the Pi 4 when we try to use LESTER's optics? We do not like our beer warmed... ®

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