Falling memory prices have brought an early birthday treat for fans of the Raspberry Pi family of single-board computers: The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B 2GB variant has now dropped to $35, the original price of the 1GB.
At launch the Raspberry Pi 4 family was available in three varieties, differentiated only by the capacity of the on-board LPDDR4 RAM: an entry-level 1GB, a mid-range 2GB, and a top-end 4GB. While it's been available for less than a year, though, falling memory prices have resulted in a rethink that has seen the 2GB model's price slashed to match that of the 1GB — making it the new entry point into the family.
"We reduced the price of the 2GB model because memory prices have come down, and we can afford to. We couldn't afford to when we launched the product," Raspberry Pi Trading chief executive Eben Upton explains in an interview. "2GB is a much more viable desktop platform than 1GB. 1GB is great for embedded, but for a desktop platform it's just a little bit too tight. So what it means is we're now back to having a really, really viable desktop machine at our signature price point.
"We've had to breathe in quite a long way to make it work at $35, but it's really important because that's what we do, right? If you look at the past eight years, you've got eight times as much memory, you've got about 40 times as much processing power, about ten times as much IO bandwidth, you've got four times as many pixels on-screen and you've got two screens, and you've added Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. And your $35 from 2012 is about $40 now, so you've kind of got a five-dollar price-cut as well. It was really important to us to keep pushing the envelope in terms of what's doable."
The reduction of the 2GB model to the $35 entry point, which is live now globally, is an effective retirement of the 1GB variant: While it will still be produced and made available for customers who have designed the part into other products and platforms, it remains at the original $35 pricing — giving those who aren't tied to exactly 1GB of RAM no reason to purchase it over the 2GB variant.
More information on the move can be found on the Raspberry Pi blog.