Desktop computers today are very powerful but the question is, whether we can use Raspberry PI instead of desktop computers. Though we can’t replace totally but can we use it at some places or in some devices for the ease and to make energy efficient system?
In the beginning, the purpose of making Raspberry PI was to use it as microcomputer but later its scope expanded and now it is using in smart devices due to its potential and advantages. We can also call it low cost computer.
Raspberry PI can do the same as desktop computers regardless of storage and power but there are many differences which we have to consider and decide whether we can use it or not. The difference between them is the processor. The desktop computers processors have CISC architecture i.e. Intel x86 series. On the other side Raspberry Pi is based on RISC architecture like the processor in Raspberry PI 3 is armv7.
As Raspberry PI have RISC based architecture and RISC is faster than CISC because in complex instruction set many cycles waste (see differences between RISC and CISC). This means that Raspberry is faster than desktop computers. Intel overcame the problem and is using now hybrid RISC but still for special purposes RISC is better. There are other advantages which includes:
5 to 7 watts of electricity is consumed by Raspberry PI so it is less energy consuming.
The problem of moving parts is solved in Raspberry PI because SD card is used as storage.
One of the most advantageous things is that raspberry is small enough to integrate in the devices for special purposes making easy to use them rather we take desktop computers with ourselves, when going anywhere.
We can easily change the functionality of PI by swapping with other SD cards running other GNU/Linux distributions.
Raspberry PI functioning can be extended using PI camera module and some other modules if want to enhance the device.
Differences between RISC and CISC:
Computing cycles are the big factor which make RISC different from CISC.
CISC is not efficient because it has complex instructions in which one instruction performs a lot but the disadvantage is that it wastes many cycles.
While in RISC one instruction is usually meant to perform specific task so no wastage of cycles here. That’s why RISC is faster than CISC.
CISC is usually used by computers but RISC is used by smartphones, tablets etc.