4 reasons to buy an old Raspberry Pi model
The Raspberry Pi is the most popular single-board computer for a reason. They are affordable and versatile enough to be useful for tinkering enthusiasts of all skill levels.
Since the Raspberry Pi was first introduced in 2012, there have been more than 15 different versions of the beloved single-board computer. Although the new Raspberry Pi 4 is getting more attention these days, there are several reasons why users tend to want to buy the older version.
While the Raspberry Pi 4 offers a considerable amount of power for just $35, you should consider buying one of the older versions - new or used - for the following reasons.
1. Price and Availability
Traditionally, Model A versions of the Raspberry Pi have always been slimmer, costlier, and less feature-rich alternatives to the Model B version for that same generation. However, the Raspberry Pi 4B currently doesn't have a Model A variant, leaving you in a tough spot if you don't want to pay a lot for the Raspberry Pi 4B and can't get a smaller alternative like the 2 W Pi Zero.
The main option, without considering Raspberry Pi alternatives, is to use an older Raspberry Pi model, such as the Pi 3A+, Pi 3B+, Pi 3B, or the original Pi Zero W, which tends to be more commonly available.
2. Project specific requirements
Another reason to choose the old Raspberry Pi is project compatibility. Some projects require a Raspberry Pi with a specific size or power requirement. For example, you cannot use a case designed for Raspberry Pi 3B/3B+ for Raspberry Pi 4B due to differences in the shape and arrangement of ports.
The Raspberry Pi 3B or 3B+ is also better suited for a 2.5A power supply than the Raspberry Pi 4B. So an older Raspberry Pi model might suit your needs better, depending on the project requirements. If capacity is an issue for an embedded or portable project, you may prefer the much smaller Pi Zero W.
If you're not sure, there are ways to check which Raspberry Pi model you have.
3. Sustainability and Recyclability
E-waste is a significant environmental concern. Buying used Raspberry Pi models can be your way of contributing to eco-sustainability. By purchasing and using older Raspberry Pi models, you are giving them a new life and extending their usefulness. This helps to minimize the negative environmental impact caused by the manufacturing and eventual disposal of these devices.
In addition, older Raspberry Pi models typically have lower power consumption than newer models. Using these models reduces energy consumption, thereby helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve natural resources and reduce pollution.
4. Older models are still in production
Most older Raspberry Pi models, from Raspberry Pi B+ onwards, have not been discontinued. According to the Raspberry Pi website, they will remain in production until at least January 2026. As the supply situation improves, there will be a lot of older Raspberry Pi models for sale.
Raspberry Pi model