Raspberry Pi doubles the RAM, but resists price hike

Summary:Rather than add a more-expensive Raspberry Pi, the cheap Linux device's backers have bumped up the memory in the current Model B to 512MB as standard.

People who buy a Raspberry Pi will now get 512MB of RAM as standard, twice as much as before, the backers of the cheap Linux computer have revealed.

The upgrade to the Model B version of the Raspberry Pi kicks in on Monday at distributors Element 14/Premier Farnell and RS Components, according to the device's creator Eben Upton.

raspberry-pi-b-256
The Model B Raspberry Pi will come with 512MB of RAM from now on. Image: Charles McLellan

"If you have an outstanding order with either distributor, you will receive the upgraded device in place of the 256MB version you ordered," Upton said in a post to the Raspberry Pi blog. "Units should start arriving in customers' hands today, and we will be making a firmware upgrade available in the next couple of days to enable access to the additional memory."

The move follows suggestions from fans that the Raspberry Pi Foundation should make a more-expensive 'Model C' version of the £25 device with more RAM, he noted. This would let them run several large applications at the same time and boost its use as a general purpose computer.

"The downside of this suggestion for us is that we're very attached to $35 as our highest price point," Upton said.

The Raspberry Pi was developed as a cheap device for kids to learn programming on, and it was designed to keep manufacturing down — for example, it initially did not come with MPEG-2 support for this reason.

One other untrumpeted shift in the Model Bs now being shipped is that they come with a Samsung chip, rather than the Hynix product seen earlier.

Topics: Linux, Hardware, Open Source, PCs, United Kingdom

About

Karen Friar is news editor for ZDNet in the UK, based in London. She has been in journalism since the last century, starting out in film journalism in San Francisco, before making the switch to tech coverage at ZDNet.com. Next came a move to CNET News.com, where she looked after west coast coverage of business technology, specialising in... Full Bio

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