with the current shortage in RPi availability, I found myself looking for good deals of second hand computers.

Basically, I only want the RPi to perform computation and act as a server, nothing more, nothing related to sensors or anything. Just computations.

I would like to know how to compare computing performances between what I would get from a RPi4B 4G Ram (or equivalent CM4) and a cheap second hand laptop with 4G RAM from 2008 that I was able to setup with Ubuntu after upgrading the 320Go corrupted HDD to a 1TB SSD.

Here are more specs:

  • Intel Core Duo T5850
  • Graphic Card NV86
  • Wifi


  • I think you will be real happy with it. That vintage is not a super power hog either. I have a IBM PC clone running my whole home. It has win95 which I use when I want the networking on etc. It has a humongous 5G drive and two floppies. It always boots from floopies into DOS. If I remove the floppy it boots into win 95. It is on a UPS and I have had runtimes of several years. It will make a nice server, faster then several NAS units on the market today.
    – Gil
    Commented Feb 1, 2023 at 16:37
  • I'd suggest you ask yourself the simple question: "Am I happy with the laptop's ability to 'perform computation and act as a server'"? If the answer is yes, then surely it doesn't matter what performance you'd get from a RPi. Save your money for something else :)
    – David Arno
    Commented Feb 1, 2023 at 17:09
  • You could try searching for benchmark tests. That should help you find the software used for benchmarking & determine what benchmarks are important to you. Data collected from benchmark testing conducted on the RPi 4B is also available online from sites such as "Tom's Hardware" & others; here again, Google is your friend... your question probably isn't Raspberry Pi-specific, so you may not get the answers you're seeking here.
    – Seamus
    Commented Feb 2, 2023 at 0:29

1 Answer 1


I would prefer the Raspberry Pi for the following reasons:

  • The Raspberry Pi is very efficient. With about 5 - 10W load the electricity costs land in about 10-25€/year (In Germany), your laptop should burn much more power.

  • The Raspberry Pi clocks only with 1.5 GHz but has 4 cores. It depends on what you want to calculate. If the calculation can only use one core, the laptop with 2.6 Ghz will be better. If the program can use several cores at the same time, then the Pi has the advantage.

  • The Pi also has WiFi and the graphics should run on the same level.

  • The Pi also manages without active ventilation. (As long as you take a good case).

Greetings Johannes

  • If you can, would you please add the cost in US $? Add it in parenthesis next to the price. Most people here are in the US (I think).
    – LilData777
    Commented Feb 3, 2023 at 18:52
  • That would of course be a good idea. Unfortunately, I don't know what the current electricity prices are in the USA and how they are calculated. Here in Germany, the prices can be different in each town. That's why I didn't do this. I calculate like this: 8760h a year, times 5W/h is about 43kWh. The kilowatt hour currently costs 0.33€ for me. According to google it is 0.142$ in the USA. So 43*0.142 are 6,1$
    – JJandke
    Commented Feb 4, 2023 at 19:43

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