It is no secret that Raspberry Pi thin clients are notorious money savers. From reduced administrative costs to lower purchasing costs, these little powerhouses are saving businesses huge amounts of money. Due to their size and design, they are also very efficient energy savers helping you save on utility bills whilst reducing your carbon footprint. But how much money do you save on power by using a Raspberry Pi thin client exactly?

Before we get started, it is important to note that as manufacturers quote energy consumption differently we are converting all units to Watts using the 1W = 1V x 1A conversion.

We will first start by working out how much power Raspberry Pis consume.

When it comes to Raspberry Pi’s, there are a number of different versions available, each of which will typically use a different amount of power. The most energy-efficient Pi is the Raspberry Pi Zero which uses 100mA. Out of all models released so far, the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B uses the most at 600 mA. For the purpose of this exercise, we will use the 4B model. Raspberry Pi’s also use a USB charger rated at 5V, which figure we will need to convert the mA quoted by the official Raspberry Pi website to Watts.

Using 1 Watt = 1V x 1A formula, we will now covert the 600 mA figure to Watts as follows; 5V x .6A = 3W. This tells us that the most energy-intensive Raspberry Pi uses all but 3W of power. To be completely fair, we will also need to add an allowance for a keyboard and mouse which can vary from anywhere between 100mA to a 1000mA. We will take an average of 550mA which for simplicity’s sake we will convert to another 3W of power consumption.

We will also need a monitor with a typical 18.5” LCD consuming as much as 17 watts. This brings the total Raspberry Pi setup wattage to 3 + 3 + 17 = 23W.

In comparison, a typical laptop will consume an average of 60W of power. On the other hand, if you’re running desktop PCs it gets even worse with these electricity-hungry machines consuming as much as 200W of power. Of course, the actual figures will vary according to the actual hardware used.

We can easily see that a Raspberry Pi setup including a much larger monitor than that provided with a typical laptop, a keyboard and a mouse will use 38% of the power a typical laptop uses. That is a very tall order for laptops indeed.

As stated at the beginning of the article, Raspberry Pi thin clients can save you more money than just on your electricity bills. To learn more about the savings this setup can get you, visit Citrix’s website which has a full calculator to work out the savings you can see by switching to thin clients such as Raspberry Pi’s.