Raspberry Pi

How to Tell Which Raspberry Pi I Have?

Raspberry Pi has really improved the field of computing by providing accessible computers to weaker sections of societies across the world. This role is not limited as Raspberry Pi’s are widely used in Robotics and other relevant projects. To know which model of Raspberry Pi you own, you can check out your invoice or the order confirmation email from the buyer.

There are cases when you don’t have access to your invoice or even the Pi board. So, it becomes quite confusing to identify the Raspberry Pi model you are using. This also creates issues when you purchase relevant accessories for the Pi.

This article primarily focuses on different ways to tell which Raspberry Pi model you own. Let’s start:

Different Methods To Identify Your Raspberry Pi

A Raspberry Pi board can be identified using multiple ways. These methods include reading the model number from your Pi board, identifying by checking out the structure of the Pi board and getting information from the operating system.

1. Getting Details From the Operating System

If your Raspberry Pi OS is already installed, then it might not be a difficult task for you to identify the Raspberry model.

Simply launch the terminal window and enter the command given below:

cat /sys/firmware/devicetree/base/model

This will display your Raspberry pi model number. That’s it.

Alternatively, You can also use the command cat /proc/cpuinfo . This command will display details about your CPU, the Raspberry Pi Model, and the hardware.

2. Checking Information On Raspberry pi Board

If you have not installed the Pi board’s OS, you can read the Pi board to know its model number. Closely analyze the front side of your Raspberry pi board; you will see the Raspberry Pi family and model number you are written on it.

If your Raspberry pi board doesn’t have any information about the model, which is a rare case, you can check the processor chip. Your Raspberry pi processor has its model number written on it. By knowing the model no. of the processor, you can easily identify the Raspberry Pi you are using. You have read the first 4-5 letters or numbers printed just next to Broadcom, and then refer to the table given below:

Processor Label RaspBerry Pi
2711 RPi 4 and 400
2837 RPi 3
2836 or 2837 RPi 2
2835 RPi(1), RPi Zero
RPi Logo Raspberry Pi Pico

3. Counting The Connectors

Raspberry Pi models have differences in the number of connectors on the board. You can easily identify the raspberry pi model by counting the no. of connector ports.

USB connectors are available on most Raspberry Pi boards; typically, there are 1, 2, or 4 connectors (see table below)

Here are tips that will help you further:

Raspberry Pi’s have multiple USB connector ports. This is easier to identify the Pi board by counting the USB ports. Below is the table that describes no. of USB connectors present on specific Pi models.

Raspberry Pi Model No. Of USB Connectors
RPi 4 Model B 4 (+1 USB-C for power only)
RPi 400 3 (+1 USB-C for power only)
RPi 3 Model B+ 4
RPi 3 Model A+ 1
RPi 3 Model B 4
RPi 2 Model B 4
RPi 1 Model B+ 4
RPi 1 Model A+ 1
RPi 1 Model B 2
RPi 1 Model A 1
RPi Pico 0
RPi Zero 1 (micro USB)

These were 4 different methods to identify the model of your Raspberry Pi. Some other methods like examining the dimensions of your Raspberry Pi are too complex as the above-mentioned methods are more than enough to identify the Pi.

Now let’s discuss some tips to help your Raspberry Pi last longer.

How Can I Maintain Health Of my Raspberry Pi?

Generally, Raspberry Pi’s have a longer life span of upto 10 years if maintained well. Here is a list of some tips that can help in the longer lifespans of Raspberry Pi.

Prevent your Raspberry Pi from overheating. You have to keep your Pi at a cool temperature and avoid contact with dust particles. Alternatively, you can also use heatsinks if the issue still persists.

Refer to this guide on How to use heatsinks on Raspberry Pi?

To prevent your Pi from dirt and allow normal passage of cool air, you can buy a case with vents.

Try buying the original accessories such as power supply from an authorized seller. An unsupported USB power supply can even melt down the soldiering on the board.

Avoid frequent turning off/on as it may fail the Pi board. Try to install the Raspberry Pi in a place with zero disturbance as continuous moving of board from one point to another can loosen the joints and connections.

How To Check If My RaspBerry Pi Is Defective?

This becomes confusing when Raspberry Pi stops working, and it becomes harder to know whether its the Pi board or the peripherals causing the issue.

The solution to this problem is replacing your Pi with another one and using the same peripherals. If the Pi boots up, there is a certain issue with your RPi.

Another thing you can try is by connecting your RPi to a windows PC. If you hear a beep sound, your Pi board should be working fine. This method, however, doesn’t apply to all RPi models.

The Conclusion

Raspberry Pi has several models that appear the same when you hold them in your hands and have different specifications. You have to examine the board to know the model no closely. If the Pi is connected remotely, you can use the terminal commands to gather the information.

Your Raspberry Pi can long forever if you don’t disturb its connections. A backup power supply is always recommended. Since Raspberry Pi’s are passed through several stress tests, they don’t get defective easily.

This was all about knowing the model of your Raspberry Pi. I hope you loved reading this article.

About the author

Shubham Yadav

Shubham is a mechanical engineer by profession. Computer geek at heart he loves to explore new aspects of circuits, motherboards and general PC components.