I've finally migrated 90% of the stuff on my pi 4 to a nice (virtually new) Dell thin client.
While the pi works perfectly fine (SSD not SD based), here are my thoughts.
- Pi 4s are hard to come by and not cheap and you still need a whole bunch of extras to get it going - USB SSD Cable (not all work properly), case, SSD drive, PSU, cooling fan (a must).
- a used dell client (in my case) fully loaded with 8gb and an SSD cost me the same as a bare pi 8gb.And I can upgrade the ram if needed. AND it came with 8 USB ports!
- the pi runs pretty warm all the time and required active cooling. The dell runs pretty cool all the time.
- Using VMs, backing up the PC is a super easy task. 2 mouse clicks on the server console.
- power consumption difference isn't huge. prob a couple of W extra on the dell.Let's face it, you waste way more than that on your HA system anyway.
Pretty much everything works the same way so far. NR/mosquitto/Z2M run as HAOS addons no issues. A second debian VM takes care of all the other stuff like NUT/CATT. The only things left to migrate are the BLE stuff and homebridge.
In short, if you can't get a pi an x86 will easily do the job and often cheaper as well.
PS the Pi isn't being retired - it will find new life as a music streamer!