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Raspberry Pi 5 vs. Raspberry Pi 4

15 May 2024

1.Preface

Since its launch, the Raspberry Pi series of single-board computers has been highly sought after by developers and enthusiasts around the world. This low-cost, high-performance computer system has been used in countless projects, and its wide range of applications is amazing. Now, four years after the release of Raspberry Pi 4, the latest version, Raspberry Pi 5, is finally available. Compared with its predecessor, Raspberry Pi 5 has undergone many changes and improvements in performance, functions, and price. This article will provide you with a detailed analysis of the main differences and significant improvements between Raspberry Pi 5 and Raspberry Pi 4.

2.What is upgraded?

The Raspberry Pi 5 is the latest member of the Raspberry Pi family of single-board computers, built on the huge success of the Raspberry Pi 4. It features 2-3 times the CPU performance of the previous generation, significantly improved GPU performance, and improved camera, display, and USB interfaces. These interface improvements are made possible by Raspberry Pi's own RP1 I/O controller chip. This is the first time Raspberry Pi has used a Raspberry Pi chip in its flagship product!

Raspberry Pi also adds two new features to help track sales (and potential returns) of products:

(1)Each board has a marking on the top of the PCB that identifies the memory density that specific board is equipped with.
(2)All boards have a unique serial number on the board and box for easy tracking.

 

  • CPU Differences-The Raspberry Pi 5 model is equipped with the latest Broadcom BCM2712 chip, which has achieved significant performance improvements compared to the BCM2711 of the previous generation Raspberry Pi 4. The processor of Pi5 has been upgraded to a quad-core Cortex-A76 with a main frequency of 2.4 GHz, which is significantly faster than the quad-core Cortex-A72 of Pi4 with a main frequency of 1.8 GHz.

  • GPU Differences-The graphics processing unit (GPU) of the Raspberry Pi 5 is also significantly improved compared to its predecessor. The VideoCore VII GPU of the Pi 5 has a frequency of 1.1 GHz, while the VideoCore VI GPU of the previous Raspberry Pi 4 has a frequency of only 800 MHz.
  • Display supported difference-Raspberry Pi 5 excels in display support, with dual HDMI2.0 outputs capable of 4k display at 60Hz. In comparison, although Pi4 has dual HDMI2.0, only one supports 4k display at 60Hz, while the other is limited to 30Hz. Raspberry Pi 5 has advanced device capabilities and supports H.265, which has significant advantages over H.264 in compression efficiency and video quality. In addition, Raspberry Pi 5 is equipped with a 4-channel MIPI interface, which is more suitable for application scenarios with high data rate requirements such as HD video and high resolution.
  • Price and memory comparison-Perhaps surprisingly, the Pi 5 isn't that much more expensive than the Pi 4 if we're comparing versions with the same RAM. Compared to the 4GB or 8GB configurations of the Pi 4, the 4GB or 8GB configurations of the Pi 5 are only $5 more.
      Pi 4 Pi 5
    1GB $35
    2GB $45
    3GB $55 $60
    4GB $75 $80

    Unfortunately, there are currently no 1GB or 2GB versions of the Raspberry Pi 5 on the market, making $60 the most affordable Raspberry Pi 5 product you can get.

  • More differences-The Raspberry Pi 5 introduces a single-lane PCIe port for high-performance peripherals, a feature not available on its predecessor, the Raspberry Pi 4. In addition, the Raspberry Pi 5 features a new onboard power button that allows users to easily complete simple tasks with a single tap, eliminating the redundant steps required to complete such tasks in the past. For easy reference, we have provided a side-by-side comparison of the specifications, highlighting the key differences. The following table details the differences.

    Raspberry Pi 4B

    Raspberry Pi 5

    CPU

    Broadcom BCM2711, quad-core Cortex-A72 (ARM v8) 64-bit, running at 1.8GHz

    Broadcom BCM2712, quad-core 64-bit Arm Cortex-A76 CPU running at 2.4GHz

    GPU

    500MHz VideoCore VI GPU

    800MHz VideoCore VII GPU, supports OpenGL ES 3.1, Vulkan 1.2

    Multimedia

    H.264 (AVC)

    H.265 (HEVC)

    memory

    1GB, 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM (depending on model)

    1GB, 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB LPDDR4X-4267 SDRAM (depending on model)

    WIFI

    Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi

    Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi

    Bluetooth

    Bluetooth 5.0, BLE

    Bluetooth 5.0 / Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)

    USB

    1 Type-C port, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 Ethernet port, 1 Micro-SD card slot

    1 Type-C port, 2 USB 3.0 ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, 1 Ethernet port, 1 Micro-SD card slot

    Storage

    MicroSD card slot

    MicroSD card slot + PCIE lane for NVME M.2 SSD

    Networking

    Dua-Band 802.11acBluetooth 5 / BLE Gigabit EthernetPoE via POE + Hat (Incompatible with old version)

    Dua-Band 802.11acBluetooth 5 / BLE Gigabit EthernetPoE via POE + Hat (Incompatible with old version)

    Power consumption

    Up to 7.5W

    Up to 15W (requires new power supply)

    Thermal performance

    Lower temperature and passive cooling option

    Higher temperature and fan requirement

    Camera/display ports

    One DSI port for displays and one CSI port for cameras

    Two 4-lane MIPI ports for both cameras and displays (new cables needed)

    Audio output

    HDMI, USB, or analog audio jack

    HDMI or USB only

    Connector

    2 micro HDMI ports (supports up to 4Kp60), 1 2-lane MIPI DSI display port, 1 2-lane MIPI CSI camera port, 4-pole stereo audio and composite video ports

    2 micro HDMI interfaces (supports up to 4Kp60)compatible with HDR, 2 4-channel MIPI camera/display transceivers, 1 PCle 2.0 interface, 1 battery connector (for real-time clock), 1 UART port

    Input power

    5V DC power via USB-C (3A minimum), 5V DC power via GPIO (3A minimum minimum),Powered by PoE (requires separate PoE+HAT)

    Provides 5V/5A DC power through USB-C, supports power supply through GPIO, provides 5V DC power through PoE (requires separate PoE+HAT)

    GPIO

    Raspberry Pi standard 40-pin connector

    Raspberry Pi standard 40-pin connector

3.What can you do with the Raspberry Pi 5?

The hardware upgrades of Raspberry Pi 5 make it an ideal choice for projects with heavy CPU or GPU requirements. The most obvious application scenario is desktop PC, which is also the field where Raspberry Pi 5 shows its advantages. In terms of daily desktop use, the performance of Raspberry Pi 5 is not much different from that of more powerful desktop computers or laptops. In addition, connecting NVMe SSD through third-party HAT interface to run the operating system makes Raspberry Pi 5 the first choice for home desktop applications.

The Pi 5 also has advantages for I/O-intensive projects. For example, NAS or backup storage solutions will benefit from the improved I/O speeds of the Pi 5. For projects involving high-resolution cameras, the Raspberry Pi 5 is also a better choice because its MIPI connection provides higher bandwidth than the Raspberry Pi 4.

4.Raspberry Pi 5 vs Raspberry Pi 4: Which is better?

The Raspberry Pi 5 is now available, and it's significantly more powerful than the Raspberry Pi 4. Plus, the 4GB and 8GB versions of the Raspberry Pi 5 are only slightly more expensive than the corresponding versions of the Raspberry Pi 4, so if you need to buy a 4GB or 8GB Raspberry Pi, the Raspberry Pi 5 is undoubtedly a better choice unless you are trying to run a specific application or project that is limited to the Raspberry Pi 4.

For some low-intensity projects, the 1GB or 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 will be a better choice.

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