Raspberry Pi has long been the gold standard for low-cost veneer computing, offering a variety of services for robots, smart home devices and digital kiosks. The much-anticipated Raspberry Pi 4 brings the Pi to another level, with enough performance for pinching cooperation as a desktop PC and the ability to output 4K video or dual-display dual-display at 60 Hz.
For the same starting price of $35 as the previous model, you get two to four times faster, supporting USB 3 and true Gigabit Ethernet. Perhaps more importantly, there will be a $45 Raspberry Pi 4 with 2GB of memory and a unit price of $55, 4GB, four times that of the previous Pi.
It’s important to note that, at launch time, some important Raspberry Pi software doesn’t yet work on the Pi 4. To run Pi 4, you’ll need to download a brand new build of the Raspbian OS, Raspbian Buster. And not everything runs in Buster yet. During testing, we found numerous Python libraries or other required packages that weren’t compatible with the new OS.
The table below shows a key specs comparison between the Raspberry Pi 4 B, the first an only Pi 4 model, and the Raspberry Pi 3B+, the fastest version of the Pi 3.
|Spec||Raspberry Pi 4 B||Raspberry Pi 3 B+|
|CPU||1.5-GHz, Quad-Core Broadcom BCM2711B0 (Cortex A-72)||1.4-GHz, Quad Core Broadcom BCM2837B0 (Cortex A-53)|
|RAM||1 - 4GB DDR4||1GB DDR2|
|GPU||400 MHz VideoCore IV||500 MHz VideoCore VI|
|Video Out||dual micro HDMI ports||single HDMI port|
|Max resolution||4K 60 Hz + 1080p or 2x 4K 30 Hz||2560 x 1600|
|USB Ports||2x USB 3.0 / 2x USB 2.0||4x USB 2.0|
|Wired Networking||Gigabit Ethernet||330 Mbps Ethernet|
|Wireless||802.11ac (2.4 / 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.0||802.11ac (2.4 / 5 GHz), Bluetooth 4.1|
|Charging Port||USB Type-C||micro USB|
|Power Requirement||3A, 5V||2.5A, 5V|
|Size||3.5 x 2.3 x 0.76 inches (88 x 58 x 19.5mm)||3.2 x 2.2 x 0.76 inches (82 x 56 x 19.5mm)|
|Weight||0.1 pounds (46 grams)||0.11 pounds (50 grams)|
The most important new features are faster processors and GPUs, more and faster RAM, increased USB 3 ports, dual micro HDMI ports instead of a single HDMI connection, and support for 4K output. The higher bus speeds that support USB 3 also allow the onboard Ethernet port to support true gigabit connections (125 MBps), with the theoretical maximum of the last generation model being only 41 MBps. The microSD card slot is twice as fast, theoretically up to 50 MBps, and 25 MBps on 3B +.
Since the new SoC requires more power, the Raspberry Pi 4 B is charged via USB Type-C instead of Micro USB. It also requires a power adapter that can supply at least 3 amps of power and 5 volts, but if you don't have many peripherals connected to the USB port, you can use 2.5 amps. Aside from the power requirements, the USB Type-C connector is reversible, making it easier for children (and adults) to plug in.