Raspberry Pi 4 Launches With More Power and Options Than Ever Before

Posted on June 24, 2019 by Mehedi Hassan in Hardware with 28 Comments

Raspberry Pi fans have a lot to be excited about this week. The Raspberry Pi Foundation is launching the fourth-generation Pi, and there is a ton of massive upgrades throughout the board — literally.

The new Pi 4 comes with a new 1.5GHz quad-core 64-bit ARM Cortex-A72 CPU, offering 3x the performance over the last generation. Raspberry Pi 4 also now comes with more options for the memory, and for the first time ever you can choose between 3 different RAM variations. You can get the entry-level, $35 Pi 4 with 1GB RAM, or pay $10 more to get 2GB and pay $20 more for the 4GB RAM variant.

The new Pi 4 also makes a massive change to the ports. First, the power connector now uses a Type-C port, which also allows for extra current to get through to the board. The new Pi also gets rid of the full-sized HDMI port, replacing it with two type-D micro HDMI ports, which introduces dual monitor support and lets the Pi 4 power two 4K displays at a time. Oh, it also comes with two USB 3 ports along with with the previous two USB 2 ports.

The device also comes with integrated Bluetooth 5.0, full-throughput Gigabit ethernet, and dual-band 802.11ac wireless networking. The Raspberry Pi Foundation is also launching a bunch of new accessories to go along with the new design of the Pi 4, all of which are available today.

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Comments (28)

28 responses to “Raspberry Pi 4 Launches With More Power and Options Than Ever Before”

  1. dontbe evil

    can't wait to get it and install windows iot

  2. bill_russell

    these things really should have nothing to do with being considered as a "desktop computer" and then the "suprise" that they are practically unusable for that. I've always wondered why they even come with HDMI ports and desktop environments.

    Its fun trying them out and playing around, as linux is, but unless you have some practical dedicated purpose, it will end up in a drawer.

    These are back end embedded boards. The most used one I have currently is an octoprint server for a 3d printer.

  3. waethorn

    It's not all rainbows and unicorns. The USB controller shares 4Gbps amongst ALL of the ports. That's not even full USB 3.0. I'm not even sure that this could apply for USB certification with that limitation. Benchmarks show that SATA 6Gbps SSD's in a USB 3.0 enclosure get about 350MBps. That's about 200MBps less than they would otherwise.

    The SD card reader is twice as fast as the previous incarnation, but the old Pi 3b/3b+ SD interface was anemic at best, so that's hardly an improvement. They say "if you want speed, you should use a USB SSD". I'd say "if you want speed, you should shop elsewhere".

    So all in all, it's not great as a NAS device, if you were thinking of setting one up as a server. As a desktop, when you're hampered by poor video performance that results in a lack of choices in desktop environments for Linux (like the mainstream GNOME 3 or KDE), it's better to look at other options. In the coming days and weeks, you'll see people make videos of desktop distros like Ubuntu and Fedora running on it and you'll see how the GPU handles a mainstream DE. On a Pi 3b+, GNOME3 and KDE are unusable. ARM GPU's are made for mobile environments using OpenGL ES, not the "full" OpenGL, and normally only on Android. On Android, you have major ARM chip makers making proprietary firmware and drivers with closed source binary blobs if not wholly closed-source drivers for the Android kernel. Open source hardware is rarely fast, so I don't expect this to change with the release of the 4b. The 3b/3b+ still doesn't have proper hardware acceleration for desktop composition needed for mainstream DE's, and running YouTube videos with it requires a janky browser plugin, and you get NO video acceleration in other websites despite the hardware supporting H.264 decode. That hardware video decode only works in specific software applications for local media. It's crap.

    If you want a cheap desktop computer that runs any number of desktop environments on Linux, you go with any cheap x86 processor like a budget fanless Apollo/Gemini Lake Celeron. ARM is just a bunch of headaches due to every ARM chip platform having some kind of odd-ball firmware and bootloader configuration. You can see this by way of every Linux distro having some ludicrous way of "flashing" firmware and/or the OS for each and every different ARM processor instead of having a standardized installation method from setup software. At least with x86, you can do a standard installation, and any Intel iGPU will have good support that'll do everything, short of play triple-A games.

  4. Bill Strong

    Honestly, I am looking at this thing and thinking, "I wonder if this will be a usable thing client for my unRaid build?" If so, I could get 3 of these, and let 3 people sign in to my Win10 VM. this would allow me to cut the cost of electricity by a large margin in the house.

    And if I want more terminals, like on in my room, it is only $35-$55 bucks. And I can set it up to play retro games for my Mom, who wants to be able to play the original Marios.

    I can then focus on upgrading one box when we need more power to do things, or with reducing our electric bills. I can save up for large amounts of memory, instead of having to spread it between 3 or 4 machines.

    The performance of previous Pi weren't quite at the level I wanted them to be at to do this. I will wait and see reviews for this machine in that capacity.

  5. roland00

    A cortex a72 is quite impressive we are finally getting Raspberry Pi moving to the big cores. Sure there is also an a73, a75, and a76 but this Raspberry Pi 4 is on an 28nm foundry so getting the best tech you can get from 2015 is great and remember the device is only $35 to $55 dollars.

  6. bluvg

    Literally a ton? I thought these were supposed to be lightweight. :P

  7. MachineGunJohn

    Bummer they didn't announce an upgrade to the zero-w at the same time. I hope they have one coming soon.

  8. wright_is

    Great improvement, especially the ethernet port now being circa 2002 standard! Now, if only it were PoE, that would be the icing on the cake. Only one wire running to the box (I run my Pis headless, just network and power cables).

  9. Bill Strong

    So, it has 2 HDMI ports, did they upgrade the graphics on the board then?

    • cr08

      In reply to Bill_Strong:

      Greatly. Essentially a brand new modern SOC. The GPU supports up to a single 4k60 output or 2x 4k30. Can now do H265 4k60 decoding and hardware supports HDR (needs software to catch up right now).

      Other big changes: 2x USB 3.0 ports with the USB chipset having a proper fast PCIe link back to the SOC for up to 4GB/s shared between the 4 ports. Gigabit ethernet now has a dedicated link back to the SOC vs using a USB to Ethernet chip (with the Pi 3B it was limited to USB 2 speeds at roughly ~300mbit/s)

    • christian.hvid

      In reply to Bill_Strong:

      According to Tom's Hardware, they have upgraded the GPU from a 400 MHz VideoCore IV to a 500 MHz VideoCore VI, giving about 50% better graphics performance. It's still probably on the weak side for some applications.

  10. christian.hvid

    "...and there is a ton of massive upgrades throughout the board — literally."

    Just so you know, a ton is literally 1,000 kilograms. Or 2,000 pounds, depending on where you live. Either way, it would literally make the RPI 4 the heaviest circuit board on Earth.

  11. EricWhite12

    Hopefully the Retropie will work great with this version aswell

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