The Raspberry Pi has been and continues to be a gadget with a world of possibilities for both developers and hardware enthusiasts alike. But one problem of the Raspberry Pi is that it gets underpowered at times. This is especially true when you take a look at the 1GB of RAM on the Raspberry Pi. But that may no longer be the case with the Raspberry Pi 4.
So what’s new with the Raspberry Pi 4?
Well, for starters, the new Raspberry Pi 4 packs a more powerful chipset. Compared to the Raspberry Pi 3 which had a quad core Cortex A54 CPU, the new Raspberry Pi comes with a faster, more power efficient quad core Cortex A72 chip.
According to the Raspberry Fi Foundation, the new Raspberry Pi offers “desktop performance comparable to entry-level x86 PC systems”. Comparing to the Raspberry Pi 3, it’s expected that the Pi 4 would be around 3x faster than its predecessor.
A lot more power, for almost the same price
The Raspberry Pi 4 also makes an upgrade from LPDDR2 to LPDDR4. While the Raspberry Pi 3 was limited to 1GB of RAM, the newer model comes with up to 4GB of RAM. Why would such a small device need so much RAM? Well, the Pi 4 is able to output 4K 60fps video and could theoretically act as a DIY media hub.
In addition, the Raspberry Pi 4 also comes with Bluetooth 5.0, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Gigabit Ethernet. It also comes with dual USB 3.0 ports, and a pair of USB 2.0 ports. There’s a USB Type-C port to power the device rather than the MicroUSB seen on the Raspberry Pi 3. It also keeps the headphone jack and has a four-pole layout. This provides both audio and composite video.
The Raspberry Pi 4 has done away with the full-size HDMI port in favor of dual micro HDMI Ports. This essentially means that the Raspberry Pi 4 can support up to two 2K monitors. As such, the new Raspberry Pi comes with H.265 decode for 4K 60fps, H.264 1080p60 decode and 1080p30 encode along with OpenGL ES 3.0 graphics.
In case you’re migrating from a Raspberry Pi 3 to the new Raspberry Pi 4, fear not. Most if not all your existing components will work. For example, the 40-pin GPIO (general purpose input/output) is fully backwards compatible with previous boards.
How much is the Raspberry Pi 4?
The Raspberry Pi 4 will start off at $35 for 1GB of RAM. The 2GB and 4GB RAM models will be priced at $45 and $55 respectively. The latter is actually interesting as you might even be able to run a Windows setup off the device. It won’t be blazing fast, but it can be an interesting project.
On the hand, a Raspberry Pi was compromised last year to steal data from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. While it does put a damper on Raspberry Pi devices, it doesn’t mean that they are not to be trusted. Rather, applying the latest security patches and making sure that all devices have sufficient clearing and security would be the better way to go.
All in all, the Raspberry Pi 4 looks to be offering quite a lot for the price. A faster processor, more RAM and the latest in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi should help developers migrate from the old Raspberry Pi to the new one without issue. In addition, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has stated that the Raspberry Pi 4 will remain in production until January 2026 at a minimum. You can learn more about the Raspberry Pi 4 here.
Are you excited for the Raspberry Pi 4? Love it? Hate it? Leave a comment below.