The Raspberry Pi Foundation’s latest single-board computer has the same $35 starting price as every Raspberry Pi Model B device launched since 2012. But the new Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is a big upgrade over the Pi 3 which was released three years ago.
It has a more powerful processor, a USB Type-C port for charging, two micro HDMI ports for connecting up to two 4K displays, and support for USB 3.0.
The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is available today, and the starting price is still just $35. But for the first time Raspberry Pi will offer three different configurations — the entry-level model gets you a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with 1GB of RAM, but you can also buy a 2GB model for $45 or a 4GB version for $55.
Here are some of the key features for the Raspberry Pi 4:
- Broadcom BCM2711 processor (1.5 GHz quad-core Arm Cortex-A72 CPU)
- VideoCore 6 GPU
- 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB of RAM
- microSD card reader for storage
- 2 x USB 3.0 ports
- 2 x USB 2.0 ports
- 1 x USB Type-C port (for power)
- 2 x micro HDMI 2.0 ports
- Gigabit Ethernet
- 3.5mm audio jack
- 802.11ac WiFi
- Bluetooth 5.0
- 40-pin connector
Raspberry Pi says the little computer should be able to drive two 4K displays at 30Hz or a single 4K display at 60 Hz with support for H.265 4K/60 video decoding.
While the Raspberry Pi 3 also has Gigabit Ethernet, it was only able to hit speeds up to 300 Mbps due to the computer’s USB 2.0 bridge. Now that the Raspberry Pi 4 supports USB 3.0 you should be see true Gigabit Ethernet speeds.
Other upgrades include the move from Bluetooth 4.2 to Bluetooth 5.0, the move from a 1.4 GHz Arm Cortex-A53 processor to a 1.5 GHz Cortex-Z72 chip with a new GPU, and dual micro HDMI ports instead of a single full-sized port.
That last change will make it easier to connect multiple displays… but it also means that despite the new Raspberry Pi having the same physical dimensions as its predecessors, it has a new layout (the Ethernet and USB ports have also moved), so cases built for older versions of the 85.6mm x 56.5mm computer won’t accommodate the new model.
There’s a new 2-part case priced at $5, but I suspect we’ll see plenty of other third-party and/or DIY versions soon.
But HATs and other accessories that make use of the 40-pin expansion header should work with the Raspberry Pi 4.
The folks at TechRepublic have published a review of the Raspberry Pi 4 running a pre-release version of the Raspbian operating system that’s been updated to support the new hardware. For the most part, the new model seems like a major upgrade, and it’s undoubtedly the fastest Raspberry Pi to date.
While this might be the first version of a Raspberry Pi that’s arguably fast enough to use as a real desktop computer, note that the $35 – $55 price tag doesn’t include everything you need to get started. You’ll also want a microSD card for storage, a power supply, and other accessories (such as a mouse, keyboard, and display).
Want to get most of those things in one kit? The new Raspberry Pi 4 Desktop Computer Kit sells for $120 and includes a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with 4GB of RAM, a keyboard, mouse, and power supply, a case, two micro HDMI to HDMI cables, and a 16GB microSD card loaded with software plus a user guide.
There are other single-board computers that can outperform it on benchmarks. But Raspberry Pi devices tend to have a few key advantages. There’s a huge developer and user community, which makes it easy to find resources and support for these little computers. And the Raspberry Pi Foundations says it’ll offer official support for the Raspberry Pi 4 at least until January, 2026.
Until now they’ve been merely childrens toys or learning platforms, but not for projects that require reliability. More like, inelegant proof of concept. Would like to see all SBC makers move towards half-width or half-height ethernet. Then all those skyscrapers on the side can be removed and replaced with USB-C. Of course, while your at it, RAM and processors too, A72 is 3 years old, 4-5 years by the time Rpi5 comes.
“Then all those skyscrapers on the side can be removed and replaced with USB-C” and a plethora of dung-les? No, thanks.
I can’t understand this fascination with having to have the latest crap on these sbc’s(actually everything computer hardware/software related anymore). I’ve had a tablet(HP Spectre x2 12) since early 2017 that came with only two usb-c’s and I’ve yet to use either one of them…other than I’m forced to power the device through these god awful slots. I say god awful because they’ve loosened up in time enough to barely hold the power cable in. Although, I’m VERY appreciative of the usb-c to usb-a adapter…or I’d never get anything done.
Probably the same reason why Canonical shot themselves in the foot as of late. Everyone feels like they need to move along/upgrade at such a quick pace anymore…it’s getting ridiculous…and frankly, it’s starting to look like some form of mental illness. Perhaps OCD?
So..give up perfectly good 4 usb-a slots, dual usb-c minimalism. Been there done, done that. It sucks.
Cool, I’ve ordered a 4GB model.
If my quick googling is correct, rp3 40nm -> rp4 28nm. That bodes well for portables.
28nm is correct. I looked that up as soon as I heard the general announcement. The clock speed led me to believe it would be 28nm as it’s in line with other A72s at that process.
When are they going to goto 14nm, and maybe 7nm lithography?
That’s two big process node segments apart!! Feels like its forever and a day away.
Who’s “they”? the manufacturer for RPI or chip manufacturers like BCM?
I am guessing this will push the competition to adopt micro hdmi too.
I bet the micro-hdmi was a difficult decision. It fits two on the board, but everyone will need to buy adapters. Here’s to Eben and his team!
This could be the beginning of a notebook based on the RPi. Maybe Acer or Asus could make a laptop that takes a compute card. They will have to keep the 40pin hearder.
There already is the Pi-powered pi-top laptop, but it’s meant more as a learning kit than a working laptop.
Unless the RPI processor has a better set of power modes, it isn’t going to happen. AFAIK, the older Pi processors did not have S3 / S4 sleep modes, so it was basically just full on, full off power. Makes all day device use hard without an excessively large battery.
Good point about the low power modes not being present. I just ordered my 2GB version. Should arrive in a couple of days.
Schematic is already posted:
Finally vindicated for buying so many microHDMI adapters for ill-fated cheap Windows tablets!!!
Now if/when it will gain mainline support it wins big for me.
A typo above features list (is “Pi 3” should be “Pi 4”):
> Here are some of the key features for the Raspberry Pi 3:
A very welcomed upgrade. The Pi 3 was getting really old. I’ll be interested in seeing how well it can handle some game console emulation. If it can do Dreamcast, I’ll be very happy.
The only unfortunate thing I can see with this new board is that we still have really poor storage options. MicroSD is not ideal.
Also, its unfortunate that they made no attempt at making the USB 3.0 connection available via headers. It would be cool to make a daughterboard (Hat board) that could hold a 2.5″ SSD and connect it through USB 3.0. Unfortunately it seems you will need a USB cable to hang off the side of the board to reach the USB ports.
I’m also interested to see what kind of emulation and gaming this thing is capable of. I was excited for the Jetson Nano, which will still probably have a better GPU, but this is quite a bit cheaper, so it’ll be interesting to see how it stacks up. I’m more interested in the CM version, though, so I think I’ll have to wait a bit yet.
Emulation depends largely on how optimised the software is.
Based on what we can see on the Android side of things, the closest competitor is probably the QSD 653, QSD 652, QSD 650 and maybe QSD 810.
So we’re looking at a device as fast as the Nubia Z17, or as slow as the Redmi Note 3.
You will get some weaker Nintendo Wii titles, weaker GameCube titles emulated, and some weak PS2 titles as well. But you could expect fullspeed emulation for the likes of DreamCast, PSP, PS1, NDS, N64, SNES, NES, Sega, Mame and Arcade games. You could also expect DOS emulation as a possibility.
The only thing holding back fullspeed emulation of PS2 is the maturity of the emulator itself, so that should improve over time. However, GameCube and Wii emulation is very efficient at this moment and what’s holding the Raspberry Pi 4 would be the rather weak GPU, so don’t expect this to improve much in the future.
Fantastic upgrade, finally with some RAM options you can use a Pi for more productive GUI computing. I bought a Rock64 for a similar price earlier this year to get 4 GB of RAM, can’t say I regret purchasing it, but it’s great to have competition in the ~$50 price range. I found a lot of the other boards jumped up close to $100 but there weren’t a lot in between.
I wonder how the RiPi 4 compares to the Rock64-Pro and the LattePanda Alpha.
What’s the best 64bit SBC, if money was no object situation?
I’m sure there is pro’s and con’s to these.
Comments are closed.