The single-board computer community is abuzz with excitement as the Raspberry Pi 5 makes its debut. Raspberry Pi, renowned for its innovation in the world of affordable and versatile computing, has introduced its latest iteration, promising a significant leap in performance, new features, and improved connectivity. In this article, we’ll delve into the key specifications, prices, and availability of the new Pi 5 SBC.
Raspberry Pi 5 – The most important changes
A 2-3x Performance Boost
One of the most noteworthy improvements in the Raspberry Pi 5 is its processing power. It boasts a 4-core processor clocked at an impressive 2.4 GHz, identified as the BCM2712 with a 64-bit Cortex-A76 architecture. This represents a substantial upgrade over the Raspberry Pi 4’s 1.8 GHz processor, promising a 2-3 times boost in efficiency. This improved processing power opens the door to a wide range of applications, from hobbyist projects to more demanding computational tasks.
RAM Options and Graphics Capabilities
The Raspberry Pi 5 comes in two initial configurations, offering 4 GB and 8 GB of LPDDR4X-4267 RAM. These options cater to a variety of user needs, from lightweight tasks to more memory-intensive projects. Furthermore, the board features a VideoCore VII graphics chip that supports OpenGL ES 3.1 and Vulkan 1.2 technology. This enhancement enables the connection of two 4K monitors with HDR support at 60 frames per second, making it a formidable platform for multimedia and display-intensive projects.
Connectivity options on the Raspberry Pi 5 have also received a significant overhaul. The board offers built-in WiFi (802.11ac) and Bluetooth (5.0/BLE), ensuring seamless wireless communication. It retains a microSD card slot with support for fast SDR104 mode. Additionally, the inclusion of a PCIe 2.0 interface opens up possibilities for connecting NVMe devices, which can dramatically improve data transfer speeds.
The dedicated RP1 I/O chip is a game-changer for USB connectivity, allowing the Pi 5 to handle simultaneous data transmission via two USB 3.0 ports at speeds of up to 5 Gbps, alongside two standard USB 2.0 ports. This expanded USB capacity is particularly valuable for users who require fast data transfers and multiple peripherals.
Moreover, the RP1 I/O chip has also improved Ethernet, MIPI (camera/displays), and GPIO performance, ensuring smoother data flow across various interfaces.
Small Yet Significant Changes
Raspberry Pi enthusiasts will also appreciate several smaller but impactful updates. A physical switch and an angular status LED have been added to the left edge of the board, enhancing user interaction and feedback. The introduction of an RTC clock, complete with a dedicated battery socket, provides improved timekeeping functionality. This feature has long been sought after by users for applications requiring precise time tracking.
The Pi 5 SBC also incorporates a UART communication connector between the HDMI sockets, offering additional flexibility for connectivity. Furthermore, two universal MIPI ribbon connectors are available for connecting displays and cameras, expanding the board’s capabilities for visual projects. Each board now comes with a unique serial number, both on the PCB and packaging, aiding in identification and tracking.
Raspberry Pi 5 – New Official Accessories
To complement the new Pi 5, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has unveiled new accessories designed to enhance the user experience. The most significant addition is a large dedicated heatsink equipped with a fan, promising efficient cooling for the Raspberry Pi 5. Special mounting holes on the board ensure a secure fit for the cooler. Additionally, the Foundation has introduced a new 27 W USB-C PD (Power Delivery) power supply capable of delivering up to 5 A at 5.1 V. This power supply not only provides ample power but also increases the current that can be drawn from the four USB ports on the board.
A small battery for the RTC clock is included, and it can be charged directly from the power supply, simplifying the timekeeping setup for users.
Raspberry Pi 5 – Prices and Availability
The Raspberry Pi 5 will offer a choice of RAM configurations upon its release, with the 4GB variant priced at $60 and the 8GB variant at $80. This represents a slight increase in cost compared to the Raspberry Pi 4, which is available at $65 for the 4GB model and $85 for the 8GB version. Anticipated availability for the Pi 5 is set for purchase before the conclusion of October.
It’s hoped that the new Pi 5 will enjoy better availability than its predecessors, with the Raspberry Pi Foundation stating that over 120,000 units will be ready for worldwide shipment. However, it’s worth noting that the industrial version of the Raspberry Pi 5 (CM5 module) will not be available until the following year.