“Don’t expect Raspberry Pi 5 any time soon” – said Eben Upton in an interview this year. After two difficult years, where Raspberry Pi products were nowhere to be found and boards were available at scalping prices, the market finally caught up. We all rushed to stores to get our hands on freshly made Rasberry Pi 4 boards. Turns out, that the ramped-up production wasn’t limited to Raspberry Pi 4. Raspberry Pi 5 has been released today, and I have all the information you need.
Raspberry Pi 5 – What’s new?
Each time a new Raspberry Pi board is released, the hardware gets better while the overall footprint and design remain the same. A similar principle applies to the price. While we have seen small bumps in prices (and dedicated pricing for 4GB and 8GB RAM versions), the cost of the development board was mostly unchanged over the years.
At the time of release, two versions of Raspberry Pi 5 are available. Raspberry Pi 5 4GB RAM and Raspberry Pi 5 8GB RAM. As pricing has not been released to me yet, the launch, I can only speculate and assume that the price would match RAM equivalents of the Raspberry Pi 4 series (£55 and £75 respectively). As there is no 2GB RAM version – the baseline model of the Pi would remain the same: Raspberry Pi 4 2GB RAM at £45 (1GB RAM edition priced at £35 has been discontinued).
Raspberry Pi 5 8GB – £79.00
Raspberry Pi 5 4GB – £59.30
I was close enough with my guesses!
The 64-bit CPU has received a small bump and now each one of its 4 cores operates at 2.4GHz – speeds previously available only to serious overclockers. Alongside the Arm Cortex-A76, RPI1 “southbridge” also brings performance upgrades.
It enabled a single-lane PCIe 2.0 – which will be available through compatible HATs. The extra bandwidth also allowed for the second camera port (stereo vision with Raspberry Pi 5 is possible) and Video Core VII delivers better graphics at 800MHz.
You’ll also find a dedicated power button, an RTC connector and a fan controller with a dedicated socket. All this is crammed in the same footprint of the Rasberry Pi B alongside well-known and loved features like a 40-pin GPIO header, PoE support (HAT required), dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0 and more:
Raspberry Pi 5 specification
- .4GHz quad-core 64-bit CPU, with cryptography
extensions, 512KB per-core L2 caches, and a 2MB shared L3 cache
- VideoCore VII GPU, supporting OpenGL ES 3.1, Vulkan 1.2
- Dual 4Kp60 HDMI® display output with HDR support
- 4Kp60 HEVC decoder
- LPDDR4X-4267 SDRAM
(4GB and 8GB SKUs available at launch)
- Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi®
- Bluetooth 5.0 / Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
- microSD card slot, with support for high-speed SDR104 mode
- 2 × USB 3.0 ports, supporting simultaneous 5Gbps operation
- 2 × USB 2.0 ports
- Gigabit Ethernet, with PoE+ support
(requires separate PoE+ HAT)
- 2 × 4-lane MIPI camera/display transceivers
- PCIe 2.0 x1 interface for fast peripherals
(requires separate M.2 HAT or other adapter)
- 5V/5A DC power via USB-C, with Power Delivery support
- Raspberry Pi standard 40-pin header
- Real-time clock (RTC), powered by an external battery
- Power button
You will notice that the 3.5mm audio jack has been removed to make space for the second camera connector. It’s not the only new connector on the board. Raspberry Pi 5 brings a 3-pin UART socket, a 2-pin battery connector, a PCIe ribbon socket and a 4-pin fan connector.
The PoE header has been moved to the other side of the board, the existing PoE HATs won’t be compatible with Raspberry Pi 5.
Power in demand
All this new hardware greatly increased the demand for power. Raspberry Pi Foundation recommends a 5A USB-C power supply, with previously made 3A power brick to be a bare minimum to keep all systems go!
Be sure to add a Raspberry Pi 5 power supply while you shop, to make sure your newly acquired board has enough juice for all tasks at hand.
At idle with no screen attached, the board draws up to 800mA of power. I’m using the Raspberry Pi OS 64bit with Desktop to measure the draw. Interestingly, the
raspi-config comes with options to limit the current draw from USB ports. Add a single 4K display, and the spikes will be even more significant. Add a second display and the current will oscillate between 700-1000mAh. Play a video on top of that, and your supply needs to deliver over 1200mAh.
What I’m trying to say is: Order the 5A power supply recommended by Raspberry Pi.
Raspberry Pi 5 features a power button, which is very handy, but as the button is located next to the microSD card slot, this could cause trouble. These boards were sent to selected members only days ago, and I already heard the reports of accidental button presses corrupting the card.
A dedicated Raspberry Pi 5 enclosure should prevent your curious fingertips from pressing the button accidentally. Press it once, to bring up the power menu, and once more to trigger a safe shutdown. The board still powers on as soon as the power cable is connected.
Supply-proofing Raspberry Pi 5?
Raspberry Pi Pico was one of the boards relatively unaffected by the global components supply shortage. While Raspberry Pi 4 boards were nowhere to be found, I could always buy another Pico. I suspect, that a big part in that played the fact that the board had an RP2040 microcontroller at heart. Developed in-house, the IC was mostly not affected by the global shortages.
Raspberry Pi 5 comes with an RPI1-CO “southbridge” silicone made in-house for the board. A move that could save the production from supply chain issues. After struggling to meet the demand of the market for two years, the team realised how vulnerable their production can be, and decided to respond proactively with their own silicone production.
Another reason for designing RPI1 is to introduce a faster I/O performance and introduce the much-requested PCIe 2.0 at a much lower cost. An in-house solution would meet design targets and allow better performance without increasing the board’s complexity and size.
The ability to run two 4K displays at 60Hz is nice, but in practice, you will be limited in what you can do with it. Have a couple of web pages open and you will be ok, but trying to play a video even in 1080P resolution on YouTube results in massive frame drops.
Scale down the resolution for each screen to 1920×1080 and dual displays can handle much more. You can now play videos without problems and switch tabs and programs without lag.
As the Raspberry Pi 5 comes with a familiar footprint and uses (for the most part) the same OS as the previous generation, everyday use is expected to be exactly the same. The usual tasks of opening programming IDEs or working with Chromium just feel a little snappier.
Network speeds of Raspberry Pi 5
Raspberry Pi 5 is equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 and dual-band WiFi: 2.4GHz and 5GHz – as the Ethernet port is 1Gbps, we know that’s going to be the fastest network interface. It will match the speeds of the Raspberry Pi. Let’s check how quick is the WiFi on the latest board.
I’m going to use iperf3 on my local network with the Raspberry Pi 5 connected to the Asus Mesh router (RT-AX86U) located in the same room. The other machine is a Windows 11 computer connected over 1 Gbit Ethernet directly to the router.
Tested near the router, the Raspberry Pi 5 reports very respectable results:
112 MBytes 94.3 Mbits/sec
112 MBytes 93.6 Mbits/sec
111 MBytes 93.1 Mbits/sec
111 MBytes 92.9 Mbits/sec
37.6 MBytes 31.6 Mbits/sec
37.5 MBytes 31.5 Mbits/sec
36.9 MBytes 30.9 Mbits/sec
35.9 MBytes 30.1 Mbits/sec
This performance is on par with the one I observed on Raspberry PI 4 back in 2019. Wired performance is as to be expected.
1.09 GBytes 939 Mbits/sec
1.09 GBytes 939 Mbits/sec
1.09 GBytes 933 Mbits/sec
1.09 GBytes 935 Mbits/sec
Thermal performance of Raspberry Pi 5
Raspberry Pi 5 runs hot. I wanted to test the board with two 4K displays to see how the new CPU handles that. After running the desktop version of the Raspberry Pi OS for a couple of minutes the board was burning hot. No wonder the care package from the Raspberry Pi Foundation included an active cooler with a big heatsink, but also the Raspberry Pi 5 itself has 2 extra holes to accommodate the incredibly simple fit.
Raspberry Pi Active Cooler
It’s a dedicated cooling solution for Raspberry Pi 5 board and comes with a 4-strand cable that utilises a new connector. I couldn’t find any controls for the fan in the Raspberry Pi OS supplied with the board, but this may change.
Raspberry Pi Active Cooler snaps to the board thanks to 2 clips and it uses a 25mm radial fan to blow cold air over the heatsink. It’s a single-piece design which comes with the thermal paste pre-installed. There must be a driver or small script controlling this as the fan engages roughly around the 50℃ mark and stops after a couple of seconds. Considering how hot the board gets at idle, cooling is a must.
Thermal performance (at 21.2℃)
The naked Raspberry Pi 5 board in headless mode runs at around 56℃ It’s significantly more than what I have seen from Raspberry Pi 4 boards considering the slight upward temperature creep. Enable CPU stress test for 10 min, and the board really heats up – peaking at 85℃ within 5 min. Despite high temperatures, the system has not reported dips in CPU performance. I was expecting the board to throttle. The 10-minute test ended with an average temp of 78℃.
After installing the Raspberry Pi Active Cooler, the board has a lower idle temperature at 44℃ as the fan engages from time to time to keep the temps in check. The big heatsink helps remove heat from the board. Once the stress test is enabled, the temperature ramps up to 56℃ – and the 10-minute test averages at 54℃. There was no sign of thermal throttling.
In conclusion, think of a cooling solution if you want to run the board for a prolonged period of time.
USB drives and Raspberry Pi 5
Other improvements bring read/write speeds from the micro SD card and higher bandwidth for the connected USB devices. Now you can read and write files to your card faster, and take better advantage of connected USB storage like SSD drives. In theory, Raspberry Pi 5 would make a perfect candidate for my Argon Eon NAS build with a Raspberry Pi 4 inside. The new Pi would increase the transfer speeds from one drive to another (a great upgrade for anyone keeping mirror images of their drives).
In reality, I have not seen any improvements. Frankly speaking, setting up a quick SMB share and sending files over between 2 network folders was less than stellar. I’m not sure what contributed the most towards this slowness but more troubleshooting is required to see if I can actually increase the performance of the USB transfers. On paper, I should be able to reach a better speed, but it looks like it will take some time to get there.
I will definitely explore Raspberry Pi 5 as my NAS controller. The topic probably justifies a separate article and video. While I was working against the clock, my options were limited.
Raspberry Pi 5 is available now at official re-sellers. I’d like to thank my mystery source for the loan of the test unit. I have to send the loaned Raspberry Pi 5 board back, but I already placed the order for a couple of these boards. Let’s hope this will be the end of supply issues and we can all enjoy the latest computer from Raspberry Pi Foundation. Will you get one? Which configuration are you going with? Let me know in this Reddit thread.
🆓 – See the transparency note for details.