We all thought that there couldn’t be anything faster than Raspberry Pi 3 but we were wrong. UK’s Raspberry Pi Foundation released Raspberry Pi 4, which is a single circuit board to help you build a budget computer. It is so small that you can hold it in your hand. Costing just $35, Raspberry Pi 4 is perfect for fuelling your DIY projects. The foundation managed to include a number of interesting features in the fourth generation and to be honest, we are impressed.
Let’s take a look at its amazing features:
1. 1.5 GHz, quad-core, ARM Cortex-A72 processor
2. 4GB of memory (increases the price to $55)
3. Gigabit Ethernet
5. 60 frames per second to a 4K display or 30 frames per second on two connected 4K displays
How is it different from the previous model?
The fourth-generation model looks too good on paper, but what about in use? If you have used Raspberry Pi 3, you would know that it had overheating issues. It seems like the issue is carried forward in the new version as well. Gareth Halfacree mentioned in a Medium article that in the circuit board starts heating up only in a few minutes after you start using it. The heat is almost uncomfortable, making it impossible to use without external cooling. You will need active cooling to avoid thermal throttling.
Here are two thermal shots that Halfacree took for Raspberry Pi 4 and its predecessor, Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+.
Undoubtedly, Raspberry 4 consumes more power because it uses USB-C. When idle, the model utilizes 3.5 watts, and when in use, it consumes around 7.6 watts. 3 Model B consumes 1.9 watts when not in use and 5 watts while working. Don’t worry because it isn’t as bad as it sounds. Even if you are using it round the clock, Raspberry 4 will cost you only $3 extra per day.
Based on Debian Buster
For those who didn’t know, Raspberry 4 is based on Debian Buster and not Raspbian Buster because it would have taken a lot of work to port everything on the Raspbian Stretch. Simon Long, senior principal engineer at Raspberry Pi Foundation said that Debian Buster will be officially released on July 7, so its launch with Raspberry is only two weeks in advance. Buster has been MIA for a few months now with only a few small changes made to it a while ago.
The engineer also mentioned that they have spent several months testing the compatibility of Buster on Pi and they can assure it is stable and reliable. Even though Buster hasn’t gone through a lot of changes, Long said that most of them were security-related. It has made Buster difficult to hack. There are a number of changes to the unit’s graphical user interface as well.
It is a plain box rather than a physical button. The engineers have decreased the curvature of corners, which offers it a pseudo-3D effect. Instead of the IDLE, Raspberry Pi 4 has the all-improved Thonny Python integrated development environment.
What all things can you do with Raspberry 4?
You can do all types of things with Raspberry 4 and when we say that, it is something really huge. You can run a number of synthetic tests to compare multiple devices. However, it will be difficult to objectively rate the uses of a particular device on an everyday basis. Having said that, Raspberry Pi’s latest version is still far superior than the previous models. Instead of investing in the 1 GB model, go ahead and purchase the 4 GB unit if you want to keep the unit with you for an extended period of time.
When using Pi 4 4 GB model, you can simultaneously run over 15 tabs and the computer won’t slow down. It also performed really well on Speedometer, which tests web application responsiveness.
Upgrades compared to the previous models
Even though Raspberry Pi 4 doesn’t have a fan like the previous models, it is energy-efficient and comes less energy than most computers. Along with Gigabit Ethernet, Pi 4 has Bluetooth and wireless networking. It has more number of USB ports including two USB 2 ports and two USB 3 ports that boosts the transfer food by 10 times. There are three variations of Pi 4 available including 1 GB, 2 GB, and 4 GB.
Setting up Pi 4 for the very first time
To set up the Pi 4, you are going to need:
1. 15W USB-C power supply, which is recommended by the foundation
2. MicroSD card, which has a built-in NOOBS to assist in installing the operating system
5. Two cables to connect different devices with Raspberry Pi 4's micro HDMI ports
There are a number of projects that you can take up as a beginning using this model including a photo booth for your house party, weather station for your child’s school science project, home surveillance system, digital ebook library, and a wearable camera among others. You can use it to build an internet radio to stream Pandora, Spotify, and Google Music. If you to create a special gift for your partner or parents, use Raspberry Pi 4 to make an Amazon Echo. Take your skills to the next level by building a gaming console. Invite your friends over for a game night and show off your new creation.