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Raspberry Pi 5 Live Blog: Whole New Board, Whole New Ecosystem

Follow along as we do more in-depth testing and report on new accessories and upgrades.

Raspberry Pi 5
(Image: © Future)

The Pi that makers everywhere have hungered for has finally arrived. Announced on September 28, but rolling out to consumers in a few weeks, the Raspberry Pi 5 is a radical upgrade its predecessor, boasting a much faster processor, built-in PCIe support, a real-time clock and, for the first time on a Pi, a power button.

The first new flagship Raspberry Pi since 2019, the Pi 5 is going to provide new opportunities to incorporate AI and video streaming into your projects and, thanks to its higher speeds, may even be a pretty good entry-level desktop. However, it's also going to require a whole new series of accessories, including cases and fans, that fit its unique board layout. And, with some tweaks to the hardware also come the need for updates to the software. 

We've posted our Raspberry Pi 5 review and praised the new king of single-board computers for its performance, functionality and value. However, the testing we did for our review just scratched the surface of its capabilities. So, follow along with us here as we try even more workloads (ex: emulation) while tracking the latest news from the rest of the Pi ecosystem.  


 Raspberry Pi 5’s Key Specs and Improvements 

Raspberry Pi 5

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

 The Pi 5 has a lot of improvements over its predecessor. Here’s a quick list of key specs and how they stack up to the Pi 4.

  •  CPU: 2.4-GHz, quad-core Arm Cortex-A76 (vs 1.8 GHz Cortex-A72) 
  •  GPU: 800 MHz VideoCore VII (vs 500 MHz VideoCore VI) 
  •  RAM: 4 / 8GB of LPDDR4X-4267 (vs LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM) 
  •  USB: 2x USB 3.0, 2x USB 2.0 (same as prior) 
  •  Camera: 2 x 4-lane MIPI camera / display connectors (vs 1x camera, 1x display) 
  •  PCIe 2.0 connector: New for Pi 5 
  •  Power button: New for Pi 5 
  •  Real-time clock: New for Pi 5, requires battery 
  •  microSD card slot: Supports SDR104 (prior was about half as fast) 
  •  Wireless: 802.11ac + Bluetooth 5.0 (same as prior) 
  •  Ethernet: Gigabit (both support PoE with add-on hats) 
  •  Cooler: Built-in fan header, fan mounts (none on prior) 
  •  GPIO: 40-pin header 
  •  Video: 2x microHDMI, supporting 4K 60 Hz, HDR (prior 2x 4K 30 Hz) 
  •  Power: USB-C power port, required 5 volt, 3-amp PSU (same as prior) 

As you can see, we have iterative improvements in the CPU, GPU and RAM speeds. The USB 3.0 connections have the same 5 Gbps speed in theory but operate faster thanks to a dedicated Raspberry Pi southbridge chip. 

If you need a clock that works all the time, even if your Pi is not connected to a network, the built-in RTC is a really nice feature. And, if you’re tired of yanking the power cord out when you want to turn your Pi off, you’ll appreciate the power button. We’re also really excited about the higher-speed microSD card slot, which we’ll talk more about in a future post.

Interestingly, you get all of these features for just $5 more than the equivalent Pi 4 SKUs. The 4GB and 8GB Raspberry Pi 5 will cost $60 and $80 respectively (if sold at MSRP) versus $55 and $75 for the Pi 4 models with the same amount of RAM. We don’t have pricing yet for the 1 and 2GB models, because those are coming later.  You should, however, keep in mind that you’ll really want a robust cooler for the Pi 5 so buying one will add to your cost.

ETA Prime Tests Raspberry Pi 5 Emulation, Gaming (Yes it runs Doom...3)

ETA Prime tests Raspberry Pi 5 emulation

(Image credit: ETA Prime)

Gaming YouTuber ETA Prime has been hands on with the new Raspberry Pi 5 and they have managed to emulate both Sega Dreamcast and Sony PSP on the new flagship board.

Playing Sonic Adventure on the ReDream Dreamcast emulator proved to be flawless, while God of War: Chains of Olympus for the PSP saw a few dips below 60fps. 

It is still very early days for emulation on the Raspberry Pi, with many of the emulation platforms (Recalbox, Lakka, RetroPie) now working on new images to support the Pi. Based on this small performance test it seems like the Raspberry Pi 5 will soon become THE platform for home emulation.

ETA Prime also tested out Doom 3, and it performed admirably with a mix of low / medium graphics. 

The Raspberry Pi 5 Accessory Avalanche Begins!

A new board needs new accessories and whether they are from Raspberry Pi or third-parties, they are always welcome. 

We've got the official Active Cooler, and a new case from Pimoroni

Raspberry Pi 5

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Without active cooling, the Raspberry Pi 5 will quickly thermal throttle under a heavy-ish load. In our review we noticed that the idle temperature of the Raspberry Pi 5 was 50.5 degrees Celsius, and without cooling it leapt to 86.7°Cs, passing the 80°C thermal throttle point.

The $5 / $5 official active cooler is great at keeping the Raspberry Pi 5 cool, and it will be available at the same time as the Pi 5 on October 23.

The new Pibow Royal Coupe for RPi 5

(Image credit: Hel Gibbons/Pimoroni)

No Raspberry Pi is complete without a case and Pimoroni gave us a sneak peek at its upcoming Pibow Royal Coupe for the Raspberry Pi 5. The new layout of the Pi  means that we need a new case, and the Pibow Royal Coupe is an elegant solution.

It has cut-outs for the new power button (we really don't know why we are so excited about a power button, but there you go) the dual CSi / DSi ports and more importantly the BCM2712 SoC, PMIC and Wi-Fi. The SoC, PMIc, Wi-Fi cut-out is designed to enable the new active cooler to slide into place. 

In the Raspberry Pi 5 product brief we noted that the Raspberry Pi 5 should not be contained in a sealed case, largely due to the impressively powerful CPU. Pimoroni made a smart move by opening this section of the case.

The case will be on sale in late October, with an anticipated MSRP of $10.

Raspberry Pi 5 Case

(Image credit: Raspberry Pi / The Pi Hut)

The $10 official Raspberry Pi 5 case is up for pre-order at The Pi Hut and it follows the Raspberry Pi branding to perfection. A lovely mix of raspberry red and white, this case is a refinement of the Raspberry Pi 4 case and comes with active cooling in the form of a PWM fan and heatsinks. 

If you want to keep a lid on things, you can, but as the Pi 5 runs hots, we'd keep the lid off and the fan spinning.

The official case will be available in late October.

Raspberry Pi 5 PCIe Peripherals Tested

Jeff Geerling tests a 3080Ti with Raspberry Pi

(Image credit: Jeff Geerling)

Friend of The PiCast Jeff Geerling has posted his own review of the Raspberry Pi 5 and in true Geerling fashion he has deep dived on PCIe support and released a video of his escapades.

The Raspberry Pi 5 supports PCIe devices via a breakout on the left side of the board. There are five lanes, four available to the BCM2712 SoC and the remaining lane is broken out via the connector. 

Raspberry Pi CEO Eben Upton has confirmed to Tom's Hardware that there will be an M.2 HAT which supports NVMe SSDs. This board is still being developed and in the meantime Geerling has borrowed a debug adapter from Raspberry Pi and has tested a series of PCIe devices, such as NVMe SSD, TPU accelerators and of course a GPU.

Geerling tested a few NVMe SSDs and was able to get 450 MB/sec under Gen 2.0, and nearly 900 MB/s by forcing Gen 3.0! We can't wait to give this a try for ourselves.

As for TPUs and GPUs, Geerling had some luck, but it is still early days and while installation was possible, it wasn't working as expected...yet!

 Faster microSD Card Slot Benchmarked: Blazing Boots and App Opens 

 One of the most exciting things we’ve noticed about the Raspberry Pi 5 are its faster boot and load times. While the new-and-improved processor may play a role here, the higher-speed microSD card slot is a gamechanger.  

Even with an older microSD card, the Pi 5 boots up more than twice as quickly as its predecessor, getting to its desktop in about 18 seconds versus 38 seconds. In our tests, the GIMP image editor took around 5.5 seconds to launch on the Pi 5 versus 10.8 seconds on the Pi 4. Mozilla Firefox opened in around 5 seconds on the new PI versus 8.7 seconds on its predecessor. 

According to the spec sheet, the new microSD slot supports SDR104, a little-known card standard that boasts theoretical maximum speed of up to 104 MBps. The prior card slot had a theoretical maximum around 50 MBps and, in reality, we never saw cards get much above 40 MBps. 

One problem with SDR104, though, is that you won’t find it on many spec sheets or Amazon product listings. It is an extension of the common UHS-I card standard so, in short, look for cards that promise speeds of 100 MBps or more. We bought two such cards: a Lexar Professional 1066x (256GB), which promises up to 160 MBps reads, and the Kingston Canvas Go Plus (128GB) which is rated for 170 MBps reads. We also tested with the 32GB SanDisk Edge card, a cheap and mainstream card, that the Raspberry Pi company sent us with our review unit. 

To see the difference in performance between Pi generations, we also tested the Kingston Canvas Go Plus on the Pi 4. And, even with the same card and OS image, the differences are quite pronounced. We tested the cards primarily using IOzone, a storage benchmark that measures sequential and random reads and writes. 

With 4K cluster size, the kind that is used in a lot of frequent reads and writes, the Kingston Canvas Go Plus is the clear winner, with strong scores across both sequential and random categories. On the Pi 4, Kingston’s card offers stronger scores than the SanDisk card does on the Pi 5. However, we can see improvements of more than 50 percent when moving from the Pi 4 to the Pi 5 with this card.

Raspberry Pi 5

(Image credit: Future)

We also tested with a 1024K cluster size, which is more representative of large file transfers. Here we see much higher numbers, but the SanDisk card still struggles with writes compared to all the others. Overall, even the reads are about half the speed on the Pi 4 as they are on the Pi 5. 

Raspberry Pi 5

(Image credit: Future)

What we take away from this is that you will benefit from having a faster card on the Pi 5. However, it’s important to note that the key tasks of booting and launching apps took the same amount of time, within the margin of error, on every card, even the low-speed SanDisk. So even a cheap card will perform better on the new Raspberry Pi than the old one. 

No Industrial Raspberry Pi 5 Customers Until 2024

Kev McAleer interview Raspberry Pi community

(Image credit: Kev McAleer)

Friend of The Pi Cast Kev McAleer has been busy recording interviews with many luminaries of the Raspberry Pi and maker community. First off we have an interview with Eben Upton, which reveals that the Raspberry Pi 5 will not be offered to industrial customers until 2024. Makers, who Upton states that "the maker community has been extremely patient with us over the last couple of years, and I think that the least we can do is not support industrial volume sales until we are in a solid stock position."

McAleer asks about Raspberry Pi 4 production, will the Raspberry Pi 5 eat into it? Upton is clear that Raspberry Pi and its partner, Sony has the capacity to produce Raspberry Pi 4 and 5.

McAleer also learns about the long gestation period of the Raspberry Pi 5. It has been in planning since 2016 (before the 3B+, and the Raspberry Pi 4) and cost around $25 million. We also learn that the RP1 Southbridge, responsible for USB 3, PCIe and networking was in development before the RP2, otherwise known as the RP2040 Raspberry Pi Pico.

McAleer has also been chatting to Jeff Geerling and straight off the bat we learn about how much of a surprise the Raspberry Pi 5 announcement is to the general community. McAleer recorded an interview with venerable SBC YouTuber Chris Barnatt from Explaining Computers. Barnatt calls the Raspberry Pi 5 a "cerebral Pi" and that he sees this new flagship board as something that removes the bottlenecks of previous boards (CPU power, faster connectivity and storage).

Raspberry Pi 5 Tablet?

LeePSPVideo's Raspad Tablet

(Image credit: LeePSPVideo)

LeePSPVideo has created "the world's first Raspberry Pi 5 tablet" using the Raspad 3. We don't see under the hood, but we can guess that Lee has swapped the camera cable and HDMI to accommodate the Raspberry Pi 5. Touchscreen works, and it looks silky smooth. While it isn't a truly portable tablet, the idea has merit and makes us hope for a Raspberry Pi 5 based Compute Module.

The Raspad 3 is a fun "tablet" / wedge that brings a LiPo battery, 1280 x 800 touchscreen, and the GPIO into a portable package. In our review we loved its size, and the HDMI output for an additional display. Its downsides were limited access to the GPIO and camera, a noisy fan and a creaky plastic case.

Lee has had access to the Raspberry Pi 5 for around a month and has posted a full review video to talk about his findings. Instead of going through the raw specifications, Lee shows us how the OS feels via a screen capture. Opening PDFs, Chromium web browser sessions, LibreOffice is no problem, even for a dual screen 1080p setup. Video playback via VLC appears smooth, only stuttering when Lee moves the window around the desktop. Lee shows Sony PSP emulation performance via PPSSPP and Grand Theft Auto Vice City Stories. Running at three times the native PSP resolution (480 x 272 which makes 1440 x 816) the game runs well at the maximum possible 30fps.

The Raspberry Pi 5 Could Have 16GB RAM, One Day

Raspberry Pi 5 RAM

(Image credit: Future)

Have you spotted the tiny resistor in the center of the Raspberry Pi 5? That resistor is there to help us identify how much RAM is on our Raspberry Pi 5. At launch there will be two variants. A 4GB board will set you back $60, 8GB is $80. Models with 1 and 2GB of RAM will follow later. 

In Jeff Geerling's video we learn of his love for this little resistor. It means that he no longer has to boot up a Pi or lookup RAM chip datasheets to check the RAM on his board. Geerling uttered the magic words "I have it on good authority that the Pi 5 could handle 16GB, someday". Who the authority is, we don't know. Given his close relationship with Raspberry Pi LTD we can only infer that it was a member of the Raspberry Pi team.

Having 16GB of RAM on an SBC is not unheard of. The Khadas Edge 2 Pro has a 16GB option and it has similar performance to the Raspberry Pi 5. 

Could we see a Raspberry Pi 5 with 16GB? It is likely, given the impressive performance on *just* 8GB of RAM and the improved USB and Micro SD card speeds, the Raspberry Pi 5 could be the smart choice for casual web browsing and coding.

Raspberry Pi 5 Power Supply Options

Raspberry Pi 5 PSU

(Image credit: Future)

The Raspberry Pi 5 has a more powerful CPU but, according to Raspberry Pi CEO Eben Upton "Raspberry Pi 5 consumes significantly less power, and runs significantly cooler, than Raspberry Pi 4 when running an identical workload." So do we need the new official 27W USB C power supply? Well yes and no.

If we plan to just use the Raspberry Pi 5 as a computer, with a keyboard, mouse and low-power USB devices, then we can stick with the older 15W (5V at 3A) power supply released for the Raspberry Pi 4. When used with the Raspberry Pi 5, the Pi 5 will limit downstream USB current to 600mA, ensuring that there is sufficient power for the Raspberry Pi 5 to keep working.

What if we want to drive higher powered devices with the Raspberry Pi 5? For that we need the $12 27W PSU which can deliver 5V at 5A (25W) and the Raspberry Pi firmware can detect the PSU (we've seen this on the Raspberry Pi diagnostic / POST screen) and increase the current limit to 1.6A, a 5W boost for USB devices, and a little extra power budget for in general.

The 27W PSU is a USB C PD device which can offer the following power options:

  • 5.1V at 5A (25.5W)
  • 9V at 3A (27W)
  • 12V at 2.25A (27W)
  • 15V at 1.8A (27W)

Makers Gonna Make With Raspberry Pi 5

@timonsku Raspberry Pi 5 M.2 HAT

(Image credit: @timonsku)
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Notable names in the maker community have been hands on with the Raspberry Pi 5 and it seems they have been busy. Timon has created their own M.2 HAT board which uses the new PCIe FFC (Flexible Flat Cable) connector. Timon has a history of creating novel addons for the Raspberry Pi. They created Piunora, a Compute Module 4 breakout that follows the Arduino Uno layout.

We can't quite see the details, but it looks like a 2242 SSD connected using a 15 to 22 pin FFC. The "HAT" appears to be made from DIY PCB etching / or copper plate. It also appears that a 2280 sized drive can be used. Timon describes the project as a "dirty hack" but it is an elegant and rapid test before a PCB is fabricated.

@Mirko_DIY's Raspberry Pi 5 M.2 HAT

(Image credit: @Mirko_DIY)
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Mirkotronics has also taken a look at creating their own M.2 HAT.  The board is still in the design phase, but it appears to follow the footprint of the Raspberry Pi 5 and has a breakthrough connection for the GPIO and M2.5 mounting holes on the perimeter. Power is provided via a USB C port on the bottom right, it looks like 5V is required. 

Mirkotronics has designed two versions (so far) a single drive and a dual drive. Both look like they take 2242 drives. 

Both of these projects are worth watching while we wait for an official board. Right now all we have seen is a PCIe debug board being used by Jeff Geerling.

Official Raspberry Pi 5 M.2 HAT and PoE+ HAT Pictured

Raspberry Pi 5 Addons

(Image credit: Raspberry Pi)

Prototype HATs for Power over Ethernet (PoE) and M.2 SSDs have been announced on the Raspberry Pi blog.

The PoE+ HAT will be the third revision of the board, and this time it seemingly takes on an L-shape. Well for now at least, the design is not yet final. The need for a new PoE+ HAT is due to the Raspberry Pi 5 moving the PoE pins from between the GPIO and USB ports, to between the CSI/DSI ports and Ethernet. This move was done due to a fan header, added for the new active cooler.

The original PoE HAT was released back when the Raspberry Pi 3B+ was the flagship board, but that model had an unpleasant "whine" in use. A refined version, the PoE+ HAT rectified this issue.

Raspberry Pi 5 Addons

(Image credit: Raspberry Pi)

The M.2 HAT is the most exciting addition to the Raspberry Pi addon avalanche! We speculated about an NVMe / M.2 addon for the Raspberry Pi 5 way back on an episode of The Pi Cast and it seems that Raspberry Pi listened. 

The M.2 HAT connected to the Raspberry Pi via the GPIO and a 16-pin 0.5mm FPC connector to the PCIe slot on the left side of the board. Where the DSi connection used to be. According to the blog post, from 2024 Raspberry Pi will offer "a pair of mechanical adapter boards which convert between this connector and a subset of the M.2 standard, allowing users to attach NVMe SSDs and other M.2-format accessories." The first will be the M.2 HAT, but the second will be a different model designed for 2230 and 2242 sized drives and will follow the L-shaped design convention set by the new PoE+ HAT. The latter model is designed to fit inside the official case.

Raspberry Pi 5 Retro Gaming

(Image credit: Future)
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We love retro gaming, no seriously I've got two Raspberry Pi powered arcade cabinets. But the late 1990s and early 2000s saw the transition from 2D to 3D games, and surprisingly you need a good bit of computational power. In the past the Raspberry Pi 4 had some success with games from this era, but the extra power of the Raspberry Pi 5 means we have a lot more to play with.

We tested Jet Set Radio, running on the ReDream Sega Dreamcast emulator on top of Raspberry Pi OS. We made no configuration changes except to unlock v-sync. ReDream detected our 2560 x 1440 display and loaded our games. We chose Jet Set Radio for its cel-shaded graphics and because it is just a great game.

On the Raspberry Pi 4 it struggles to maintain a consistent framerate, often stuttering and trying to catch up and running at around 45-50fps with some dips to 30. On the Raspberry Pi 5 it was smooth gaming at a stable 60fps and no dips.

The Sega Dreamcast has a great collection of game and we can't wait to explore them with the Raspberry Pi 5. It also give us hope for better Playstation 2 and PSP emulation via AetherSX2 and PPSSPP.

Raspberry Pi 5 Arriving October 23

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The new Raspberry Pi 5 will be hitting shelves on October 23 according to UK reseller Pimoroni. The official Raspberry Pi blog mentions "end of October" so Pimoroni's tweet is the best source for a firm date.

The key specs for the Raspberry Pi 5 are

A new Raspberry Pi OS will launch in mid-October. This release will be based upon Debian 12 "Bookworm" "and will be the sole supported first-party operating system for Raspberry Pi 5." according to the Raspberry Pi blog. We've been hands on with the OS and it runs extremely well. Largely thanks to the new 2.4 GHz quad-core CPU, faster micro SD card access and 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM. This new OS also marks the "transition from X11 to the Wayfire Wayland compositor on Raspberry Pi 4 and 5." and it feels more "grown up" than previous OS releases.

Speed of USB-Attached SSDs At Least Double on Pi 5 

With its new RP1 chip controlling the southbridge, the Pi 5 promises faster USB 3 speeds, even though it’s still using 5 Gbps Type-A ports like the Pi 4 does. The idea is that, with this new chip managing the bandwidth, we can get more throughput. So we were eager to find out if you actually do get more USB speed and, if so, how much.

To find out, we took an NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD and put it in an M.2 to USB enclosure which supports UASP (Universal Attached SCSI Protocol). We then ran a few tests on both a Pi 4 and a Pi 5, both using the same OS image.

We tested in IOzone at both 4K and 1024K cluster sizes. The results are below, reported in KBps so divide by 1,000 for MBps. As you can see, the 4K numbers were pretty close between the two Pis, perhaps because the bottleneck here is the drive itself, not throughput from the port.

(Image credit: Future)

However, when we upped the cluster size to 1024K, the differences were much more apparent. This is most true for the sequential and random reads, which were about double the rate of the Pi 4 on the Pi 5. 

Raspberry Pi 5 vs 4 IOzone tests

(Image credit: Future)

I also tried using the built-in DD command to measure read speed, having it copy from the external drive to null with this command dd if-/dev/sda of=/dev/ull bs=4MiB status=progress. There I saw rates of 345 and 187 MBps on the two Pis.