Raspberry Pi 5 Launches to Eager Makers

Raspberry Pi 5
(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The Raspberry Pi 5 has been launched after the longest gap between releases in the product's history. The Raspberry Pi 4 was released in 2019, and a global chip supply shortage and pandemic may have some impact on the protracted release cycle.

Yes, you can now pre-order the latest quad-core Raspberry Pi 5 with a 2.4 GHz CPU and the latest VideoCore VII 800 MHz GPU. Right now, configurations have 4 ($60) or 8GB ($80) of RAM, with 1 and 2GB models to come. These prices are only $5 more than a Raspberry Pi 4, but you get much more performance for that extra $5!

Raspberry Pi 5 Hardware Specifications

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Header Cell - Column 0 Raspberry Pi 5
SoCBCM2712 SoC Arm Cortex-A76 64-bit CPU running at 2.4 GHz
800 MHz VideoCore VII GPU, supporting OpenGL ES 3.1, Vulkan 1.2
Display2 x 4Kp60 HDMI display output with HDR support
StorageMicro SD (SDR104 compatible) M.2 NVMe SSD via M.2 HAT
GPIO40 Pin Raspberry Pi HAT Compatible
USB2 x USB 2 2 x USB 3 (simultaneous 5Gbps)
Connectors2 × 4-lane MIPI camera/display transceivers PCIe 2.0 x1 interface UART breakout RTC clock power Fan power
NetworkingGigabit Ethernet, PoE via PoE+ HAT
Wi-Fi / BluetoothDual-band 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5 / BLE
Power ButtonSoft power button
Power5V 4A via USB C PoE via Poe+ HAT 5V via GPIO
Dimensions85 x 56mm

We reviewed the Raspberry Pi 5 ahead of its launch and noticed its striking resemblance to both the Raspberry Pi 4 and the older 3. The Raspberry Pi 5 offers a massive computational speed boost. Compared to the 1.8 GHz CPU of the Raspberry Pi 4, the Pi 5 has a quad-core 2.4 GHz (that we have overclocked to 3 GHz), and the new RP1 southbridge offers an incredible speed boost for USB and Micro SD cards. With the Pi 5, we saw micro SD card speeds that approached the USB 3 SSD speeds of the Raspberry Pi 4. The reason for this is SDR104, which effectively doubles the micro SD card speeds.

All that power means there is heat, and the Raspberry Pi 5 does run a little warm. Sure, you can run it without cooling, but thermal throttling will soon slow you down. Luckily, the Raspberry Pi team offers an optional active cooler designed solely for the Raspberry Pi 5. Using new mounting holes the cooler connects to the SoC, Wi-Fi, and RP1 chip to keep them cool using a heatsink and fan assembly.

The Raspberry Pi 5 also provides a new PCIe 2.0 breakout for future add-ons such as the M.2 HAT. Soon, we will be booting our Raspberry Pi 5 from a speedy NVMe SSD, likely to be in early 2024. For now, we can manage with the super-speedy micro SD cards. The PCIe connector is located where the DSI display connector used to be; this means that the DSI connector has moved next to the CSI camera connector, and the analog audio/video jack is now gone (well, it is accessible on the PCB). The bonus for this move is that we now get dual camera support, the first time on a "model B" Raspberry Pi. Using the combined CSI / DSI connectors, we can have dual screens and cameras on one of each. The connectors use the same flat flex cable as the Raspberry Pi Zero range of boards.

Where to Buy a Raspberry Pi 5?

Raspberry Pi in Cart

(Image credit: Shutterstock (1688252332))

Pre-orders for the Raspberry Pi 5 have been active since September 28, and it seems that everyone is hungry for a slice of Pi. Pre-orders have pretty much cleaned out inventory, and many retailers are listing dates in late 2023 and early 2024. Priority was given to readers of the official Raspberry Pi magazine, The MagPi and its maker magazine HackSpace. These orders should be fulfilled by the end of the week and approved resellers should have their stock going out the door. 

Raspberry Pi CEO Eben Upton released a blog post that expands on the Pi stock levels. "We are continuing to increase our production rate, with the aim of fulfilling all backorders and getting Raspberry Pi in stock at all our Approved Resellers by the end of the year – by then, we expect you to be able to just buy one straight off the shelf."

We're tracking the stock levels, and you can keep an eye on our "Where to buy" page.

Emulation on the Raspberry Pi 5

If you love retro gaming then the Raspberry Pi 5 is the SBC for you. We're so far managed to emulate a Sony PlayStation 2, Nintendo Gamecube and a Sega Dreamcast. It is still early days, but emulation distros such as Recalbox are already offering test images which a broad spread of emulators, covering the many generations of computing and console history. 

We'll be covering more Raspberry Pi 5 projects, how-tos and reviews in the coming days.

Les Pounder

Les Pounder is an associate editor at Tom's Hardware. He is a creative technologist and for seven years has created projects to educate and inspire minds both young and old. He has worked with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to write and deliver their teacher training program "Picademy".