Raspberry Pi 4 Launches With More Powerful Processor and 4K Video
The Raspberry Pi foundation launched the Raspberry Pi 3 about three and a half years ago, and the single-board computer has proven extremely popular. There have been a few variations of the Pi 3, but now the time has come for a true successor. The Raspberry Pi 4 offers a more powerful processor, 4K video output, and additional connectivity options.
Like older Raspberry Pi devices, the new Pi 4 is a compact computer with almost everything you need on a single board. There are USB ports, video output, a processor, RAM, and even GPIO expansion pins. You do still need to pop in a microSD card for storage and loading software, though.
The Raspberry Pi 4 keeps the same shape and footprint as previous versions, but it’s faster and more capable. The Pi 4 has a new processor, the Broadcom BCM2711. It has four Arm Cortex A72 cores running at 1.5GHz. The Raspberry Pi 3, by comparison, had four Cortex A53 CPUs. You’ll find both A72 and A53 cores in popular smartphone chips where the A72s serve as the high-power processors and the A53s are the slower, more efficient ones. So, this is a big upgrade for the Raspberry Pi.
The faster BCM2711 allows the Raspberry Pi 4 to perform feats unthinkable with the Pi 3. It can decode 4K videos at 60fps using HEVC/H.265, render OpenGL ES 3.0 graphics, and can even output 4K video to a monitor. There are two micro HDMI ports on the Pi 4, but you only get 60 Hz output on a single monitor. With two, the Raspberry Pi 4 can only do 30 Hz. The move to micro HDMI is a bit of a pain, though. Those cables are much less common than the standard HDMI on older versions of the Raspberry Pi.
Some of the ports from previous incarnations of the Pi are also getting an upgrade. Two of the four USB 2.0 ports are now USB 3.0, and the micro USB power supply is USB Type-C now. The ethernet port supports gigabit speeds, too.
This version of the Raspberry Pi comes with 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB of RAM. Each upgrade adds $10 to the $25 starting price. The Raspberry Pi foundation is also producing its own accessories for the first time. It will offer a kit with a 4GB Raspberry Pi 4, a case, SD card, two HDMI cables, a keyboard, and a mouse for $105. Just add a monitor or two, and you’ve got a fully functional computer. The Raspberry Pi 4 is available for purchase today from multiple retailers.