The Raspberry Pi 5 has been hotly anticipated as its predecessor, the Raspberry Pi 4 was released in June 2019, a whole 4 years ago. Does the Raspberry Pi Foundation not know that the new cool thing to do is release a board with a new variant every month?
I’d heard a few rumblings of a new board over the last few weeks and there’d been an increase in the number of somewhat secretive social media posts from Raspberry Pi themselves, and other prominent content creators in the space. Lots of factory visits and people eluding to very busy/special weeks gave off a small hint, though I guess without having heard rumours beforehand, I’d have thought nothing of it!
With the 5th iteration in the Raspberry Pi family then, we see a much faster CPU as part of the Broadcom BCM2712 SoC, an exposed PCIe 2.0 x1 connection (though not in M.2 format) and faster, LPDDR4X memory.
Raspberry Pi 5 Review
I’ve now published my Raspberry Pi 5 Review so if you’re curious to see how it performs against its older sibling, the Raspberry Pi 4 (and other SBCs) do check it out.
Raspberry Pi 5 Specifications
I think the surge of new boards on platforms such as the RK3588 has ruined my expectations of a new board these days as I was expecting to see M.2 NVMe SSD connectors, 2.5GbE RJ45 Ethernet, and perhaps eMMC or other goodies.
When you think about it though, that would likely bump the price up far too much and it then begins catering to a section of the market that the Raspberry Pi Foundation isn’t really going for. It’s still quite the bump in terms of processing power and realistically, those other features are “nice to have” but not necessary.
So what are the Raspberry Pi 5 Specifications?
- Broadcom BCM2712 SoC – Quad-Core 2.4GHz Cortex-A76
- VideoCore VIII GPU
- 4/8GB LPDDR4X SDRAM (4267MHz)
- 1Gbit RJ45 Ethernet (PoE+ Support with PoE+ Hat)
- 2x USB-A 3.0 (supporting simultaneous 5Gbps throughput) & 2x USB-A 2.0
- 1x USB-C (Power in – 5V5A)
- 2x Mini HDMI
- 40-pin GPIO Header
- 2-pin Fan Header
- 2x MIPI/DSI Connectors (4-lane)
- PCIe 2.0 x1 Connection
- MicroSD Card Slot (with support for High Speed SDR104 mode)
- Power Button
From the Raspberry Pi 4 we retain the Mini-HDMI ports, 1Gbit RJ45 Ethernet (with PoE+ support with the appropriate hat), 40-pin GPIO headers, and a microSD Card slot for storage. Whilst we’re retaining the USB-C connector for power, this time around we’re seeing the requirement of a 5V5A power supply which seems a little crazy!
They’re clearly expecting this board to draw considerable power even when we ignore the PSU requirements. From the picture(s), you’ll see that there are now specific holes drilled out of the board to cater for a heatsink. This would hint at an official heatsink (as well as a swathe of 3rd-party options, give AliExpress a few weeks to catch up) being available and the SoC being a toasty little guy.
Raspberry Pi Compute Module 5?
At the moment there’s no mention of a Compute Module 5, though if it’s based on the exact same SoC then it could be interesting as to how they handle the power and heat in such a small package. Given that they want a 5V5A power supply for the Raspberry Pi 5, slapping the same SoC and hardware onto a tiny package that will then be extended via carrier board is likely to result in a board that needs even more power to run.
Availability and Pricing
Depending on how many units they’ve managed to pump out in the dark of the night in Wales, Raspberry Pi 5 availability should be somewhat better than others before it. Coming out of the increased demand phase of the last couple of years, I’m quietly optimistic.
With authorised retailers across the world, you won’t have to resort to ordering on AliExpress and waiting 2-4 weeks for it to turn up so that’s a positive but how much stock will they have available at launch and how long is that going to last? 4 years is a long time and the massive interest in Raspberry Pi computers means that this is likely to fly off the shelves, just like the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 did, but perhaps they’ve learned from that.
Price-wise, we have the 4GB and 8GB models available at launch and they come in at just under 60 and 79 British Pounds (including VAT) respectively for the 4GB and 8GB boards themselves.
The 27W USB-C power supply seems to be going for just under 12GBP ($15USD, again, including UK VAT), confirming that it’s a power-hungry thing.
With its price point and software support, the Raspberry Pi 5 may make quite a dent in the interest of alternatives available. A 2.4GHz A76 Quad-Core CPU is nothing to be scoffed at (it should be similar-ish to the faster cluster on the Rockchip RK3588 and if you’re interested in seeing how that did against the Raspberry Pi 4, I have the ROCK 5B Review and Orange Pi 5 Plus Review that compare those 2.4GHz Cortex-A76 cores against the Raspberry Pi 4’s 1.5GHz alternatives.
The increased power requirements though are a little of a worry and I feel that if the board really is going to be drawing considerable enough power, we’re going to have lots of people with existing cables and power supplies that are going to have to fork out for new ones. Given the heatsink mount, I think we may be in for a warm ride just as winter starts to set in (at least up here in Northern Europe)