After four years of waiting, the Raspberry Pi 5 is finally on the market and looking at what it offers, the 4-year wait was worth it. While the previous Raspberry Pi 4 was one of the best minicomputers around, the Raspberry Pi 5 doubles every aspect of the Raspberry Pi 4, from performance increases to feature improvements, making it probably the fastest single board computer ever. Twice as powerful as its predecessor, the new Pi also features a new Southbridge chipset called RP1, developed by the Raspberry Pi Foundation.

raspberry pi 5: the sweetest pi yet

The new Pi also has double the number of RAM in the base variant and improves wired connectivity with features like PCIe 2.0 and simultaneous 5Gb p/s bandwidth on both USB 3.0 slots. If all of these improvements excite you and you want to take a look at what the new Raspberry Pi 5 has to offer, you’ve come to the right place as we’ll take a look at everything that makes this Pi so exciting.

Raspberry Pi 5: Specifications

The Raspberry Pi 5 is the most advanced single-board computer the Raspberry Pi Foundation has ever developed, as it tries everything to provide a desktop experience with the same form factor as before. And all of this is possible with the new and improved specifications that the Raspberry Pi Foundation is offering with it. Let’s take a look at what new things the Raspberry Pi 5 has to offer and how it is better than the Raspberry Pi 4.

The new Raspberry Pi 5 features a new ARM silicon (BCM2712) and offers a new 2.4 GHZ quad-core 64-bit Arm Cortex A76 CPU, which is 2 to 3 times faster than the old Raspberry Pi 4, according to the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The new Pi also offers cryptographic enhancements for cryptographic tasks such as using VPN, improved security and encryption.

broadcom bcm 2712 soc

The new Pi has a much more powerful graphics processor with 800 MHz Videocore VII GPU, which also supports Vulcan 1.2 and Open GL ES 3.1. We need this GPU to unleash its power because the new Pi supports 2 4K monitors at 60 Hz. This makes it the first Pi to be able to do this, even if it is via micro HDMI ports and it does not have a full-size HDMI port. And HDR is also supported.

The new Pi also has improved wireless connectivity with Bluetooth 5.0 and Bluetooth BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy), although it would have been even better if there was also support for the new Wifi 6 standard, as it still only comes with Wifi 5 (dual-band 802.11ac).

raspberry pi 5 performance figures
Image: YouTube [Jeff Geerling]

There is still no support for onboard memory, but the new Pi has improved memory speed with support for SDR 104 high-speed mode. The new Pi has 2 USB 2.0 and 2 USB 3.0 ports, which are better than the last generation Raspberry Pi 4. Also, the new Pi supports Gigabit Ethernet with PoE (Power over Ethernet) support, which requires an additional PoE + Hat accessory that will be available soon.

The new Raspberry Pi 5 also features 2 x 4-lane 1.5 Gbit/s MIPI camera and display transceivers, which is a huge improvement over the 2-lane 1 Gbit/s MIPI camera and display transceivers on the previous model. This allows two 4K displays to be used at 60 Hz.

Raspberry Pi 5: Brand New Features

At the very heart of the Raspberry Pi 5 is the new RP1 SoC. It’s a big deal for the Raspberry Pi 5, the new RP1 is a SOC, designed by Raspberry Pi themselves and is a South Bridge that is connected between SOC and the rest of the board. It features two built-in USB 3 controllers that enable the Raspberry Pi to use both USB 3.0 ports simultaneously with full bandwidth of 5 GBit/s. There are also 2 USB 2 controllers built in for the two USB 2.0 ports.

The RP1 SoC

the rp1 soc

The RP1 SoC also controls all GPIO pins and the Gigabit Ethernet port. The new Raspberry Pi 5’s networking hardware may be similar to the last-generation Raspberry Pi 4, as both use Wi-Fi 5 (dual-band 802.11ac). But thanks to the new RP1 SoC, the Raspberry Pi 5 supports things like PoE (Power over Ethernet) and PTP (Precision Time Protocol). This will be useful for everyone.


The new Pi also features a PMIC (Power Management Integrated Circuit) that has a built-in real-time clock, so the Raspberry Pi 5 can keep track of time just like a regular computer. But the best part about the PMIC is that your Pi can use USB-C power, so the new Pi can use even hungrier USB accessories.

PCIe Expansion

raspberry pi 5 pmic

The new Pi also supports PCIe 2.0, which was long overdue in the previous versions. Now it’s not perfect, but PCIe support makes the new Pi even more worthwhile. The PCIe functionality comes in the form of an FPC (Flexible Printed Circuit) header. This opens up a whole new world for higher bandwidth peripherals like faster SSDs, network cards and more.

Faster and more RAM

All previous Raspberry Pi versions come with 2 GB RAM in the base variant, but with the Raspberry Pi 5, the base variant now comes with double the memory size of 4 GB and goes up to 8 GB. And that’s not all: the new Pi has even faster memory at 4267 MHz. The website RAM has been updated. Instead of LPDDR4, it is now LPDDR4X.

Power Button

Even though it doesn’t look like an update on paper, it was long overdue, as many users have been asking for a power button for the Raspberry Pi and now it’s finally here. And if you’re wondering what it does exactly, aside from being a power button, it’s nothing more than a simple power button.

Raspberry Pi 5: Power and Performance

The new Raspberry Pi 5 is twice as powerful as its predecessor. In pretty much every scenario, and the best part is that it’s not only powerful, but also super efficient. That’s because of Broadcom’s new BCM2712 SoC, a quad-core SoC with 4 x A-76 cores clocked at 2.4 GHz, and manufactured using 16-nanometer technology. Why is this important? Well, when it comes to things like media encoding, running a language model, or measuring simple SSD speed, the new Pi is at least 2 to 3 times faster than its predecessor.

When it comes to power consumption, the new Pi can draw up to 25 watts of power from the USB-C port. You should keep in mind, though, that you’ll need a 5-amp power supply for the new Raspberry Pi 5, as that’s what the Raspberry Pi Foundation recommends. If you don’t have a 5 amp power supply, the Raspberry Pi will work fine, but in that case you will see a power supply warning when booting.

raspberry pi power ampere warning
Image: YouTube [Jeff Geerling]

It is also recommended to use the new Pi with a cooling solution, as the new BCM2712 SoC will be throttled if used without any kind of cooling solution. There are officially 2 types of cooling solutions sold separately, one is a cooling fan for the Raspberry Pi 5 and the other is the Raspberry Pi case.

Fun Fact:
The new Raspberry Pi 5 should offer the same or even better performance when throttling compared to the Raspberry Pi 4.

Raspberry Pi 5: Price

The new Raspberry Pi 5 will be available in two variants. The basic variant comes with 4 gigabytes RAM and will cost $60. The higher variant with 8 gigabytes RAM will cost $80. Both variants have seen a $5 price increase, but the improved performance and new features should be worth it. It will be available in late October and you can order a Pi from the Raspberry Pi’s website.

FAQs about Raspberry Pi 5

1. What OS does Raspberry Pi use?

By default, the Raspberry Pi runs a specific Linux distribution called Raspbian OS, which is based on Debian. However, you can also use other Linux distributions with the Pi 5. It also supports Windows IoT.

2. How many PCIe lanes does Raspberry Pi 5 use?

The Raspberry Pi 5 can use a single PCIe 2.0 lane. On paper, that doesn’t sound interesting. But it can open up a world of possibilities for the Pi 5. Things like high-speed storage devices can now be connected. We can use network cards, old GPUs, and even Raid-attached storage.

3. Can we play games on Raspberry Pi 5?

Yes, it should be possible to play games on the Raspberry Pi 5 as it is 2 to 3 times more powerful than the Raspberry Pi 4. But we can’t say anything for sure because it uses a ARM -based CPU, which you can theoretically play games with, but these will be older titles like games from Dreamcast and Capcom. Newer games will not run on the Pi 5, unfortunately.

4. Can I use any power brick with Raspberry Pi 5?

Yes, you can use any power brick with the Raspberry Pi 5, but it should be a 5 amp brick that can supply 25 watts of power. If not, a power supply warning will be displayed at boot.

5. Can we use Raspberry Pi 4 power brick with Raspberry Pi 5?

Yes, you can use the old Raspberry Pi 4 Power Brick with the new Pi, but keep in mind that you won’t be able to use its full potential since it will be in power saving mode.

6. Does Raspberry Pi 5 have any onboard storage?

No, the Raspberry Pi 5 does not have built-in memory, but you can use a MicroSD card for memory expansion. The new Pi also supports a fast Micro SD card interface (SDR104) for higher speeds.

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