Raspberry Pi 4 new firmware update lowers temperature


Raspberry Pi 4 model B

The Raspberry Pi 4’s enhanced specs assure considerably improved performance compared to the Raspberry Pi 3B; however, benchmarks have shown there’s a snag: heat. Under a substantial multi-core load, the Raspberry Pi 4 can hit 80C easily, causing the chip to throttle which can reduce performance significantly.

CNX-Software has done some exploring of Raspberry Pi 4 including the current firmware update used on the board for the VIA VL805 PCIe USB 3.0 because Active State Power Management (ASPM) for its USB3.0 controller had not been implemented on early production units. There is throttling in performance due to overheating when the platform checked at a steady temperature level around 28-degree centigrade. 7-zip never completed, as it was eliminated three times due to lacking memory. After applying the firmware upgrade, there was a significant increase in 7-zip performance.

Temperatures were still over 80C, however 7zip efficiency without a heatsink enhanced from 4423 to 5298. That’s on par with the performance CNX-Software saw from adding a heatsink to the Raspberry Pi 4 without a firmware update (5397 ). The heatsink is still better for stable performance, nevertheless– by the time CNX-Software had run their 3rd benchamark, the Raspberry Pi 4 had started to throttle back.

Raspberry Pi 4 SBC Benchmark Temperature
Image by cnx-software.com

It ‘d be shocked if a heatsink or even a tiny fan didn’t improve the performance over the bare chip in any situation where the board is going to be under severe load. It will depend upon the particulars of the workload, naturally, however a heatsink for the device is likely a great concept, and a small fan might not go awry either, depending upon what you wish to make with it. Benchmarks from Medium suggest that the Pi4’s Video Core VI GPU is more powerful than the older hardware on the RBP3, with frame rates in Quake III Arena (1280 × 720) rising from ~ 28 to ~ 42.

Undoubtedly we’ll see more cooling options for the RBP4 in upcoming months, however, the device’s performance is high enough to be genuinely intriguing in ways previous iterations of the hardware weren’t. It might still be a low-end hobbyist device; however, Raspberry Pi 4 moves away from being a gadget or toy and towards something that can deal with a wider variety of computation.

We recommend that even with this change, anyone planning to put a severe load on the board for a prolonged period will need a minimum of one a heatsink to keep performance steady.

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