Raspberry Pi 5 vs Raspberry Pi 4 Model B: An In-Depth Comparison

raspberry pi 4 vs 5 comparison cover image

The Raspberry Pi series has been a cornerstone for hobbyists and professionals alike, offering versatile single-board computers at an affordable price. With the release of the Pi 5, it’s time to see how it stacks up against its predecessor, the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B. This article will dive into the key differences and improvements that the Pi 5 brings to the table.

Raspberry Pi 5 vs Raspberry Pi 4 Specifications:

FeatureRaspberry Pi 5Raspberry Pi 4 Model B
SoCBroadcom BCM2712Broadcom BCM2711
CPUQuad-Core Cortex-A76 64-bit @ 2.4 GHzQuad-Core Cortex-A72 64-bit @ 1.8 GHz
GPUVideoCore VII @ 800 MHz (Vulkan 1.2)VideoCore VI @ 500 MHz (Vulkan 1.0)
Memory4GB or 8GB LPDDR4X-4267 SDRAM1GB, 2GB, 4GB, 8GB LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM
StorageMicroSD, M.2 NVME SSD (via HAT)MicroSD
USB Ports2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.02 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0
Display Output2 x MINI HDMI
Both can use 4kp60
One at 4kp60
NetworkingGigabit Ethernet, Dual-Band 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0Gigabit Ethernet, Dual-Band 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0
Power Input5V 4A via USB-C5V 3A via USB-C
Special FeaturesPCIe 2.0 x1, RTC, Soft Power Button

Performance Improvements

CPU and GPU Enhancements: The release of the Raspberry Pi 5 brought several improvements over its predecessor while also introducing a few drawbacks, particularly noticeable in demanding applications running on Pi OS. The Raspberry Pi 5 features a Broadcom BCM2712 SoC with a quad-core Cortex-A76 CPU running at 2.4 GHz, compared to the Pi 4’s Broadcom BCM2711 with a quad-core Cortex-A72 CPU at 1.8 GHz. This upgrade delivers a substantial performance boost, making the Pi 5 about 2.5 times faster in both single-core and multi-core tasks.

The GPU in the Pi 5, the VideoCore VII, runs at 800 MHz and supports Vulkan 1.2, offering better graphics performance and efficiency compared to the Pi 4’s VideoCore VI at 500 MHz, which supports Vulkan 1.0.

Memory: The Pi 5 uses LPDDR4X-4267 SDRAM, significantly faster than the Pi 4’s LPDDR4-3200 SDRAM. Both models are available in 4GB and 8GB configurations, but the Pi 5’s faster memory provides improved performance in memory-intensive applications, significantly enhancing tasks that require substantial RAM.

Raspberry Pi 5 vs Raspberry Pi 4 Model B: An In-Depth Comparison

CPU Benchmark Chart

BenchmarkRaspberry Pi 4Raspberry Pi 5Raspberry Pi 5 + Active Cooler
Single-Core Score247752756
Multi-Core Score60213401505

GPU Benchmark Chart

BenchmarkRaspberry Pi 4Raspberry Pi 5Raspberry Pi 5 + Active Cooler
glmark2 Score77820072017

Connectivity and I/O

Ports and Interfaces:

The Raspberry Pi 5 retains the dual micro-HDMI ports from the Pi 4 but with an enhancement: both ports now support 4Kp60 output. The Pi 4, in contrast, could only handle one display at 4Kp60 while the other was limited to 4Kp30. The Raspberry Pi 5 can seamlessly handle 1080p video output, ensuring high-definition visuals for your projects.

The USB ports and Ethernet port have also swapped positions, with the USB ports now near the GPIO pins and the Ethernet port closer to the HDMI ports, improving accessibility for various connector types. 

One of the most significant additions to the Pi 5 is the PCIe 2.0 x1 interface, which enables expandability options like NVMe SSDs through an adapter. This feature is particularly beneficial for users needing high-speed storage solutions for applications such as a NAS (Network Attached Storage), without changing the compact form factor of the Raspberry Pi.


The USB capabilities of the Pi 5 include two USB 3.0 ports and two USB 2.0 ports, similar to the Pi 4, providing excellent desktop connectivity for peripherals. However, the Pi 5’s architecture allows for faster data transfer rates, making it more suitable for tasks that require high-speed USB connectivity. Both models maintain the 40-pin GPIO header, ensuring compatibility with existing HATs and accessories.

Camera and Display Connectivity:

The Pi 5 features two 4-lane MIPI camera/display transceivers, replacing the separate DSI and CSI ports found on the Pi 4, which enhances Raspberry Pi OS compatibility for multimedia applications.

This change offers more flexibility but requires new cables for existing camera modules, which may necessitate additional investments in converter cables.

Connectivity Options

ConnectivityRaspberry Pi 5Raspberry Pi 4 Model B
Wi-FiDual-Band 802.11acDual-Band 802.11ac
USB2 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.02 x USB 3.0, 2 x USB 2.0
PCIePCIe 2.0 x1


Ethernet and Wireless: Both the Raspberry Pi 5 and Pi 4 include Gigabit Ethernet, dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 5.0. However, it’s important to note that the Raspberry Pi 5 doesn’t offer significant networking performance improvements over the Pi 4, as they share the same networking capabilities, meaning users won’t see improvements in network performance with the Pi 5 over the Pi 4.

Power and Thermal Management

Power Consumption: The Raspberry Pi 5 demands more power, requiring 5V 4A via USB-C, compared to the Pi 4’s 5V 3A. Although it can operate with a Pi 4 power supply, it won’t perform optimally. For best results, a higher-rated power supply is recommended.

Thermal Performance: The Raspberry Pi 5 and Raspberry Pi 4 have different thermal management requirements. The Raspberry Pi 5 runs hotter than the Pi 4 due to its increased performance. An active cooling solution is recommended to prevent thermal throttling during intensive tasks. The Pi 5 simplifies this with a built-in 4-pin fan header, making it easier to add a cooling fan directly to the board. 

The new processor and increased power usage of the Raspberry Pi 5 have come at a detriment to its thermals, necessitating the use of a fan connector for optimal cooling. Without an active cooler, the Pi 5, under continual load, cannot keep itself cool and will begin to thermal throttle. While you could get away with a small passive cooler on the Raspberry Pi 4, this is no longer true.

Raspberry Pi 5 vs Raspberry Pi 4 Model B: An In-Depth Comparison

Power Consumption Comparison

Power InputRaspberry Pi 5Raspberry Pi 4 Model B
Typical Power DrawHigher (5V 4A)Lower (5V 3A)
Cooling RequiredActive Cooling RecommendedPassive Cooling Sufficient

Thermal Management

Thermal ManagementRaspberry Pi 5Raspberry Pi 4 Model B
Cooling RequirementActive Cooling NeededPassive Cooling Adequate
Temperature ControlBuilt-in 4-pin fan headerExternal Solutions Needed

Additional Features

Real-Time Clock (RTC): The Pi 5 introduces an RTC power port, allowing for battery backup to maintain accurate timekeeping without relying on external solutions, which is beneficial for certain Pi model applications. This feature is particularly useful for applications where precise timekeeping is crucial.

Soft Power Button: Another new feature in the Pi 5 is the inclusion of a soft power button, which provides a convenient way to power on and off the device. This is a useful addition for users who frequently need to reboot or power cycle their Pi.

Ready To Upgrade To RPI 5?

The Raspberry Pi 5 brings substantial upgrades over the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, including enhanced CPU and GPU performance, faster memory, and expanded I/O capabilities. These improvements make it an excellent choice for demanding projects that require high performance and greater expandability.

However, these enhancements come at the cost of increased power consumption and the need for active cooling. For users with less intensive needs, the Raspberry Pi 4 remains a reliable and more power-efficient option. Choose the model that best fits your project requirements and performance expectations.

Erik D

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