It is often said that big things come in small packages, and in the early going, that appears to be the case with the Raspberry Pi 4
. Some new benchmarks show the latest Raspberry Pi iteration performing really well, especially compared to the previous generation Raspberry Pi 3. While we have yet to spend any hands on time with on, the Raspberry Pi 4 is looking like a proper mini PC.
In case you missed it, the Raspberry Pi Foundation introduced the Raspberry Pi 4 a couple of weeks ago with a price tag starting at $35. It is powered by a 64-bit Broadcom BCM2711 quad-core Cortex-A72
processor running at 1.5GHz and can be configured with 1GB, 2GB, or even 4GB of LPDDR4-2400 SDRAM.
The latest Raspberry Pi 4 also sports dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0 LE connectivity, a gigabit Ethernet port, two USB 3.0 ports, two USB 2.0 ports, a USB-C connector, a microSD card slot, and various other odds and ends.
In the realm of mini PCs, it's a beefy upgrade to its predecessor, and it shows in benchmarks. The folks at Hackaday put the Raspberry Pi 4 through its paces and compared the results with the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+. Here's a look at one of the benchmark runs...
That is a sizeable boost in both single precision and double precision performance, attributable to the system-on-chip (SoC) swap. The Cortex-A72 is just a burlier slice of silicon than the Cortex-A53 found in the previous generation Raspberry Pi.
CPU performance is not the only area where the Raspberry Pi 4 shined. If you hit the link in the Via field below, you can see benchmark charts for memory bandwidth and networking performance (both wired and wireless).
The results led the site to conclude that the Raspberry Pi 4, despite being designed as a small and inexpensive Linux system
for education, is both "on par with any desktop experience" and makes for a "capable daily driver."
That depends on what you plan to use it for, of course. There have also been reports of the USB-C port not working with some chargers. Ebon Upton, co-creator of the Raspberry Pi 4, recently confirmed the issue.
"A smart charger with an e-marked cable will incorrectly identify the Raspberry Pi 4 as an audio adapter accessory, and refuse to provide power. I expect this will be fixed in a future board revision, but for now users will need to apply one of the suggested workarounds. It's surprising this didn't show up in our (quite extensive) field testing program," Upton remarked to TechRepublic.
If that is something you depend on, you might want to wait for a future revision. In the meantime, here's hoping more benchmarks show up that compare the Raspberry Pi 4 to other mini PCs outside of the Raspberry Pi family.