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Raspberry Pi 5 Review: Impressions, Specs, and More

raspberry pi 5

Raspberry Pi 5 Review: Impressions, Specs, and More

Key Points

  • The Raspberry Pi 5 is set to be released in late October 2023, with improved performance and support for 4K displays.
  • The Pi 5 comes in two models: a 4GB variant for $60 and an 8GB variant for $80.
  • The Pi 5 features a more powerful processor and GPU, making it suitable for low-cost desktop or laptop solutions and gaming with emulation.
  • It has improved connectivity with USB 3.0 ports, support for a PCI-E lane, and backward compatibility with previous Pi accessories.
  • While the Pi 5 is not ideal as an all-in-one laptop or desktop replacement, it offers great support and customization options for DIY projects.

The Raspberry Pi 5 is finally arriving, after years of rumors and speculation. The popular single-board computer has a release date, with late October 2023 serving as its official launch. Quite a bit has changed when looking at this SBC compared to its predecessors. The good folks at Raspberry Pi have been hard at work making sure their latest computer is the best yet.

The intervening four years since the launch of the Pi 4 have seen some interesting changes in the computing landscape. Price jumps were to be expected, but the performance increase is quite a substantial leap ahead. This very well could be the SBC to get if you’re looking for an affordable entry into the world of DIY computing.

There is a fair amount of excitement surrounding the Raspberry Pi 5. While there are certainly other SBCs on the market with more power and features, few have the level of support that the Pi and its related products enjoy. The world of DIY computing looks to be on the eve of an upheaval, so it’s time to see if the latest and greatest is worth buying.

Raspberry Pi 5: Best Deals Today

The Raspberry Pi 5 isn’t officially available yet. However, it is available for preorder through the following retailers:

Raspberry Pi 5 Overview

Release Date and Price

The latest Pi is targeting a release date of October 23rd, so you might as well get your preorders in now. It has yet to hit major retailers like Amazon, but that is likely to change upon release. Pricing is a $5 increase over the previous model. You can snag your own Pi 5 for $60 for the 4GB variant or $80 for the 8GB model.

Different Models

The Pi 5 comes in two different configurations. The cheapest version comes with 4 GB of RAM and retails for $60. This is plenty for most users, especially for DIY projects. You can opt for higher RAM, with 8 GB available for an additional $20. The more expensive model doesn’t really change any performance specs, aside from allowing for a larger memory pool for handling a variety of tasks.

Features

  • Vulkan 1.2 and OpenGL ES 3.1 Support
  • Dedicated PCI-E lane
  • PoE+ support
  • USB 3 and 2 support
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi
  • Support for 4K displays at 60Hz
  • Power button

Specifications

Raspberry Pi 5
CPUBroadcom BCM2712 2.4 GHz Quad-Core Processor
RAM4 or 8 GB of LPDDR4X-4267 SDRAM
GPUVideoCore VII
Bluetooth SupportBluetooth 5.0 and BLE
Ethernet1 gigabit ethernet with Power-Over-Ethernet support with additional peripheral
Power Supply5V/5A DC power via USB-C with Power Delivery support
HeaderStandard 40-pin Pi connector
Input/Output ControllerRP1

Raspberry Pi 5 Review

raspberry pi 5
The Pi 5 is well-suited for STEM education and other applications.

Performance

The Pi 5 features a substantial performance boost thanks to the more robust processor. The Pi 4 was a monster in the SBC upon release, and its successor is readily proving more capable. If you’re looking to use a SBC as a low-cost desktop or laptop solution, there is plenty of power here for daily tasks. Web browsers like Firefox boot substantially faster, even on the 4 GB variant.

The performance boost also comes with additional heat output. You’ll need to look into cooling solutions for the Pi 5. Thankfully, the folks at Raspberry Pi have developed a cute little CPU cooler that installs directly on the chip with minimal fuss. The new Broadcom quad-core processor and VideoCore GPU have more than enough power for gaming, at least with emulation, and other tasks like coding.

Display Support

The Pi 5 comes with support for a pair of 4K displays. This is a noted improvement over the previous model. While it also came with 4K support, the more capable GPU on the Pi 5 can handle running a pair of 4K displays with ease.

The system is overall more responsive, at least depending on your operating system of choice. SBCs have always been big on user customization, and you can get stunning display support from the latest Raspberry Pi.

Ports and Connectivity

Connectivity as a whole has been improved on the Pi 5. You’ve got a pair of USB 3.0 ports, which is great for connecting accessories like external SSDs. However, there is also support for a PCI-E lane, which means you can connect a dedicated NVMe drive to the SBC if you so desire.

You’ll also find a pair of USB 2.0 ports, which are handy just for connecting devices like a keyboard and mouse. Ethernet is provided with a standard gigabit port. Support for PoE is provided, but you’ll need an additional accessory for that, which should be available shortly after the launch.

Additional Peripherals

You’ve got access to the same level of peripherals as on previous Pi models. The 40-pin connector hasn’t gone anywhere, so you’ve got full backward compatibility with a wide range of third-party accessories. What has changed is that the Pi 5 has a dedicated I/O controller in the RP1. This should help with developers providing drivers and other documentation for future accessories.

This is a huge leap forward for the SBC brand as a whole, as the RP1 is a more robust microcontroller. Compared to the previous RP2040, the RP1 allows for more powerful peripherals and accessories. This could very well herald more robust support and a new wave of Raspberry Pi accessories.

Improvements Over the Pi 4

raspberry pi 5
The Pi 5 is a substantial improvement over the previous 3 and 4 models of the SBC.

The Pi 5 is an immense improvement across the board when compared to the Pi 4. It has a more powerful processor, better GPU, and better overall connectivity. You’ve got all the makings of a powerful DIY system, handheld gaming computer, or even a laptop replacement.

Once you factor in the new microcontroller, there could be a whole slew of powerful peripherals to take advantage of the Pi 5. It is still a bit too early to tell what notable changes will be made on the whole. However, given the zeal and dedication of the Raspberry Pi community, there are likely going to be some exciting new developments.

The inclusion of a power button is one massive change, and a nice feature when considering how long the device has been on the market. The Pi 5 produces considerably more heat than the Pi 4, though. As will likely be a continuing trend for future models, you’ll need to get decent cooling to take full advantage of it.

Raspberry Pi 5: Pros and Cons

Pros

  • It is substantially more powerful than its predecessor
  • Power over USB-C is a great addition
  • The dedicated microcontroller for I/O promises some great new accessories

Cons

  • The Pi 5 produces quite a bit of heat
  • This isn’t the best fit for users looking for a plug-and-play daily driver

Raspberry Pi 5: Is It a Buy?

Buy It If…

You’re looking for the next great SBC. The Pi 5 has a lot of promise and boasts backward compatibility with a wide range of Raspberry Pi accessories. As a single-board computer, the Pi 5 is hard to top. It might not be as powerful as others on the market, but it comes with great support and a bustling third-party developers community.

The Raspberry Pi 5 invites a tinkerer’s mindset and will fit a variety of use cases. The sky is literally the limit in terms of what sort of implementations will arise with the device.

Don’t Buy It If…

You’re looking for an all-in-one laptop or desktop replacement. While the Pi 5 can serve admirably in this role, this isn’t really the best fit for its capabilities. Any SBC is more about what you can do with it rather than what it does out of the box.

It’ll be quite a bit of legwork to get it running as a standalone laptop or tablet, which could be better served just by investing in a proper solution, like a Fire tablet or a Chromebook. If you don’t want to get your hands dirty with code, accessories, and other elements, you might want to avoid the Raspberry Pi 5.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Raspberry Pi 5 out yet?

At the time of this writing, no. However, you’ll be able to pick up your own on October 23rd.

Is the Pi 5 backward compatible with older Pi accessories?

It retains the same 40-pin connector, so you’ve got plenty of options when it comes to connecting accessories.

Does the Pi 5 need cooling?

It isn’t required, but it does come heavily recommended to invest in some sort of cooler for the device.

What operating systems can the Raspberry Pi 5 run?

There are Linux distros and an ARM-compatible version of Windows available for the Raspberry Pi.

Is the Raspberry Pi good for a daily driver?

If you’re building one as a bespoke laptop or portable desktop, then yes. However, in its default state, it isn’t recommended to use it as a desktop replacement.

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