pi 5

Can the Raspberry Pi 5 handle 4K?

Apple TV and Raspberry Pi 5 connected to LG OLED TV

In the past, I've booted LibreELEC on the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 in my "This is not a TV" Sharp NEC display.

According to LibreELEC's Pi 5 blog post, the new BCM2712 SoC decodes 4K and 1080p content just fine in H.264, and supports HEVC 4K60 hardware decoding.

And they've tested AV1, VC1, and VP9 at 1080p with no issue, though 4K in non-native formats does encounter frame dropping.

I wanted to put the Pi through some testing of my own, now that the Pi 5's been out for months, and LibreELEC version 12 is stable.

Testing object detection (yolo, mobilenet, etc.) with picamera2 on Pi 5

Besides the Pi 5 being approximately 2.5x faster for general compute, the addition of other blocks of the Arm architecture in the Pi 5's upgrade to A76 cores promises to speed up other tasks, too.

Jeff Geerling person object detection on Pi 5

On the Pi 4, popular image processing models for object detection, pose detection, etc. would top out at 2-5 fps using the built-in CPU. Accessories like the Google Coral TPU speed things up considerably (and are eminently useful in builds like my Frigate NVR), but a Coral adds on $60 to the cost of your Pi project.

With the Pi 5, if I can double or triple inference speed—even at the expense of maxing out CPU usage—it could be worth it for some things.

4-way NVMe RAID comes to Raspberry Pi 5

With the Raspberry Pi 5's exposed PCI Express connector comes many new possibilities—which I test and document in my Pi PCIe Database. Today's board is the Geekwork X1011, which puts four NVMe SSDs under a Raspberry Pi.

Inland 256GB NVMe SSDs installed on X1011 on Raspberry Pi 5

Unlike the Penta SATA HAT I tested last month, this carrier uses thinner and faster NVMe storage, making it a highly-compact storage expansion option, which has the added benefit of freeing up the top of the Pi 5 for other HAT expansion options.

Raspberry Pi 5 installed atop Geekworm X1011 NVMe SSD carrier

Radxa's SATA HAT makes compact Pi 5 NAS

Radxa's latest iteration of its Penta SATA HAT has been retooled to work with the Raspberry Pi 5.

Radxa Penta SATA HAT for Raspberry Pi 5 with a Pi mug

The Pi 5 includes a PCIe connector, which allows the SATA hat to interface directly via a JMB585 SATA to PCIe bridge, rather than relying on the older Dual/Quad SATA HAT's SATA-to-USB-to-PCIe setup.

Does the direct PCIe connection help? Yes.

Is the Pi 5 noticeably faster than the Pi 4 for NAS applications? Yes.

Radxa Penta SATA HAT installed on Pi 5 with Drives next to it

Is the Pi 5 + Penta SATA HAT the ultimate low-power NAS solution? Maybe.

Raspberry Pi 5 *can* overclock to 3.14 GHz

...and it's not just for Pi Day.

Raspberry Pi 5 with THRML tower cooler

After posting my deep-dive into the Pi 5's new BCM2712 and RP1 silicon this morning, someone linked me to this GitHub issue: Raspberry Pi 5 cannot overclock beyond 3.0GHz due to firmware limit(?).

For the past few weeks, a few blog readers (most notably, tkaiser—thanks!) commented on PLLs, OPP tables, and DVFS and how something seemed a little off with the 3.0 GHz CPU limit—which was apparently recommended by Broadcom, according to that GitHub issue.

But today, @popcornmix generated a test firmware revision without the 3.0 GHz limit, and zealous overclockers can get to pushing the clocks higher.

An important consideration about Pi 5 overclocking

Silicon lottery.

Now that the Raspberry Pi 5s been readily available (at least in most regions) for a few months, more people started messing with clocks, trying to get the most speed possible out of their Pi 5s.

Argon THRML Tower Cooler installed on Raspberry Pi 5 for Overclocking test

Unlike the Pi 4, the Pi 5 is typically comfortable at 2.6 or even 2.8 GHz, and some Pi 5s can hit 3.0 GHz (but no higher—more on why tomorrow well... this limit may be able to be lifted).

After some testing, I found the default 2.4 GHz clock on the Pi 5 is pretty much the efficiency sweet spot, and after a lot more testing recently, I can confirm that's still the case, testing a number of Pi 5 samples.

Waveshare's PoE HAT is the first for Raspberry Pi 5

Pi 5 PoE HAT Waveshare F

Power over Ethernet lets you run both power and networking to certain devices through one Ethernet cable. It's extremely convenient, especially if you have a managed PoE switch, because you get the following benefits:

  • A single cable for power + Ethernet (no need for separate power adapters)
  • No need to have electrical service near every device
  • Simple remote power on/off capability (assuming you have a managed switch)
  • Centralized power management (e.g. one UPS in a rack room covering all powered devices)

I have used the Raspberry Pi PoE and PoE+ HATs for years now, allowing me to have 4 or 5 Raspberry Pi per 1U of rack space, with all wiring on the front side. I also use PoE for cameras around my house, though there are dozens of use cases where PoE makes sense.

The Raspberry Pi, since it only requires 3-10W of power, is an ideal candidate for PoE, assuming you can find a HAT for it.

Raspberry Pi IPO: Selling out?

Raspberry Pi 5 blended into 100 dollar bill USD

Raspberry Pi is looking into an IPO (Initial Public Offering).

But wait, Raspberry Pi's a non-profit! They can't do that? And who would want stock in Raspberry Pi anyway? Their core market hates them—they abandoned hobbyists and makers years ago!

And there are like tons of clones and competitors, nobody even needs Raspberry Pi? Plus, aren't they crazy-expensive? It's like a hundred bucks now, and that's if you can even find one to buy!

Well, hold on a second... there are a lotta misconceptions out there. In this post, I'll walk through what's actually happening, and also through things I see online.

This blog post is a lightly-edited transcript of a video on my YouTube channel, which you can watch below: