pi 5

Reducing Raspberry Pi 5's power consumption by 140x

Sorry to clickbait with that title... but it's actually true. I can help you improve power use by 140x—for power off power consumption, at least.

Dialog PMIC on Raspberry Pi 5

By default, the Raspberry Pi 5 (like the Pi 4 before it) leaves the SoC powered up (just in a shutdown state) when you shut down the Pi.

Because of this, a Pi 5 will still sit there consuming 1.2-1.6W when completely shut down, even without anything plugged in except power.

That's a lot—even compared to a modern desktop PC!

Why is this?

Apparently some HATs have trouble if the 3v3 power rail is off, but 5v is still active—which would be the case if you completely power off the SoC, but still have your 5V power supply plugged in.

Because of that, the Pi ships by default with the setting POWER_OFF_ON_HALT=0, and the Pi eats up precious watts all the time.

NVMe SSD boot with the Raspberry Pi 5

Pi 5 PCIe NVMe Kioxia XG8 SSD

In my video about the brand new Raspberry Pi 5, I mentioned the new external PCIe port makes it possible to boot the standard Pi 5 model B directly off NVMe storage—an option which is much faster and more reliable than standard microSD storage (even with industrial-rated cards!).

Enabling NVMe boot is pretty easy, you add a line to /boot/config.txt, modify the BOOT_ORDER in the bootloader configuration, and reboot!

Forcing PCI Express Gen 3.0 speeds on the Pi 5

The Raspberry Pi 5 includes 5 active PCI Express lanes—4 go to the new RP1 chip for I/O like USB, Ethernet, MIPI Camera and Display, and GPIO, and 1 goes to a new external PCIe connector:

Raspberry Pi 5 PCIe connector

By default, all PCIe lanes operate at Gen 2.0 speeds, or about 5 GT/sec per lane. Currently there's no way to change that default for the RP1 chip's 'internal' lanes, but on the external connector, you can add the following lines inside /boot/config.txt (and reboot) to upgrade the connection to Gen 3.0 (8 GT/sec, almost double the speed):

Answering some questions about the Raspberry Pi 5

It's less than 12 hours since the Pi 5 launch, and already there's a few hundred questions whizzing about—I thought I'd answer some of the things I see people asking most frequently, like:

Does the new Case have room for the Active Cooler, or other Pi HATs?

Raspberry Pi 5 case with active cooler

Yes, indeed it does! You can pop out the fan bracket in the new Case, and fit many normal-size Pi HATs. This is useful also if you want to stack cases—assuming the HAT has mounting points, you could put some spacers in and stack another Pi or Pi + Case on top!