The Pi-Foundation has decided to launch a special, extra beefy new Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB of RAM. Read what it means, what can it do for you and where to get it. We shall also talk about the new 64-Bit Raspberry Pi OS to accommodate the new 8gigs of RAM.
New Hardware – Raspberry Pi 4 8GB :
Since the Raspberry Pi 1, This SBC has been regarded widely as a good choice for hobbyist, but never a serious PC-alternative. Slow Processor, Limited I/O, Low RAM and a weak GPU always became the reason for the excuse “Might Not Run On RASPI“.
Now with the Raspberry Pi 4, we have improved upon all the hardware specs. This latest update provides the RAM Capacity to run heavy-load server applications, Virtualizations, Gaming and improvements to general Multi-Tasking as well.
“The BCM2711 chip that we use on Raspberry Pi 4 can address up to 16GB of LPDDR4 SDRAM, so the real barrier to our offering a larger-memory variant was the lack of an 8GB LPDDR4 package. These didn’t exist (at least in a form that we could address) in 2019, but happily our partners at Micron stepped up earlier this year with a suitable part. And so, today, we’re delighted to announce the immediate availability of the 8GB Raspberry Pi 4, priced at just $75”
There is another major change in the hardware, A fix has been done to USB-C compatibility issue, So now majority of your tablets power supply will work on the Pi 4.
Firmware Update for USB Booting :
A new firmware has been launched in beta state. Unlike previous models, the Raspberry Pi 4 didn’t support USB mass storage boot, preventing users from installing an operating system from a USB mass storage device, This Firmware update adds the ability to let the user boot from a USB Drive, eliminating the use of Micro-SD cards at all.
There have also been talks about a UEFI-compatible bootloader, but that might come in at the end of this year.
Utilizing the 64-Bit Architecture :
A new operating system has been launched by the Raspi-Foundation , Namely “The Raspberry Pi OS. This would be the first time in 6+ Years software could run in 64-bit mode on the Raspberry Pi SBC. While the 8GB ram update improves experience for new users, The 64 Bit Update would be a great news for old RasPi 3, 3B+ and 4 Users.
Upton says “64-bit image is for power users who want to map all 8GB into the address space of a single process. It’s currently in beta and misses several key features, but once ready it will provide a 64-bit alternative to 64-bit versions of Ubuntu and Gentoo.”
For the Raspberry Pi 4, 64-Bit OS will be a necessity to use the full ram capacity.
A new 10 Mega-Pixel Camera :
A Month ago the Pi Foundation also released a new camera module for the raspberry pi. For those who find the V1 and V2 cameras obscure-tech for their projects such a OCR based Car Number Plate Readers, Space Photography and high-frame videos, The New HQ Camera includes a circuit board with a 12.3MP Sony IMX477 back-illuminated sensor. It comes with interchangeable lens support. Here’s the official intro :
The Pi-Foundation has also released an open source camera stack for Raspberry Pi using libcamera. Read their Blog post Here.
Last Verdict :
For the users that just purchased their Raspberry Pi 4’s, We find that increase in RAM doesn’t matter enough in performance POV. If you already have a Pi4-4GB Model, the 64 bit OS will increase the performance for you as-well.
For the users that are thinking about buying a New Raspberry Pi 4 but find it lacking to other SBC’s will find this RAM Upgrade a nudging factor, For $20 they will be future-proofing their RPi’s, who know one day we get an official Android port. The Type-C Compatibility flaw was patched so you can use almost any USB-C PSU now.