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October 18, 2019 
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Does the Raspberry Pi 4 need a fan?

Posted on Thursday, July 18 2019 @ 09:43:19 CEST by

A couple of weeks ago we covered the Raspberry Pi 4, the latest generation of the popular development board. The new model has a more powerful processor and promises up to three times higher performance than its predecessor, but early adopter are discovering that this comes at a cost.

Programmer Jeff Geerling warns that a passively cooled Raspberry Pi 4 system can get pretty hot. He noticed that after five minutes at idle, the system's SoCs got to about 60°C and this climbed towards 70° when the USB ports were used. Geerling decided to add a fan to his system, as without active cooling you get a lot of thermal throttling.
So imagine if you're truly using the Pi 4 as a desktop replacement, with at least one external USB 3.0 hard drive attached, WiFi connected and transferring large amounts of data, a USB keyboard and mouse, a few browser windows open (the average website these days might as well be an AAA video game with how resource-intense it is), a text editor, and a music player. This amount of load is enough to cause the CPU to throttle in less than 10 minutes, in my testing.

This isn't the only problem of the new Raspberry Pi 4. Earlier this month, it was confirmed that the board has a non-compliant USB Type-C charging port that doesn't work with all chargers.

Raspberry Pi 4



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