Raspberry Pi 4 demonstrates impressive speed and high performance in comparison to its previous models. While being seemingly perfect, it also has a few drawbacks in contrast to its predecessor. 

Comparison table of Raspberry Pi 4 and Raspberry Pi 3

Raspberry Pi 4Raspberry Pi 3
SoCBroadcom BCM2711, Quad coreCortex-A72 64-bit SoCBroadcom BCM2837B0 quad-core A53 32 bit @1.4GHz
GPUBroadcom VideoCore VIBroadcom Videocore-IV
RAM 1 gb, 2 gb or 4 gb LPDDR4 SDRAM1 gb lpddr2 sdram
Bluetooth2 x micro-HDMI 2.0, 3.5 mm analogue audio -video jackFull size – HDMI 2.0, 3.5 mm analogue audio -video jack
Power supply5 V via USB type-C up to 3A and GPIO header up to 3A5V via micro USB up to2.5A and GPIO header up to 3A

Advantages & Disadvantages of Raspberry Pi 4

Advantages of Raspberry Pi 4Disadvantages of Raspberry Pi 4
Higher performance and improved processing speed; due to a better CPUIssues of overheating (excessive heating)
Supports 2 4k monitorsNew accessories are required
Higher number of ports
Higher memory space

Heat issues

A common issue faced by Raspberry Pi users is overheating. This can lead to a performance of lower grade as the board is subjected to high temperatures. We know that every electronic device has a specific operating temperature; when the set threshold is crossed, the performance suffers. There is also a risk of loss of functionality, and your project can fail as well.  Without additional help and cooling, the Raspberry Pi 4 will hit its throttle during its performance. 

It is important to note that the SoC (System on Chip) is the integrated circuit responsible for the Raspberry Pi’s functioning- Broadcom BCM28837B0- and the range of operating temperature is negative 40 degree Celsius to eighty-five degree Celsius. Therefore, the operating temperature of the Raspberry Pi is between 70 and 80 degree Celsius. 

If you would like to measure the CPU temperature of your Raspberry Pi 4, you can do so by writing a few python scripts.

Step one: Enter the directory by issuing the following commands: 

cat /sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone0/temp 

In the Raspberry Pi 4’s terminal we can view the temperature data. The number displayed is the CPU temperature. 

There are a multitude of options available quite to help you tackle with the heating issues faced while working with Raspberry Pi 4. Here is a comprehensive list of options (along with their links) to helpd you decide the best product for you:

Thermal Paste

Features:
  1. This is a sticky paste that goes by various names like Thermal grease, thermal gunk, heat paste, etc. 
  2. You can directly apply it to the heatsink or the CPU of the Raspberry Pi. It is commonly used to bring down the temperature of a piece of electronics.
  3.  A good quality thermal paste will improve performance and bring shave off a couple of degrees.
  4. The cost of the thermal paste is slightly on the higher end as compared to the other options. 

Drawback:

  1. Thermal paste is expensive and can be quite an investment. 

The Pimoroni heatsink:

You can order this low quality heatsink online. It can help you bring down the temperature by a few degrees. 

A CPU sink with your bare Raspberry Pi 4:

Features:
  1. They reduce chip hot-spots while increasing thermal dissipation surface area. The main idea is to increase the surface area so that the dissipation of heat occurs faster. 
  2. Heat sinks will help reduce the temperature by 5 to 10 degrees. However, it is important to note that a simple heat sink will not fix significant heating issues.

The official Raspberry Pi case with a fan:

Features:
  1. Suitable for tasks that are not very heavy. For example, a desktop system, web browsing, etc. 
  2. A cheap and easy way to install a fan to your Raspberry pi case is to get a Pi-fan and attach it to your case. 
  3. It comes with proper screws and can be mounted easily. 
  4. We suggest using a 1 1/8” hole saw, and gently drilling the case and place the fan on top of the hole. 

Drawbacks:

  1. Blocks GPIO pins
  2. The fan makes a little noise that some users find annoying.
  3. It is not strong enough for overclocking.

Flirc case:

Features:
  1. Dimensions: 93.7 x 66 x 26.5 mm
  2. Weight: 134 g and material : aluminium
  3. Finding this case in India can be quite a challenging task. However, you can check out the above link in case you want to make a purchase. 
  4. This thermally designed case can work under extreme loads and high temperatures. It is specially designed to deal with the issue of overheating posed by Raspberry Pi 4. 
  5. It has a custom cut thermal pad -in partnership with Arctic Cool- and increases thermal transfer efficiencies. 
  6. It is a passively cooled case that does not need a fan. 
Drawbacks
  1. As the box is sealed, the GPIO pins are inaccessible. 
  2. You can remove the lid quickly.

ICE Tower Cooling Fan:

Features: 
  • One of the best performing cooling solutions for Raspberry Pi 4 is the ICE Tower. The CPU is close to ambient temperature when it is at an idle state. 
  • You can tackle these heat dissipation issues with this ICE Tower Cooling fan, and it can bring down the temperature from 80 degrees to 40; the temperature reduces by almost half. Furthermore, it has an aesthetic appeal as well since it displays RGB colors.
  • While the fan is not necessarily loud, it can get on your nerves. To battle this, you could try shifting the power cable from 5V to the 3V3 pin of the Raspberry Pi instead. Along with the reduction in noise levels it also brings down the brightness of the LEDs. The 3V3 pin minimizes the fan speed as well. Note that it will push less air through the heatsink stack. 
Drawbacks:
  1. Loss of GPIO header pins.
  2. Due to the size of the heatsink, you cannot use the Raspberry Pi cases currently available in the market.
  3. You cannot control the LED lights (You cannot switch them on or off).  

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