The recent Raspberry Pi 4 brings a number of improvements over the previous generation: more powerful CPUs and GPUs, more memory, and support for Gigabit Ethernet and USB 3.0. But stronger performance and processing power mean more power, so the Raspberry Pi 4 is the most power-hungry and hottest in the series.
Officials have also been continuously optimizing for this issue, and the recently released firmware updates have finally made a breakthrough in improving power consumption, including USB controllers, SDRAM, and VLI power management.
According to officials, the Raspberry Pi 4 Beta firmware upgraded to Raspberry Pi 4 Beta has brought many improvements, including finer control of the SoC operating voltage and timing optimization for HDMI video state machines. Here’s how to upgrade:
Open the terminal and enter the following command:
sudo apt updatesudo apt full-upgrade
You can then restart with the following command:
sudo shutdown – r now
Beta version firmware reduces overall power consumption by reducing power consumption in idle states, while adjusting the voltage of the SoC to reduce load power consumption without compromising performance. The end result is that power consumption at idle time is reduced to 2.1W and load to 6.41W, which is the best data to date. Reduced energy consumption also means less heat production, improving heat dissipation, so the system does not need to do Thermal Throttling to “drive full horsepower.”
Thermal map comparison
Power comparison (the lower the value, the better)
As you can see, upgrading to the latest firmware will effectively reduce power consumption and improve cooling.
Finally, the official also introduced a “snarle operation” that can effectively dissipate heat — adjusting the orientation of the Raspberry Pi 4, as shown in the following image:
The figure is arranged by placing the Raspberry Pi 4 with beta firmware installed upright, the GPIO module at the bottom, and the power and HDMI interface at the top. Since upright placement improves convection, allowing the surrounding air to absorb heat more quickly, while lifting the back of the plate from the sterillus table, greatly increasing the available cooling surface area, the cooling effect is naturally better than flatness.