Raspberry Pi 4 vs 3
Have you ever utilized a raspberry pi board? Did you use the raspberry pi 4 or the raspberry pi 3? How efficient was the raspberry pi that you utilized? If any or all of these questions baffle you, worry not because we have got you. Raspberry pi is as a single-board computer utilized to undertake many things. However, up until the development of the raspberry pi 4, raspberry pis’ were not an excellent substitute for regular desktops. So yes, the raspberry pi 4 actually upped the raspberry game by significantly improving its functionality. But how does the raspberry pi 4 compare to the raspberry pi 3? Is the raspberry pi 3 still a viable option? Or should you upgrade to the latest version, the raspberry pi 4? Follow along and let us help you make a perfect choice.
First, let us look at some obvious differences in their specifications. Since the raspberry pi 4 is the latest version, we expect that it will have some features that make it stand out. So let us stop with the judgment and dive straight to the specs!
Raspberry Pi 3 Specs
In terms of DIY project development, the raspberry pi 3 has got you covered. The raspberry pi 3 has great features that make DIY projects easy to undertake. On top of that, this raspberry pi is cost-friendly.
If you have worked with the raspberry pi zero W and the raspberry pi zero and you loved the experience, then the raspberry pi 3 is going to blow your mind away. Here is why:
The raspberry pi has got:
- CPU – Quad-core, 1.2GHz Broadcom BCM2837
- 1GB RAM
- Low energy Bluetooth and wireless LAN
- Display port (DSI)
- Camera port (CSI)
- Full-sized HDMI
- Composite video port and four-pole stereo output
- 40-pin GPIO extended
- A micro SD port for storing data and for the OS (operating system)
- An upgraded Micro USB port (Switched) source of up to 2.5 Amperes
All these features that make up the raspberry pi 3, and its impressive functionality have kept it in the market to date. However, if you thought these features were amazing, you are in for a treat as the raspberry pi 4 specs take things to a whole other level.
Raspberry Pi 4 Specs
As far as single-board computers are concerned, we would say that the raspberry pi 4 is taking over the market in a blissful manner, and here is why:
The raspberry pi 4 has got:
- Quad-core Cortex-A72 (ARM v8) 64-bit SoC Broadcom BCM2711 at speed of up to 1.5GHz
- Gigabit Ethernet
- 5.0 and 2.4GHz IEEE 802.11zc wireless
- BLE Bluetooth 5.0
- 8GB, 4GB, or 2GB LPDDR4-3200
- Power over Ethernet
- GPIO header (5V)
- USB connecter (5V)
- Micro-SD slot for the OS and storing data
- Vulkan 1.0, OpenGL ES 3.1
- H.264 (1080p60 decode, 1080p30 encode), H.265(4kp60 decode)
- Composite video port and a four-pole stereo audio
- 2-lane camera port MIPI CSI
- 2-lane display port MIPI DSI
- 2x micro-HDMI port (supports 4kp60)
- GPIO Header (40-pin) backward compatible
These specs have greatly improved the functionality of the raspberry pi 4, making it stand out when compared to the raspberry pi 3. What’s more, these specs make it a worthy desktop substitute.
If you are a great fan of computers, you know that memory is a significant factor to consider. Memory boosts efficiency and, when looked down upon, can cause drastic results such as lagging. However, a great memory unit provides:
- Faster processing
- Better storage and so on.
Raspberry pi model line-ups used to come with a minimum of 1GB of RAM and a maximum of 2GB. That is actually the case with the raspberry pi 3 model line-up. So if you are comfortable working within a range of 1 – 2 GB of ram, then the raspberry pi 3 is a great option to consider.
However, the raspberry pi 4 provides three different RAM variations (2GB, 4GB, and 8GB). With this RAM variation, you get improved speed and better efficiency in terms of processing. Hence if you wish to achieve multitasking on your raspberry pi, then you should greatly consider the raspberry pi 4.
You might have noted that the raspberry pi 4 and the raspberry pi 3 both work with a Broadcom chip. However, the raspberry pi 4 provides faster performance compared to the raspberry pi 3. Therefore, if you wish to utilize a raspberry pi as a desktop replacement or simply improve computing, the raspberry pi 4 is the way to go.
On the other hand, the raspberry pi 3 has a quad-core 1.2GHz Broadcom 64-bit BCM2837 CPU. Even though the computing capabilities of a raspberry pi 3cannot match that of the raspberry pi 4. It can still undertake some tasks efficiently with these specs. For example, if you are looking to tackle a simple DIY project, then the raspberry pin 3 can work perfectly.
The raspberry pi 4 and the raspberry pi 3 both feature a 40-extended GPIO header for excellent connectivity. However, the raspberry pi 4 takes things up a notch in terms of USB connectivity. It offers two 3.0 USB ports plus two more extra USB ports. The raspberry pi 3, on the other hand has only two USB 2 ports.
Therefore if you are looking to transfer data at higher speeds, we recommend you utilize the raspberry pi 4, which uses the USB3.0 ports. An instance that these ports would come in handy is when dealing with media server software.
On top of having 3.0 USB ports, the raspberry pi 4 also has USB-C, which is you can use to power up the raspberry pi (using 5V) whenever USB accessories need it.
Camera Support and Dual Monitor
Even though the raspberry pi 3 features a DSI port, CSI port, and a full-sized HDMI port, it still doesn’t have dual monitor support.
The raspberry pi 4, on the other hand, provides two-lane DSI ports, two-lane CSI camera ports, and two micro-HDMI ports.
To this point we have seen that in terms of better performance, dual monitor support, and data transfer you should opt for the raspberry pi 4.
But what about the price, you might be wondering? Well, here is the crazy part. See, the raspberry pi 4 and the raspberry pi 3 board have a tiny price margin. With just 35 US Dollars, you can get the Raspberry pi 4 2GB of ram board variation. On the other hand, the raspberry pi 3 1 GB board variation comes at nearly this same price!
Looking at the price and the specs, it is undoubtedly clear that the raspberry pi is an incredible choice overall.
However, making tech choices is not as easy as just looking at the specs. You have make more comparisons to make sure that you purchase the right device. Hence let us look at some technical comparisons before we make our decision.
Having high processing speeds of up to 1.5GHz and high-performance power, heating up becomes inevitable for the raspberry pi 4 board. But does this mean that you should opt-out from purchasing a raspberry pi 4 and opt for the pi 3? Well, no? See, you can solve this issue using a cooling fan that you can purchase at a pretty low price.
ICE Tower cooling Fans for the CPU
The ICE Tower cooling fan comes in the form of a tower that consists of:
- Seven powerful fan blades
- Multiple-layer heat sinks
- Copper tube 5mm
These specs make these cooling towers pretty effective at their job. In fact, if overclocking occurs, this tower can bring down the temperature of a raspberry pi from eighty degrees to forty degrees Celcius.
What’s more, these cooling towers come in different color variations, so you can choose one that suits you.
By mounting this fan onto your raspberry pi, you can unleash the true power of the raspberry pi 4.
However, if you wish to take things upper a notch, you can opt to utilize heat sinks instead of ICE cooling towers.
Heat sinks are extensively utilized in the tech industry for thermal management. These simple yet crucial components are super ubiquitous such that most people simply overlook them. Maybe you have come across a heat sink and never even noticed them. However, if you have no idea of what a heat sink is, then here is an overview of it:
Heat sinks are simply components that boost the flow of heat away from hot devices. These components accomplish this endeavor by
- Increasing the device’s operating surface area
- Increasing the amount of cold fluid that flows across the now large surface area.
Depending on the device at hand, you can find different heat sink aesthetics, ultimate capabilities, and designs to utilize.
With these two cooling units available in the market, heating up should not hinder you from upgrading to the latest raspberry pi 4.
New Accessories that you can use with the Raspberry Pi 4
An upgrade to the raspberry 4 from a raspberry pi 3 obviously comes with some added accessories. Here are some accessories that you can get to boost the efficiency of your raspberry pi 4.
Coral USB Accelerator
The coral USB accelerator is an impressive accessory that brings an ML interface to your existing system. In addition, it features the incredible Edge TPU (a tiny ASIC design built and managed by Google.
The coral USB accelerators offer incredible ML interface performance at a pretty low power cost compared to a 3.0 USB interface.
What can you do with this accessory?
With this accessory, you can, for example, execute state-of-the-art mobile vision models mobileNet v2 at one hundred plus fps. Furthermore, you can easily add fast machine learning interfaces to an embedded artificial device in a privacy-preserving way.
Mini USB Microphones which are Compatible with the Raspberry pi 4
If your project features the utilization of a microphone, then you will be glad to know that the raspberry pi 4 supports a mini USB microphone made for it. These tiny microphones have a plug-and-play feature, which means you can utilize them on SBC and computers.
Have you ever utilized a raspian? If yes, then how was your experience with this accessory? If the answer to this question is excellent, well, then you are in for a treat. See, now you can purchase a new version of the raspian which goes by the name raspina buster.
The raspian buster has the following features:
- A new appearance that features a simple and more user-friendly interface
- Security advancements that now make the raspian even harder to hack
These are just some of the latest, cool accessories that you can use hand in hand with the raspberry pi 4. They significantly improve the functionality of the raspberry pi 4 and take it from good to great. However, the best part is that you can still utilize almost all of the accessories released with the raspberry pi 3. But on the other hand, you cannot use all accessories that have been released with the raspberry pi 4 on a raspberry pi 3; some are incompatible. Hence in terms of adding on efficiency by utilizing added accessories, the raspberry pi 4 wins again.
To this point, we can all agree that the raspberry pi 4 is ultimately the better option compared to its predecessor, the raspberry pi 3. But what are the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing or upgrading to a raspberry pi 4? Let us find out:
- Memory – you get more memory that you can utilize for your project to boost performance and store more data.
- More port – the raspberry pi has more ports compared to the raspberry pi 3. It features the following ports:
- USB ports – 2 x USB 2.0 and 2 x USB 3.0
- Display ports – 2 x micro HDMI and 1 x DSI
On the other hand, raspberry pi 3 has the following ports:
- USB ports – 4 x USB 2.0
- 1 x HDMI
- 1 x DSI
You can clearly see that the raspberry pi 4 features more ports which help it function better in terms of data transfer. The USB 3.0 port is also pretty efficient in terms of data transfer, and the raspberry pi 3 lacks them, which makes the raspberry pi 4 ultimately better.
- USB type C power supply – The raspberry pi 4 features a 5V direct current USB-C power supply. These USB-Cs’ offers power to the board whenever an accessory needs it. On top of this power supply unit, the raspberry pi 4 also features a GPIO that provides 3A; hence power is not an issue with this board.
- Two 4k monitor support – It is pretty easy to operate two 4K monitors using the raspberry pi 4 models using its two micro HDMI slots. However, you should note that you require to use an HDMI cable having a micro HDMI plug to achieve this, but all in all, it is possible.
- Better CPU – The raspberry pi 4 has an improved central processing unit. A better CPU means that it has improved performance speeds and better processing which make it pretty efficient.
- Heating up – The raspberry pi 4 undertakes incredible processing due to its CPU power. It even handles multitasking in a smooth manner. However, since raspberry pi boards do not have a proper cooling system, you might experience overheating.
- Requires new accessories – as seen earlier on, aspberry pi requires some new accessories to function well, such as a cooling system. As a result, you might end up spending more than you had budgeted to get a raspberry pi up and running in an efficient manner. However, when you get it there, the board provides efficiency like never before.
Even with these few disadvantages, the raspberry pi 4 remains at the top in performance.
What can you do with a Raspberry Pi 4?
As a Desktop Personal Computer
Many people utilize personal computers to:
- Surf the internet
- Transact online
- Utilize social media
- Or maybe stream a movie
All these are lightweight processed that the new raspberry pi 4 model can handle without straining in power and processing.
The raspberry pi 4 may have some parts that are similar to your smartphone’s; however, when it comes to the software part, the two differ entirely. See, you might already know that android smartphones run on a Linux operating system. Linux is an open-source operating system that you can customize to suit your need. The Linux operating system comes in many different variations, the one installed in your phone is just one of those variations. The one installed on a raspberry pi 4 is an entirely different variation. However, this means that with this operating system, you can:
- Access desktop-class browsers
- Edit videos, pictures, and audio using installed apps that you can install onto the board
- You can even utilize the raspberry pi 4 as an entirely dedicated server for website pages, a home network file server, or an FTP host.
All you require to get started is a monitor, a keyboard, and a mouse, simple!
As a Home Theater
The raspberry pi 4 board is pretty tiny, and it uses little power to run. However, it can still use USB storage such as hard drives, making it a perfect home theater personal computer substitute.
Using special software such as OSMC, you can install and operate Xbox-style media applications through KODI. What’s more, you can control everything via a controller or a remote instead of using a mouse and a keyboard.
Every software required to set up raspberry pi 4 into a home theater PC is absolutely free and can access them online for free. What more, you can find a lot of documentation on the topic that will help you out during the entire process.
As a Game Console
Compared to old consoles, the raspberry pi 4 is pretty powerful. It is actually more than a hundred times more powerful than old consoles. To turn your raspberry pi into a game console, all you require to do is:
- Emulate the games software and then access the game’s original program
- Install the game into your raspberry pi 4 board and enjoy
The best part about utilizing your raspberry pi 4 as a gaming console is that you can play the game on a 4K resolution monitor.
There exists so many free gaming software out there that you can install into your raspberry pi and experience a rush like never before. What’s more, you can also purchase different joysticks and gamepads that you can utilize to up your gaming experience. You can also play the games with your friends as raspberry pi 4 boards support multitasking.
As a Browsing Privacy Tool
Online advertisements does not fall under the category of bad things. Some people depend on these ads to make a living, while others utilize them to learn more about products found in the market. However, a significant downside that comes with online ads is that some of them come rigged with trackers and malware. But should you condone the website that brought you ads bearing trackers and malware? Or should you blame the hackers that made and inserted this tracker onto the ads? Well, the latter, of course.
However, there is a way that you can shield yourself from these trackers and malware using raspberry pi 4. By making a few adjustments to the board’s configurations, you can transform your raspberry pi into an ad blocker. You can then utilize this ad blocker to shield every device in your network from malware and adware.
What’s more, setting up this privacy tool is entirely free, plus it is pretty simple to set up. Using the various raspberry pi “black hole” apps available online, you can filter the traffic coming into your devices. Doing so let’s in only the good information and blocks the rest. If you are a great fan of browsing, then this is a tip that you should highly consider.
These are just the tip of the iceberg as per how you can utilize your raspberry pi 4. You can venture into more applications to explore the power of the raspberry pi 4. If you have both the raspberry pi 3 and the raspberry pi 4 you can try applying them one at a time to different project to note the difference between the two.
The raspberry pi 3 has been an incredible gadget to use to undertake DIY projects and other purposes. However, its improved version, the raspberry pi 4, is without a doubt a better option. The computing power of a raspberry pi 4 is unbelievably great, and its efficiency is incredible compared to the raspberry pi 3. We have moved from a time when people did not like using the raspberry pi as a desktop replacement to now whereby its efficiency almost matches a PC’s. Hence if you were in a dilemma on whether or not to buy the raspberry pi 3, we hope this article has cleared those doubts.