During the span of this month Raspberry Foundation announced its new Raspberry 4 board which came with the same price as its previous version but adding many improvements (You can check the publication here).
After the news of its disposition to the general public, different problems began to be made known related to Raspberry 4 and is that the first of them was with problems related to USB Type-C cables, since not all of them recognized them as a power source but as one more accessory (audio). Now another drawback with this board has become known.
And is that user by the name of Jeff Geerling, points out that now the Raspberry 4 needs a cooling source (fan).
“I've been using Pi for various projects since it was introduced in 2012, and for many models, including the tiny Pi Zero and various A + revisions, you don't even need a fan to avoid processor slowdowns.
And thermal imaging or spot measurements using an infrared thermometer generally showed the SoC emitting the most heat.
However, the Raspberry Pi 4 is different in that not only does the processor get noticeably hot, even under normal load, but there are other components on the board that get hot to the point of not being easy to touch.
Here is a thermal image taken with your thermal imaging camera, which highlights the parts of the Raspberry Pi 4 that generate the most heat after 5 minutes.
Many of you might think that the heating of the board is normal and in normal conditions yes, but in the case of the Raspberry Pi 4 it exceeds the limits of a "normal" heating Not only does it prevent you from obtaining the maximum speed that the processor can offer, but it also means that your activities will take longer, in addition to reaching forced labor the temperature increases more and can compromise the components in the long term.
This indicates that the parts inside the Raspberry Pi (usually just the processor, but probably others) they are getting hot enough to reach their own internal safety limits.
The processor was also at about 60 ° C, Although in part the metal casing helps to diffuse this heat around the perimeter and in the IR image, the heat radiating from the top of the CPU.
The bright white areas in the lower left Jeff says that this part of the card almost always releases a lot of heat. and the components in this area do not dissipate as much as the processor.
Finally, he comments that if there is any activity in the USB ports, this part also reaches 60 and 70 ° C.
Although a recent system update (Raspbian) may help keep this chip a bit cooler, it will still get hot under load.
«Then imagine that you actually use the Pi 4 instead of a desktop computer, with at least one external USB 3.0 hard drive connected, WiFi connected and transferring large amounts of data, a USB keyboard and mouse along with multi-window work on the browser, a text editor and a music player.
This amount of load is enough to cause the processor to accelerate in less than 10 minutes.
However, Jeff says that watching videos, scrolling through more complex sites and frequently switching applications often causes the processor to quickly reach a temperature of up to 80 degrees Celsius, especially if it is in the classic fully enclosed, unventilated plastic Case.
“For my more formal tests, I started running stress –cpu 4 to get the processor to do a lot of work, continuously. After a few minutes, using vcgencmd measure_temp and »Vcgencmd get_throttled, I could see that the processor started to slow down as soon as it reached 80 ° C (176 ° F)»
Finally Jeff shared a video of how you can add a fan (fan) to the Raspberry Pi case and thereby solve this problem.
If you want to know more about it, you can check its publication in the following link.