Raspberry Pi 5


I had pre-ordered a RPi 5 a couple of months ago, but really had no idea when it was going to show up, so it was a pleasant surprise when I got the email from PiShop earlier this week to say that it had arrived. A quick trip over to their warehouse on Colonnade Road et voilà.

As you can see from the above picture, I also got the stock active cooler, but that was it. It’s actually mounted to the bottom panel of an old RPi 4 case I had lying around, just to keep it elevated off of the desk. Hopefully that will help to keep it cool, and reduce the chances of damage to the board.

Speaking of cooling, like many other RPi enthusiasts, I was surprised by how hot the wee beastie gets. I haven’t done a lot of testing yet, but just based on the CPU temp plugin in the taskbar, idle temp is around 38° C. As soon as you start doing anything (like typing a blog post) it rapidly goes up to around 48°C. Somewhere around this temperature the fan on the heat sink will spin up, but because it’s variable speed, even with it running there is next to no sound. The only time I’ve heard the fan spin at full speed is during boot up, and even then it’s still quite quiet — i.e. it’s not the screaming monster you might expect a fan that tiny to be. Regardless, the heat sink fins do get hot enough that you probably don’t want to touch them while it’s running.

I have been holding off upgrading my webserver Pi to the latest debian bookworm based OS, since there was no (official) upgrade path from the previous version and it’s a pain to move all of the hosted sites over to a new install. Now that I have a Pi 5 too, I think it may be time. The combination of more performant hardware and the move from PHP7 to PHP8 in bookworm should provide a significant boost. Note: I really don’t *need* to do this, the current sites load just fine, but a few pages (like the NextCloud dashboard) aren’t quite where I’d like them.

Anyway, I’ll post again once I have moved the server over to the new hardware. For now, I can say I’m very happy with it. If you’re looking for a super cheap, small form factor desktop, the RPi 5 will definitely work for you. It’s still not a speed demon, but it will play 1080p/60fps video without dropping a lot of frames, and feels quite snappy to use (running off an SSD). Peace!

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