We asked our engineers your Raspberry Pi 4 questions…

We collected some of the most common Raspberry Pi 4 questions asked by you, our community, and sat down with Eben Upton, James Adams, and Gordon Hollingworth to get some answers.

Do you have more questions about our new board or accessories? Leave them in the comments of our YouTube video, or in the comments below, and we’ll collect some of the most commonly asked questions together for another Q&A session further down the line.

39 comments

Andrew Waite avatar

Question : Will there be a new RPi4 case with provision for a small case fan prevent the Pi from overheating?

Arthur Fieldstone avatar

But hot pie tastes better than cold pie…

anders avatar

Fan Shim from PiMoroni fits nicely inside the current RPI4 case.

Andrew Waite avatar

A case with ventilation slots for the PIMORONI Fan SHIM or holes to bolt Adafruit’s Miniature 5V Cooling Fan to would work very well.

Egbert avatar

Ventilation seems to work through the available openings, my Pi4 is much cooler with the fan shim. Vents are also well within the practical capability of the average maker / modder.

laughterofelijah avatar

I really like the official red case for the 3b+ so I taped some graph paper (small squares) over the area that an iUniker dual fan sits. Then I used a 3/32 drill bit to drill evenly-spaced intake holes using the graph paper as a guide. I ended up drilling some additional exit holes in the piece along the 40-pin side.

This gave plenty of air flow and kept the clean look of the official case.

Mikael Bonnier avatar

I have the original case and I run without the lid most of the time. This means that dust could be stored or accidents that short circuit e.g. pins could happen easier. I think the standard case must be redesigned so that it cools the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B better.

Andrew Waite avatar

I agree with Mikael that the official case should be redesigned. My RPi4 also runs with the lid off to keep the CPU+heatsink cool, and only replaced when the Pi is not in use. My vote is for angular ventilation grills similar to these in Ira Velinsky’s case for the Atari ST.

Ken Rudolph avatar

I connected a pi4 to the 7 inch touch screen and 2 monitors to the micro HDMI ports. The system started up on the 7in display and then one of the monitors. I could move applications from the 7in to the monitor and back. The second monitor did nothing.

No where do I see that you can connect monitors and the 7in to a pi 4. Has this been done by some one else or am I pushing the envelope?

W. H. Heydt avatar

That has come up a number of times in the forums.

You can’t. There are only two frame buffers.

I suspect that one should add “…yet” to that. It wasn’t that long ago that you could only have one active display. I wouldn’t expect it any time soon as there are many, much larger, fish to fry.

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

No, this is a physical limitation of the hardware, we can only output two pixel pipelines simultaneously. One HDMI and one DSI or two HDMI…

shivam avatar

can i connect 3g/4g dongle(without ethernet cable) with rasberry pi 4 for internet and share internet though hotspot ?

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

Assuming you can find the necessary dongle (I believe someone did make a HAT, but a USB dongle would be fine) and set it up correctly (including setting up the required routing), then yes it is possible.

shivam avatar

Actually i am new at raspberry pi and i have not purchased yet.
My application is to run node-red in raspberry pi to send some data to cloud.
After watching most of the videos of raspberry pi on YOU TUBE i understood that it will be possible with wifi or LAN internet.
But where wifi and LAN internet is not available than how to get internet in raspberry pi using sim-card or dongle.
so pl guide me on this topic.

i am from india and i have rasberry pi 4

Andrew Waite avatar

My understanding is that the 32bit ARM instruction set only has a 32bit address space. Would a 8Gbyte or 16Gbyte RPi require a 64bit version of Raspbian, or can bank switching be used to address the extra memory?

Max pi3g avatar

Concerning more RAM: 32bit OSes can access more RAM than 4 GB with LPAE. Each app is still limited to 4GB individually, but independently of each other.

Leon Matthews avatar

Fantastic video, my favourite yet. Thank for very much for the honest peek behind-the-scenes. Love it!

Dom S. avatar

I was cross compiling a real time version of Linux for the Linux git repository. I used the latest version of Debian 10 when I copied the files over. I was able to get the rpi4 to booth but had issues booting the rpi3b using the kernel7. It would run until I connected and Ethernet cable. Do the two versions of raspberry pis have different Ethernet phys that their compiled drivers might be effected while cross compiling?
Are there settings I should watch out for in the config.txt when booting Debian 10 on a raspberry pi 3b?

Thank you for your help

Max pi3g avatar

The ethernet on the pi 4 is a completely new and separate design. It runs directly from the soc to a phy chip. The old designs had the ethernet as part of the usb hub chip. Refer to my pdf inside pi 4 for details.

Daniel Radcliffe avatar

Will there be a written version of the Q&A session?

fanoush avatar

It was quite long so I did something else while listening so I am not sure if this topic was touched but I have same question/topic over years that get asked repeatedly in the forum (and the answer is ‘no’) but maybe was not answered like this by Eben,James,Gordon – low power modes and sleep mode for battery operated projects.

Especially Pi Zero is used a lot with battery and still there are no low power modes or sleep or suspend at all. So you basically need to boot from scratch, do stuff and power it off completely by something external. So the question is – will you look into it in the future? How much harder/costly is to design the hardware so it could sleep with very low power (so it last days/weeks instead of hours) and then resume. Nowadays any Android(=linux kernel based) smartphone you have in your pocket can do this.

Gordon Hollingworth avatar

You’re right, the answer is generally no… The issue is that the firmware (the bit of the system that is closed source but controls power, HDMI, camera and ISP) doesn’t support a suspend mode in the same way as Linux does. But as we remove / replace the functionality (we’ve moved the GPU to the linux kernel for example) this would make it possible.

I don’t believe there are any hardware modifications required to achieve suspend, but it wouldn’t be as efficient without some changes. The problem is doing this without making it more expensive!

FranckR avatar

Can we connect two cameras on the CSI port to record in 3D for example?

I would like to use a RPI 4 in kiosk mode. In touch mode I don’t want users to leave my program or click on the menu. How to proceed?

Esbeeb avatar

During the interview, the question was asked: “what can the pi 4 do, which the 3 could not?”
I have two suggestions here:

1) Nextcloud will benefit tremendously from an SSD being attached to the USB 3, and storing the SQL DB there. Then WebDAV file transfers will go WAY faster, considering SQL commits are performed with every uploaded file. Please help Nachoparker if you can, he’s the legendary hero pushing that forward. I think this will deserve front-page mention on the RPi website, once Nextcloud Pi is released for the Pi 4.

2) Super Tux Cart looks *great* on the Pi 4. There’s a demo video of it running on the Pi 4 on YouTube. I think this game should even be included in the stock Raspbian image, as I think it’s an even better “platformer” game than Minetest/Minecraft. BTW: the Logitech F310 gamepad works great with Super Tux Cart, which I’ve tried personally and highly recommend! Very fun. Please make it really easy for kids to start a server game (say, on a Pi 3) and pit their Pi 4’s against each other!

flyingsquirrelarmy avatar

Nextcloud PI is already compatible with Raspbian Buster and PI4. Been running it for weeks.

Graham Hughes avatar

I’m not the first to say this, but thanks to you all for taking the time to make this video. Congratulations on getting RPi-4 out so soon. It’s a great product.

Andrew Waite avatar

Can Richard Russell’s superb BBC BASIC for SDL 2.0 be bundled with Raspbian. (http://www.bbcbasic.co.uk/bbcsdl/index.html).

Will the official Raspberry Pi touch display and keyboard be followed by the official Raspberry Pi laptop?

lemmo avatar

Will the Pi zero be updated soon? I love the small format, low cost and expandability. Updating to 1GB / 2GB and bump to 64bit arm would be a killer.

shivam avatar

rasberry pi 4 have inbuilt wifi hotspot?

Pax avatar

They don’t mention the biggest fail of the pi 4,
why they shipped it with a broken A72 core!!

Specter (and Meltdown) are hardware defects,
and defective processors should be recalled just as Intel recalled processors with the Pentium FDIV bug.

Maby they should do a C0 spin out, with A55 or A77.
A55 would be slower at the same clock speed, but should be able to clock higher and or run cooler.

JBeale avatar

Not an IC designer, but I think changing the core would be the automotive equivalent of jacking up the rear-view mirror and replacing the rest of the car. In other words you’d reset the count back to A0 silicon.

crumble avatar

Can you show me an actual CPU/SoC/yC without any Error?

Beside that the issues you mentioned are not errors. They are sideeffects of modern architectures.

Even the old Pis are attackable. Or do they use the same power and time for each instruction? Don’t they use the common radio standards?

You have to build your own system, if you want a 100% secure system.

pax avatar

Correction: It seems even ARM’s latest A77 CPU is broken, this leaves only A53 and A55 unaffected.

everything is attackable, but not every core is acknowledged to be broken by its own designer.

see:
https://developer.arm.com/support/arm-security-updates/speculative-processor-vulnerability

Anton avatar

Please, since you mentioned it in the video, there have been some articles about USB power issues with selected few adapters (due to a missing resistor?). Is the issue real, if so do you have any plans to address it, is there going to be a new revision, ..?
Thank you!

Nicholas avatar

I enjoy using the Raspberry Pi 3 B+. I am holding out in purchasing the Raspberry Pi 4 until the hardware and software issues are dealt with first.
I am hopefully the case can be redesigned for better airflow as well as the sale of PIMORONI Fan SHIM with the Canadian Raspberry Pi suppliers.
Alternatively, it would be nice to see new HATS for the Raspberry pi. A HAT with a fan and an Emmc would improve the quality of life. A GPU HAT would also be a welcome idea.

crumble avatar

Make the heat problem to a feature.
Give us a series of articles in MagPi about cooling solutions for the small and big computing.

Then I have not to make fun of your Team which seems not to know that the housing of some devices is part of the cooling concept. So the inner part is nearly as hot as the housing, because the housing is the heat sink.

The series shall be crowned by a contest for the fanciest, coolest and practicablest solution of the readers. The price shall be a pot of heat conductibe paste with the initials of all developers. I hope the team is huge enough, so that some lucky lad (m/f/d) will get real rich.

Stuart Andrew Jones avatar

From this side of the Atlantic, the RPi4 is a huge game changer. Though there are cooling issues I expect there will be a host of 3rd party cases that will improve cooling. Also, using a Dremel to punch some holes in the top and mounting a fan on top will work around for now. The key importance of the RPi4 is that it is truly a functional replacement for a PC or a Mac, in a tiny form factor and an astonishing value, even though the effective cost of a full RPi kit is now over $100 US (as opposed to $60-70 for the RPi3B+)–A full kit being RPi, case, PS and HDMI cable.

The A72 core may have Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities, but so far the security issues seem to be mostly theoretical. Some of these have been addressed in recent Linux kernels.

I have found that Raspbian Buster has a few issues yet (e.g. Digikam, my favorite photo manager doesn’t work). HJopefully these will be sorted quickly.

Herbert Kiesewetter avatar

How far is the development of Raspbian to support all new abilitys of Pi 4? Where do I find the latest infos about Raspbian?
Thanks for help, have a nice weekend.

DB avatar

Thanks for the video, great that you spared the time to give an inside view of how the Pi4 was developed.

I’m currently testing a 4 channel CCTV system very successfully on a Pi4 4GB but would like to know if it would still run as well on only one or two GB. The command TOP shows only 579MB used but the rest is in the buffer/cache, does that mean it is being used to store some video frames? In the Pi4 video at around 24 mins Gordon says it is possible to add something in config.txt to disable memory to emulate the smaller memory sizes…can somebody help and let me know what the commands are! Thanks.

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