Raspberry Pi 4 Firmware update reduces thermals and boosts performance

Here are the specs of the new Raspberry Pi 4

Raspberry Pi 4 Firmware update reduces thermals and boosts performance

The Raspberry Pi 4 is a powerful unit, offering users around three times as much performance as its predecessor while also providing a suite of other design improvements.  

One issue that’s been levied against the Raspberry Pi 4 is thermals, with some benchmarks and use cases causing the unit to reach temperatures of 80 degrees Celsius, causing the unit to throttle under heavy loads load.

While this thermal issue can be addressed by adding a heatsink to the unit, the hardware boffins over at CNX Software have found that updating the Raspberry Pi 4’s firmware can significantly boost the unit’s performance. This fix comes in the form of firmware for the Pi 4’s VIA VL805 PCIe USB 3.0 controller, which implements Active State Power Management to decrease the unit’s thermal load.    

Thanks to this fix, CNX Software found that their Raspberry Pi 4’s 7zip performance increased from 4423 points to 5298 points, making the unit perform almost as well as their Stock Pi 4 when using an aftermarket heatsink, which scored 5397 points. While the Raspberry Pi 4 will still benefit from a heatsink or fan under specific scenarios, this firmware fix will undoubtedly help things along. 

Updated BIOS files for the Raspberry Pi 4 are expected to become available in the near future, adding this fix into the unit’s stock firmware. At this time it is unknown how this update will be delivered to early users of the Raspberry Pi 4.  

While this firmware fix does not entirely address the Raspberry Pi 4’s thermal issues, it does allow the unit to operate at its maximum capacity for longer without throttling, which will be useful to end users. This issue can be addressed fully with the addition of aftermarket heatsinks or fans to the unit, which may be necessary depending on the user’s thermal and performance requirements. 

You can join the discussion on the Raspberry Pi 4’s firmware fix that decreased thermals and boosts performance on the OC3D Forums.