Raspberry Pi 4 released in 8GB Edition

in #raspberrypi3 years ago (edited)


The Raspberry Pi foundation just released an 8GB version of the Raspberry Pi 4. In theory, the Raspberry Pi 4 can support 16GB of ram but they have been unable to find a manufacturer until now.

The 8GB Edition retails for $75 USD and is available immediately. Like most newer Raspberry Pi's, they will be difficult to get at list price unless you live near the UK.


While increasing the ram to 8GB was the primary goal of this release, there have been some minor tweaks to the power system on board to support the increased power demands. Otherwise, the device is exactly like the 2GB and 4GB editions.

Do you really even need 8GB?

While I am a huge fan of more than you need ram on my devices, the Raspberry Pi doesn't really need 8GB except in some unique edge cases (like clusters).

I would be comfortable in saying 98% of users would never take advantage of 8GB of ram on the Raspberry Pi.

The problem is the CPU, SD, and all interfaces are just too slow to take advantage of any large computing needs. While I love the Raspberry Pi and I recommend everyone get one to tinker with, they are not high-performance devices, and increasing the ram does not fix this.

I think the 2GB Raspberry Pi 4 is the sweet spot, especially since they reduced the price from $45 to $35. I would recommend two Raspberry Pi 4 2GB devices over an 8GB for almost everyone. There are some unique workloads that can take advantage of 8GB but if you need that, you would know it.

64 Bit OS

With the release of the 8GB version, the Raspberry Pi foundation also released a beta of the 64 Bit version of Raspbian. With this release though they have renamed Raspbian to Raspberry Pi OS.

A couple of weeks ago I posted about Ubuntu's new native 64 Bit Raspberry Pi support. I would highly recommend checking that out as it will likely be where the future is going. I haven't tested it myself but I want to soon.

If you are using the Raspberry 4, I would highly recommend checking out their new boot from USB support. I recently wrote a post about how to enable support for this. This feature was promised a year ago at the release of the Raspberry Pi 4 but was delayed until a few weeks ago. This feature will provide you the largest performance gain you can achieve on a Raspberry Pi.


I immediately thought of you when I read about this one this morning. I definitely share the sentiment on a bit of overkill for my own uses. I guess it might reduce sync time for me on a BTC node in first sync but not likely enough to weigh out the cost savings for the 4gb board.

 3 years ago 

They dropped the 1GB board, I think the 2GB is the best option for 99.5% of people. In some cases maybe the 4GB if you are doing mostly workstation Windows type of stuff. I don't see the 8GB selling much once the novelty wears off. It's still pretty cheap so people may buy it, but no one really needs it.

How much longer till we can run witnesses on Pis? @gtg wanna give it a try to run a witness on one?

We have a lot of technical debt but then, well, maybe. However, most likely at that time it would be already Raspberry Pi 5 16GB Edition ;-)

 3 years ago (edited)

I doubt they would ever catch up to the hardware requirements of a witness node. They are getting close to Mira, but the CPU and Bus are so ridiculously slow it likely would never be able to keep up. Not even sure if you can get hived to even compile. That in itself would be a challenge if you want to see how far you can get.

With full Ubuntu support for the Raspberry Pi, it is more likely a reality than it was before, but who knows what utils are not supported on Pi yet. I wouldn't hold my breath.

 3 years ago 

I always see Rasberry Pi as more of an educational and/or hobby platform. Kinda like if you're into trains, you might also be into model trains. You can set up a bunch of Pis all in a cabinet, doing their thing. Maybe as a cluster, so you can explore how to set up a cluster. Maybe as a NAS, firewall, or router for the same reason.

And maybe you get good enough at doing this, largely because it's so similar to a full sized environment, you move on to larger deploys.

There are probably good business reasons to use a Rasberry Pi. Perhaps they're good for lights-out management.

But I agree. I don't see many of these situations being that much better with 8GB RAM. About the only thing that would be useful for is perhaps GAN (general adversarial network) training, although I'm not sure if that benefits more from cheap RAM or GPU (which Pis don't have much to speak of).

On my 13 Years old Desktop Personal Computer i need just 4 Gb of Ram... This little Devise is a nice Play Toy or for spezial Applications, but nothing for me to use as daily driver.

 3 years ago 

With Linux ram requirements are even lower than a desktop.

Sure right, i use Linux on my Netbook with one GB ram for a better working experience. I love Linux. Have a nice day. Alucian

http://mynodebtc.com/ requires 4gb rPi and it IMO the best way to play around with Bitcoin.

 3 years ago 

I'm ordering a couple 2Gb, will pick up a 4Gb as well to give it a try.

What for, the 2gb?

 3 years ago 

No. I need 2Gb to replace my Pi 3 (I have like 10 and a few zeros). I will specifically order a 4Gb to try running a Bitcoin node.

They stopped selling the Pi 4 1Gb and reduced the price of the 2Gb to the 1Gb price, so the 2Gb is the sweet spot for 99% of use cases.

I would prefer a micro pc rather than a Raspberry PI in must scenarios as I don't find it to be punchy enough, like you said 8GB is unnecessary with a slow CPU being the bottle neck.

 3 years ago 

If you need a workstation, I wouldn't recommend a Pi unless you needed something basic for a kid or a parent. In almost all cases I'd recommend a real PC.

I would recommend a Pi for a workstation if someone wanted to tinker. They could build circuits they could interact with or play around with Linux.

But if the only purpose is a workstation, a Pi wouldn't be high on my list.

If grandma just wanted email and Facebook, it isn't really a bad option.

There are some unique workloads that can take advantage of 8GB but if you need that, you would know it.

I was wondering if buffering video would benefit of such amount of ram, like for example in Kodi.