Raspberry Pi 4 vs Pi 3 – What are the differences?

Raspberry Pi 4 vs Pi 3 B+
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So now that the Raspberry Pi 4 model B has just been launched, it may be worth checking out the differences against the previous latest single board computer from the Raspberry Pi foundation, namely Raspberry Pi 3 model B+.

Let’s get straight to the Raspberry Pi 4 vs Pi 3 B+ comparison table.

Features/Specs Raspberry Pi 4B Raspberry Pi 3 B+
Release date 24th June 2019 14th March 2018
SoC Broadcom BCM2711
quad-core Cortex-A72 @ 1.5 GHz
Broadcom BCM2837B0
quad-core Cortex-A53 @ 1.4 GHz
GPU VideoCore VI with OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.0, 3.0 VideoCore IV with OpenGL ES 1.1, 2.0
Video Decode H.265 4Kp60, H.264 1080p60 H.264 & MPEG-4 1080p30
Video Encode H.264 1080p30
Memory 1GB, 2GB, or 4GB LPDDR4 1GB LPDDR2
Storage microSD card
Video & Audio Output 2x micro HDMI ports up to 4Kp60
3.5mm AV port (composite + audio)
MIPI DSI connector
1x HDMI 1.4 port up to 1080p60
3.5mm AV port (composite + audio)
MIPI DSI connector
Camera MIPI CSI connector
Ethernet Native Gigabit Ethernet Gigabit Ethernet over USB (300 Mbps max.)
WiFi Dual band 802.11 b/g/n/ac
Bluetooth Bluetooth 5.0 + BLE Bluetooth 4.2 + BLE
USB 2x USB 3.0 + 2x USB 2.0
4x USB 2.0
Expansion 40-pin GPIO header
Power Supply 5V via USB type-C up to 3A
5V via GPIO header up to 3A
Power over Ethernet via PoE HAT
5V via micro USB up to 2.5A
5V via GPIO header up to 3A
Power over Ethernet via PoE HAT
Dimensions 85×56 mm
Default OS Raspbian (after June 24, 2019) Raspbian (after March 2018)
Price $35 (1GB RAM), $45 (2GB RAM), $55 (4GB RAM) $35 (1GB RAM)

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done a pretty amazing job here with adding the extra performance (CPU up to three times faster), and plenty of new features (4K, GbE, USB 3.0..) while keeping the same price tag for the board with 1GB RAM. Some of the features I don’t see advertised and are present on some of the competing boards include HDR (High Dynamic Range) and VP9 video decoding.

Now some of you may ask: “Wait? A comparison without benchmarks? Where are the benchmarks?” To which I reply those are coming as I’m expecting a Raspberry Pi 4 board in a few hours…

[Update: See Raspberry Pi 4 Benchmarks and mini review]

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tkaiser
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tkaiser

Another difference is with SD cards. The new model supports switching to 1.8V and as such SDR104 seems to work (doubling both random IO and sequential transfer rates from 25MB/s to 50MB/s).

mrshark
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mrshark

so what sd card do you suggest? thanks

tkaiser
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tkaiser
tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

SDR104 was BS. It’s DDR50 but still twice as fast as before (without the need to ‘overclock’ the SDIO bus).

Gaetano
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Gaetano

On the official techspecs is says SDR50, SDR104 is not mentioned:
“The Pi4B has a dedicated SD card socket which suports 1.8V, DDR50 mode (at a peak bandwidth of 50
Megabytes / sec). In addition, a legacy SDIO interface is available on the GPIO pins”

https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/hardware/raspberrypi/bcm2711/rpi_DATA_2711_1p0_preliminary.pdf

Steve
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Steve

https://libreelec.tv/2019/06/libreelec-9-2-alpha1-rpi4b/

LibreElec guys suggest that both HDR video and HD Audio bitstreaming are on the road map and have hardware support. I would be surprised if HDR10 PQ ST.2084 output wasn’t possible (if not supported OOB now) – and DTS HD MA/HRA and Dolby Digital Plus/Dolby True HD similarly.

https://forum.libreelec.tv/thread/17698-libreelec-leia-9-2-alpha1-with-raspberry-pi-4b-support/?postID=121493#post121493

Forum thread suggests static HDR (HDR10/HLG) will be supported but not licensable dynamic metadata systems like Dolby Vision. Not clear about Atmos (my understanding is that it’s usually inherent in DTS HD MA and Dolby True HD passthrough that DTS:x and Atmos extensions also pass? But I may be wrong)

theguyuk
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theguyuk

From LibreElec video seems they need kernel work. Also wonder how security compliant is the hardware for high resolution video playback from official services, not pirate rips.

Prstakr
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Prstakr

LibreElec and Kodi exist for Rips.

chewitt
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chewitt

Atmos will be supported for pass-through.

Member

Any news/ifo about the VideocoreVI? Like the bootcode, VPU and ISP?
I’ve read that now the bootloader should turn on the ARM cores and then the GPU side.

So the RTOS part should be removed.
This should means that the GPU *should* be directly controlled from the ARM side?

So probably the ISP and DSI could be configured from the linux side bypassing the videocore fw?

This will make the RPI more interesting.

I stopped to buy rpis back with V2, when they told the community that they will release the sources and they didn’t (Olny the 3d part)
We still have to use userspace code to have access the GPU side, and to have proper video decode instead of a proper linux integration.

BTW the lack of MMC/NAND is still a stop for me. Had too many issues with SD cards.

Harley
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Harley

Missing port for eMMC storage module from my wishlist.

Also read that Rpi4 doesn’t yet support USB boot.

tkaiser
Guest
tkaiser

Well, the USB controller is now behind PCIe so they need to put both a PCIe and a new USB driver into the EEPROM. They plan on adding netboot first, then USB later: https://www.raspberrypi.org/documentation/hardware/raspberrypi/booteeprom.md

Member

Raspberry Pi 3 B+ 1x micro HDMI, typo?

MICHAEL A CROGNALE
Guest
MICHAEL A CROGNALE

My 3B+ has the full size HDMI.

Freire
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Freire

Another difference is the dimensions seems to be a little bigger 88 mm × 58 mm × 19.5 mm.

Rohit
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Rohit

I heard eben upton saying same bluetooth chip software upgraded to 5.0 so 3b+ will be upgraded too.

Aris
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Aris

Some sort of disk I/O would have been great – eMMC or eSATA

Tomm
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Tomm

And this new SoC is 28nm, instead of 40nm which were on 3B+