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Raspberry Pi 4 goes 8GB, plus new 64bit OS

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The highly versatile Raspberry Pi 4 now has a new 8GB model and their official Debian-based operating system has a new 64bit version for you to play with. From running retro games, to making it into a whole gaming device with a screen and everything, the Raspberry Pi is seriously cool and now thanks to the bigger RAM in the 8GB model it can do even more fun things for you.

A model that was long rumoured but they had trouble doing it, until now. They said that while the BCM2711 chip used in the Raspberry Pi 4 actually supports up to 16GB of LPDDR4 SDRAM, the barrier was that lack of a 8GB LPDDR4 package which didn't exist but Micron stepped up with a suitable part for them.

Some adjustments were made to accomodate it, as it needed higher peak currents. So the power supply components have been shuffled around, and a removal of a switch-mode power supply from the right side with a new switcher next to the USB-C power connection. It's available right now for $75.

The Raspberry Pi OS (formerly known as Raspbian) also now has a 64bit version in Beta to fully take advantage of the extra memory. They have a video up about the latest changes to the OS as a whole for them May Update which we've included below:

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Read more about it and pick one up on the official Raspberry Pi website.

If any of our readers are planning to pick up the RPi 8GB and / or are tinkering with a current one for some kind of gaming, do let us know what you're up to in the comments. Would love to see.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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44 comments
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WJMazepas 1 Jun
Quoting: legluondunetI have a raspberry pi 3b+ 2Go and a raspberry pi 4 4Go, the differences I saw:


What? It does not exist a Pi3 with 2GB. Old Raspberrys had a limit of 1GB
CFWhitman 1 Jun
In my experience, the Raspberry Pi 2 and up work well for PS1 emulation as long as you use the right emulator (PCSX ReArmed), and you are not using all the memory for other stuff at the same time.

On the Raspberry Pi models I'm familiar with, the 3.5 mm audio output is pretty bad. A USB DAC can do better; audio through the HDMI* is very good, as is audio through a good HAT.

Also, a Raspberry Pi 2 or higher will handle 1080p video well as long as the player is dedicated and optimized correctly and the network is not choking the stream, but not inside a browser.**

*(For example: Playing music through Kodi, routed through the TV via either S/PDIF or ARC to a stereo/surround setup; surround output is lossy (though high quality lossy), but stereo output is not.)

**(Again, I can enjoy 1080p Blu-Ray rips streaming from my server over a 2.4 GHz N wireless or better network connection with 5.1 channel surround sound through Kodi running on a Raspberry Pi 2 or newer.)


Last edited by CFWhitman on 1 June 2020 at 3:40 am UTC
Dunc 1 Jun
Quoting: CFWhitmanIn my experience, the Raspberry Pi 2 and up work well for PS1 emulation as long as you use the right emulator (PCSX ReArmed), and you are not using all the memory for other stuff at the same time.
Yep. What I can't understand is why it still struggles with the ZX Spectrum, at least using the build of FUSE in the Raspbian Raspberry Pi OS repos. I'm pretty sure there's a homebrew Spectrum emulator for the PS1. There's no way a modern ARM device should have trouble with such a bare-bones Z80 machine.
CFWhitman 2 Jun
Quoting: Dunc
Quoting: CFWhitmanIn my experience, the Raspberry Pi 2 and up work well for PS1 emulation as long as you use the right emulator (PCSX ReArmed), and you are not using all the memory for other stuff at the same time.
Yep. What I can't understand is why it still struggles with the ZX Spectrum, at least using the build of FUSE in the Raspbian Raspberry Pi OS repos. I'm pretty sure there's a homebrew Spectrum emulator for the PS1. There's no way a modern ARM device should have trouble with such a bare-bones Z80 machine.

I haven't tried emulating the ZX Spectrum on a Rapberry Pi. If FUSE doesn't work well, I would speculate that it's really not optimized for the hardware at all and is depending on it just being such an easy system to emulate. There is also ZEsarUX for the Pi and even ZXBaremulator if you want to try running an emulator directly on the hardware (with no Linux in between), but I haven't tried them.
iskaputt 2 Jun
Quoting: GuestSo you could now run full performance 64-bit windows on this thing or what?

I mean I'll take 64-bit linux any day of course, but windows would make for some interesting gaming benchmarks :D

Problem is that you'd need to compile and optimize the games for ARM. So it might be feasible for some FOSS games, but it's unlikely to happen for any proprietary game (those are all x86).

Nonetheless an interesting idea :)


Last edited by iskaputt on 2 June 2020 at 10:04 am UTC
Dunc 2 Jun
Quoting: CFWhitman
Quoting: Dunc
Quoting: CFWhitmanIn my experience, the Raspberry Pi 2 and up work well for PS1 emulation as long as you use the right emulator (PCSX ReArmed), and you are not using all the memory for other stuff at the same time.
Yep. What I can't understand is why it still struggles with the ZX Spectrum, at least using the build of FUSE in the Raspbian Raspberry Pi OS repos. I'm pretty sure there's a homebrew Spectrum emulator for the PS1. There's no way a modern ARM device should have trouble with such a bare-bones Z80 machine.
I haven't tried emulating the ZX Spectrum on a Rapberry Pi. If FUSE doesn't work well, I would speculate that it's really not optimized for the hardware at all and is depending on it just being such an easy system to emulate. There is also ZEsarUX for the Pi and even ZXBaremulator if you want to try running an emulator directly on the hardware (with no Linux in between), but I haven't tried them.
Yes, I came to much the same conclusion. I usually use ZEsarUX elsewhere, but it's not in the RPiOS repos (at least, not last time I checked).
mirv 2 Jun
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Quoting: Guest
Quoting: iskaputt
Quoting: GuestSo you could now run full performance 64-bit windows on this thing or what?

I mean I'll take 64-bit linux any day of course, but windows would make for some interesting gaming benchmarks :D

Problem is that you'd need to compile and optimize the games for ARM. So it might be feasible for some FOSS games, but it's unlikely to happen for any proprietary game (those are all x86).

Nonetheless an interesting idea :)

But isn't it running a 64-bit OS? If it's running a 64-bit OS wouldn't the ARM optimization be unnecessary? Couldn't it just run basic 32 and 64 bit software like any other x86_64 machine?

arm architecture is very different to x86_64. It can't run x86 compiled code of any kind directly, and x86 can't run arm compiled code directly.
mirv 2 Jun
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Quoting: Guest
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: Guest
Quoting: iskaputt
Quoting: GuestSo you could now run full performance 64-bit windows on this thing or what?

I mean I'll take 64-bit linux any day of course, but windows would make for some interesting gaming benchmarks :D

Problem is that you'd need to compile and optimize the games for ARM. So it might be feasible for some FOSS games, but it's unlikely to happen for any proprietary game (those are all x86).

Nonetheless an interesting idea :)

But isn't it running a 64-bit OS? If it's running a 64-bit OS wouldn't the ARM optimization be unnecessary? Couldn't it just run basic 32 and 64 bit software like any other x86_64 machine?

arm architecture is very different to x86_64. It can't run x86 compiled code of any kind directly, and x86 can't run arm compiled code directly.

Indeed it is different, yet you didn't answer what I was asking, it is stated in the article that Raspberry Pi OS now has a 64 bit version to better utilize the 8GB RAM available in the Pi 4 model B.

A 64 bit OS right? On a raspberry pi right? I'm not sure how they've worked around the issue of arm being incompatible with x86k, but it is implied that they have.

64bit yes, 64bit x86_64 no. It's 64bit arm architecture (AArch64) that they refer to.


Last edited by mirv on 2 June 2020 at 11:09 pm UTC
CFWhitman 3 Jun
Quoting: Dunc
Quoting: CFWhitman
Quoting: Dunc
Quoting: CFWhitmanIn my experience, the Raspberry Pi 2 and up work well for PS1 emulation as long as you use the right emulator (PCSX ReArmed), and you are not using all the memory for other stuff at the same time.
Yep. What I can't understand is why it still struggles with the ZX Spectrum, at least using the build of FUSE in the Raspbian Raspberry Pi OS repos. I'm pretty sure there's a homebrew Spectrum emulator for the PS1. There's no way a modern ARM device should have trouble with such a bare-bones Z80 machine.
I haven't tried emulating the ZX Spectrum on a Rapberry Pi. If FUSE doesn't work well, I would speculate that it's really not optimized for the hardware at all and is depending on it just being such an easy system to emulate. There is also ZEsarUX for the Pi and even ZXBaremulator if you want to try running an emulator directly on the hardware (with no Linux in between), but I haven't tried them.
Yes, I came to much the same conclusion. I usually use ZEsarUX elsewhere, but it's not in the RPiOS repos (at least, not last time I checked).

That's correct; it's not in the repositories. However, there is a binary of the latest stable version for the Raspberry Pi on the ZEsarUX GitHub site in the download section (the latest beta doesn't have a Raspberry Pi build; of course you could build it yourself if you are familiar with compiling software). It's just a zip, but I think it can just be unzipped and run from the resulting directory. I haven't downloaded it and tried it, though. There's probably a README with more information in the archive.
Dunc 3 Jun
Quoting: CFWhitman
Quoting: DuncYes, I came to much the same conclusion. I usually use ZEsarUX elsewhere, but it's not in the RPiOS repos (at least, not last time I checked).
That's correct; it's not in the repositories. However, there is a binary of the latest stable version for the Raspberry Pi on the ZEsarUX GitHub site in the download section (the latest beta doesn't have a Raspberry Pi build; of course you could build it yourself if you are familiar with compiling software). It's just a zip, but I think it can just be unzipped and run from the resulting directory. I haven't downloaded it and tried it, though. There's probably a README with more information in the archive.
I thought about building it, because it's not something I'm unfamiliar with after 15 years on Linux but honestly, once you install all the build dependencies... it's not that important to me. But the binary sounds interesting. I'll give it a try sometime. Thanks for the info. :)


Last edited by Dunc on 3 June 2020 at 12:00 pm UTC
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