News Raspberry Pi 4 Firmware Update Tested: Less Heat, Same Speeds

bit_user

Splendid
Herald
Excellent article, except for one point: what does the firmware change actually do?

Being open-source, it should be possible to diff before/after, although I understand unreleased changes might not yet have been pushed to the repository. However, is it not possible even to obtain a summary of the change from its author(s)?

What I really want to know is whether the improvement is some special-case optimization, like down-shifting the USB controller into 2.0-mode, when no 3.0 peripherals connected. Basically, will this same improvement be seen with all combinations of peripherals?

Also, I can't help but wonder how much cooling would be needed to completely avoid throttling. What is/are the smallest heatsink(s) needed, and for which chips? Of course, it will obviously depend on the case, but maybe we can just focus on the official case.
 

extremepenguin

Distinguished
May 21, 2009
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Excellent article, except for one point: what does the firmware change actually do?

Being open-source, it should be possible to diff before/after, although I understand unreleased changes might not yet have been pushed to the repository. However, is it not possible even to obtain a summary of the change from its author(s)?

What I really want to know is whether the improvement is some special-case optimization, like down-shifting the USB controller into 2.0-mode, when no 3.0 peripherals connected. Basically, will this same improvement be seen with all combinations of peripherals?

Also, I can't help but wonder how much cooling would be needed to completely avoid throttling. What is/are the smallest heatsink(s) needed, and for which chips? Of course, it will obviously depend on the case, but maybe we can just focus on the official case.
The firmware update implements Active State Power Management (ASPM), a few sites state that they are seeing the temperature drop during loads on their bare cards to match that of their cards they have installed passive heat sinks on, but they still recommend installing some form of heat management with the Pi4's for extended usage.
 
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