The Raspberry Pi Foundation released a new product today. It’s a tiny $ 5 fan combined with a tiny heat sink for the Raspberry Pi 4. It works with the official case under the top cover. These accessories should prevent the Raspberry Pi from overheating.
If you’re not familiar with the Raspberry Pi, it’s a cheap, single-board computer with many ports that is the size of a deck of cards. You can give it to a child so they can play around with a terminal. You can use it as a computer brain and more for your weekend projects.
The Raspberry Pi 4 is the newest Raspberry Pi device in its classic form factor. And it’s a huge performance improvement over the Raspberry Pi 3.
And yet, shortly after it was released last year, the Raspberry Pi user community noticed that the single-board computer tends to get hot. In some cases it gets so hot that the device has no choice but to throttle the frequency of the CPU.
This issue is especially noticeable if you are using the official case as it prevents proper ventilation. Last year the foundation released a software update that focuses on optimizing performance.
While it solves the problem in some cases, it is not a magical solution for all situations. Some users use the computing power of the Raspberry Pi for long periods of time.
There are some third party cases with a large heat sink. However, the Raspberry Pi Foundation did not have its own solution to the problem.
According to the foundation, the tiny fan should be enough to prevent throttling. “It sucks in air through the USB and Ethernet ports, routes it through a small finned heat sink that is attached to the processor, and exhausts it through the SD card slot,” says the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
It’s a cheap stopgap, but I hope the foundation will prioritize heat dissipation for the next iteration of the Raspberry Pi.