raspberry pi 4 status report for 10 april 2020 – running pretty good these days

If there’s one thing I’ve been critical of with regards to the Raspberry Pi 4, it’s been the fact it runs hotter than any prior Raspberry Pi. I run my Pi 4s in a Flirc case (https://flirc.tv/more/raspberry-pi-4-case) in order to keep them as cool as possible during operation. Yet as good as the Flirc case is, the Pi 4 with the Raspbian initial release still easily hit the mid-50°Cs (or hotter) with just regular usage. Recently I’ve noticed that the Pi 4, with the latest version of Buster (including all patches) and the firmware, is running a good 10°C cooler, around the mid-40°C or cooler. When I now put my hand on the case it’s barely warm, not the hot little brick when I first put the Raspberry Pi 4 in the case.

In addition to running cooler, Raspbian Buster appears to be using a lot less memory resources than before, such as when having many open tabs in Chromium. More often than not I could see on htop where swap was being hit with a regular load of Chromium, multiple open tabs on the Terminal with multiple editing sessions, and regular builds with any of Go, C++, Rust, Python 3 or Julia running. I’ve now had the Pi 4 up for five days with continuous use and I haven’t hit swap yet.

And speaking of Julia, I installed version 1.4.0 and then installed all the supporting packages I normally need. One of those packages is Winston, and it has problems. Winston under Julia 1.4.0 is dependent on more packages than ever these days, so much so that any Julia script I’ve written won’t run because not all the current Winston dependencies are met. As a consequence I’ve dropped back to running the prior release, Julia 1.3.1. My scripts still run, and for the time being I’m not updating any of its packages.