The new Raspberry Pi has double the RAM of previous models

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The Raspberry Pi Foundation has launched an updated version of the Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB of RAM after releasing the latest model of the pocket-sized computer last June.

While the device was initially available with either 1GB, 2GB or 4GB of RAM, even at that time the company was imagining the possibility of an 8GB Raspberry Pi 4 as the BCM2711 chip it uses supports up to 16GB of LPDDR4 SDRAM. 

Unfortunately an 8GB LPDDR4 package didn't exist in a form the Raspberry Pi Foundation could use in 2019 but its partners at Micron released one earlier this year which made the updated version possible. According to the company, the additional memory boost should be useful for power users that want to compile large pieces of software, run heavy server workloads or just have more browser tabs open at once.

The Raspberry Pi 4 with 8GB is almost identical to last year's model except for the fact that the power supply components on the board have been moved around to supply the slightly higher peak currents required by the new memory package. A new switcher has also been added next to the device's USB-C power connector.

Raspberry Pi OS

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has also released an early beta of its own 64-bit operating system image built against the Debian arm64 port so that users can take advantage of the RAM increase in its updated Raspberry Pi. The 64-bit version of its operating system contains the same set of applications and the same desktop environment found in its regular 32-bit image.

While users can install either the 32-bit or 64-bit version, the 64-bit version will allow them to leverage all 8GB of ram and the 32-bit version can be run on every Raspberry Pi device ever released. If you want to use a 64-bit operating system and aren't interested in running beta software, Ubuntu and Gentoo both offer 64-bit operating systems for the Raspberry Pi 4.

In order to make its operating system easier for new users to find, the company has also decided to give it a new name, Raspberry Pi OS. The Raspberry Pi Foundation believes that the new name will help users feel more confident when using its computers and software.

An update to the Raspberry Pi Desktop for all of the company's operating system images is now available as well as the beta of the 64-bit version.

Via The Verge

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.