i'm planning to buy an Raspberry Pi 4 Model B. Short time after release of the Pi 4 many people have complained about heat problems (not only at 100% CPU usage, but in idle). My question is now, did the firmware updates from the past fix these heat problems especially the ones which happened in idle?

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    When I bought a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, I also ordered a Pimoroni Fan Shim. Ambient in the room is around 18 C and it idles and runs light tasks at about 35 C. Tor proxy, Deluge, Samba. If I load it up it will go up to around 55 C. If the fan is shut down, it idles around 55 and can go to 75 - 80 on load. The Fan Shim cost 9.60 UK pounds. I have all firmware updates. Nov 21, 2019 at 17:41

3 Answers 3


As of this moment the temperature of my Pi, which is up to date, is idle by 58°C and under constant load of 50% CPU utilization by 70°C. I use little heat sinks on the CPU and the voltage regulator.


I'm using it with Raspbian Buster with Desktop and few scripts are running on startup. I2C and SPI both are running continuously and a graphical python script too. Then its temperature goes to ~60 degrees when room temperature is 27-28 degrees.


Don't expect there to be a firmware fix for the RPi 4 heat dissipation. That's the way the chip is built: if you want more performance, you need more current and there will be more heat. All single-board computers similar to RPi 4 in terms of performace (Orange Pi PC, Odroid, etc.) need heat sinks or cooler fans, and will go into thermal throttling without cooling.

Practically, RPi 4 is only usable without additional cooling if it sits idle most of the time. Even then, a passive heat sink on the SoC is recommended: the SoC will be substantially cooler and will be able to perform typical tasks like an upgrade without slowing down to a crawl. However, if you plan to load more than 1 CPU core for long periods of time, you will have to install active cooling, i.e. a heat sink and a fan.

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    I agree with most of what you've said here, but unless I miss a subtle point The Organization did announce a firmware fix for the USB3 host adapter that "should save about 300mW". On my system at least, it was apparently applied as part of a routine upgrade; verified by sudo rpi-eeprom-update. Has it made any difference? I don't know when it was applied, but my temp logs began on Dec 30 (a few days after it went "online") & they show no notable diffs.
    – Seamus
    May 3, 2020 at 18:10
  • @Seamus Thanks for the comment, 300mW looks great. Still, it's only about 5% of the total power budget so it won't change the fact that Pi 4 needs cooling. May 3, 2020 at 20:39

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