Comprehensive tutorial on overclocking Raspberry Pi 4

Comprehensive tutorial on overclocking Raspberry Pi 4

Comprehensive tutorial on overclocking Raspberry Pi 4

Raspberry Pi 4 is placed in the category of small and practical computers that with only one board, needs Fixes user processing. The new Raspberry product, with its loyalty to the traditional structure and designs, today is considered a processing giant compared to the previous generations. Despite the great power it provides to the user by default, this computer also has the ability to overclock and increase capacity. A process that is made possible by increasing the speed of CPU and GPU processing.

Overclocking professional computers, especially in the gaming category, is considered an old hobby and specialty in the computer world. Specialists in this field get more efficiency from processors by increasing their performance speed. Of course, overclocking in that type of computer requires more equipment in the protection and cooling sector. Overclocking a single-board computer such as Raspberry Pi 4 can help increase its performance. In the rest of this article, EMGblog provides a step-by-step guide to increase the speed of the GPU and central processor of the Raspberry Pi 4.

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Basic information and prerequisites

Overclocking a single-board Raspberry Pi computer does not require a lot of equipment, unlike professional computers. In fact, the user can increase the processing speed of his Raspberry Pi just by changing the codes of a configuration file. In regions where the mentioned computer is provided with a warranty, this process will not violate the warranty if the overclocking limits are observed.

The first additional hardware you need to overclock your Raspberry Pi 4 is a quality power supply. The power supplies used to run the Raspberry Pi at default speeds won’t necessarily work at higher speeds. To begin with, you can prepare the power supply of the Raspberry Pi company’s own product. Otherwise, you should buy a power supply from a reputable brand. However, in the middle of the overclocking process, when an icon similar to a lightning bolt is displayed in the corner of the image, it means that the device’s energy supply is inappropriate.

Despite the low processing pressure on Raspberry Pi components even after overclocking, the need for a permanent cooling system cannot be ignored. Of course, if you are only doing the overclocking process for testing and experience, you will not need permanent cooling. For basic needs, a simple heatsink can be used, but an always-on fan would be a better choice.

To cool the overclocked Raspberry Pi, different cases can be used for it, which have a suitable place to install a bigger fan. The manufacturing company also has an accessory called PoE HAT, which includes a PCB fan. If proper cooling measures are not taken during the overclocking process, no damage will be done to the Raspberry Pi. The overclocking end doesn’t go well either, as the device stops as soon as it reaches the thermal threshold.

Raspberry Pi CPU Overclock 4

Raspberry Pie from System on Chip or SoC as processor . Most of the overclocking processes of this computer are dedicated to increasing the speed of the central processor and the tests are generally done on the same. To start the process of overclocking the central processor, you must first have a microSD memory card with a version of NOOBS software in addition to the Raspberry Pi board itself and the above accessories. Noobs or New Out Of Box Software must support Raspberry Pi 4. To ensure that you get and install the correct version of the software, download the original version from the official Raspberry Pi website. Download.

The reason for using NOOBS instead of Raspbian software is simple: NOOBS allows the user to edit configuration files (even if raspberian is not loaded) in the boot/ path. In fact, if a problem occurs in the processes and the Raspberry does not boot properly, you can go to NOOBS Recovery Mode and edit the configuration files by just holding the shift button during the loading process.

Most of the configuration settings required for Raspberry Pi are located in a file called config.txt, which can be seen in the path boot/ Is. The mentioned file is in the folder as a standard text document and can be opened and edited in various ways. By double-clicking on the file in the Raspberry environment, the file can be opened, but it is not possible to edit and save the changes. You need more permissions to save changes to the file. Open the Raspberry Pi coding terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T and enter the following command:

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

Entering the code above will open the file in the Nano text editor and grant the user root level permissions similar to the account The Administrator user will be in Windows . After opening the file, scroll to the bottom of the code and find the [pi4] section. In this section, there are settings that are executed only if the microSD memory is inserted in the Raspberry Pi 4. If you are overclocking another version of Raspberry, just scroll down to the bottom of the file. Enter the following code on a new line in the [pi4] section:



The first command line above increases the voltage sent to the SoC by 0.05V gives, which of course is not a significant amount. However, you cannot boot your Raspberry Pi with a higher processor speed without increasing the input voltage. The second line speeds up the Raspberry Pi processor (4 Arm Cortex-A72 processors) to 1750 MHz or 1.75 GHz, which is 250 MHz more than the factory setting (1.5 GHz).

Currently, the processor speed of 1.75 GHz is considered the highest overclocking limit of Raspberry Pi 4. Of course, with new updates to the single-board PC firmware, it might be possible to extract a 2 GHz processor speed from it. Use Ctrl+O to save the above changes and close the Nano editor with Ctrl+X. You will need to reboot your Raspberry Pi to load with the new settings. For this purpose, write the following command in the terminal:

sudo reboot

If everything goes well, the Raspberry will boot with the new settings. . Otherwise, if any problem occurs, hold the shift button during the boot process to enter NOOBS recovery mode. There, by changing the above settings (increase over_voltage or decrease arm_freq) repeat the process until you reach a stable load. Don’t forget that the maximum setting for the over_voltage command is equal to 6, which means a 0.15V increase in the input voltage. You can increase the settings again with a command such as force_turbo, which of course leads to the loss of the device’s warranty.

Overclocked processor benchmark

Overclocking the Raspberry Pi 4 doesn’t end with minor changes in a configuration file. This process will have a significant effect on the efficiency and effectiveness of the device. Changes that are easily visible in processor benchmarks.

In the image above benchmark we see Linpack in Single-Precision or SP and Double Precision or DP and NEON check the performance of the overclocked processor. SP and DP modes have experienced a 16% and 18% performance increase, respectively, after overclocking. NEON mode based on arm cores also shows 15% optimization.

In another test (picture above) a practical test is done to compress the file to test the processing power . In this test, bzip2 and lbzip2 tools are used, which perform the compression process in a single-string and multi-string manner. After overclocking, the single-threaded process recorded a 9% increase in speed and the multi-threaded process recorded a 7% increase.

The next test is dedicated to the image editing benchmark. This benchmark was designed with the popular open source tool GIMP and shows the performance improvement with increased processor speed. After overclocking, the editing process was done in 2.39 seconds, while before that the time was recorded at 35.47 seconds. Comparing the statistics, we notice a 17.2% optimization in image editing tasks.

As the image above shows, even web browsing gets better with Raspberry Pi overclocking. The Speedometer 2.0 benchmark was conducted on a Raspberry Pi 4, which checks the responsiveness of web application requests. According to the benchmark, overclocking has improved the Raspberry’s performance by 11%.

The experiment above shows that not all sectors necessarily benefit greatly from increased speed. gaming First-person shooter OpenArena, which is based on Quake III Arena, experienced only a slight improvement in frame rate after overclocking. Such applications are generally limited to the speed of the graphics processor, and increasing the processor speed will not be of much use to them. Anyway, to optimize in this section, we have to overclock the GPU.

GPU overclock Raspberry Pi 4

Overclock Overclocking the Raspberry Pi 4 GPU is not that different from overclocking the CPU. Using the same configuration file as before, you can also overclock the GPU. To start the process, open the terminal with Ctrl+Alt+T keys and type the following code:

sudo nano /boot/config.txt

Go back to the [pi4] section of the file and add the following line:


Gpu_freq is related to the GPU speed as you can see from the command structure above. In fact, this command works similar to the arm_frq command of the central processor. The default frequency of the GPU is 500 MHz, and increasing it to 600 MHz adds a reasonable optimization. In fact, increasing the speed of the graphics processor by one-fifth, keeping the risk low, will not affect the warranty of the device. be too much For this reason, look for the term over_voltage=2 in the same file and change it as follows:


Like previous steps, save the file with Ctrl+O keys and close with Ctrl+X keys. Restart your Raspberry Pi. Again, if you encounter a problem in the boot process, go to recovery mode by holding the shift key and change the commands. Increasing over_voltage to 6 can solve the startup problem. Settings higher than this value require force_turbo mode to be active.

Graphic performance benchmark after overclocking

At first, you might think that running mainframe benchmarks after overclocking the GPU would be pointless. In the benchmark of the central processor, we also saw that the test execution such as OpenArena, which required a graphics processor, did not show much difference. However, in the opposite situation, experiments show different results. In fact, the improvement of GPU speed has an effect on CPU benchmarks.

The Raspberry Pi graphics processor has a high control over the system. In fact, the SoC of this computer is naturally designed for media functions that are used in devices such as set-top boxes.

The Linpack benchmark shows that increasing GPU speed is also effective in CPU-based processes. The efficiency of SP mode increased in the second test and recorded a 20% improvement over the factory version of Raspberry Pi 4. While overclocking the CPU alone showed a 17% performance improvement. The performance improvement in DP mode is slightly less reported, but the NEON test shows a 20% increase. In the previous test and only by increasing the CPU speed, we saw a 15% improvement.

Testing file compression or system performance in everyday tasks shows that we will see performance degradation in some tasks with overclocking. The single-threaded benchmark shows no significant change from overclocking the CPU alone. Of course, in the multithreaded benchmark, we see a decrease in system performance. When only the CPU was overclocked, we saw a 7.6% improvement in performance, while overclocking the GPU alongside it reduced the performance improvement to 1.3%.

Interesting point of the benchmark after overclocking the GPU, in the edit test The image was seen. In CPU overclocking, we saw a 2.2% performance improvement, while after GPU overclocking, this value dropped to 6.6%. In fact, in the new mode, the image editing process took three seconds longer.

When it comes to web browsing, the GPU overclock did better than the other tests. The performance improvement that was recorded in CPU overclocking mode was 11.2%, with GPU overclocking it reached 12.4%. Of course, the mentioned increase is not that much, but it is an improvement compared to the decrease in performance that we had in other tests.

Graphic processor overclock definitely shows its influence in the test results of graphics software more than other parts. In the OpenArena gaming benchmark, we see a huge improvement in the performance of the Raspberry Pi. Increasing the speed of the processor to 600 MHz from the factory value of 500 MHz will increase the frame rate of the game from 41.4 fps to 48.2 fps, which will be an increase of 16.4%.


Raspberry Pi 4 is a powerful device with default and factory settings. The new Raspberry PC easily beats its predecessors as well as similarly priced competitors in many benchmarks. Plus, for users who need a bit more power, overclocking is easily done. As I saw above, with only a small change of the structural codes of the device, the speed of the graphics and central processors can be increased. Being a Raspberry Pi, cooling is very important in the overclocking process. In addition, before finalizing the settings, you should consider the optimal mode for overclocking. In the above results, we saw that CPU and GPU overclocking simultaneously in some tasks reduces system performance. However, the presentation of new firmwares by the manufacturing company may improve these parts as well and we may even see an increase in the overclocking ceiling of the central processor.

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