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Pi Friday – April Edition

Its hard to believe its already been a month since the Pi3+ has been released. A few more Pi3 B+ thoughts today: Now that a fair number of people have received 3B+’s we can get some idea of what effect the changes have in ‘the real world’.

For my own uses it’s all positive. My Smalltalk system runs about 15-20% faster whilst the CPU stays a few degrees cooler. Booting from my USB attached SSD worked perfectly on the first try and without any messing with setting strange configuration bits as we had to do with the prior model. Definitely a win for me!

The MagPi (issue 68) has a small report on a variety of benchmarks to show the difference made for other languages and applications. Mostly they suggest about 20% improvements in performance, but the network speed is a much more impressive 2 times faster due to the gigabit Ethernet compatible networking chip update. Along with the support for POE (Power over Ethernet, a way of sending power across your Ethernet cable that makes for simpler installation in a lot of interesting case) and the new dual-bad 2.4 & 5 GHz WiFi this adds up to a noticeable improvement in performance.

It might seem a bit of a niche interest but I suspect quite a few readers here will be interested in a nicely written explanation of the new Pi power management chip that can be found in the Pi blog. I was amazed at how complex the job of providing power to an SoC can be; all a bit different to the stuff I played with in the days of the original ARM1 – that would be 1986 for those unfamiliar with ARM history.

But, with all of these new Pi in the field, A few people have been reporting serious problems. Some users are experiencing random lockups and the RPF folk are gathering data to try to work out why. If you have had issues it would be smart to go to the thread in the Pi forums and read the current status and add your own data if possible.

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