RPi 4b vs RPi 5 benchmark in BOINC - Universe@Home

10 minutes

TL;DR: For Universe@Home the Pi 5 is roughly three times faster than Pi 4b.

This is the third and final blog post in the series about comparing the performance of Raspberry Pi 4b and 5 in crunching different BOINC projects.

It’s the final one because there are only three projects that I crunch on a regular basis and that support ARM processors.

Here are the previous ones:



The full description of the test background and methodology, can be found in the first episode.

Universe@Home task uniformity

In the blog post about Einstein@Home I mentioned that BOINC does not always send task of uniform size, some of them are smaller than the others and may skew test results. Universe@Home also has this issue, and to a much larger extent. The U@H tasks differ widely in size, on my Ryzen 3700X machine, the tasks can take from 25 minutes to 90 minutes to finish. That is why for this comparison I have crunched 200 tasks per Pi to reduce the impact of tasks dissimilarity on the results.


An interesting difference between Asteroids, Einstein and Universe on the Pi 5 was the thermal load of the CPU.

As in the previous test, my rig has a 120mm fan running at 6 volts, cooling both RPi 4 and RPi 5 in an open cluster case. The Pi 5 also has its dedicated, PWM-controlled active cooler attached.

Einstein put very little thermal load on the Pi 5 CPU, the onboard active cooler did not even start. Whereas Asteroid put a heavy strain, the cooler had to run at 5k RPM to keep the board at a reasonable temperature below 60C. Universe was somewhere in between, the onboard cooler did start, but it only had to run at 2000 - 2500 RPM to keep the Pi at around 55C.

Let’s see the results.


Average tasks time

For the 4b, the average tasks time was 15511 seconds (4 hours, 18 minutes and 31 seconds). For the Pi 5, the average task time was 5602 seconds (1 hour, 33 minutes and 22 seconds), around 2.7 times faster.

Minimum task time

For the 4b, the shortest task took 6277 seconds (1 hours, 44 minutes and 37 seconds). For the Pi 5, the shortest task time took 2208 seconds (just 36 minutes and 48 seconds!), again around 2.7 - 2.8 times faster.

Maximum task time

For the 4b, the longest task took 26695 seconds (7 hours, 24 minutes and 55 seconds). For the Pi 5, the longest task took 9493 seconds (2 hours, 38 minutes and 13 seconds), again around 2.8 times faster.

Average tasks per day

A day has 86400 seconds. Both Pi 4 and Pi 5 have four cores, so they have 345600 core-seconds per day. Dividing that number by the average task time, the results are 22 tasks per day for the Pi 4 and 61 tasks per day for the Pi 5, the Pi 5 can crunch 2.8 times more tasks per day than the Pi 4.

*To put that in perspective, the Raspberry Pi 5 in this particular benchmark is faster in computation speed than my old i5-4460, and not that far from a modern Ryzen 3700X.*

Benchmark raw results

I am attaching below the benchmark data. Please feel free to use it in whatever way you want, just please link to this blog post if you want to publish your work.

Benchmark data in LibreOffice Calc format

RPi 4b results in CSV

RPi 5 results in CSV

Summary and further steps

This is the final post about benchmarking the Pi in BOINC. Now I need to find another use for it. Whatever plan I have for the newest little SBC, I will write about it here.

Thanks for reading!

If you have any comments about the test, its methodology, my calculations, or have suggestions what to test next, drop me an email, or contact me on Mastodon. Links are in the footer.

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