Raspberry Pi 5 Overclocking

Table of contents

Raspberry Pi 5

The new Raspberry 5 was revealed on 28.09.2023.1

A few tech-sites and bloggers already got their hands on the new model to write about it.2 3
Therefore I won’t talk much about the new hardware and its features, because it should be very well known to this day, this article is released.

The official launch on 23.10.2023 was unspectacular, because there was no hardware available, at least in Germany for me.
It took about 2 weeks to get an order of the new RPi5.

Third party impressions

Beside the first reviews there are already the first impressions about overclocking available.4
The first article about overclocking the new RPi5 reached 3.0 GHz (+ 600 MHz) on the CPU and 1.1 GHz (+ 300 MHz) on the GPU.

Unfortunatelly no words about how they overclocked the RPi5 and if they got into trouble with heat, voltage or a softlock from the firmware.

The next articles reached the same level.5 3.0 GHz, every time. In hindsight, I should have become sceptical…

How to overclock the RPi5

Overclocking the new Raspberry Pi 5 is similar to the previous models.
You got your well-known setting inside /boot/config.txt. With arm_freq and over_voltage you can adjust the CPU-clocks, like on the older models.


The new SoC BCM2712 is produced in 16 nm instead of 28 nm for the BCM2711. This results in a much higher default clock-speed of 2.4 GHz vs. 1.5 GHz (BCM2711B0) and later 1.8 GHz (BCM2711C0) for the predecessor.


At some point, you need more voltage to reach higher clock-speeds.
For the new RPi5 and its new BCM2712 your default (over_voltage=0) VDD_CORE is 0.88 V, which is 25 mV higher in comparison to the BCM2711 (RPi4).

The over_voltage setting has a range from 0 (0.88 V) to 8 (1.00 V). Any setting above 8 result in 1.00 V, which is 100 mV less compared to the RPi4.

Overclocking results

Like I said before, I should have become sceptical that every tech-website got to 3.0 GHz and no-one above.

Let me get that straight: You’ll reach 3.0 GHz. My two random RPi5 reached it without any heatsink. Yes, without load, but you don’t need special equipment to get to the current clock-limit, unlike the older Raspberry Pi, where much more cooling, even in idle, was neccessary to get to the limit.

The BCM2712 runs hotter compared to the BCM2711, but with the stock active cooler, I was able to benchmark my first rounds.

I. Am. Underwhelmed.

Current limitations

The current limit is 3.0 GHz and it is softlocked.
Every MHz higher doesn’t change the clock, it is fixed at 3.0 GHz. No fail-safe at 900 MHz, like the RPi4, just the max-clock.

Setting arm_freq to will change the max-clock the CPU could reach, if there were no limit.
You can check, if your clock is set correctly with sudo cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/cpuinfo_max_freq.

Fun-fact: If you set the max-clock to 5,000 MHz, the RPi5 will only calculate with the softlocked limit of 3,000 MHz, but the program you use to benchmark will likely tell you, that you have a 5.0 GHz RPi5.
If you need higher clocks to post those numbers in order to get some juicy internet fame, feel free to enter higher numbers. Just keep in mind, that every other 3.0 GHz RPi5 will be equally fast as your RPi5 you made a clickbaity Youtube video about, without questioning and understanding your own results. Congratulations.

HWBOT Prime Benchmark Script

I updated my HWBOT Prime Benchmark Script in order to identify the new RPi5 and a few things changed with the new OS Bookworm, unfortunatelly.
With the 64-bit installation of Bookworm, and the lack of Java v11, I wasn’t able to get the benchmark running. With v17, the current default Java version under Bookworm, the benchmark doesn’t start.
Installation Java v11 is possible, but didn’t helped.

If you want to benchmark your Raspberry Pi 5 with HWBOT Prime you need the 32-bit installation of Bookworm.
For older models, you need can use 64-bit Bullseye, with runs fine.

You can get the new release here.6

Final thoughts

The Raspberry Pi 5 itself is a good board. Period.

The SoC is much faster, the RP1 I/O-chip is another good idea for flexibility and an external PCIe lane will add so much possibilities to the RPi5.
The price tag with just under 100 € is, let’s say, debatable, but you get some pretty good hardware. Time will certainly bring more things to light, too.

If you need a new Raspberry Pi, go buy the new model, maybe the 4 GB version for about 70 €, if you don’t need the full 8 GB of RAM.

Since this website is about overclocking the Raspberry Pi for fun, the launch wasn’t that much fun as I expected.
It’s overclocking on easy-mode. No need for tinkering, no nothing. Good for others, boring for me.

Maybe, with another firmware release, the softlock will be lifted.
Always the same song from the old record. Some day, everything will be fine. Maybe I’m right this time.

I’ll keep you updated.

Update (16.03.2024)

In hindsight maybe my first thoughts about the clockability of the Raspberry Pi 5 were a bit too optimistic.
Jeff Geerlin wrote in one of his last blogs that only 1 of 10 RPi5 was able to reach stable 3.0 GHz.7
Let’s say his criteria of stable slighty differs to mine, but I guess I kinda won the silicon lottery with my two RPi5.