How to Safely Overclock Raspberry Pi 4

The newest Raspberry Pi 400 and Raspberry Pi 4 both use the four Cortex-A72 core Broadcom BCM2711 CPU. The Pi 400 can run at up to 1.8GHz, whereas the Pi 4 has a clock speed of 1.5GHz. It is therefore evident that the CPU integrated inside this device is capable of running at a higher clock speed. But the Pi Foundation has restricted its clock speed due to heat management on the smaller board. So, you may dramatically increase performance by overclocking the Raspberry Pi 4 to 2GHz if you have a cooler and a heatsink. Let’s learn how to overclock the Raspberry Pi 4 now.

Guide to Overclocking Raspberry Pi 4 (2022)

With the help of Windows 11/ 10 and Raspberry Pi OS, we have shown how to overclock the Raspberry Pi 4 from 1.5GHz to 2GHz in this article. A few considerations that you ought to make before overclocking the CPU on your Raspberry Pi 4 board are also provided. The table below can be expanded so that you can navigate to any area at your convenience.

Notable Points to Remember Before You Overclock Raspberry Pi 4

Installing a heatsink and a cooler on your Raspberry Pi is highly advised before we get into the stages for overclocking the Raspberry Pi 4. The CPU becomes hot—I mean, really hot—as you overclock it. It occasionally reaches temperatures of up to 70 degrees Celsius, which is harmful to the computer board.

Additionally, it is ineffective to use an overclocked board without a cooler. As the temperature increases, the CPU throttles and freezing problems arise. In actuality, the board with a 1.5GHz base clock will perform worse. So certainly, make sure you acquire a cooler and a heatsink if you want to use an overclocked Raspberry Pi 4 for longer and want a performance bump.

A word of warning: if you have a cooler and a heatsink, the two ways described below are secure and will function as intended. We disclaim all liability for any harm that overclocking might do to your Raspberry Pi.

Overclock Raspberry Pi 4 to 2GHz Using Raspberry Pi OS

I’m going to assume that you’ve already installed Raspberry Pi OS on your Raspberry Pi 4. Check out our tutorial on how to set up a Raspberry Pi without a display or an Ethernet wire if you haven’t already. then take the actions listed below:

1. To update all the packages and dependencies, first open the Terminal and perform the command below.

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

2. Next, use the command below to update the distribution to the most recent version. Please be patient as this process will take some time.

sudo apt dist-upgrade

3. After accomplishing that, we must update the Raspberry Pi’s firmware to the most recent version in order to speed up the Raspberry Pi 4. You are set to start if the Terminal already has the most recent version of readsrpi-update. You should reboot your Raspberry Pi by executing the command “sudo reboot” in the event that the firmware is updated.

sudo apt install rpi-update

4. After your Raspberry Pi 4 has restarted, it’s time to increase its speed from 1.5GHz to 2GHz. Start the Terminal and enter the command listed below. We will be able to alter the configuration file using the GUI Geany editor.

sudo geany /boot/config.txt

5. A Geany window will now appear. Find #arm freq=800 by scrolling down and looking here. This line need modification. To enable the command, first delete the# from the line. Change the arm-freq setting from 800 to 2000 after that.

This action will raise the Raspberry Pi 4 board’s clock frequency to 2GHz. In order to boost the voltage, you must additionally add the line that I have illustrated below. Basically, the configuration file should resemble this.


6. To overclock the GPU as well, add the following line to the configuration file. Save the file after that, then quit the Geany editor.


7. Restart your Raspberry Pi, and this time, the overclocked CPU and GPU should start up. Open two Terminal windows and run the instructions listed below in each window to verify the numbers. The CPU clock speed may be observed in real-time with one, while the current temperature can be seen with the other.

Please take note:If your Raspberry Pi won’t start up after overclocking, see our solution in the section below.

  • Monitor CPU Clock Speed
watch -n1 vcgencmd measure_clock arm
  • Measure Temperature
watch -n1 vcgencmd measure_temp

8. Now that our monitoring system is in place, let’s run Sysbench to see if the Raspberry Pi 4 is operating at 2GHz. By running the command listed below, you can install Sysbench on your Raspberry Pi. To approve the installation, press Y.

sudo apt install sysbench

9. Next, perform the sysbench test by entering the command below. You’ll see that the CPU clock speed has touched 2GHz when you perform this command. For demonstration purposes, I haven’t set either a heatsink or a cooler in my case. Furthermore, as you can see, the temperature is unusually low for this circumstance, hovering at 68 degrees Celsius. However, if you want to utilise the overclocked board for a longer period of time, we strongly urge you to put a heatsink and a cooler on your Raspberry Pi 4.

sysbench --num-threads=8 --test=cpu --cpu-max-prime=20000 run

10. To give you some numbers, the sysbench test was finished by the base-clocked Raspberry Pi 4 (1.5GHz) in about 15 seconds. The 2GHz overclocked Raspberry Pi 4 completed the task in only 10 seconds. Due to the overclocked GPU, you will also notice a significant improvement in performance while exporting videos and viewing them in the browser.

11. Run the command listed below again to open the Config file if you wish to disable the overclocked CPU and GPU on the Raspberry Pi.

sudo geany /boot/config.txt

12. Return to the area where you earlier changed the settings. Add # to each of the new lines here, then save the file. By doing this, the commands will be turned off, and the next time your Raspberry Pi boots up, it will have the default clock speed.

Raspberry Pi 4 Not Booting After Overclocking? Here is the Fix!

After overclocking the CPU and GPU, if the Raspberry Pi 4 won’t boot, you’ll need a PC to undo the configuration file changes. Here’s how to go about it.

1. To begin with, take the SD card out of the board and put it in your Mac or Windows computer. Locate the config.txt file by opening the SD card on your PC (which File Explorer will refer to as boot). The root directory itself will house it.

2. Using Notepad, open the file, add #to all the updated commands, and then save the file. The Raspberry Pi 4 will now boot with the default clock speed (1.5GHz) when the SD card is inserted into the board. Then, you can try overclocking the board once more by following the instructions in the section above. Use your Windows computer instead, as explained in the section after this.

Overclock Raspberry Pi 4 to 2.1GHz Running Windows 11/ 10

1. We presum that you have already read and followed our detailed instructions for installing Windows 11/10 on the Raspberry Pi. If not, you can set up Windows on ARM on a Raspberry Pi using the linked instructions.

2. After that, download the Boot partition mount tool using this link. You’ll be able to access the configuration file. This can be done using Windows on the Raspberry Pi or a different PC. To make the changes, you must connect in the SD card.

3. Next, open the folder after unzipping the file. openWoR-Boot-Mounter is present.

4. Next, choose the SD card from which you have already installed Windows on the Raspberry Pi, and click Mount.

5. After that, select View contents.

6. Theconfig.txtfile can be found here. Using Notepad, open it.

7. Next, depending on your cooling system, add the lines below. If you have a reliable cooling system, I would advise stable overclocking. None of these modifications will work if your cooling system is lacking; Raspberry Pi won’t even be able to start.

  • Stable Overclocking
  • Medium Overclocking
  • Extreme Overclocking (Freezing issues and might be dangerous)

8. After the commands have been added, the configuration file will appear as in figure 8. Save the configuration file now, then restart the Raspberry Pi.

9. If you choose steady overclocking, you will now notice that your Raspberry Pi has been overclocked to 2.1GHz.

Overclock Raspberry Pi 4 and Improve Performance

So, overclocking the CPU and GPU is one way to increase the performance of your Raspberry Pi 4. Since the ARM Cortex-A72 is a very competent core, the Raspberry Pi 4 handles overclocking rather well, as we have already noted. However, if you want to utilise the board for a longer period of time without experiencing thermal throttling problems, you need a heatsink and a cooler. That’s all from us, though. Follow the instructions in our linked guide to build an audio streaming device using a Raspberry Pi. Additionally, please feel free to ask us any questions in the space provided below.