Raspberry Pi, known for its versatility, recently garnered attention for an unconventional application – running a dedicated graphics card. YouTube content creator Jeff Gerling undertook this experiment, successfully integrating an AMD Radeon RX 460 graphics card into the Raspberry Pi 5, enabling gameplay for titles like "Minecraft" and "Portal."
While the Raspberry Pi 5 lacks a native PCIe interface, it supports the PCIe Gen3 protocol with a bandwidth of up to 10 GT/s. This is a significant improvement over the previous-generation Raspberry Pi 4, which was limited to the PCIe Gen2 protocol and lacked the necessary bandwidth to accommodate an independent GPU.
The Raspberry Pi 5 incorporates the new Broadcom BCM2712 processor, which appears to address the PCIe bus limitations that plagued its predecessor, the Pi 4. It's important to note that the Raspberry Pi 5 doesn't feature a standard PCIe interface. To achieve this unique integration, Jeff devised a custom conversion board directly connected to the Raspberry Pi 5 via an FPC (Flexible Printed Circuit) connector. Additionally, an ATX power supply is required to independently power the AMD Radeon RX 460 graphics card.
This endeavor showcases the adaptability and potential of the Raspberry Pi platform, allowing enthusiasts to explore unconventional uses and expand its capabilities beyond its original design.