Tuesday, April 30, 2024

They Live!

TL;DR: New Raspberry Pi toys are alive after a month of torture.

My two new Raspberry Pi 5 units are alive! They are in Argon ONE v3 cases with M.2 NVME SSD drives connected via PCI-e.

Back at Christmas, I asked for a Raspberry Pi 5. My geeky spouse was happy to order it, but warned it was backordered. In March other vendors got it in stock, so she canceled the original order, and I ordered two from other sources.

Then I ordered cases.

The torture came from multiple sources:

  • Argon 40 makes nice hardware, but their shipping department is … lacking. It was two weeks after they said it was shipping before the package was in the hands of the shipping company.
  • The Argon 40 case would not power up when the NVME base is installed. (I finally jumpered the case to "always on" and poof it worked.)
  • A stop gap NVME USB adapter (bought when the Argon 40 NVME cases were delayed) is not reliable.
  • As Tom's Hardware describes the Argon 40 NVME SSD installation, it needs "a level [of] dexterity normally reserved for magicians [to] connect the PCIe cable to the PCIe connector on the Argon ONE V3 board."

The flaky NVME USB adapter was most the evil part, because it made both the Raspberry Pi 5 and the NVME SSD drive look suspect. That made me nervous about doing the tricky into-the-case install once the Argon 40 NVME cases arrived. However, the internal case installations are reliable.

The NVME SSD speed is ~4 times a Raspberry Pi 4 with M.2 SATA SSD drives connected via USB, and ~ 1/8 the performance of my Mac Studio (which was ten times the cost).

Now I just figure out what to do with the various spare hardware I ordered during the adventure ...

Pro tip

When using a Raspberry Pi 5, using good heat sinks matter, as in a ~20º C (~35º C under load) difference.