Parts Required

Essential And Optional Components For Raspberry Pi 5 Assembly

The Raspberry Pi 5 board requires a few external components to turn it into a fully functional computer.

Essential Parts

Here is the list of essential parts you need to assemble a Raspberry Pi 5:

  • Raspberry Pi 5 Board: Available with 4GB and 8GB RAM. If you have the choice, always opt for 8GB.
  • Housing: Metal housing specifically dimensioned to host a Raspberry Pi 5 including a mounted shield. IMPORTANT: there are official housings available that come bundled with the official cooler board. If you cannot get such a bundle, you need to purchase the cooler board separately.

  • Official Raspberry Pi 5 Cooler Board: Shield that can easily be plugged onto the motherboard and provides a heat sink and an active cooler fan. It comes with a plug that easily interfaces with the motherboard. Sold bundled with a housing, and separately.

  • Power Adapter: Raspberry Pi 5 is powered via USB C. Any USB C power adapter will do, provided it can output at least 30W. You do not necessarily need to purchase the (often overpriced) original Raspberry power supply if you have a suitable USB C power supply already at hand.

Optional Parts

While not required, here is an optional component I recommend to add to your shopping list:

  • RTC Clock Battery Case: While Raspberry Pi 5 comes with a built-in real-time clock, an external battery case is required to keep time and date when the power is turned off. A Raspberry Pi 5 battery case takes a CR2032 button cell and plugs directly into the Raspberry Pi 5 board.

Mass Storage

The Raspberry Pi 5 obviously needs at least one mass storage device from where it can load software and store information.

While you technically can run a Raspberry Pi 5 from an SD Card (it comes with a fast Micro-SD Card reader), this is not recommended if you plan to do anything serious with it.

The recommendation is to add a SSD drive (solid state drive) which isn’t costly and provides abundant and fast storage:

  • SSD M.2 Shield: Hat that fits the motherboard and can host a SSD mass storage drive (Solid State Disk).

  • M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD Drive: Serves as the primary mass storage device. In the example below, I am using a 256GB SSD. IMPORTANT: SSD drive must be Key-M or Key-B&M. A SSD in Key-B does not fit the shield.

Optional Parts

In addition to the SSD drive, you may want to also add this:

  • M.2-to-USB Adapter: Takes a M.2 SSD Drive and connects it to USB. This way, the SSD can be plugged into any USB port on your computer and appears there are a generic USB drive. This way, you can easily download and preload software on the SSD before mounting it to the Raspberry Pi 5.

  • Micro-SD Card: an optional 32GB Micro-SD Card is useful as primary partition to configure boot load order settings in case you want to load different OS or software when booting.

Screen Output

When you use the Raspberry Pi 5 as a home automation server, i.e. by running HomeAssistant, you do not need any screen output device: you interact remotely via network and browser.

However, if you do want to use the Raspberry Pi 5 directly from a command line, or add additional software such as a graphical OS, or if things do not work at first attempt, and you need a way to debug things, then a screen directly attached to the Raspberry Pi 5 becomes essential.

Connecting Displays

The Raspberry Pi 5 features two HDMI outputs. Since these are Micro HDMI plugs, and most computer displays and TV sets require regular HDMI plugs, here is what you should get:

While you can always hook up one or two computer displays (or TV sets), this requires

  • Micro-HDMI Cable: Connects to one of the HDMI outputs and enables you to connect the Raspberry Pi to a display. This is not necessarily needed if you use Raspberry Pi solely as a HomeAssistant server because all configuration is done via remote browser interfaces. However, the cable is still recommended so you can debug issues directly at the Raspberry Pi.

Using Virtual Display

If you need to access the Raspberry Pi 5 display only occasionally, i.e. for debugging or configuration, you may want to get this component as well:

  • USB HDMI Grabber: Unless you are planning to hook up the Raspberry Pi 5 to a dedicated computer monitor or operate it entirely remotely, a cheap USB HDMI Grabber Stick is a great alternative for anyone who occasionally needs access to the Raspberry Pi 5 Screen Output: the Raspberry Pi 5 screen opens in a window on your “real” computer screen. Added benefit: you can now record any screen content as well.


Please do leave comments below. I am using utteran.ce, an open-source and ad-free light-weight commenting system.

Here is how your comments are stored

Whenever you leave a comment, a new github issue is created on your behalf.

  • All comments become trackable issues in the Github Issues section, and I (and you) can follow up on them.

  • There is no third-party provider, no disrupting ads, and everything remains transparent inside github.

Github Users Yes, Spammers No

To keep spammers out and comments attributable, all you do is log in using your (free) github account and grant the permission to submit issues on your behalf.

If you don’t have a github account yet, go get yourself one - it’s free and simple.

If for any reason you do not feel comfortable with letting the commenting system submit issues for you, then visit Github Issues directly, i.e. by clicking the red button Submit Issue at the bottom of each page, and submit your issue manually. You control everything.


For chit-chat and quick questions, feel free to visit and participate in Discussions. They work much like classic forums or bulletin boards. Just keep in mind: your valued input isn’t equally well trackable there.

  Show on Github    Submit Issue

(content created May 30, 2024 - last updated Jun 02, 2024)