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RetroPie 4.3 Upgrade Brings Controller Lag, Slower PSX, Freezes



  • Hello! I had been running RetroPie 4.2, and everything was great. I documented my build start to finish, so that whenever I rebuild with a new version, I can be sure I make all the same settings changes. I spent a lot of time getting everything just right so that it runs all the games I want, looking nice, and without any controller lag or performance issues. I overclock with very moderate settings, force 720p mode on boot, run with heatsinks and a fan, I even have a script I use to check my temps (runs at 45c-50c idle, and stays way under 80c running PSX). I use a Canakit 2A power supply. I never get any lightning/rainbow/heat warnings.

    To combat input lag, I simply use a frame_delay value of 5. I also turn on video smoothing, but leave everything else as default. This all gives me a nice, tight control. I can play Super Mario Bros. and NOT fall into holes and miss jumps when running through levels. Tight.

    I use lr-pcsx=rearmed for my Playstation games. I turn on the neon enhancement and the "no_main" to get a better resolution. I played a bunch of Einhander and it ran gorgeously. Could also play Gauntlet Legends with only a very occasional audio hiccup, but ran smoothly.

    When I made myself a new 4.3 build, I used all of the same settings as I did before. But now I notice that my input lag is bad again, and my Playstation games are a bit slower. Einhander is not quite as 100% as it was before, and Gauntlet is noticeably slower. I went back to my 4.2 backup image I made just prior to the upgrade, and verified it still works as expected. I then ran the "update all installed packages", and again the lag and slowness was there.

    So I am seeing that there is something in the new cores/packages that is messing up what I had going on before. Is anyone else seeing these issues? Anyone figure out what it is? I'm thinking maybe all the new features in ES/RetroPie are eating up additional resources, or maybe incorrectly freeing up resources for the emulators? Are there any settings changes? Configuration files changes?

    I am also seeing some occasional freezing. I get no warnings on screen, and anytime I check my temps, it is running very cool (50's). This is ONLY in ES, not while playing games. But if I am checking out my games, looking around, it will randomly lock up on me. And it is the whole system, not just ES, because I can no longer SSH into the Pi when it freezes. Yes, I enabled SSH and I go in that way to do a lot of this work. When ES freezes, the whole system is locked up.

    I was also trying out the new video feature. All the YouTube videos make it look so easy and perfect. I used SSelph's scraper and got videos, I turned on the OMX player for HW acceleration, and the video seemed to work great, but then they sometimes get weird. Like the audio won't kick in for the first second. Or if I make a setting change related to video (OMX player, theme settings to use Auto, video, basic, etc.), the videos for my Arcade roms completely go away. All others work, but arcade videos no longer play. I verified that the gamelist.xml and video files are all still present. I even tried deleting all of those, rebooting, copying them all back over (I saved to my PC), rebooting again, and again all arcade videos do not play, but the other systems do. So I have abandoned the use of videos. Must be too early in development. But I am a bit surprised no one else has these issues?

    Just wanted to get all this out there and see if anyone else has experience and maybe some good workarounds?


  • Global Moderator

    @jrburke99 said in RetroPie 4.3 Upgrade Brings Controller Lag, Slower PSX, Freezes:

    To combat input lag, I simply use a frame_delay value of 5. I also turn on video smoothing, but leave everything else as default. This all gives me a nice, tight control. I can play Super Mario Bros. and NOT fall into holes and miss jumps when running through levels. Tight.
    I use lr-pcsx=rearmed for my Playstation games. I turn on the neon enhancement and the "no_main" to get a better resolution. I played a bunch of Einhander and it ran gorgeously. Could also play Gauntlet Legends with only a very occasional audio hiccup, but ran smoothly.

    my guess would be that these settings weren't applied properly, or were being circumvented somehow in your previous build. overclock, neon enhancement and frame_delay are high risk moves. i would only introduce those things one by one on a stable system.

    i don't think there's anything about 4.3 that would change performance in games.



  • @dankcushions
    I went through a lot of trial and error. The settings I made actually did something. I would even install a vanilla image without any settings changes to see how the controller lag was. When I set frame_delay to 5, it gets so much better. If I set it to 10, it gets all sketchy. Set back to 5, good to go. Set it too low, and still some lag, but a bit of an improvement. So I know my settings are actually working.

    I know overclocking is actually working because I use a script that shows me what everything is running at. Also shows me the temps. And without it, I notice the Playstation and N64 are slow. After I make the changes in the config.txt file, everything works as expected.

    And when I load my backed-up, working perfectly as expected 4.2 image, it works great. If I update all installed packaged from there, it gets a little laggy and slower. If I do a fresh install of 4.3, and make all my settings, same deal.

    So there has to be something more to it. I'm pretty sure it is a resource issue. I am going to write a script to monitor CPU/memory usage and temps, voltages, etc. and compare the 4.2 image with the upgraded 4.3 and see what the difference is. There should be no difference. But I am guessing there is some extra resource hogs running someplace.



  • Another issue, after upgrading from 4.2 to 4.3 and saving a core wide shader preset when you quit the ROM and open it again or another rom from the same core the preset is not applied (at least is saved) and you need to apply it, also in the update I lost my RetroAchievements settings



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