Pi Zero W runs like total garbage
worcesterthecat last edited by worcesterthecat
So I got a raspberry pi zero w to play Geniuses, NES, and SNES basically. It does not run well at all. The framerate is all over the place. No matter what system I’m playing. It’s gets so choppy it is unplayable.
When I type in the IP address and look at the CPU Temp it varies between 40’s-50’s.
I’ve tried all kinds of power supplies and it doesn’t seem to matter.
Super Mario World, in particular sounds really off. When you press the A button to do the spin jump thing, or throw a fireball or go down a pipe or pretty much any sound effect sounds really strange. Maybe this is just the emulator im running on? (Snes9x2002)
Trying to fix the issues, I have just made things worse. I’ve been trying to find a list of default settings so I can at least go back to where I started but I have not been able to find such information. I cant remember what setting I changed but now it randomly speeds up and slows down on SNES.
Every tutorial/ review I’ve seen about using the Pi Zero W for retro gaming seems to suggest you just install the software and your roms and your good to go…. This has not been the case for me… I can’t imagine what I have done wrong. Does it suck this much for everybody trying to use a pi zero?
Maybe its my SD card? should I start over from scratch?
This is my first time using Raspberry Pi, linux, command lines, ect. I’m not tech illiterate, I’m usually pretty savvy, but this is a lot of new stuff to me. It is not my first time using emulators and I’m 30 so I grew up with the consoles. I understand the emulating might not be ever be 100% as good as running off a console, but I refuse to believe it has to be THIS bad.
Would output component make it run better? Less processing then outputting HDMI?
I've heard that turning the wifi off could help... Same for bluetooth?
Should I mess with the refresh rate? its set for 60. It seems if i wanted to change it it would only move in increments of .001 so it would take a LONG time
How much better would a Pi3 be? If I got a Pi 3, would I then need a heat sync and fan? How much would that run me?
I would really appreciate some help. Thank You.
rbaker last edited by
You need to overclock the zero to get decent performance.
With Zero overclocked @1000 or Zero W:
- Sega 32X, Sega CD and Neo-Geo pocket laggy, forget.
- Forget N64, at all.
- PSX not at 100%, some titles very playable.
- All the Game Boys, GG, Master System, Genesis, NES, SNES and Turbografx at 60fps.
- MAME, FBA (CPS1, CPS2, CPS3, Cave) and Neo-Geo at 60fps.
Post more details about your setup......
worcesterthecat last edited by
Pi Mode:l zero w
Power Supply used: various
RetroPie Version Used 4.3
Built From: retropie-4.3-rpi1_zero.img
USB Devices connected: one at a time. trying various
Controller used: ^
Error messages received: n/a
Log found in /dev/shm/runcommand.log (if relevant):
Guide used: various
Emulator: all 8bit and 16bit
Attachment of config files: (PLEASE USE PASTEBIN.COM FOR LARGE LOGS)?
How to replicate the problem:
crumbs last edited by crumbs
@worcesterthecat The Pi 3 runs most MAME200/2003/2010, Final Burn Alpha, PS1, Megadrive, NES, Super Nintendo NeoGeo games fine. You should be able to run games on the pie zero too - but nothing too taxing - you typically need at least 10 times the cpu performance to emulate another system, so be reasonable in what you expect.
The SNES was a decent machine and I'm imagining it had dedicated graphics and sound chips. I think it'd push the limits of a single core raspberry pi so no wonder you're getting poor sound etc. I would only expect NES, Atari, Megadrive and some Mame games (1980s or early 90s) to run well on the pi zero.
Also for MAME games, please ensure you are using the MameForAll emulator as I believe this is the emulator that is most suited to hardware like the pi zero.
tyreal90 last edited by
I'm using a Pi Zero W at stock settings as a SNES/Genesis/NES/Gameboy player and I have yet to experience any severe slowdown including starfox.
The speed of the SD card is paramount in the emulation speed of the system. The card when you look at it should be class 10 or else it could be impacting speed.
normanmsu96 last edited by
Pi 3 model B for $35 is the best route, you won't regret it
drake999 last edited by drake999
@worcesterthecat Hello. I haven't done my Pi Zero handheld build yet (still waiting for parts) but my first RetroPie console build was on a Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+, which shares similar specs with the Pi Zero. Going from memory I can recall all 8 and 16 bit consoles working nearly flawlessly, maybe with the exception of Yoshi's Island on SNES due to the additional emulation of a SuperFX 2 chip. I recall both Sega CD and Sega Genesis 32X working fine with no issues at that time (and I'm hopeful these will emulate well on my handheld build). A few people have stated that Sega CD and 32X is out of the question on the Pi Zero. In my experience this is not the case (unless something has changed on the software side since I did my first build). However they are correct in that N64 and above is basically out of the question. I also remember PSX emulation being very sluggish on my first build so I ultimately didn't use it. I did use the highest possible "supported" overclock which going from memory was akin to the settings below.
I don't think the SDRAM actually ran at 600 MHz, but there was some technical reason that the original Pi needed these settings as opposed to 500 MHz. I don't know if that is still the case with the Pi Zero. I'm pretty sure you don't need a 6 for overvolt on the Pi Zero (I've heard 2 is sufficient). If for some reason you are running on a 700 MHz CPU frequency after installing RetroPie, this is without a doubt your issue. Overclock to 1000 MHz. Increasing the graphics core and RAM frequencies wouldn't hurt either.
drake999 last edited by
Well I've tested Sega CD and 32X on my Pi Zero. I used the overclock I mentioned above but with overvolt 2 instead of 6. Sega CD works flawlessly on FMV games and games that use scaling/rotation. Sega 32X is so close to full speed it hurts, but its not quite there. I'm sure if I could squeeze another 100 MHz out of the CPU safely it would work at full speed. It's funny because I remember 32X working good on my Pi1, just not PSX or above. That was a few RetroPie versions back however. This will eventually be a handheld system so active cooling is not really an option. As a result I will likely have to leave 32X out unfortunately, unless performance improves when I lower the screen resolution for the LCD. Out of curiosity, has anyone ever pushed a Pi1 or Pi Zero to 1100 MHz? If so was it stable? How about temperature under load?