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Overall slowdown since updating to 4.3?



  • Greetings, fellow pie-eaters.

    I am not entirely sure what issue to address here, since there seems to be more than one, but it has to do mostly with an overall speed issue that didn't seem to exist before updating from Retropie 4.2 to 4.3.

    Here are the stats:

    Pi Model: 2
    Power supply: HN-528i (input: 100-240V AC, 50/60 HZ; output: 5V/2000mA)
    Retropie version currently used: 4.3
    Image: updated from 4.2 to 4.3 via Retroarch menu, installed on a Kingston 16GB MicroSD card
    USB devices connected: 1 Edup Wi-Fi adapter; 1 Logitech Rumblepad; 1 Maxtor External Hard Drive (1Tb, USB 3.0 compatible with 2.0) where all the roms are located
    Other: Pi2 built on a ventilated case, identical to the one seen here: https://www.amazon.com/JBtek-Transparent-Acrylic-Raspberry-External/dp/B00M859PA6
    Age of the Pi and SD Card unknown, since I bought the complete kit a year ago from another user who didn't disclose their "age".

    The issue(s):
    When I first tested my newly acquired Pi2, I updated it to the most recent version then (4.2) and tried about 2-3 roms from each system mounted on a 2.0 USB drive (e.g., it was a 32Gb pen drive with only 2-3 roms per rom folder). Everything ran smoothly, including the PS1 games I tested.

    Since then, I started building my romsets for a 1Tb external hard drive which says it's compatible with 2.0 USB despite using 3.0 USB tech. It was formatted to exFat (the FAT32 option wasn't available) and the roms occupy nearly 500 Gb of its space.

    Meanwhile, I updated to Retropie 4.3 (getting the newest FBA romset in the process) and when I finally completed my romset-building, I tried out the same games again.

    Issues now detected:

    • Some arcade games (MAME or FBA) run slower than before, with the audio completely messed up (e.g., SF3 3rd Strike on FBA, Sunset Riders on both)
    • PS1 games that worked fine before (Crash Bandicoot, SF EX + Alpha, Pandemonium) have now become nearly unplayable, some have completely choppy audio, others are extremely slow, while others even show graphical glitches that weren't there before
    • No changes in other systems
    • Note: this didn't happen when the exact same games ran from a 32Gb pen drive on Retropie 4.2 (in the case of FBA, they were not the exact same roms, since I got the romset required for the 4.3 update)

    I imagined these issues could derive from the fact that now I was running roms from a much more filled-up external HD that, on top of that, was connecting a 3.0 USB cable to a 2.0 socket), so I decided to use those same games I noticed issues on the old 32Gb 2.0 USB pen I tried all those months ago. This time, I only put those games on the pen, to ensure that the problem was not slowdown caused by running from a rom-loaded hard drive.
    The results: whereas Sunset Riders seems to run smoothly on MAME now, everything else (especially PS1 games) remains the same. Which is odd, considering the exact same roms ran from the exact same pen drive a few months ago without problems. This led me to believe that the problem may have derived from the update to 4.3.
    Could this be it?

    Or maybe the SD card became corrupted? If so, what can I do? And more importantly, how can I backup all the changes in the settings I made in each emulator (shaders, controller mappings, etc.)? Can I still backup the image and use it in another SD card or will it also backup its possbile corruption?

    I've also noticed Retropie has just updated to 4.4 and that it is recommended to start with a fresh image... Does this mean it's better not to update from Retroarch? Will I need to re-configure all the settings again? And also, will this update correct those issues I've experienced since updating to 4.3?

    Truly sorry for the long post and multiple questions, but I tried to be as detailed as possible. Hopefully someone will have the time to read it and provide some answers!

    Thanks in advance.


  • Global Moderator

    @mrskyle said in Overall slowdown since updating to 4.3?:

    I've also noticed Retropie has just updated to 4.4 and that it is recommended to start with a fresh image... Does this mean it's better not to update from Retroarch? Will I need to re-configure all the settings again? And also, will this update correct those issues I've experienced since updating to 4.3?

    No, you can still update from the RetroPie (not RetroArch) update script. It's recommended to use a new image/install if you also want to upgrade the OS to Raspbian Stretch. However, in the future 4.4 will probably loose support for Raspbian Jessie so at one point you'd need to upgrade.

    From your description, looks like the only problem remaining is the PS1 games. Since it's not clear if the image your using has some other customization or was created from the official RetroPie image, you could try installing the 4.4 image on a new card and see if the slowdown persist.



  • @mitu Thanks for the prompt reply. Yes, I meant the Retropie update script rather than Retroarch...

    So, does this mean that, eventually, I will need to create a new image from scratch and re-configure everything from start? If that is the case, I rather do it now, while there is little to re-configure... N00b question alert: does a new image require a new SD card as well, or may I simply format the same one?

    As for the problem remaining, it's not only PS1 games. Some arcade games (namely SF3 - 3rd Strike on FBA) which ran perfectly before are now slower too.


  • Global Moderator

    @mrskyle You could save your ROMs and configs and write the new image on the same sd card, and you can also take a backup of the card beforehand (highly recommended).



  • @mitu What I don't understand is how will my configs be saved if I write a new image on the card. Won't I need to format it beforehand? I thought that's what a fresh install meant...
    I will first backup the current image nonetheless. The roms are on an external drive, so no need to worry about those.


  • Global Moderator

    @mrskyle said in Overall slowdown since updating to 4.3?:

    What I don't understand is how will my configs be saved if I write a new image on the card.

    They won't, that's why I said you need to save them beforehand.



  • @mitu OK, I'm not following. So I backup the current image. I format the SD card. I install the new image. If I copy the backed up image won't it overwrite the new one? Won't the (possible) corruption be carried over as well? Or are we talking about a single "config" file that should then replace the one on the new image? I haven't done any of this before, therefore all these doubts.

    And, more importantly, will this correct my slowdonw issues? Has anyone else experienced any slowdown on PS1 or FBA games after updating to 4.3?

    I'm also considering buying a Pi3, but what really baffles me is that these games used to run well on the Pi2 before, so it's not a hardware issue...



  • @mrskyle the pi 2 has a "standard" overclock that can be set from the raspi-config menu. Im wondering if you had that in effect before the update but somehow got removed when you updated. The overclock is mild and will not void your warranty. I would encourage you to activate it and try a game after and report back.


  • Global Moderator

    @mrskyle No, saving your ROMs and configs means copying them as files on a PC/USB stick - see this topic for hints on what to copy.

    As you said

    these games used to run well on the Pi2 before, so it's not a hardware issue...

    so it's clearly not a hardware issue, it's a software issue, hence the advice to upgrade to a stock image and try to see if it's solved. I didn't see any reports of slowdown for FBA/PS1 games after upgrade to 4.3, which was released some time ago.

    I'd try to backup the folders - see the aforementioned topic - , backup the image also, then write the new 4.4 image. Copy the ROMs only and try to see if you get any slowdown, then try to add back your configurations.



  • @mrskyle As it was already mentioned, it's highly recommended you start fresh on 4.4 since that uses raspbian stretch. Don't backup your retroarch emulator configs. I had problems when doing that. Snes ran slower and reicast crashed to commandline when I'd exit a game. Backup your games and scraped art/xml's only. I use an sftp client to do this over the network. Overclock to 1ghz with the presetting as it was also mentioned.

    I tested a fresh 4.4 on my pi2 oc'd to 1ghz. SF3 has slowdowns to 58-59fps most of the time and ~54-55fps when doing a super. It was NEVER fullspeed the last time I tried it last year. Sunset Riders goes to its mid 40s and that also happened on fba. Use fba2012 since it's faster with konami games for some reason. Sunset Riders is mostly 60fps with some dips to 59fps once in a while with fba2012. Don't use mame2003. I faintly remember it not being properly emulated. I also tried Pandemonium. Again, 60fps most of the time.



  • Thank you all for your help and suggestions. Life happened in the meantime and I haven't been able to either access my computer from home or try the Pi2, but I will follow your suggestions and report back once I manage to do so.

    TTY soon!



  • Just to give this thread and all you guys some closure, I have not experienced any slowdown on PS1 games since installing Retropie 4.4 from scratch. Perhaps it's the new version, perhaps it was some tinkering I had done and that has now been erased. I did notice that PS1 games tend to slow down on my Pi2 when enabling enhanced resolution, either with or without the speed hack. I have not yet tampered with the overclock settings and I'm not sure if I should, since it's a Pi2... Otherwise I'll simply stick with the bilinear filtering option, which slightly improves graphics, and wait for the Pi4.



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