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Storage Overclocking (SD card)

  • I'm pretty new to RetroPie, though I do have a little experience in the Debian and Ubuntu field.
    I've installed RetroPie 4.4 on a Transcend 32GB microSD Premium 400x Class 10 UHS-I card.
    After reading the overclock instructions on GitHub ( I tried to overclock my SD card.
    I've edited the config.txt and added the line "dtparam=sd_overclock=100".
    Gave the Rpi a reboot and checked the speed. The Actual Clock is now set to: 83333333 Hz.
    I cannot get it to 100... What could be the problem?

    The SD card is branded UHS-I / U1 so it should be capable of doing a 100 Hz?!

    Rpi 3b+
    Rpi official 5.1v/2.5a power supply

    dmesg gives me the following output:

    [    0.734275] sdhost: log_buf @ af913000 (ef913000)
    [    0.811476] mmc0: sdhost-bcm2835 loaded - DMA enabled (>1)
    [    0.812514] of_cfs_init
    [    0.812599] of_cfs_init: OK
    [    0.813090] Waiting for root device PARTUUID=f2d3cb4f-02...
    [    0.878517] mmc0: host does not support reading read-only switch, assuming write-enable
    [    0.881133] mmc0: overclocking to 83333333Hz
    [    0.881206] mmc0: new high speed SDHC card at address 59b4
    [    0.881746] mmcblk0: mmc0:59b4 USDU1 30.0 GiB

  • Any one?

  • @panja It is possible that particular card does not support that high of a frequency and drops back to the next lowest frequency the card is happy with.

    If you check out this link you'll see some possible cards to try for maximum performance. They don't say why certain cards don't make the overclock list that were in the other lists, whether it's because they just wouldn't overclock or they didn't try them I do not know, but the Transcend brand didn't make the overclock list for whatever reason.

  • @panja I decided to overclock my Evo Select and run some tests for fun. Mine only clocks at 87.5 so that seems to be the card limitation for my particular card.

  • Thanks for your reply and test on your own system.

    Is it really worth doing the overclock though?
    I do some (good) increase in speed but in real life do you notice it?

    At the moment I have the 32GB Trancend card and am going to build my RetroPie machine.
    Though I'm tempted to buy a 64GB Samsung Evo Plus. But I don't know if I need the extra space.

  • Not sure what your project will be, but have you given thought to using a portable USB hard drive

    Takes all the stress off the SD card and is much much faster at loading/saving and also masses of space for all those extra games you will eventually try to fit on their along plus RetroPie will run very happily off the USB hard drive

    Amazon are selling 250GB USB powered portable hard drives for £25 in UK, that should be enough for most systems the PI can play at full speed with plenty of headroom for any extras like media/marquees

    The PI3 will also happily run one of those with the official or GOOD branded power supply rated to SUPPLY 2.5A

    I use a 1TB portable but shelled out for the official PI power supply. Cost a lot more than those 'cheap' 3A ones but its never caused me any problems and our PI is overclocked to its limits but with a big heatsink and tiny fan to keep it at a very stable 45-48c even running N64 games

  • Well I want to make it a retro gaming system, emulating: NES, SNES, TG16, SMS, Megadrive, PS1 and hopefully some N64.
    Though I want to keep it as portable as possible.
    Bought a Nespi Case+ and though USB (hdd) speeds sounds good it won't look as nice as a SD card though.

    I do use the official 5.1v/2.5a power supply.

  • @panja Similar to @steptoe I also use an external drive to store my roms and also my saves. That way when I have a system problem or sd card failure everything is safe on the external drive(and backed up on my computer occasionally). Thumb drives work great for this as well. 32gb should do you fine up to N64 but if you go into PS1 that extra space will start disappearing quickly.

  • Thanks guys!
    As much as I wanted an external drive I still did go for a (64GB) Micro SD (Samsung Evo+ as per benchmark).

    I will be moving my Rpi in Nespi Case+ from downstairs to the bedroom quite often so portability is "everything" to me.

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