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Two questions about RetroPie and Raspberry Pi 3 B+



  • Alright guys,

    I've just purchased a Raspberry Pi 3 B+. I was wondering, can the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ support a WD 8TB My Book USB 3.0 (5400rpm) for my games library/catalogue. Also, when I install RetroPie seperatly on a SanDisk microSD, does the PCSX support .7z/zip files and starting them up without unpacking them before-hand?



  • @Charlie-Scheib

    I was wondering, can the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ support a WD 8TB My Book USB 3.0 (5400rpm) for my games library/catalogue.

    It should work and will be very similar to running ROMs off a USB flash drive:
    https://retropie.org.uk/docs/Running-ROMs-from-a-USB-drive/

    Loading roms from USB hard drive:
    https://retropie.org.uk/forum/topic/7780/loading-roms-from-usb-harddrive

    does the PCSX support .7z/zip files and starting them up without unpacking them before-hand?

    I don't think PCSX supports .7z or .Zip compressed ROMs but you could use the EBOOT format which offers some compression and also allows you to have a single file for playing multi-disc PlayStation games.
    https://retropie.org.uk/docs/Playstation-1/#eboot-format-pbp-for-multi-disc-games



  • The hard drive likely won't be a problem but with huge drives you start having a bottle neck with access rates. I have read about people having split-second hiccups and other minor but annoying issues particularly with cd based games. Its not a deal breaker and there may be easy fixes for it so it is still worth a try.

    Also the more roms you have the longer the pi takes to boot. I have a 256gb thumb-drive with my roms (some 30,000) and it takes a good ten minutes to boot, I shudder to think how long it would take to boot with 8 terabytes of roms. And again there may be an easy fix or a way to speed that up, i just haven't been annoyed enough to try.

    Unfortunately at the moment there is no cd based system that allows for .zip or .7z. As Backstander said you can convert them to eboot, which does offer compression but not to the level you would expect for 7zip. It helps the most with multi-disc games, I believe it merges the discs similar to merged MAME roms. The emulators are pretty sensitive to the compression level and something I have been meaning to experiment with. It is also a major pain in the epididymis but don't let that dissuade you.


  • Global Moderator

    @GoldManSex778 said in Two questions about RetroPie and Raspberry Pi 3 B+:

    I have a 256gb thumb-drive with my roms (some 30,000) and it takes a good ten minutes to boot

    If you leave ES to re-scan your drive on start, it's no wonder it takes so long. Have you tried to use the Parse Metadata only option ?



  • @mitu I have left it disabled since I am constantly moving roms back and forth and testing them. When I finally get my xml's in order I am sure that will help lol.



  • Thanks for the replies guys. I'm not looking to fill up 8TB full of ROM's/CD ISO's to start off with anyway, but I'm going to try and collect every game for every system if I can. I have an 8TB hard drive spare anyway.
    I can't see it taking up more than 3.5/4TB? but with Dreamcast games etc., it could start filling up?

    I currently use an 8TB on my PS4 and that is completely filled up with only 3GB free and it only takes 6 minutes on start up every time so if the Pi/RetroPie takes the same amount of time to boot up, i'm not so bothered.

    With the .7z's, I'll probably keep those zips on another drive and extract them all to the 8TB ROM directory. I was hoping it would boot from the zips as it would save me space of having to extract (I like to keep two copies, original and extract).


  • Global Moderator

    @Charlie-Scheib There was a topic not so long ago when someone tried to load 100k+ roms into RetroPie. It didn't work due to not having enough RAM on a Pi system.



  • @Charlie-Scheib
    One issue I've had with PlayStation games hosted off of a mechanical hard drive is that the emulator can only hold so much data in memory so when it needs to load anything new from the CD image file on the hard drive (like a new level or next music track) and it has been awhile since the last time it loaded anything, the hard drive won't be spinning and now it will need to spin up the hard drive again to find that information which causes the game to freeze until it has what it needs but if it takes too long, the game will crash and kick you back to EmulationStation. So basically what I'm saying is to save often. Finally I just got a 256 GB USB Flash Drive and I host my PSX images on it. Small ROM files that load completely in memory run great off of a mechanical hard drive. There is also that delay if you're loading up a game and the hard drive isn't spinning.

    With the .7z's, I'll probably keep those zips on another drive and extract them all to the 8TB ROM directory.

    There's probably enough room to host both the zipped and unzipped on a drive that size ;-)

    I recently discovered the MAME CHD Compression which is supported by many of the LibRetro cores:
    https://forums.libretro.com/t/converting-to-chds-for-certain-cores/13479

    I haven't had much luck using it with PlayStation games but it has worked great compressing PCE-CD/TG-CD, Sega CD and if you use an other version of CHD (v0.144 from Nov 13 2011) even Reicast/Dreamcast standalone games work. I've seen it compress some disc images slightly smaller than that same disc image compressed with 7zip!



  • @mitu
    Oh bloody heck! I guess they only way I can find out is through trial and error, and see.

    @backstander Is there no way within the drive settings itself to keep it spinning on the RetroPie/Pi settings? I know I can do that with my other drives on the PC if I needed to. I've also read and heard the same issues others have been having that the game would freeze for a second or two every so often off a mechanical drive. If only SSD's were made in 8TB, and even so, they would cost a fortune! I guess the only option I really have then is to purchase a 400/512GB microSD. I just wanted everything (entire library of PSX) in one directory at a click of a button. I know there's about 5600 PSX games from all regions/countries.



  • @backstander Using chd format is a brilliant idea, I wish I had found that sooner, thanks for posting that. The link is down though.

    I imagine there is a setting in linux to tell the drive not to spin down, which would solve that problem most likely. Also a 7200 rpm drive might help



  • @Charlie-Scheib

    Is there no way within the drive settings itself to keep it spinning on the RetroPie/Pi settings?

    I haven't tested this but this might work!
    You'll need to do most of this from the command line (difficulty: medium)

    There are a couple hard drive power management programs that can be used on the Raspberry Pi to control how long before the hard drive spins down to save power and the life of the hard drive.

    I wonder if the program hdparm will work for you. You could set the 'spindown_time =' to something like an hour (720) or 2 hours (1440). You basically find out how long you want measured in seconds and take that number and divide it by 5. So 2 hours is 7200 seconds (7200sec / 5 = 1440).
    https://www.htpcguides.com/spin-down-and-manage-hard-drive-power-on-raspberry-pi/



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