Please do not post a support request without first reading and following the advice in https://retropie.org.uk/forum/topic/3/read-this-first

Does it still make sense to buy RPi3B+ for RetroPie?



  • Hello everyone,

    before I start: no, this is not another "Where is RPi4 support?!" thread

    I had the first version of RPi3 for some time before I gave it to my father to try Kodi. It has been few months, and I am not gonna get my Pi back anytime soon :D I would like to use this opportunity to build another RetroPie device for my living room.

    Does it make sense to go for RPi3B+? How is the compatibility with latest RetroPie 4.5.1? Should I wait for RPi4? Your ideas are welcome :)



  • @Spiky If you're fine with the current emulation capabilities then sure, get one. The one thing that has stopped me from making a couple more 3B+ builds is the boards seem to have gone up in price. So now I am waiting for RPi 4 compatibility as there isn't much price difference currently.

    As far as compatibility is concerned the 3B+ gets along very well with Retropie 4.5.1.



  • @Spiky Depends on what you're looking for. I'm not interested in anything more advanced than PS1, so have no need for a Pi 4. But if you want N64 and maybe Saturn/Dreamcast..then you're better off waiting it out.



  • @simpleethat @BobHarris thank you both. PS1 emulation is the latest one I am interested in



  • @Spiky Since the pi3b+ goes for the same price as the 4 sometimes, there is no point. While a 4 does require a microhdmi adapter, the official pi4 power supply is a lot cheaper than the 3b+'s. Even overclocked, a pi3b+ will get frame drops in higher res games like tekken 3 and ridge racer 1. They are minor and most people don't notice them. An official pi4 image will come out eventually but the impatient can manually install it from the retropie github.

    Pcsx-rearmed won't play protected games. Beetle PSX does. Everyone is waiting for beetle psx's dynarec to get finished to lower requirements and I'm not sure if a pi3b+ will be sufficient. Without a dynarec, 2d games are around fullspeed with minor drops on an overclocked pi4. 3d games are 40s-50s.

    You need a pi4 to run the latest version of snes9x at fullspeed.



  • In addition to the other Posters arguments, I would say: If you know what to do with the 3B+ afterwards, just go ahead with that one and wait for a hazardless/ready-to-go retropie-image for the 4 before buying one. And there are lots of DIY-Projects out there (aside from retro-gaming and mediacenter solutions) to be found, so that if you are eager to venture into the "maker"-world, a 3B+ bought now and becoming replaced later is not a wasted investment, but an opportunity gained ;)



  • Following @Ashpool, I'd like to recommend the official website of the Raspberry Pi Foundation. It shows many great projects and you can even download the monthly magazine "MagPi" as PDF for free.



  • @Darksavior said in Does it still make sense to buy RPi3B+ for RetroPie?:

    While a 4 does require a microhdmi adapter, the official pi4 power supply is a lot cheaper than the 3b+'s.

    Here in Germany, it's not that much difference. In my preferred Raspi shop, the old one costs 9,79ā‚¬, the old one costs 7,90ā‚¬. Both are said to be the official versions.



  • @Clyde Yea, for some reason, the official pi3 psu's go for like $12-13us and are hard to find but the pi4 psu's go for $8us.



  • @Darksavior šŸ˜² I checked again and alas, it is the same here in Germany. "My" shop shows it as out of stock, so their price is theoretical at best. On every other shop I checked, it's 14-15ā‚¬.

    So let's all hope that our RP 3B(+) power supplies don't break before long. šŸ˜‰



  • If you want Dreamcast emulation go for RPi4.



  • Except for Sega Dreamcast ROMs is it possible to play other retro games on the RPi4?



  • @kataxeb Welcome to this forum. You should be able to play all retro games on the Pi 4 that you could play on the Pi 3. The Pi 4 just can handle even more resource-hungry games and emulators.

    For a list of the supported systems and ports on whatever Pi model, see the Docs' sections "Arcade", "Emulators", and "Ports".



  • @Clyde said in Does it still make sense to buy RPi3B+ for RetroPie?:

    So let's all hope that our RP 3B(+) power supplies don't break before long. šŸ˜‰

    Mh, Just checking the "official power-supplies" for the Raspi over at Berry Base and Conrad Electronics (chosen those, because both stores have shops in my hometown), i cannot confirm that -> the later store is charging around 11ā‚¬ for each of them and BB is charging 7ā‚¬ for the Micro-USB one (5.1V,2.5A) and 8ā‚¬ for the USB-C one (5.1V, 3.0A) ... and both stores have the items available (in stock).



  • @Ashpool Maybe they didn't get the memo yet. ;)



  • The Pi 4 uses a bit more power and is less suitable for portable applications. I have a Pi 4 but have no plans to replace the 3B in my controller-mounted build with it. I'm building it into a laptop/gaming console that will be similar to a Nintendo Switch in that it can operate from its own 7" HDMI screen or plug into a 4K TV.

    Cabinet and bartop builds are going to get the most benefit from the Pi 4.


  • Banned

    I guess You should use RPi4 It will be easily compatible. RPi3B+ may cause some issues



  • @robertbob Isn't that the other way around?



  • Unless you are using a current RetroFlag (NES, MD, SNES) case, go for the 4.


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