Thinking about doing a Pi 4 SSD build and have some questions
BC1 last edited by
With being stuck in the house I need a new project I was thinking about doing a RetroPie build using the Geekworm case and boards
Anyone have experience with these kits and getting RetroPie to boot off SSD?
Also how reliable is ordering Pis off AliExpress? I was thinking about getting the Pi there.
Thank you for your time
I can probably tell you tomorrow, that’s when I am expecting the board. I’ve been booting from SSD for a few days even without that board and everything works fine so far. Keep in mind though, that you will still need an SD card with the RPi4 at the moment.
Kit arrived today, assembly went reasonably well. The fact that I already had my RPi4 boot from SSD helped because I only had to assemble everything. Didn't have much time for testing, but it seems that everything at least works as expected.
The two things that I am not completely happy with: at least with my version of the case, the SD card slot is not accessible from the outside. Not a huge problem given that I am booting from SSD, but if the card ever got corrupted, I'll have to disassemble.
The other thing is that the USB bridge connecting the SSD with all its contacts stays outside of the case. Hard to do otherwise, but still a bit weird, given that the SD slot was removed for "security reasons".
Lastly, the power button didn't yet seem to work. But then again, I didn't completely read the manual and maybe there is something to "fix" on the RetroPie side.
Okay, just noticed in the small print that a script needs to be installed for power control to work. Let's find that script ;)
Even better than the script provided by Geekworm: it seems that the Pin Layout of the X735 is compatible with the PowerBlock (Pin 17 Status, Pin 18 for Shutdown). So installing the PowerBlock integration is the only required thing it seems.
Okay, there is some problem with the onboard bluetooth. The documentation already mentions that the case interferes with 2.4 GHz wifi. The same is true for bluetooth, and I added a USB bluetooth adapter to mitigate that.
Just for context, here is a comparison of uncached read performance:
$ sudo hdparm -tT --direct /dev/sda /dev/sda: Timing O_DIRECT cached reads: 520 MB in 2.00 seconds = 259.69 MB/sec Timing O_DIRECT disk reads: 902 MB in 3.00 seconds = 300.36 MB/sec
$ sudo hdparm -tT --direct /dev/mmcblk0 /dev/mmcblk0: Timing O_DIRECT cached reads: 84 MB in 2.04 seconds = 41.13 MB/sec HDIO_DRIVE_CMD(identify) failed: Invalid argument Timing O_DIRECT disk reads: 124 MB in 3.02 seconds = 41.11 MB/sec
Definitely worth the effort to me. Instructions for making the RPi4 boot from USB can be found here, btw.