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

Noticeable latency in some games



  • Hi there, questions about latency (or sluggish input response, mostly felt in some games)

    I'm about to finish my first RetroPie build, consisting of:

    Raspberry Pi Model 3B
    Dell 1908 FPc screen. This has no game mode.
    Pi -> screen connection made with HDMI-VGA adapter with jack out, and then a VGA-VGA cable to screen.
    Controls made with iPac 2 (newest firmware) to IL branded buttons and Sanwa joysticks, everything connected with USB to Pie.
    Games run off a USB stick but initally ran off Sandisk MicroSD (Class 10), no difference between the two.

    RetroPie v4.1 (haven't tested the v4.2 yet).
    No video options changed in CFG files, tried testing a few here and there but couldn't feel any difference.

    I think the issues is limited to some games. It feels like the menus are pretty smooth, (especially with Pixel theme, runs pretty fast), and the older systems like NES and Master System games generally run pretty good.

    In some both new and old MAME games I experience problems, for example:
    Gyruss (mame2003)
    Armed Police Batrider (mame2003 and newest fba - no difference)
    Dodonpachi (mame2003)

    I can make a whole list, but my question is:
    Does some games just run bad on RetroPie generally? Anyone else experienced this? Or is it my setup that's problematic?
    Instead of just trying a ton of different video settings, is there something in my hardware setup that should be changed?

    Thought about trying the force-turbo mode, but am a little afraid it could risk frying my Rpi?

    Any tips that actually work?


  • Global Moderator

    @AndersHP said in Noticeable latency in some games:

    Dodonpachi (mame2003)

    when you say 'latency', what do you mean? if its periods of 'slowdown' (which will cause input latency also), then that's normal, especially in this game. it happened in the original hardware, so also happens in the emulated version.

    i don't know about the others, but it's fairly common in arcade shooters.



  • I'm not talking about framerate slowdowns, sorry if I'm using a wrong term.

    I'm talking about the time between the buttonpress and the reaction on screen.
    Call it input lag, I was just under the impression that it wasn't input lag, since this seems to be happening at all times, and should not only be noticeable in some games..


  • Global Moderator

    @AndersHP i've played quite a lot of dodonpachi and not noticed this sort of thing on my rpi3. i will need to check. lr-fbalpha might run it better.



  • @dankcushions

    I will make a bigger list of games.
    But you don't see any glaring issues in my setup?



  • Converting from HDMI to VGA sounds kind of iffy. Have you tried running straight HDMI to a compatible display?



  • @dankcushions said in Noticeable latency in some games:

    it happened in the original hardware, so also happens in the emulated version.
    i don't know about the others, but it's fairly common in arcade shooters.

    Metal Slug had this issue on Neo Geo. However on emulation you can overclock the CPU of the NG. After I tried this the game ran fine.



  • I have tried HDMI but couldn't really tell the difference. But in theory you would think VGA could be an issue?
    My monitor for the build has a DVI-D input, should I get a cable for this instead?

    What about the force turbo mode? Anyone tried this?

    And how do you overclock the NeoGeo CPU? I only heard about OC'ing the entire RPi.



  • @PetroRie said in Noticeable latency in some games:

    @dankcushions said in Noticeable latency in some games:

    it happened in the original hardware, so also happens in the emulated version.
    i don't know about the others, but it's fairly common in arcade shooters.

    Metal Slug had this issue on Neo Geo. However on emulation you can overclock the CPU of the NG. After I tried this the game ran fine.

    how do you OC the neogeo cpu? i know how to OC raspi 3 but not neogeo CPU, thanks.


  • Global Moderator

    @qanba @AndersHP
    I added neogeo overclock information to the docs:

    https://github.com/RetroPie/RetroPie-Setup/wiki/lr-fbalpha#neo-geo-overclocking

    note, i've not tested this myself. I wrote this "blind" :)



  • Cool, thanks. Will try this.

    Anyone tried the force turbo part of OC'ing?
    I read that the RPi in some games idles down the CPU to 600 MHz instead of running full speed, could this be a good way of addressing the lagging in some games, without putting a lot of stress on the system?



  • @AndersHP Try the dvi input. Since it's a digital signal like hdmi. There's no signal conversion like vga.


  • Global Moderator

    @AndersHP said in Noticeable latency in some games:

    Cool, thanks. Will try this.

    Anyone tried the force turbo part of OC'ing?
    I read that the RPi in some games idles down the CPU to 600 MHz instead of running full speed, could this be a good way of addressing the lagging in some games, without putting a lot of stress on the system?

    it should only do that if it's..idle :) the run command has a setting 'cpu governer' which you can set to 'performance' which achieves the same thing i believe. since CPU isn't really a bottleneck for a pi3 i doubt it helps much.



  • Interesting about the NG overclocking - what setting have people found works best to give the optimum boost with minimum effect on sound etc?



  • @dankcushions
    Allright, have tried a bit of testing again today.
    I think both Donpachi and Dodonpachi, as well as Air Gallet, Armed Police Batrider, Air Duel, well pretty much every shooter I tried in either MAME2003 or FBA, has this latency issue.

    I would think the latency is the same in all the games I tried, but some games are more forgiving than others. Also, I think many fighters are more forgiving, but I notice this especially with shooters, since you have to dodge bullets quite precisely.

    With laggy controls, it feels like the ship is dangling on the edge of a rope...

    I tried today on my Panasonic plasma via the HDMI and Game mode active, and couldn't tell the difference from my VGA connected monitor.

    How do I easiest test the latency in msecs?


  • Global Moderator

    @AndersHP said in Noticeable latency in some games:

    @dankcushions
    Allright, have tried a bit of testing again today.
    I think both Donpachi and Dodonpachi, as well as Air Gallet, Armed Police Batrider, Air Duel, well pretty much every shooter I tried in either MAME2003 or FBA, has this latency issue.

    I would think the latency is the same in all the games I tried, but some games are more forgiving than others. Also, I think many fighters are more forgiving, but I notice this especially with shooters, since you have to dodge bullets quite precisely.

    With laggy controls, it feels like the ship is dangling on the edge of a rope...

    I tried today on my Panasonic plasma via the HDMI and Game mode active, and couldn't tell the difference from my VGA connected monitor.

    i can get to level 3 or 4 in one credit on donpachi in lr-mame2003, which is about as good as i've ever been :) i don't know what else to say - all i do is activate gamemode on my tv.

    How do I easiest test the latency in msecs?

    i think you'd need a high FPS camera. record both your finger on the controller and the screen itself. there's probably a better way...


  • Global Moderator

    another thing you can do is change the retroarch video driver to dispmanx which is said to save 1 frame off the input latency. i haven't personally done this as it has some side-effects (no shaders, no OSD, no screen rotate)



Contributions to the project are always appreciated, so if you would like to support us with a donation you can do so here.

Hosting provided by Mythic-Beasts. See the Hosting Information page for more information.