Pi Zero slows down

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Racerboy
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Pi Zero slows down

Post by Racerboy » Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:36 pm

After a while of navigating menus and playing games on my Pi Zero W, I notice it starts to slow down. Menus begin to stutter, and some textures get loaded in as white images instead for some reason. This happens maybe after about 10 minutes of play and navigation, not a very long time before it starts to happen.

I'm running the latest version of Retropie on a Pi Zero W, non-overclocked, with this 16GB Sandisk micro-SD card.

Could its read-write speeds not be good enough?
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Megiddo
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Re: Pi Zero slows down

Post by Megiddo » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:03 pm

I honestly haven't used a Class 4 card in so long I couldn't even venture to guess what it's read/write speeds are but I'd definitely suggest getting at least a Class 10 card and seeing if that helps. Nice cards are pretty cheap so I try to get something speedy. (need all the performance you can get)

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Re: Pi Zero slows down

Post by Holydohnut » Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:34 am

Is it overheating? I think you can see the temp if you exit emulation station.

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Racerboy
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Re: Pi Zero slows down

Post by Racerboy » Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:49 pm

Megiddo wrote:
Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:03 pm
I honestly haven't used a Class 4 card in so long I couldn't even venture to guess what it's read/write speeds are but I'd definitely suggest getting at least a Class 10 card and seeing if that helps. Nice cards are pretty cheap so I try to get something speedy. (need all the performance you can get)
That could certainly be it. I'll try switching to a Class 10 card, like this one and see what happens. That can get up to 80 MB/s transfer speed. The other one could only get up to 30 MB/s read, and 10 MB/s write.
Holydohnut wrote:
Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:34 am
Is it overheating? I think you can see the temp if you exit emulation station.
I noticed it felt pretty hot, yes. However, I don't think it was throttling the CPU yet...

I just booted the pi from an ambient temperature starting point and launched Emulation-Station. First took a reading of 49.2°C, then it climbed to 59.5°C, this was all done at idle. Then once it flat-lined, I launched Donkey Kong Country and played for 10 minutes, taking temp readings every 2 minutes. They were: 53, 51.4, 50.8, 51.4, and 50.8. Once I got back to the main menu, the temperature rose back up to 59.5°C.

Before I launched Donkey Kong Country, I had no problems navigating menus, no input lag, no texture errors, or anything like before. It ran perfect. After I closed out of the game, that's when the menus started lagging/skipping frames, background textures for emulation station would show up white for a bit before loading in, and navigating game lists wouldn't respond to inputs immediately.

So it boots around 50°C, idles at 60°C, and plays at around 51°C. Doesn't really make much sense to me.

Reminder this is a brand new Pi Zero W with no (room for) cooling, and it's hooked up through HDMI to a 28" TV.
Colorado State University - Undergraduate Mechanical Engineer and Minor in Mathematics

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Hex
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Re: Pi Zero slows down

Post by Hex » Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:39 pm

One problem would be that you are running it on a too high resolution. I would suggest you scale it down. 640x480 sounds good for emulation.
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Re: Pi Zero slows down

Post by Racerboy » Mon Jun 05, 2017 3:53 pm

The TV I'm using is 720p (1366 x 768), and 28". Wouldn't 640x480 look huge and very blurry? Would it even be possible on my TV?

I've tried a few different resolutions, and I've only been able to successfully get 1024 x 768 to display, the TV says that the rest are I've tried are not supported.

Here's the changes I've made to my config.txt:

Image

I mean, I don't mind the pi hovering around 58-60 in the menu, that's not horrible, and I could just put a small heat sink on if need be. I just think it's either related to, if not the cause of all the texture errors and slowdowns I'm getting once I exit a game. When the Pi first boots up, it navigates very smoothly like it should. It's only after I've played a game or launched something that it begins to lag once I return to ES.
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