PCSX ReARMed Pi 3+ performance - or lack thereof

  • I just managed to get PCSX ReARMed running on my RPI3B with LE 9.0.2 with BIN/CUE images that I have made from my old PS1 ROMs (legally bought). I am able to play these games on PCSX Reloaded on my Ubuntu laptop, so the images are fine.


    On the RPi3B it works, but the Pi is obviously not oomphy enough. The games run extremly slowly and jittery with gaps in the audio, and the video is too laggy and halting to be useable. A quick look at "top" in the console reveals a total load of around 1.50 to 1.80. From that my guess is that PCSX ReARMed is not multi-threading and uses only one core.


    While I had my concerns about the Pi having enough grunt to emulate a PSx to the point where games are playable, I do wonder if there is anything I can do to enhance performance. I do not have a BIOS installed (yet, not having worked out how to do that) but I'm not sure that would solve the problem.


    So. My questions are:

    1. Is the RPi3B supposed to be able to run PCSX ReARMED to the point where it can play games like Tombraider (1, 2 and 3)?

    2. If so, what can I do to increase performance to the point where PSx emulation this becomes a usable feature? Will installing a BIOS help in this respect?


    Tnx!


    // FvW

    Edited once, last by frankvw ().

  • PS1 games are known to be very demanding on an RPi. Not sure if they run smooth on any RPi OS.

    Multi-Threading is the best way to get max. performance, but the PS1 emu has to be made for this (can be a serious task).


    See what pure gaming OS'es can do, and then compare with the LE performance.

    If you see room for improvement after this, make it a feature request.

    Flexin' vinyl, jammin' break beats. 8)

  • The rpi is obviously oomphy enough to run PS1 roms easily without any issues so probably something is not right in your setup and while getting the right BIOS for your roms help for smoother emulation I don't think that s the issue..

    I m assuming you r running your roms with retroplayer....did you try a retroarch version for LibreElec see how it goes?I d suggest you try the BiteYourIdols repo and try RetroArch from there...

    While Retroplayer works and runs most of the roms just fine I had much better experience and better emulation...better quality graphics/picture/video...call it whatever with Retroarch..

  • PS1 games are known to be very demanding on an RPi. Not sure if they run smooth on any RPi OS.

    Multi-Threading is the best way to get max. performance, but the PS1 emu has to be made for this (can be a serious task).


    See what pure gaming OS'es can do, and then compare with the LE performance.

    If you see room for improvement after this, make it a feature request.

    Multithreading would be great, but I understand how serious a job that is. That said, Mario77 has it running fine on his RPi2 so there must be something wrong with my install or settings. Any suggestion on how to debug, what to finetune and/or change would be appreciated!


    I haven't tried RetroPi because I only have one Pi and it's pretty much on 24/7 duty running Kodi. If I take it down to tinker with it for a few hours I'll have a domestic uproar on my hands. :-)

  • Multithreading would be great, but I understand how serious a job that is. That said, Mario77 has it running fine on his RPi2 so there must be something wrong with my install or settings. Any suggestion on how to debug, what to finetune and/or change would be appreciated!


    I haven't tried RetroPi because I only have one Pi and it's pretty much on 24/7 duty running Kodi. If I take it down to tinker with it for a few hours I'll have a domestic uproar on my hands. :-)

    Just out of curiosity I just tried pcsx rearmed with retroplayer just to test...while I can now understand what you mean regarding glitches and stutters...it was bit better when I copied the bios but still not good..but this is not a Rpi issue or that a rpi is not powerful enough as I don't get this with my normal setup of Gamestarter addons running roms with retroarch..

    Saying this I only saw tiny glitches nothing major....not lagging or halting...just looked like skipped frames once in a while probably display sync issues.


    Edited once, last by Mario77 ().

  • IIRC, LE RetroArch isn't GL accelerated yet, all the cores are software mode.


    If you want proper emulation performance on a Raspberry Pi, you need to run another distro like RetroPie, RecalBox, Batocera or Lakka.

  • IIRC, LE RetroArch isn't GL accelerated yet, all the cores are software mode.

    Good point. frankvw was talking about Tombraider, which is an OpenGL game. Maybe only the non-GL PS1 games run smooth on LE.

    I would try dual boot with a gaming OS as workaround.

    Flexin' vinyl, jammin' break beats. 8)

  • Good point. frankvw was talking about Tombraider, which is an OpenGL game. Maybe only the non-GL PS1 games run smooth on LE.

    I would try dual boot with a gaming OS as workaround.

    No need of dual boot...there are good options out there if you want to keep LE as main OS while enjoying good old games...


    And Tombraider works fine there..


    gamestarter-retrogaming-add-ons-rpi-generic


    LibreELEC-RR 9.x [ Emulationstation | Retroarch | Pegasus | DolphinQT | Moonlight | Chrome | Spotify ]

  • Good point. frankvw was talking about Tombraider, which is an OpenGL game. Maybe only the non-GL PS1 games run smooth on LE.

    I would try dual boot with a gaming OS as workaround.

    I didn't know that TR is an OpenGL game. Is there a list somewhere of which PSx games are OpenGL and which ones aren't?

  • I didn't know that TR is an OpenGL game. Is there a list somewhere of which PSx games are OpenGL and which ones aren't?

    I've never seen a ROM site, which has that much details. If there is one, I'm not sure whether it's allowed to give a link.

    Flexin' vinyl, jammin' break beats. 8)

  • Don't worry regarding OpenGL...probably that is an issue only concerning retroplayer....use Gamestarter and you r sorted...and to put your mind at rest yesterday I tried Tombraider on retroarch and it works flawless..

  • OK. As per the advise I received here I've tried the same ROMs with RetroArch. They work, and fairly smoothly, too. No sound yet and an annoying frame counter in the top right hand side of the screen, but I'm sure that's a matter of the proper settings. (I've been tied up with work lately and haven't yet had the time to sit down for an hour or two and do that.)

    However, this now begs the question: why do these games run smoothly when I fire up PCSX ReARMed via RetroArch and not when I do the same directly from Kodi? (I believe that is RetroPlayer, am I right?) What's the difference?


    I'm not intimately familiar with the gaming architecture as it is currently implemented, so pardon my ignorance. :-) Is it a matter of tweaking settings in LE or Kodi? I'd prefer to do this from LE if possible rather than having RetroArch terminate Kodi. I can live with it, of course, and if that's what it takes I'll be happy to, but I'm still curious what causes the games to run so badly through RetroPlayer, seeing as it's both PCSX ReARMed doing the actual work here?

  • Is it a matter of tweaking settings in LE or Kodi? I'd prefer to do this from LE if possible rather than having RetroArch terminate Kodi.

    I don't know the implementations, too, but I think there are no helpful tweaks. The LE game engine is a young feature, and probably not optimized yet.

    Flexin' vinyl, jammin' break beats. 8)

  • Stick with RA for now...

    Frame counter you can just disable from RA settings menu.

    For audio to work with RA

    add this to config.txt

    Code
    dtparam=audio=on
  • Stick with RA for now...

    Yes, that looks to be the only option that works. It's a shame that it's not integrated with Kodi but runs as a separate environment, but at least it works. I did find the framecounter option and turned it off, not sure why it was on.


    For audio to work with RA

    add this to config.txt

    Code
    dtparam=audio=on

    I have since found out that I do have audio, but only via the HDMI interface to the TV, not via the USB sound blaster (ish thingy) plugged into my pi. Will this setting solve that? If not, is there another way to make analog audio via USB work?

  • Yes, that looks to be the only option that works. It's a shame that it's not integrated with Kodi but runs as a separate environment, but at least it works. I did find the framecounter option and turned it off, not sure why it was on.


    I have since found out that I do have audio, but only via the HDMI interface to the TV, not via the USB sound blaster (ish thingy) plugged into my pi. Will this setting solve that? If not, is there another way to make analog audio via USB work?

    you ll need to add audio device output to retroarch audio device..



    config.txt

    Code
    dtparam=audio=on

    ssh

    Code
    aplay -l

    Note which is your usb audio device number..

    Should look something like this

    card 0: HDMI [HDA Intel HDMI], device 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]


    Enter that into Settings->Audio->Audio device in the retroarch GUI


    like this "hw:0,3" without the "

  • If not, is there another way to make analog audio via USB work?

    Don't forget to activate analog audio at the LE audio settings ("HDMI + Analog" activated).

    Check the presence of analog audio on the headphone jack of RPi.

    If it doesn't helps, check analog volume.

    Flexin' vinyl, jammin' break beats. 8)