Web browsing speed on Raspberry Pi


21 posts
by dom » Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:12 pm
With a combination of overclocking, the new Spindle/Raspbian distribution and the_orph's memcpy/memset improvements you can actually get pretty usable web browsing speed on the Pi.
What do you think?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0pLdY2Ap5Q
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by asb » Sat Jul 07, 2012 2:52 pm
Very nice indeed. Thanks for sharing Dom.
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by obarthelemy » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:05 pm
Looks very nice ! Thanks for the video.

2 remarks though:

1- The Register ? Really ? :mrgreen:

2- Get ready for the next batch of "but my browser is much slower than your video" posts. Are there noob-proof instructions somewhere on how to get that speed ?
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by dom » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:26 pm
obarthelemy wrote:2- Get ready for the next batch of "but my browser is much slower than your video" posts. Are there noob-proof instructions somewhere on how to get that speed ?


Well there will be an official Debian image soon that should contain everything except the overclock. (Wheezy/Raspbian/Spindle image that includes the faster memcpy/memset).

My config file looks like:
over_voltage=6
arm_freq=1000
core_freq=500
sdram_freq=500
kernel=kernel_cutdown.img

I believe that will be all that's needed to get the same speed as in the video.
Obviously the overclock comes with the caveat that is blows your "warranty" bit, and your particuilar Pi may have a higher or low maximum frequency.

A more modest overlclock without the overvoltage (e.g just use arm_freq=850) may work for you without blowing the "warranty" bit, and should get somewhere near the top speed.

Even without any overclocking, the new image will be a big improvement over Debian Squeeze.
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by cashaw » Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:21 pm
Actually, without any overclocking and installing Debian Wheezy today, I was amazed with the speed improvement of LXDE and Web-browsing over the earlier Debian image.

Just goes to show all the improvements which have been made over a very short period !
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by Nr90 » Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:26 pm
I am using your (Dom's) config settings as well and running the standard Wheezy image (not the raspbian one).
WIth those settings and booting form a USB HDD my browsing speed is already reasonably close to yours.
Should be pretty good after I move to Raspbian :o
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by baldboffin » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:30 am
I'm an internet user from day one (Seriously) and I can personally tell you
that Netscape on dialup was faster than what we call fast today.
Yes prime download is faster (how could it not be) but casual browsing is really bad.
Just look at the huge (and I mean huge) number of additional websites your browser goes to
before it displays the text you actually want to see.
Don't blame the Pi for slow internet browsing, blame the money men behind what
is laughing called the modern IT industry.
Sorry for the rant but I'm old and grumpy.
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by Branedy » Fri Jul 13, 2012 10:42 am
Well, you can always load 'links' and then the rendering speed really goes up :-)
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by antiloquax » Fri Jul 13, 2012 2:51 pm
Thanks for this. I am using Puppy and Arch at the moment - over-clocked to 850. I will probably "bite the bullet" and have a try at 1000ghz this weekend.
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by cccsssddd » Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:05 pm
1000ghz now that's an overclock!
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by Jim Manley » Fri Jul 13, 2012 4:43 pm
baldboffin wrote:I'm an internet user from day one (Seriously) and I can personally tell you that Netscape on dialup was faster than what we call fast today.
Yes prime download is faster (how could it not be) but casual browsing is really bad.
Just look at the huge (and I mean huge) number of additional websites your browser goes to before it displays the text you actually want to see.
Don't blame the Pi for slow internet browsing, blame the money men behind what
is laughing called the modern IT industry.
Sorry for the rant but I'm old and grumpy.

What was your ARPANET account on either the SRI or UCLA mainframes connected via a 50Kbps dedicated leased phone line and intermediate Interface Message Processors (IMPs) on October 29th, 1969? Oh, sorry, then you weren't on the Internet from Day One ;)

If you want to turn off the cruft and surf at the speed of light (almost literally, since fiber optics make up most of the Internet backbone, usually to within yards/meters to no more than a few miles of your location), just use a Lynx text-based browser, or turn off display of graphics in your fully-featured browser (you can click on where graphics would be displayed to specifically load each of them when you want to see them). Better yet, download the source for any of the open-source browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Midori, etc.) and roll your own cruft-filtering module to block the money-men's offending junk.
The best things in life aren't things ... but, a Pi comes pretty darned close! :D
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In theory, theory & practice are the same - in practice, they aren't!!!
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by elatllat » Fri Jul 13, 2012 5:45 pm
Jim Manley wrote:... roll your own cruft-filtering module...


cruft-filtering module= "Adblock Plus"
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by ren41 » Fri Jul 13, 2012 6:48 pm
elatllat wrote:
Jim Manley wrote:... roll your own cruft-filtering module...


cruft-filtering module= "Adblock Plus"


Indeed; no ads for me, thanks.

ren
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by Hexxeh » Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:58 pm
Actually, stuff like AdBlock chews memory, because of the way in which it's implemented. Blocking stuff via hosts file is probably a faster approach, but allows less control.
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by FeersumEndjinn » Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:17 pm
One word for your ad-blocking needs:

Ghostery.

http://www.ghostery.com/
Morrolan / FeersumEndjinn

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by obarthelemy » Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:04 am
A better word: http://pgl.yoyo.org/as/

Yoyo ^^

Up to date hosts file, no software needed.
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by Silence » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:35 am
It seems - on the BBC site I saw this in your video - the animation is kinda slugish. Is that something that could be improved in the future ? Accelerated browser that uses the GPU for example ?
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by dom » Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:32 pm
Silence wrote:It seems - on the BBC site I saw this in your video - the animation is kinda slugish. Is that something that could be improved in the future ? Accelerated browser that uses the GPU for example ?


Yes, screen redrawing, scrolling, and animation is unaccelerated. There is scope for improvement by using a mixture of optmised ARM code, DMA and GPU for different parts of this.
There's some work going on here:
viewtopic.php?f=63&t=4649

that could produce improvements.
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by neuromonkey » Fri Jul 27, 2012 3:44 pm
Interface Message Processors (IMPs) on October 29th, 1969? Oh, sorry, then you weren't on the Internet from Day One


I had one of the first four IMPs in my office for a while!
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by argief » Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:11 pm
This thread seem to have gone a little off-topic? I see that the raspi now "officially" supports 1Gz. Im struggling to understand whether I need to enable overclocking in my config.txt or will it just start dynamically overclocking with the new cpu driver and firmware? Everyone is asking how to implement this on other distributions and the above answers seem very vague. Can someone please help with the following:

1. Do I need to modify config.txt to enable the 1Gz dynamic overclocking?
2. How do I obtain this cpu driver? Is it kernel mode driver? Or firmware?
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by mahjongg » Mon Sep 24, 2012 7:30 pm
There are other threads for that discussion, plenty of info there. Please do not mix topics.

viewtopic.php?f=29&t=6201&start=350 has some info
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