lukearmstrong
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:30 pm

Raspberry Pi very slow. Is this normal?

Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:55 pm

I've finally got around to setting up my Raspberry Pi.

It is so slow it is unusable, I can't understand how this can be used to play Quake 3, I must have done something wrong, or have some kind of problem.

I followed the guide on the wiki, installed the recommended Debian distro from the downloads page, used gparted from my ubuntu machine to resize the partitions to make full use of the SD card.

It's fairly quick to boot up, fairly quick to load LXDE, but once I am in LXDE the CPU graph at the bottom right is at 100% nearly all of the time. Is this normal?

Using Midori is so slow, it crashed once with about 6 tabs open, and it kept crashing when trying to re-open Midori. I eventually got Midori to re-open again, and closed the tabs. I tried Chromium, and that is even worse, every page it tries to load it is convinced there is a problem and shows the "Kill pages" dialogue, which then disappears when the page starts loading.

Running "sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y" took nearly an hour to install 35mb of updates; it downloaded the files fairly quickly, just took a ridiculous amount of time to update.

There has to be something wrong with my setup, I can't understand how this can be used to play Quake 3 at a reasonable framerate when I am struggling to use a web browser.

Anyone got any advice for working out what the problem could be? Could it be because my SD card is too big? I only bought it because it was on offer.

Hardware:

32GB SDHC Class 10 (Integral Ultima Pro)
Wireless Keyboard/Mouse (single usb adapter for both, working well)
Wireless Network Adapter (not working due to lack of driver, but that isn't important at the moment as I am using Ethernet whilst setting it up)
Using my Kindle charger for power.
HDMI lead into our TV.

felix123
Posts: 153
Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 6:06 am

Re: Raspberry Pi very slow. Is this normal?

Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:07 pm

You're using Debian Squeeze aren't you? Try Raspbian instead.

Edit: The reason it is slow is because the software isn't optimized, and the full power of the Raspberry Pi aren't being used. Once the software is finished, it should be much better.

chrisw2
Posts: 106
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:22 am
Location: Manchester, UK

Re: Raspberry Pi very slow. Is this normal?

Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:22 pm

I suspect the answer to your question is that quake is coded to make use of the GPU for hardware acceleration, whereas most other X applications don't (at the moment).

User avatar
mahjongg
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 9838
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:19 am
Location: South Holland, The Netherlands

Re: Raspberry Pi very slow. Is this normal?

Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:30 pm

I'm of a tangent here, its just a theory, but if you have access to another PI, so you can compare yours with another and the other one seems to be much faster, it might be that you are using a kind of PSU that has a large amount of (50 or 60Hz) ripple on it. Each "dip" of the ripple, which happens a 100 times or 120 times a second, could cause a temporary hardware failure somewhere which could cause an enormous amount of kernel crash messages, this keeps the kernel tied up with error logging.

As I said it's just a theory so far, but it might be possible that using a better power supply will give you a much faster working PI.

ksangeelee
Posts: 192
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 5:25 pm
Location: Edinburgh, UK
Contact: Website

Re: Raspberry Pi very slow. Is this normal?

Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:39 pm

lukearmstrong wrote:
Could it be because my SD card is too big? I only bought it because it was on offer.
You may be running an old firmware that had unreliable SD card support. Try fetching and running rpi-update (instructions at https://github.com/Hexxeh/rpi-update/)

If you run 'dmesg' from the command line, you might glean some information about what's slowing things down.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 18383
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi very slow. Is this normal?

Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:15 am

Note that the Raspi is not a particularly fast machine. Midori with multiple tabs open WILL be a bit slow (improved with Raspian distro), as it will start to run out of memory. Try searching for Dom's demo video on YouTube (was linked from front page of here) which shows what sort of Midori speed you can expect.

Quake should be fast though!
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Please direct all questions to the forum, I do not do support via PM.

lukearmstrong
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:30 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi very slow. Is this normal?

Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:16 am

I'll try a few things, but given the responses I am not confident it will make much difference.

My intention was for this to be used to teach programming, and also a computer just for general browsing, but it is just far too slow and unresponsive for either.

I realise the spec is low, the price is cheap, but I've gone out and spent a fair bit more on other bits to plug into it. I would rather have paid twice or three times as much for the Pi if the spec was equivalent to a netbook.

It seems the Raspberry Pi is fine to use for projects, as you would an arduino, but it is utterly pointless as a device you directly use to teach programming on unless you only want to use it from the command line.

Should have just bought a netbook.

sjfaustino
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:21 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi very slow. Is this normal?

Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:20 am

lukearmstrong wrote:Should have just bought a netbook.
If your expection of the power of a RPi (cost 35€) was on the order of a netbook (minimum cost for a motherboard >100€), I believe you will might be seriously disappointed.

In order to recover your investment, just sell your RPi on ebay or directly to someone on this forum, purchase a small netbook and use that. I believieve the Foundation would agree that the important thing isn't using the Pi for teaching, it's DOING the teaching, no matter the tool.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 18383
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi very slow. Is this normal?

Sun Jul 15, 2012 1:18 pm

lukearmstrong wrote:I'll try a few things, but given the responses I am not confident it will make much difference.

My intention was for this to be used to teach programming, and also a computer just for general browsing, but it is just far too slow and unresponsive for either.

I realise the spec is low, the price is cheap, but I've gone out and spent a fair bit more on other bits to plug into it. I would rather have paid twice or three times as much for the Pi if the spec was equivalent to a netbook.

It seems the Raspberry Pi is fine to use for projects, as you would an arduino, but it is utterly pointless as a device you directly use to teach programming on unless you only want to use it from the command line.

Should have just bought a netbook.
Weird, must be something wrong with your Pi if you think it unsuitable for programming. Python works fine, as does C etc. Both languages that are fine to use from either the command line or from a terminal window in LXDE. Many people are getting along absolutely fine with programming on it. Have you found Dom's video of Midori for some comparison?
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Please direct all questions to the forum, I do not do support via PM.

User avatar
mahjongg
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator
Posts: 9838
Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:19 am
Location: South Holland, The Netherlands

Re: Raspberry Pi very slow. Is this normal?

Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:16 pm

I think his "slowness problems" must be more severe than normal. Although opening six tabs in any browser is a bit of a memory hog. His comment its "unusable for programming" strikes me as odd. If this would be the case then, for example, keystrokes would appear with a noticeable delay, which in a normal editor wouldn't be the case (maybe in a open office, but not in a simple text editor).
That would be one thing that would make it unusable. But this isn't the case in the least AFAIK.

On the other hand, its also just a case of what you expect.

I think his first priority should be to find out if his PI really is unusually slow, for example by watching video's on youtube, or using somebody else's PI.

babbage
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:23 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi very slow. Is this normal?

Sun Jul 15, 2012 2:18 pm

Luke, the Pi is slow, but not unusably slow. However, in day to day stuff, it isn't going to be up to the speed of a modern day dual core netbook, but then it isn't anywhere near the price either.

My advice would be to try the numerous suggestions here, especially the Raspbian distro as looking at the video that seems to look like a porsche to my current pi's mid 80's MX-5 (Ie, not too bad, you have have a bit of fun with it but you aren't going to Santa pod).

Power Supplies and leads are critical to success in my experience, so if you are still having problems after the ideas above, then try another supply with at least 1000Ma @ 5 volts.

I can browse the Pi forum here on my Pi on Squeeze reasonably OK and also other websites, so i'm looking forward to trying the Raspbian image :-)

If all else fails, do an RMA.

lukearmstrong
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 10:30 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi very slow. Is this normal?

Sun Jul 15, 2012 4:14 pm

mahjongg wrote:His comment its "unusable for programming" strikes me as odd. If this would be the case then, for example, keystrokes would appear with a noticeable delay, which in a normal editor wouldn't be the case (maybe in a open office, but not in a simple text editor).
That would be one thing that would make it unusable. But this isn't the case in the least AFAIK.
I found that using vim on the command line was fine, so in theory it is fine for programming, but as soon as I launched LXDE it just hammers the processor. I'd like to use LXDE with leafpad and midori open, either using Midori to teach my son HTML/CSS/JS... or simply for looking up tutorials to learn other programming languages.

There is a noticeable delay when typing into the browser, even with one tab open, and scrolling a page is laggy. I will look at some youtube videos of people using the Pi to see if theirs is any quicker. I will look into Raspian, but it put me off as it said it wasn't ready yet, and there were 4 different images that each admitted to various issues.

I have read there are issues with power supplies, especially those that are earthed. I just use a simple plug with a USB cable in it (my kindle charger, plastic earth pin). I hoped it would either work, or not work, if there was an issue with power. The plug says "Output: 5.0V / 0.85A".

babbage
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 2:23 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi very slow. Is this normal?

Sun Jul 15, 2012 6:47 pm

Hello Luke,
I haven't tried the Kindle supply myself, but I understand other have had success with it. If you have another lying around, try that - I have an HTC charger that works very well (so far). The Kindle Charger is within spec. If you can get hold of one, try another lead as well.
I guess it can all boil down to perception. What I call OK, you may call slow and someone else may find more than acceptable. I think looking at the youtube videos of people using thiers will give you a good benchmark.
Regarding the power supplies, i'm afraid it is not as simple as working or not working, there is plenty of middle ground there called 'Works, sort of, sometimes' :-)
I have tried some very simple and brief pything programming on mine and found it fine, but I really am talking *simple*
Steve

wussie
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:57 am

Re: Raspberry Pi very slow. Is this normal?

Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:19 pm

I too have noticed my pi is very slow with midori. I haven't tried raspbian yet. I have overclocked it, and its MUCH more usable at about 900 mhz, which was far too unstable without overvolting, which would void my warranty. (Usb errors, keyboard acting like it had stuck keys). I'm also using a class 4 card I just had laying around. I plan on switching to raspbian later today, and trying a class 10 I'm going to borrow. I may even overvolt, I void warranties all the time why should the rarity of the pi make it special?

Borat
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:17 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi very slow. Is this normal?

Mon Jul 16, 2012 12:15 am

I think people can reasonably compare the rpi to a 700mhz intel machine. At the moment the pi loses, but it's going to be sorted out in raspibian, isn't it.

wussie
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:57 am

Re: Raspberry Pi very slow. Is this normal?

Tue Jul 17, 2012 7:59 am

Luke, I'm running Raspbian now, overclocked to 900mhz without overvolting (no voiding of the warranty yet!). It's so much more usable than before! Before you give up on your pi, at least try one of the raspbian images. You can find the official soon to be foundation backed version ***here***

ren41
Posts: 99
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 8:00 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi very slow. Is this normal?

Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:38 am

I've found my Pi's Squeeze distro has gone from a decent speed to very very slow since the latest Rpi-update at the weekend. I have been using xfce and chromium all the way through.

I have forced it to do an apt-get update & upgrade but no improvement, nor has it helped to overclock it. It now takes about 2 mins to boot up and 3 mins 15 secs to startx into xfce, which was previously taking 6 secs. I think I'm going to have to start with a new install.

ren

dom
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 5105
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:41 pm
Location: Cambridge

Re: Raspberry Pi very slow. Is this normal?

Tue Jul 17, 2012 8:44 am

@ren41
Are there lots of errors in dmesg log?

fortywindsorblue
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Aug 28, 2012 6:55 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi very slow. Is this normal?

Tue Aug 28, 2012 7:24 pm

Tried two versions of Debian, the RS supplied one and the latest download from the Rπ site. Midori is kind of OK on text based sites but on graphic intensive sites, oh dear. I've used http://www.bild.de and http://www.juventus.com for years as they're at least 800 miles away and graphics intensive and get reasonable speed even with a cable modem attached Wintel 266MHz Grimdows 2000 box. However Midori on graphics seems pretty hopeless as if there's some event triggers that are being ignored.

On the home pages of the above sites clicking between minimised and maximised seem to give Midori a wake up call to actually display what it had rendered however moving from page to page on either site took an eternity. The processor usage meter goes through the roof and stays there.

I don't think changing the browser will make any difference, it looks more like an interface problem between the browser and whatever task(s) is doing the talking between the network, the browser and the kernel. Is it just something as simple as changing a value in the networking config file or are we into long complicated Linux nerd command line stuff to sort the problem or maybe it's down to the Linux build. I remember a frustrating week trying to get Samba (on Suse, Slackware, Red Hat and Caldera) talking to a DOS client only to find whereas Samba 2.6 would work, if you upgraded to Samba 2.7 all bets were off even if you tried to roll back the kernel to Samba 2.6. I'm thinking if I really want to bang my head against the wall and not miss cos I painted a big blue cross on the wall then I should find a version of Wine that runs and try every browser in sight or maybe just unplug my mouse and plug in my Morse key instead.

obcd
Posts: 917
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 9:06 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi very slow. Is this normal?

Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:13 pm

The x graphical environment of the pi isn't using hardware acceleration yet.
Due to that, all rendering is done by the cpu instead of the gpu.
It's not just the browser. Open a program with some windows. It will take it's time as well.
it just requires a good driver to improve things, and some clever programmers to create it.

husky
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:01 pm

Re: Raspberry Pi very slow. Is this normal?

Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:05 pm

In my case a good power supply made a huge difference.

Return to “Troubleshooting”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: HawaiianPi and 73 guests