zealousd
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:57 am

How reliable is the Raspberry Pi 3

Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:05 am

I was showing my dad the Pi and he seems a little interested in what they could do as he works with retail displays and sometimes he mite need to design a digital display with that or use tablets working with other devices.

So i know it is a wide question but how reliable can these boards be? Could they work in a commercial environment without too much downtime?

Im happy to have some spare SD cards ready to swap out if needed but the hardware itself with some fan cooling, could there be a estimated shelf life?
Raspberry Pi 3
Ubuntu Mate
Web Server

User avatar
kusti8
Posts: 3439
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:29 pm
Location: USA

Re: How reliable is the Raspberry Pi 3

Sat Mar 26, 2016 11:55 am

Shelf life is probably around 50 years, no one knows exactly for obvious reasons.

All I suggest is make it read only and you should have no problems. I have one Pi used everyday in a consumer environment and with that one change I've had no problems.
There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary and those who don't.

jahboater
Posts: 5967
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:38 pm
Location: West Dorset

Re: How reliable is the Raspberry Pi 3

Sat Mar 26, 2016 12:52 pm

I think the SoC has an expected lifetime of around 40 years, maybe 35 or so if overclocked.
The SD card will be a lot less of course, but you can help by making it read-only.
Pi4 8GB running PIOS64 Lite

zealousd
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:57 am

Re: How reliable is the Raspberry Pi 3

Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:06 pm

i will be happy if i get 3-5 from each as they are cheap to replace

i am just trying to work out if i have one running 24/7 playing video on a screen how long could it keep running for on a estimation of course.

i want to be able to build it into a panel and attach a screen to it in a store.
Raspberry Pi 3
Ubuntu Mate
Web Server

zealousd
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:57 am

Re: How reliable is the Raspberry Pi 3

Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:21 pm

kusti8 wrote:Shelf life is probably around 50 years, no one knows exactly for obvious reasons.

All I suggest is make it read only and you should have no problems. I have one Pi used everyday in a consumer environment and with that one change I've had no problems.
of course but these are the questions i am going to get asked

hhmm so the less writing of the SD card the more reliable the device would be on estimation?

They would only be used for playing video on a loop on a wall and possibly changing video once in a blue moon i am not sure
Raspberry Pi 3
Ubuntu Mate
Web Server

User avatar
bstrobl
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:31 pm
Location: Germany

Re: How reliable is the Raspberry Pi 3

Sat Mar 26, 2016 1:43 pm

If it's only for playing video, get a pi b+. Cheaper, less power hungry and well tested at this stage.

Right now the Pi 3 seems to suffer in certain cases with overheating issues, so being able to use a board with lower energy requirements will also mean less waste heat, which when installed behind a panel or in a thermally constrained environment might prolong component life and avoid instability of the Pi.

User avatar
CaptSunset
Posts: 140
Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:55 pm

Re: How reliable is the Raspberry Pi 3

Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:36 pm

The Pi2B & Pi3B both have a gig of real RAM onboard; so unless you are doing Las Vegas animated signs you can prob'ly squeeze any display text there, instead of constantly re-reading the SD card.

An interesting commercial application could be those giant price banners on gas stations.
Updates could be sent up instantly via tablet without needing a ladder... ;)

&... KODI could handle those (annoying) new endcap video displays merely by changing the playlist.

User avatar
kusti8
Posts: 3439
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:29 pm
Location: USA

Re: How reliable is the Raspberry Pi 3

Sat Mar 26, 2016 3:55 pm

zealousd wrote:
kusti8 wrote:Shelf life is probably around 50 years, no one knows exactly for obvious reasons.

All I suggest is make it read only and you should have no problems. I have one Pi used everyday in a consumer environment and with that one change I've had no problems.
of course but these are the questions i am going to get asked

hhmm so the less writing of the SD card the more reliable the device would be on estimation?

They would only be used for playing video on a loop on a wall and possibly changing video once in a blue moon i am not sure
If you don't write to the SD card, then there is almost 0% chance that the OS will mess up the files so you can never boot again.
There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary and those who don't.

hippy
Posts: 8113
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: How reliable is the Raspberry Pi 3

Sat Mar 26, 2016 5:34 pm

kusti8 wrote:If you don't write to the SD card, then there is almost 0% chance that the OS will mess up the files so you can never boot again.
It's that "almost 0% chance" which always concerns me. Sod's Law would have it that what should rarely happen frequently will, or at the most inconvenient time possible.

I don't know if anyone got to the bottom of the corruption a few people were reporting having even with read-only systems which suggested there was more to it than not writing to cards.

It is fair to note that it's a problem which seems to only afflict a minority, but most people will be shutting things down properly before pulling power so wouldn't expect to see problems.

It seems the eMMC memory on the Compute Module is less prone to corruption so using those might be advised for business critical use.

User avatar
rew
Posts: 437
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2011 3:25 pm

Re: How reliable is the Raspberry Pi 3

Sat Mar 26, 2016 6:33 pm

Using the compute module is IMHO only advised if you really need 'pi compatiblity and price is of no concern.
Check out our raspberry pi addons: https://www.bitwizard.nl/shop/

Heater
Posts: 16341
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:02 pm

Re: How reliable is the Raspberry Pi 3

Sat Mar 26, 2016 7:00 pm

hippy,
It's that "almost 0% chance" which always concerns me.
Me too.

That is why one arranges to have the root file system mounted as read only.

There are some hints and tips as to how to do that here: https://wiki.debian.org/ReadonlyRoot
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

edo1
Posts: 169
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 3:33 pm
Location: Russia

Re: How reliable is the Raspberry Pi 3

Sat Mar 26, 2016 10:46 pm

hippy wrote:I don't know if anyone got to the bottom of the corruption a few people were reporting having even with read-only systems which suggested there was more to it than not writing to cards.
Sorry, English is not my mother tongue.
Does this sentence mean that there are SD card corruptions even if SD card is used for read only?

IMHO read-only SD card should be very reliable. I have few in production and there are no issues with them.

User avatar
kusti8
Posts: 3439
Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2013 5:29 pm
Location: USA

Re: How reliable is the Raspberry Pi 3

Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:18 am

edo1 wrote:
hippy wrote:I don't know if anyone got to the bottom of the corruption a few people were reporting having even with read-only systems which suggested there was more to it than not writing to cards.
Sorry, English is not my mother tongue.
Does this sentence mean that there are SD card corruptions even if SD card is used for read only?

IMHO read-only SD card should be very reliable. I have few in production and there are no issues with them.
I think those issues were more with the SD card than the OS. A bad SD card can easily corrupt even with a read only root.
There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary and those who don't.

zealousd
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 10:57 am

Re: How reliable is the Raspberry Pi 3

Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:25 am

so far this is some good information, if i clone the SD card and keep one as spare if something goes wrong we can just swap it out and keep going but the hardware and OS should be stable if now screwed with.
Raspberry Pi 3
Ubuntu Mate
Web Server

java
Posts: 226
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:41 am

Re: How reliable is the Raspberry Pi 3

Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:35 am

I don't yet have a RPi 3 B, I do have a RPi B, with a good Samsung SD card in it, it has been running for 18 months, without issue. A few weeks ago I bought 2x cheap Samsung SD cards, built a test system on my RPi Zero, on one of these cards, put it in my RPi B and it crashed and died with file system issues, within a half hour. Put the original good quality and more expensive SD card back in and it is still going, without a hiccup. Tho the RPi Zero is happy with that same card that causes issues with tbe RPi B. Only having a single RPi Zero due to them not being generally available I have not done any tests to see how long a period the Zero will remain happy with the cheap SD card.

So basically what I am saying is - save yourself time and frustration by buying good quality SD cards, and as always with the RPi's - good quality power supplies are well worth their higher cost, if long term reliability is your goal.

W. H. Heydt
Posts: 13069
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:36 pm
Location: Vallejo, CA (US)

Re: How reliable is the Raspberry Pi 3

Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:55 am

java wrote: So basically what I am saying is - save yourself time and frustration by buying good quality SD cards, and as always with the RPi's - good quality power supplies are well worth their higher cost, if long term reliability is your goal.
Good quality PSUs really aren't that expensive and are definitely worth the price.

jamesh
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Raspberry Pi Engineer & Forum Moderator
Posts: 26886
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2011 7:41 pm

Re: How reliable is the Raspberry Pi 3

Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:17 am

There are quite a few commercial operations using Pi's to drive signage. Pi's actually sell very well in to that market.

It should be fine.

Note that even on the Pi3, if you are simply decoding H264 video, it won't overheat - the ARM cores are doing practically nothing, and that is where the heat comes from.
Principal Software Engineer at Raspberry Pi (Trading) Ltd.
Contrary to popular belief, humorous signatures are allowed.
I've been saying "Mucho" to my Spanish friend a lot more lately. It means a lot to him.

edo1
Posts: 169
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2014 3:33 pm
Location: Russia

Re: How reliable is the Raspberry Pi 3

Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:48 am

kusti8 wrote:A bad SD card can easily corrupt even with a read only root.
SD card must be very-very bad if such things occur )))

I haven't got enough experience with SD cards yet.
I used over 100 USB flash drives in production for a years. They are unreliable. Different brands have been tested, no reliable found.
But those cards are used primary for writing, IMHO it is main cause of corruptions.

I'm pretty sure that SD cards do not differ in this context. I hope reliability of read-only SD cards should be great.

P.S. I decided to use read-only SD card in my new project. All changeable data will be stored in 4Mb NOR flash, connected through SPI (indeed there is no much data to store in this project).

java
Posts: 226
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:41 am

Re: How reliable is the Raspberry Pi 3

Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:19 am

W. H. Heydt wrote:
java wrote: So basically what I am saying is - save yourself time and frustration by buying good quality SD cards, and as always with the RPi's - good quality power supplies are well worth their higher cost, if long term reliability is your goal.
Good quality PSUs really aren't that expensive and are definitely worth the price.
No good quality PSUs are not that expensive, but I know people, that have a cellphone charger "that is in working order" so why "waste" a few pounds buying a PSU when they already have something that will do.

Then cry great big crocodile tears when they have power related issues.

Then it is the RPi's fault, not their lack of good judgement, and understanding. Not to mention penny pinching.

hippy
Posts: 8113
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 10:34 pm
Location: UK

Re: How reliable is the Raspberry Pi 3

Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:17 pm

edo1 wrote:
hippy wrote:I don't know if anyone got to the bottom of the corruption a few people were reporting having even with read-only systems which suggested there was more to it than not writing to cards.
Sorry, English is not my mother tongue.
Does this sentence mean that there are SD card corruptions even if SD card is used for read only?
That is correct. Some people who had configured read only systems were still reporting they were getting card corruption.
kusti8 wrote:I think those issues were more with the SD card than the OS. A bad SD card can easily corrupt even with a read only root.
I do not recall it being proven it was bad cards or something else, so we just don't know.

One would need to record all electrical interactions with a card to definitively conclude a card corrupted of its own accord or something else caused that and that has not been done as far as I am aware.

Return to “General discussion”