Distorted Vision
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Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 2:58 pm

I finally got my Raspberry Pi but I'm disappointed by the slow performance especially with web browsing. I bought it specifically for web browsing on a 32" Sony Bravia TV in our kitchen. I thought I wasn't expecting much for it to be fast enough for web browsing.

I was wondering if there is anything I can do to make it faster? I am currently using a SanDisk 16Gb Class 10 30Mbit/s SD card. Would a 45Mbit/s make things faster?

The other issue I have is with missed & repeated keystrokes which other users have reported having problems with. I have a Microsoft Arc keyboard and mouse. I was wondering if this a issue for which a fix is being worked on?

Many thanks for your help.

bredman
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Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:02 pm

First of all, the RPi was never designed to be used for web browsing. It's just a lucky coincidence that it can do a bit.

Performance depends on the type of web browser that you are using. Chromium seems to perform well, search this forum for "chromium beta". This is a version of chromium specially compiled to make the most of the RPi processor.

Your SD card will affect the time to start up, but not the speed while running. To speed up performance, you can overclock, this means running the processor faster than normal. See http://elinux.org/RPi_config.txt#Overcl ... figuration

Distorted Vision
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Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:08 pm

I already installed Chromium using the instructions on Hexxeh's site but its still too slow.
I was reluctant to overclock it as I didn't want to invalidate my warranty.

Nr90
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Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:15 pm

overclock does not void your warrent, only overVOLT.
You should be able to get somewhere near 850 mhz (700 is stock), without overvolting.
Check the wiki for more info.

However, even with overvolting and overclocking to 1000 mhz webbrowsing is still a pain if you're used to fast modern hardware.
This might get better over time, but I doubt it'll catch up to what people are used to.

If you're dead set on browsing the internet on your TV, you could also use a CLI based browser like lynx.
This works really fast, however it might not bring the eyecandy you'd want on your pretty tv ;)
If youtube etc. is all you'll be browsing for you could use XBMC (openelec/Xbian etc.) with extentions to do that.

Distorted Vision
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Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:46 pm

Okay thanks I'll have a go at overclocking. I actually bought 3 Raspberry Pi's. One of which is going to be used headless to use with SSH and VNC. Not set this up yet but I think I might be happier with this.

Lynx doesn't meet my requirements. I'm not actually using really complex websites. At least I don't think they are but I may be wrong. Things related to share trading so my brokers sites,sites for research, FT, Reuters, Bloomberg etc. Also Gmail and some forum sites.

you know anything about a possible fix for the keyboard issue?

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RaTTuS
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Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:53 pm

cmdline
elinks
may help
the keyboard plugged into a powered hub may help , or ssh to it
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bredman
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Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:54 pm

In most cases, a keyboard misbehaves if it is drawing more current than the RPi can deliver. Check the rating on the bottom of the keyboard, if it says more than 100mA, you need to use a powered USB hub.

There are also problems with the USB driver which affects some USB 1.x devices, such as keyboards. These problems are being worked on. Make sure you use rpi-update regularly if you want to receive the latest bug fixes.

dom
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Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 3:57 pm

Distorted Vision wrote:you know anything about a possible fix for the keyboard issue?
I'm afraid it is marked in not working list:
http://elinux.org/RPi_VerifiedPeripherals

I believe Tesco does a value keyboard for under £5 that works well (as do most "basic" keyboards).

You didn't mention it, but I assume you are using the Wheezy image from the downloads page? (The Squeeze image is much slower)

Distorted Vision
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Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:12 pm

Its a wireless keyboard using a USB nano receiver. I've used another Microsoft wireless keyboard so I don't think its a power issue. I've also tried it with 3 different power cables.
bredman wrote:In most cases, a keyboard misbehaves if it is drawing more current than the RPi can deliver. Check the rating on the bottom of the keyboard, if it says more than 100mA, you need to use a powered USB hub.

There are also problems with the USB driver which affects some USB 1.x devices, such as keyboards. These problems are being worked on. Make sure you use rpi-update regularly if you want to receive the latest bug fixes.

Distorted Vision
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Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:14 pm

Yes I'm using a Wheezy image. Don't really want to go out and buy a cheap keyboard since I bought this Microsoft set specifically for the Raspberry Pi and at £80 it wasn't cheap.

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cheery
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Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:28 pm

I'm bit disappointed too, but I'm always disappointed to things at first. Raspi is a first consumer level device of it's kind, and I can see it's very useful for what is is meant for (teaching new horde of linux hackers). In year or two you might expect devices of this size and price that can do exactly what you wanted from raspberry pi in the first place.

dom
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Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:36 pm

Distorted Vision wrote:Yes I'm using a Wheezy image. Don't really want to go out and buy a cheap keyboard since I bought this Microsoft set specifically for the Raspberry Pi and at £80 it wasn't cheap.
Can you that keyboard with the keyboard from a PC?

There is a "missing packets" USB bug being investigated by gsh. It's possible once that bug is fixed, that other USB issues will disappear, including the problem with this keyboard.
(but it may be something else).

Distorted Vision
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Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:45 pm

Sorry I don't understand what you mean!
dom wrote: Can you that keyboard with the keyboard from a PC?

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Paul Webster
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Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 4:58 pm

I suspect that the word "swap" went missing.
i.e. can you move your new keyboard to a desktop machine and use old keyboard from there (at least to validate that the problem goes away)

Distorted Vision
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Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:04 pm

Yeah I already said the RPi works perfectly with my Microsoft Wireless 7000 desktop set which uses a single dongle. The Arc has a dongle for each but I don't think this is the issue as alot of other people have reported the same issue with different keyboards from different manufacturers.

Really hope there is a fix for this eventually.

Distorted Vision
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Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:30 pm

I ran rpi-update, apt-get update and apt-get upgrade but issues persists.

adlambert

Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:35 pm

Might be worth having a look at the RISCOS alpha distros.
RISCOS is specifically designed for ARM processors like the one in the PI, and has none of the bloat that you get with linux. The Netsurf browser included on the RISCOS distros is relatively quick with none of the lumbering waiting that you get with midori on linux and overclocking is not required. As long as you can plug ethernet into it then it is the fastest way of browsing with a Pi.

Distorted Vision
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Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 5:42 pm

I grew up with Acorn Computers so very familar with RISC OS! I had an A4000 back in the day.
Think I'll have to look into it the distros.

W. H. Heydt
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Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 6:57 pm

bredman wrote:In most cases, a keyboard misbehaves if it is drawing more current than the RPi can deliver. Check the rating on the bottom of the keyboard, if it says more than 100mA, you need to use a powered USB hub.
I spent some time looking at keyboards and it is rather remarkable how *few* of them have their current requirement listed on the bottom. On one decent keyboard I found, I was completely unable to find that particular spec...even on the manufacturer's web site. (Turns out to work well and has a decent "touch"...but I had to pick one up and test it to be sure it ran within power limits. If it hadn't sold for $10, I probably wouldn't have bothered to buy it "on spec" as it were.)

Max

Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:05 pm

adlambert wrote:Might be worth having a look at the RISCOS alpha distros.
RISCOS is specifically designed for ARM processors like the one in the PI, and has none of the bloat that you get with linux. The Netsurf browser included on the RISCOS distros is relatively quick with none of the lumbering waiting that you get with midori on linux and overclocking is not required. As long as you can plug ethernet into it then it is the fastest way of browsing with a Pi.
Netsurf also comes with the Debian image.
It does not support Javascript though, which might be a problem if you want to use it for webmail and such.

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Jim Manley
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Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:09 pm

You shouldn't buy any accessory for the Pi (especially one that costs more than three times as much as the board) that isn't on the http://elinux.org/RPi_VerifiedPeripherals list unless you're willing to be a guinea pig, perform the experiment, update the list if needed, and if it didn't work, get a refund. It's been well-documented that most missing/repeating keystroke problems are due to a power supply and/or power cable with insufficient current capacity at the required 5 volt level. Even if it's marked as being just sufficient (e.g., 700 mA at 5 volts) many of the low-cost supplies' output voltage drops enough to cause problems at full load. I've had no problems with any that can actually deliver the required power, and nothing but trouble with those that are marginal. The alternative is a powered USB hub, which has also been well-documented.

Why people keep insisting on buying any new peripherals for the Pi is beyond me, when there are literally millions of perfectly-usable ones stacked up every year in recycling centers, on corporate loading docks, and most likely even your neighbors' "things-to-go" piles - some have never even been used and are still in factory-sealed packaging, especially in businesses. Thanks to the wasteful marketing hype that typical computing system manufacturers insist on foisting on the public, an ever-expanding volcano of unnecessary material keeps getting pushed into the market just because it makes some business managers' sales sheets look better ("Look how many widgets were shipped - I deserve a bonus!", even though the amount of work they did would be the same for one unit or a billion shipped).

If you don't want to bother checking with a local corporate or public recycling center, in our area we have a mailing list for each community that can be found via Freecycle.org where people announce equipment they are offering free for the taking, and there is very likely something similar serving your area. If you don't see what you want being offered, expand your search to nearby communities, or you can request particular hardware right down to the model number, and odds are that someone will have something available that's pretty close, if not spot-on.

If you are squeamish about using a keyboard or mouse that someone has sneezed on, not to mention other unmentionable acts, seek out one of the recycled accessories still in factory packaging. Alternatively, the same disinfectants that you probably use to keep the bacterial and viral rabblerousers on your kitchen surfaces down to a dull roar will work just fine (e.g., a tiny drop of dishwashing detergent in a dish of water). Just apply them to clean paper or cloth material and wipe down the accessories without soaking anything. Never spray an electrical device with a liquid directly, and follow up with another water-moistened paper/cloth material to remove the cleanser and dissolved goo, then towel dry. The peripheral will become cleaner than anything the food touches that you consume in your favorite eatery.

It may not be clear from the above responses, but, you should make sure you're using the Raspbian Wheezy version of Debian on the Downloads page that supports hardware floating-point acceleration. It's significantly faster than the earlier Wheezy version of Debian that only supports software-based floating-point computations, even in the web browsers. This may not be intuitive, but, it has to do with how web page elements are scaled, especially text characters and images that make up the vast majority of the information displayed (including extraneous advertising material that often exceeds the volume of the core page info). If you turn off image display in the browser, which allows you to click on an image placeholder if you want to see it, that will also speed up browser response tremendously. Also, try as many browsers as you can as some are faster at displaying certain kinds of info or even whole sites than others, and one may be more appropriate for the content you like to view than another that's faster displaying someone else's material of choice. Also, don't expect to be able to open more than a few browser tabs or windows at once - the Pi is extremely limited in RAM capacity compared with the typical commercial multi-GB systems that have at least ten times as much RAM as the PI ... and not coincidentally cost at least ten times as much.

The Pi was, is, and always will be meant for student educational purposes and, as standard advertising disclaimers state, "intentional inappropriate use is not covered by the warranty". So, expecting the Pi to do any and every computing task you might conjure up is just asking for trouble, especially if you're not capable of analyzing and working around encountered problems. Any web page more complex than a Google search results page generally contains more garbage than information - if you don't believe me, select "View Page Source" on a typical web page and just see if you can find the actual information among the voluminous gobbledygook that spews onto the display. The vast majority of what appears in browsers today is ever-inflating machine-generated formatting and advertising, not the author's intended content. Web page designers and publishers need to study and heed architect Frank Lloyd Wright's dictum - "form follows function", and not the other way around.

Some people aren't going to like this, but, if someone buys an educational product, they should be prepared to learn, and the starting point for learning is to always build on the knowledge those preceding them have acquired. That means actually doing some research, finding and reading the beginners guides and really following the advice for topics on which they're not an expert. If the Pi teaches anyone anything, it should be that "less is more" - less money expended, less power consumed, less marketing hype, less packaging trash, less dependence on corporate bloatware, less acceptance of the status quo, etc.
The best things in life aren't things ... but, a Pi comes pretty darned close! :D
"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -- W.B. Yeats
In theory, theory & practice are the same - in practice, they aren't!!!

adlambert

Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 7:17 pm

Max wrote:
adlambert wrote:Might be worth having a look at the RISCOS alpha distros.
RISCOS is specifically designed for ARM processors like the one in the PI, and has none of the bloat that you get with linux. The Netsurf browser included on the RISCOS distros is relatively quick with none of the lumbering waiting that you get with midori on linux and overclocking is not required. As long as you can plug ethernet into it then it is the fastest way of browsing with a Pi.
Netsurf also comes with the Debian image.
It does not support Javascript though, which might be a problem if you want to use it for webmail and such.
Indeed it's faster than Midori on linux, but even on Raspian Wheezy it's laughably slow.

fredjam
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Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:05 pm

The pi isn't slow at web browsing although it won't be as fast as the latest quad core Intel PC.
However certain problems such as the usb bus problem can make it seem very slow.

Open a terminal window and enter the command 'tail -f /var/log/messages'
Then disconnect your keyboard, you should get a disconnect message. Then connect
your keyboard, you should get a connect message. If you also get a continuous stream
of error messages about eth0 then you have the usb bus problem.

Control c out of the tail command and enter 'ping yahoo.com' and look at the ping times
normally they should be at most 50ms.but if you have the usb problem they can be up to 7
seconds or longer.

cashaw
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Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:45 pm

I had a Pi quite early and recently upgraded it to Wheezy. I was just this weekend explaining to a friend how fast it was now running and used it as an example of how you can throw a bunch of Geeks at a problem and the problem will be solved ! I love how the Pi has progressed in the past couple of months, present a problem or issue and the community will discover a way around it.

I would not use my Pi to surf the web, but last time I tried it was so much faster than the original releases, the hard float release has given a massive improvement. I woud not use it as my main device to surf the web, but it is certainly adequate enough for checking out Google or Wikipedia if needed...

adlambert

Re: Disappointed with slow performance of Raspberry Pi

Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:58 pm

I suppose it depends what you consider slow. I just test my Pi with the Wheezy SD card in standard clock speed.

Midori start time was 9 seconds, time to load www.raspberrypi.org 20 seconds.

mobile phone:

Browser start time 3 seconds, time to load www.raspberrypi.org (full site template): 8 seconds
(Samsung Galaxy Apollo 667MB ARM).

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