The Raspberry Pi is a great little computer, with a large community of users, a huge array of add-ons, and a strong Linux-based operating system. But, if you want to get the most out of your Pi, you need to know how to get the most out of your Raspberry Pi.
The Raspberry Pi is a great little machine, but even though it has a lot of functionality it can often be slow (especially if you’re running the latest version). The Raspberry Pi P1 was released to the public in February, 2014, meaning it’s more than 4 years old now! The Raspberry Pi 1 Model B+ is the latest Raspberry Pi board, but even this will be big and heavy for most people. (The Model B Model A Model B+ Model A+ Model B Model A Model B Model A Model A Model B Model B Model B Model B Model B Model B Model B Model B Model B Model B Model B Model B Model B Model B Model B Model B Model B+ Model B+ Model B+ Model B+
With all the exciting things you can do with your Raspberry Pi, it’s easy to overlook all the power that’s under the hood. In this post, we’ll take a look at some tips that will help you squeeze every last ounce of performance from your Pi.
Although the Raspberry Pi is not the quickest computer, newer versions are capable of handling a wide range of tasks. I don’t spend much time attempting to improve mine, but in this post, I’ll offer a few excellent ideas I’ve learned. We’ll look at ways to quickly improve the Raspberry Pi’s performance.
The most frequent causes of a sluggish Raspberry Pi are the hardware, operating system, and installed apps. It may be improved by utilizing better components, overclocking, installing a 64-bit operating system, and uninstalling unnecessary applications and services.
In this post, I’ll start by providing the suggestions you’re searching for and explaining why they’ll help. Then we’ll see how much better our performance is as a result of using them.
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8 Ways to Speed Up a Sluggish Raspberry Pi
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These are some easy suggestions for getting the most out of your Raspberry Pi, regardless of the model. Try a couple of these (or all of them) and see what you can come up with.
Remove any applications or services that are no longer in use.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll like trying out new applications on your Raspberry Pi. In the long term, this will degrade the Raspberry Pi’s speed since it will have to run not just the applications you’re using right now, but also those that are still running in the background.
If you attempt to install Webmin one day, Pi-Hole the next, and a few more services, they will continue to run on your machine even if you don’t use them. After a few weeks or months, your Raspberry Pi’s resources may be spent on services you don’t utilize.
The first step in making your Raspberry Pi operate quicker is to go through the list of installed apps and services and uninstall any that you no longer need. You may do this using a package manager like Synaptic or with sudo dpkg -l on the command line.
If you don’t know how to remove applications on a Raspberry Pi, check out this link for a step-by-step guide.
Tip: If you use a lightweight operating system like DietPi, you may pick and choose which applications you wish to install during the installation process. It won’t put anything on your computer that you don’t want. That’s the greatest approach to get started with a fast operating system. DietPi is quite similar to Raspberry Pi OS, thus you shouldn’t have any problems. Here’s where you can learn more about it.
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To find the greedy ones, go through the process list.
Not all applications and services are the same. The next step is to find applications that use the greatest memory or CPU power. When your Raspberry Pi is sluggish, you may easily do this by viewing the process list.
If you use a desktop environment, you should have an app that allows you to easily access this information. On Raspberry Pi OS, for example, you may enter the main menu and look for the Task Manager under Accessories:
You’ll be able to immediately check whether your CPU and RAM are being overworked, as well as which applications or services are using the most resources.
My favorite terminal tool is “htop,” which is an enhanced version of “top.” It appears as follows:
You can see the command as well as the resources that were utilized (CPU percent and MEM percent ). It should assist you in determining which processes are slowing down your Raspberry Pi and optimizing or removing them if you no longer need them.
Invest on a better SD card.
This is the most frequent cause of a sluggish Raspberry Pi (especially if it’s a newer model). Many people utilize the SD card that came with their Raspberry Pi system, although this is seldom the best option. Manufacturers frequently offer an SD card as a bonus, and they usually choose the lowest option available.
Between a low-end SD card and a speedier one, there may be a significant performance difference. Because the finest micro-SD cards aren’t very costly, it may be a smart idea to upgrade your Raspberry Pi’s storage.
I won’t go into depth in this post since I have a full benchmark of the most common SD cards here. Read the other articles, choose the one that works best for you, and see if you can improve your results.
Upgrade your installation to utilize a solid-state drive (SSD).
It is feasible to replace the SD card with an SSD drive on current Raspberry Pi models and operating systems. The performance increase you’ll receive from this is incredible. I’ll explain the distinction in the second half of this post, but it’s something you should think about.
SSD drives are no longer prohibitively costly. The one I’ve been suggesting for years is this one from SanDisk (check the pricing on Amazon), but even cheaper alternatives (like this one from Kingston) can significantly enhance your system’s boot speed and responsiveness.
There are additional benefits to using an SSD. They are, in my opinion, safer than SD cards since they will survive longer and are less likely to be misplaced or damaged inadvertently. Also, if your computer doesn’t have an SD card reader, you may easily connect it into a USB port and transfer data fast in one manner or another.
If you don’t know how to convert from an SD card to an SSD drive, I have a whole lesson in my course “Raspberry Pi Bootcamp” that walks you through it. It’s not difficult; once you figure out the quickest way to accomplish it, you can access it there.
Use a 64-bit operating system if possible.
This suggestion will become more essential. Although we are still in the early stages, a 64-bit version of many operating systems is currently available. Although recent Raspberry Pi models may run 64-bit operating systems and applications, OS developers have not kept up with hardware advancements.
For many reasons, a 64-bit operating system is designed to better use the capabilities of a 64-bit CPU and enhance overall performance. With a 64-bit operating system on a suitable device, you may anticipate a performance increase of about 25%. And it will help certain applications even more.
At the time of writing, Raspberry Pi OS does not have a stable 64-bit version, however you may still test the beta version. In this guide, I explain the differences and how to install it. For the time being, testing alternative operating systems such as Manjaro, Gentoo, or Ubuntu that provide a reliable 64-bit version would be the best choice.
If your apps are also optimized, you should be able to obtain a small speed boost with a 64-bit OS, regardless of your system choice.
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Experiment with different overclocking settings.
Overclocking a Raspberry Pi has always been a popular pastime. I didn’t put it first since the outcomes you may anticipate with new models are becoming less and less intriguing. However, if done correctly, it may still provide an intriguing boost.
Overclocking is simple to do, but it may harm your system or, worse, your hardware. Before you attempt anything, be sure you know what you’re doing.
There is a configuration file on your SD card where you may enter parameters to improve the performance of your Raspberry Pi. /boot/config.txt is the file in question, and the most frequent modifications are made by fiddling with:
- over voltage: for overclocking, increase the voltage.
- CPU frequency in MHz (arm freq).
- gpu freq: Adjust several parameters relating to the Raspberry Pi’s CPU performance.
I’ll give you the numbers later in this post, but it’s something to keep in mind if you want to enhance the performance of your Raspberry Pi. The default settings are designed to provide the greatest balance of performance and safety/temperature, but you may change them if necessary.
Remember to cool things down.
The Raspberry Pi’s CPU temperature should not exceed 70 degrees Celsius. This barrier may be reached fast depending on your Raspberry Pi model and the applications you run. It’s a good idea to utilize a cooling solution in this situation. Heat sinks, a fan, a passive casing, or anything else may be the culprit.
Some versions, such as the Raspberry Pi 3B+, feature built-in security. Over 60 °C, the CPU clock speed starts to slow down, resulting in worse performance. You’ll need a decent cooling system to get the most of it.
Many of them have been put to the test on this page. It depends on your preferences and intended usage, therefore I’ll leave it up to you to choose the option that appeals to you the most:
Obtain a suitable power source.
This is an optional tip that may be useful if your Raspberry Pi does not have enough power to operate everything. You’ll need a decent power supply if you’re seeking for performance, and particularly if you’re trying to overclock it.
You may connect your Raspberry Pi to your computer’s USB connection and expect top performance.
I’ve written a whole post on how to power a Raspberry Pi, so I won’t go into too much detail here. In a nutshell, choose a power supply that is compatible with your Raspberry Pi model (each model has specific requirements).
Experiment with these strategies to see what you can come up with.
In the second half of this essay, I’ll show you what you may anticipate if you follow all of these recommendations. I put them to the test on my Raspberry Pi 4 (4 GB) and will report back to you.
The first performances were done using a conventional setup.
Let’s begin with the first performance I receive with my simple setup. I’m running Raspberry Pi OS (Full) on a SanDisk Extreme Pro SD card (which is presently one of the best, so I won’t test the SD card tip). I’ve updated all of the updates and have virtually no software installed (no applications or services are functioning).
I ran a few tests and the following are the results:
- Time to boot: about 28 seconds
- Sysbench: On average, 9.20 milliseconds per request
- 10 on the speedometer (web browser performance).
- During the testing, the CPU temperature was about 52 degrees Celsius.
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After overclocking, the results
To overclock the CPU, I just updated the parameters in my /boot/config.txt file. Here are the values I experimented with:
arm freq=2140 gpu freq=750 over voltage=6
Disclaimer: I tried the following suggestions on my Raspberry Pi 4 with 4 GB RAM. These figures will need to be adjusted based on the model and cooling system you’re using. I will not be liable for any harm to your computer or hardware.
And here are the consequences of only altering this:
- No changes to the boot time
- 6.53 milliseconds per request on average, according to Sysbench
- 13.36 on the speedometer
- During the testing, the CPU temperature was about 65 degrees Celsius.
It seems to be a good 30 percent speed increase for CPU-intensive activities. That’s not terrible for a single modification; let’s see what we can do if we push this any farther.
The best outcomes for a comparable installation may be found here.
You may anticipate another speed increase if you add an SSD to this configuration and perhaps switch to a faster OS like Manjaro.
Switching to an SSD drive will improve your operating system’s startup time and general responsiveness. Each disk access will be much quicker. Without an SSD or overclocking, Manjaro gave me a 30% increase, thus combining everything will nearly quadruple the performance.
You don’t have to alter everything, but if you follow a few of the suggestions in this post, you’ll be OK. As you can see, it’s already a huge step forward. It’s not difficult, and with a few tweaks, you can get the most out of your Raspberry Pi.
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How can I find out what the current clock speed is?
On the Raspberry Pi, there are two essential settings to check for the current clock speed. With the command vcgencmd get config arm freq, you may get the maximum. While the current clock speed (divided by 1000) may be obtained in this file: /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling cur freq cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling cur freq
How can I check the temperature of my Raspberry Pi’s CPU?
On the Raspberry Pi, there are two methods to check the CPU temperature. On a desktop environment, a widget called “CPU Temperature” may be placed to the top panel to show its value all the time. Alternatively, you may use the command vcgencmd measure temp.
What is the best way to keep a Raspberry Pi cool?
Your Raspberry Pi’s optimal cooling system is determined by its model and CPU use. In most instances, a Raspberry Pi does not need a cooling system, although heat sinks, passive enclosures, and fans may assist in keeping them cool in high-temperature environments.
What are the signs that your Raspberry Pi is throttling?
Throttling is a technique that a Raspberry Pi may use to compensate for heat or inadequate power. The command “vcgencmd get throttled” may be used to determine whether a Raspberry Pi is throttling. Any result that is not zero indicates that there is a problem (under voltage or over heating).
Resources for the Raspberry Pi
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This website also contains all of my tool and hardware suggestions.
I don’t really know what to write about today. It’s clear to me that if you want to get the most out of the Raspberry Pi, you need to be mindful of its power consumption. Let’s take a look at how you can help your Pi go faster.. Read more about raspberry pi performance and let us know what you think.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I make my Raspberry Pi faster?
There are many ways to make your Raspberry Pi faster. One way is to upgrade the RAM, but this can be expensive and not always worth it. Another way is to use a faster processor, but this can also be expensive. A third option is to install an SSD in your Raspberry Pi, which will give you a speed boost without costing much at all.
How do I overclock my Raspberry Pi?
You can overclock your Raspberry Pi by following these steps. 1) Open up a terminal on the Raspberry Pi. 2) Type in sudo raspi-config and press enter. 3) Select option 8, Advanced Options 4) Select option A5, Memory Split 5) Set it to 128MB 6) Reboot
What is overclocking raspberry?
Overclocking is the process of increasing a computers clock speed beyond its manufacturer-specified maximum.