RoadTest the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B (2GB) - Review

Table of contents

RoadTest: RoadTest the Raspberry Pi 4 Model B (2GB)

Author: alfioscuderi1978

Creation date:

Evaluation Type: Development Boards & Tools

Did you receive all parts the manufacturer stated would be included in the package?: True

What other parts do you consider comparable to this product?: Obviously a comparison is made to the Raspberry Pi 3B+.

What were the biggest problems encountered?: So far there isn't an official RetroPie distribution for Raspberry Pi 4, so I had to switch to Lakka, another distribution similar to RetroPie, allowing to run old games.

Detailed Review:

Summary

 

As someone has already wrote, there are several benchmarks on several site: official, unofficial, blogs, forum and so on... So I decided to use Raspberry Pi 4 on a my own project I realized several months ago. I called it "Rhapsody" and it's a portable handhelds retroconsole, allowing to play old videogames running on GameBoy, NES, SuperNES, Nintendo 64, Megadrive, MasterSystem, MAME, Amiga, PlayStation, and so on...

 

Here are the components:

 

  • Raspberry Pi 3B Plus board (after replaced with Raspberry Pi 4 (2 GB RAM))
  • Display 5" HDMI
  • D-pad
  • 8 digital buttons (4 of which are backbones)
  • 2 analog joysticks
  • 3 general purpose buttons
  • 2 stereo speakers
  • Digital volume control
  • 3.5mm Headphone Jack
  • 2 LiPo batteries (total 7600 mAh)
  • Battery LED status
  • Internal fan triggered by temperature
  • 2 USB ports
  • 1 Ethernet Port
  • WiFi
  • Bluetooth
  • HDMI out (in order to connect the console to the TV)

 

This project is entirely conceived and realized by me: CAD design, realization of the PCBs, and printing af all plastic parts using a 3D printer with FDM technology (Fused Deposition Modeling).

 

Here are some pictures:

 



Analysis and test results

 

My test was to compare the performance in terms of loading time between the Raspberry Pi 3B Plus and the Raspberry Pi 4 (2 GB RAM).

Given that official RetroPie distribution hasn't been yet released for Raspberry Pi 4, I had to switch to Lakka, another distribution similar to RetroPie, allowing to run old games.

 

I created a table with all the results, collecting data coming from several trials:

 

Loading Time Description

Pi 3B+ (Lower is better)

Pi 4 (Lower is better)
Pitfall! (Atari 2600)5 sec.4 sec.
California Games (Atari Lynx)6 sec.6 sec.
Super Mario Bros (NES)

7 sec.

5 sec.

Super Mario World (SNES)

8 sec.

6 sec.

Tetris (Game Boy)6 sec.5 sec.
Yoshi's Island (Game Boy Advance)6 sec.4 sec.
Sonic (Sega Genesis)8 sec.6 sec.
Alex Kidd (Sega Master System)6 sec.4 sec.
Columns (Sega Game Gear)6 sec.5 sec.
Street Fighters II (MAME)9 sec.7 sec.
Metal Slug (Neo Geo)8 sec.

6 sec.

Puzzle Bobble (NeoGeo Pocket)7 sec.5 sec.
Power ON (Boot)23 sec.17 sec.
Power Off18 sec.12 sec.

 

As you can see, there is a difference in terms of loading time between Raspberry Pi 3 B+ and Raspberry 4, but it's more obvious when you turn ON or turn OFF the system (power on and power off). When you load a ROM, the difference is lower.

 

I think that everything will be optimized for Raspberry Pi 4, because it's an enough "young" board.

Anyway, we're all waiting for the official RetroPie distribution, just to have other data to compare.

 

 

 

Best Regards!

Anonymous