Benchmark your Pi with a browser

Today I am going to show you how to benchmark your computer, Single-Board or otherwise through three different websites. I have tested my Raspberry Pi 3 B on all of them and you can do it right along with me. I setup my Raspberry Pi 3 B on my DINrPlate and then launched the Chromium Browser for testing.

rpi3-web-test1
Raspberry Pi 3 B being tested on a DINrPlate

The first website you can go to is http://browserbench.org/JetStream/ and this website will test your setup 3 times and give you the final average score of the three tests. Screen Shots were captures with “scrot” from a terminal window.

rpi3-web-test2
Jet Stream testing the Raspberry Pi 3 B

The next website to test on is https://web.basemark.com/ and this one is a little tricky. This website tests the Raspberry Pi 3 B to its limits. Out of 3 tests only 2 of them completed and one locked my Pi completely up. This one is a good test for sure.

rpi3-web-test3
Testing your Base Marks on the Raspberry Pi 3 B

The final website is http://chromium.github.io/octane/ and was one of the most reliable out there in the web based areas. I have tested a lot of computers on this website and as I make changes when overclocking this one would show me some of those changes instantly.

rpi3-web-test4
Cranking up the Octane on the RaspBerry Pi 3 B.
Final Thoughts:

Web based tests are hard on the Raspberry Pi 3 B because it only has 1 Gb of Ram. Browsers are Ram killers and make sure to keep all of your tabs closed, not be logged into your Google Account and have a fresh browser opened for each test. Every little bit helps.

I am working on other tests now that I want to share with all of you one I have them down as best I can. I want you to be able to do the same things I am doing as you read them so you can compare your results to mine. Then as you learn how to setup your system better by tweaking and or overclocking it you can compare your own results against yourself and continue to improve your experience.

-=Remember – Work Hard, Have Fun & Enjoy=-

Raspberry Pi 3B+

What’s new

While not as big as an aesthetic overhaul as the original B+ was, the Pi 3B+ does have a larger selection of improvements that make it distinct from the original Pi 3. This includes a more powerful CPU, now running at 1.4 GHz on all its four cores. The Ethernet port has also been updated to a Gigabit port, an oft requested feature, although due to pre-existing limitations it maxes out at about 350 megabits. There’s also some minor upgrades, such as a different wireless antenna and the addition of PoE pins for more advanced applications.

Great project ideas for the faster Raspberry Pi 3B+

Otherwise, it still has all the great connectivity and software of the original Raspberry Pi 3. With this new power though, we reckon it could make a few projects better than ever, like these ones:

Easy retro gaming on Raspberry Pi – a more powerful Pi can go a long way here – would make what I just did even better!

Image editing on your Raspberry Pi – image editing can get resource intensive, so extra power is always useful.

Set up a file server – make use of the better Ethernet port on the Pi 3B+ by improving your home Pi server – future project (very soon)

Get a Raspberry Pi 3B+ for the same great price of $35! NICE!

Raspberry Pi 3B+ specifications

  • SoC: Broadcom BCM2837B0 quad-core A53 (ARMv8) 64-bit @ 1.4GHz
  • GPU: Broadcom Videocore-IV
  • RAM: 1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM
  • Networking: Gigabit Ethernet (via USB channel), 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 4.2, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
  • Storage: Micro-SD
  • GPIO: 40-pin GPIO header, populated
  • Ports: HDMI, 3.5mm analogue audio-video jack, 4x USB 2.0, Ethernet, Camera Serial Interface (CSI), Display Serial Interface (DSI)
  • Dimensions: 82mm x 56mm x 19.5mm, 50g

Final thoughts:

This is a wonderful day for Raspberry Pi users. We are upgraded to better performance and the cost stayed the same. I look forward to getting myself one of the new boards to test and retry some programs that might like the new horsepower. Yes, good day indeed 🙂

Vilros Retro Pi Gaming Platform

Today by request we are going to show you how easy it is to setup Retro Gaming on the Raspberry Pi. I picked up this package last week and I couldn’t wait to get into building this fun project. Gaming has always been a pretty big industry for quite awhile now and it nice to see the nostalgia when it comes to the games of yesteryear. This is a easy project for you to get done in just a few hours and it will give your years of enjoyment. So lets get started.

Vilros Retro Pi in the box
Vilros Retro Pi in the box

I ordered the kit off of Amazon and you can get it here.

For a limited time you can get a Raspberry Pi 3 kit that has just about everything you need to get started (including a retro-style case) for $66 on Amazon when you use the promo code 45YOCHIQ at checkout. The full list of features includes:

  • Includes Official Raspberry Pi 3 (RPi 3) Model B Quad-Core 1.2 GHz 1 GB RAM–Features On-board WiFi and Bluetooth Connectivity [Latest Broadcom BCM2837 Chip]
  • Includes Samsung 32 GB Evo Plus (Class 10) Micro SD Card Preloaded With NOOBS & RetroPie With MicroSD -USB ADAPTER (can be used to Re-Write the SD Card if desired)
  • Includes UL Listed 2.5 Amp USB Power Supply with Micro USB Cable and Noise Filter – Designed for the Raspberry Pi 3–Includes Retro Gaming Style Case With Easy Access to all Ports
  • Includes High Quality 5 FT CEC Compatible HDMI Cable–Set of 2 Heatsink–Vilros Raspberry Pi Quick Start Guide
  • This kit is fully guaranteed for 1 year with our 5 Star US based Customer Support

Again, you can get it here and that code as of the time I posted this will save you $9 which you can put that towards a USB controller of you don’t have one. So lets get to the unboxing.

HDMI Cable, Power Supply and Heatsinks
HDMI Cable, Power Supply and Heatsinks

Everything was pre-packaged and very well shipped.

The Raspberry Pi 3, Retro Gaming case, SD card and good documentation.
The Raspberry Pi 3, Retro Gaming case, SD card and good documentation.

I like the fact that everything is in this kit. Makes trying to get this project done very easy.

Easy to read manuals
Easy to read manuals

It helps with the print is large, easy to follow and pictures. Even grandpa can do this! 🙂

Top side of the Raspberry Pi 3
Top side of the Raspberry Pi 3

The top side of the Raspberry Pi 3 does not have the heat sinks installed on it. I will cover that in another post. There is a lot you can do with them. In this build I did not install them and everything ran fine. Keep in mind I played real simple retro games on it as that is the least stressful and everything worked flawless.

Bottom side of the Raspberry Pi 3
Bottom side of the Raspberry Pi 3

When mounted in the Retro Case the bottom side sits high enough off the bottom that it will allow some airflow. For a stock, fan-less case, this is sufficient. There are other cases and things we can do in the future if we have the need..

Pre-installed Retro Pi on the SD card
Pre-installed Retro Pi on the SD card

Everything is pre-installed for you. All you have to do is insert the SD card.

Putting the Raspberry Pi 3 in the case
Putting the Raspberry Pi 3 in the case

This was very easy to do and you can’t put it in the wrong way. Once you put it in you can put the top on and insert the 4 screws.

Closing the Vilros Case
Closing the Vilros Case

Vilros even supplies the screwdriver for you. How cool is that?!

Assembled Retro Pi
Assembled Retro Pi

Everything is assembled and now we are ready to power it up.

Select Retro Pi and then setup your WiFi
Select Retro Pi and then setup your WiFi

Setting up the WiFi made things very easy for us to get updates and connect to the Internet. Very nice setup.

Pick your network and enter your password
Pick your network and enter your password

I wish more Raspberry Pi setups were this easy!

Make sure that you have Retro Pi selected and then click Install.

Click on Retro PI and Install
Click on Retro PI and Install

They RetroPie will then go to the Internet and get the files it needs to finish the installation.

NOTE: I would use the following command when done on the command line.

sudo apt-get install && sudo apt-get upgrade

This will take a few minutes to make sure everything is up to date.

Automatically reboots
Automatically reboots

Once everything is done the Retro Pie will reboot and not the fun starts!

USB Joystick is required
USB Joystick is required

When I got to this point I did not have a joystick. I had to text my brother to ask him where his was so I could calibrate it and get to the next steps. Now you know why I linked you one above and here it is again USB controller.

Playing Bubble Bobble 2
Playing Bubble Bobble 2

Success! A few minutes later I was playing one of the games I probably spent a few paychecks on (one quarter at a time) while I was in Okinawa Japan. It brought back a lot of fond memories and I look forward to trying out some others soon.

NOTE:

There are free and copyrighted ROMS out on the Internet. I am not telling you what you can or can’t do since Google is your friend and your mind is your conscience. I know some people that literally have hundreds of games. If you educate yourself I am sure you can find something that works for you. I look forward to hearing what all of you learn. So who’s up for a game?!

The Pimoroni Inky pHAT

This tutorial will show you how to install the Pimoroni  Inky pHAT Python library, and then walk through its functionality. You’ll learn how to run the a few of the included examples: the calendar and the name badge. For the complete tutorial you can go the the Pimoroni website:

Inky-pHAT1
Inky-pHAT1

https://learn.pimoroni.com/tutorial/sandyj/getting-started-with-inky-phat

Inky-pHAT2
Inky-pHAT2

First thing I did on my Raspberry Pi Zero WH was open a new terminal window and update the software to tun the Pimoroni  Inky pHAT:

sudo pip install –upgrade inkyphat

Inky-pHAT3
Inky-pHAT3

Then I made sure my version of Raspbian was up to date with this command:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Inky-pHAT4
Inky-pHAT4

Then I the following command to setup the Inky pHAT:

curl https://get.pimoroni.com/inkyphat | bash

Inky-pHAT5
Inky-pHAT5

Once that’s done reboot your Pi to let the changes propagate.

After the reboot open up a terminal window and navigate to:

cd /home/pi/Pimoroni/inkyphat/examples

Once there you can then type “ls” to see the examples in that directory. I did the calendar:

python cal.py

Inky-pHAT6
Inky-pHAT6

Then:

python hello.py “Single-Board.com”

Inky-pHAT7
Inky-pHAT7

Final thoughts:

I am very happy with the completion of this project. It seems that all the soldering I did on the header works as intended. I will update more as I intend to use this Inky pHAT in all of my future projects. I will definitely be adding my logo on there!

What is next weeks project?

Inky-pHAT8

Inky-pHAT8