7-Zip benchmark on Raspberry Pi

The 7-Zip Benchmark command

7zip

Measures speed of the CPU and checks RAM for errors.

You can install 7-Zip from the Raspbian Desktop – this is how:

  • Click on the Raspberry in the top left of your screen:
  • Go down to “Preferences” –> and click on “Add / Remove Software”:
  • When the new window opens, type “p7zip” in the search box and hit enter
  • Click both of the checkboxes for “p7zip” (they should be the last 2 choices)

You can also install 7-Zip from the command line:

sudo apt-get install p7zip

Syntax

b [number_of_iterations] [-mmt{N}] [-md{N}] [-mm={Method}]

There are two tests:

  1. Compressing with LZMA method
  2. Decompressing with LZMA method

The benchmark shows a rating in MIPS (million instructions per second). The rating value is calculated from the measured CPU speed and it is normalized with results of Intel Core 2 CPU with multi-threading option switched off. So if you have Intel Core 2 Duo, rating values must be close to real CPU frequency.

You can change the upper dictionary size to increase memory usage by -md{N} switch. Also, you can change the number of threads by -mmt{N} switch.

The Dict column shows the dictionary size. For example, 21 means 2^21 = 2 MB.

The Usage column shows the percentage of time the processor is working. It’s normalized for a one-thread load. For example, 180% CPU Usage for 2 threads can mean that average CPU usage is about 90% for each thread.

The R / U column shows the rating normalized for 100% of CPU usage. That column shows the performance of one average CPU thread.

Avr shows averages for different dictionary sizes.

Tot shows averages of the compression and decompression ratings.

Compression speed and rating strongly depend on memory (RAM) latency.

Decompression speed and rating strongly depend on the integer performance of the CPU. For example, the Intel Pentium 4 has big branch misprediction penalty (which is an effect of its long pipeline) and pretty slow multiply and shift operations. So, the Pentium 4 has pretty low decompressing ratings.

You can run a CRC calculation benchmark by specifying -mm=crc. That test shows the speed of CRC calculation in MB/s. The first column shows the size of the block. The next column shows the speed of CRC calculation for one thread. The other columns are results for multi-threaded CRC calculation.

With -mm=* switch you can run a complex benchmark. It tests hash calculation methods, compression and encryption codecs of 7-Zip. Note that the tests of LZMA have a big weight in “total” results. And the results are normalized with AMD K8 CPU in a complex benchmark.

Examples:

#Runs the benchmark once - takes about 75 seconds on my
#Raspberry Pi 3B+ so please be patient...
7zr b
#You can run and save the output to a file if you wish
#You will not see it running this time while the benchmark
#is running - again please be patient for about 75 seconds
7zr b > 7zip-basic-benchmark-example.txt
#To view the output later or to share it with others
cat 7zip-basic-benchmark-example.txt
#Runs the benchmark twice and give you an average of the
#2 tests - this takes about 150 seconds for this test
7zr b ; 7zr b
#Runs the complete 7-zip benchmark - please be patient...
#There is more information @ http://www.single-board.com 
7zr b -mm=*
#Runs the benchmark 30 times and gives you an average
#This test takes a very long time on the Raspberry Pi
#Watch my YouTube video to see all the cores working on
#Conky - and I am using SimpleScreenRecorder and 
#Asciinema to record everything your seeing today.
7zr b 30
Asciinema
Asciinema

Click here for a direct link to the Asciicast in a new window.

To learn how to install Asciinema click here.

Here is the Asciicast:

NOTE: first 70 seconds don’t show anything as I was showing how to install 7-Zip through the Raspberry Pi GUI. You can see that in the YouTube video below.

To watch this YouTube video of the whole process in a new window, click here.

SimpleScreenRecorder
Simple Screen Recorder

Otherwise, click on the video below and enjoy!

NOTE 1:

I use several different software programs and hardware at the same time in this video. This is a culmination of hardware and software that I have used in my previous Asciicast, blogs, and videos. If you want to ask me specific questions I am always available via email, just be patient 🙂

NOTE 2:

If you are interested in testing Single Board Computers like I am, you might just want to head over to “Performance Analysis Methodology” and read what is there. It is very interesting and worth the time if you’re serious about accurate results and not just a stack of data.

VYM – View Your Mind on Raspberry Pi

 

VYM (View Your Mind) is a tool to generate and manipulate maps which show your thoughts. In this video, I will show you how to install and use this incredible program on your Raspberry Pi.

I have included the completed map that I created in the YouTube video below so you can see the value of creating these kinds of Mind Maps.

Final Thoughts:

I have been drawing mind maps most of my life. Some people call it “Theory Crafting”, some people call it “Story Boarding” and they are all related somewhat in concept and design. What makes VYM, View Your Mind so useful is that it is FREE, it works very well on Raspbian and the Raspberry PI and you can share it with others. It is another program that makes the whole Raspberry Pi experience great!

Have fun installing it, using it and taking your ideas and sharing them with others in a whole new way! Catch you next week!

SimpleScreenRecorder works on Raspberry Pi

SimpleScreenRecorder is a Linux program that was created to record programs and games by Maarten Baert. I have found this to work exceptionally well on the Raspberry Pi 3B+ and I wanted to show you how easy it is to install and use.

As Maarten Baert’s original goal was to create a program that was just really simple to use, featured filled and is actually a pretty powerful program. It’s ‘simple’ in the sense that it’s easier to use than most other programs because it has a straightforward user interface. Here is a direct link to SimpleScreenRecorder.

NOTE:
I am installing this across my network from my Linux Mint computer using RealVNC to my Raspberry Pi 3B+ so I can use the same SimpleScreenRecorder on the Pi. Once I have that installed on the Pi I will install another program showing you SimpleScreenRecorder being installed on it.

Additional NOTE:
Last week I installed the RESPEAKER on the Pi so that is how you will hear me on the next video. In THIS video the microphone you hear me on is on my Linux Mint computer.

So now that you know about it and all the details let us get to it with the installation. This is going to be fun!

For those that wanted a more close up of the control panels here is a .gif I Googled on the Internet.

Final thoughts:

I have tried several different programs over the years that do screen recordings. I find this one not only the easiest to use but the Simple fact that it works so wonderfully well on the Raspberry Pi is perfect. Give this a try and I think you will be not only very surprised but happy as well. -=Enjoy=-

ReSpeaker 4-Mic Array for the Raspberry Pi

Today’s project is a ReSpeaker 4-Mic Array for the Raspberry Pi. It is a quad-microphone expansion board designed for AI and voice applications. This means that we can build a more powerful and flexible voice product that integrates Amazon Alexa Voice Service, Google Assistant, and so on.

The Respeaker comes assembled and easily fits onto any Raspberry Pi provided that the header is already installed to it.

Mount ReSpeaker 4-Mic Array on Raspberry Pi, make sure that the pins are properly aligned when stacking the ReSpeaker 4-Mic Array for Raspberry Pi.

Note: Hot-plugging ReSpeaker is not allowed. It will damage the respeaker.

Install driver

The AC108 codec is not supported by Pi kernel builds currently, we have to build it manually.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
git clone https://github.com/respeaker/seeed-voicecard.git
cd seeed-voicecard
sudo ./install.sh
reboot

  • Step 3. Then select the headphone jack on Raspberry Pi for audio output:

sudo raspi-config
# Select 7 Advanced Options
# Select A4 Audio
# Select 1 Force 3.5mm (‘headphone’) jack
# Select Finish

BONUS: Play with APA102 LEDs

Each on-board APA102 LED has an additional driver chip. The driver chip takes care of receiving the desired color via its input lines and then holding this color until a new command is received.

  • Step 1. Activate SPI:
    • sudo raspi-config
    • Go to “Interfacing Options”
    • Go to “SPI”
    • Enable SPI
    • Exit the tool
  • Step 2. Get APA102 LEDs Library and examples

pi@raspberrypi:~ $ cd /home/pi
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ git clone https://github.com/respeaker/4mics_hat.git
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ cd /home/pi/4mics_hat
pi@raspberrypi:~/4mics_hat $ sudo apt install python-virtualenv 
pi@raspberrypi:~/4mics_hat $ virtualenv –system-site-packages ~/env 
pi@raspberrypi:~/4mics_hat $ source ~/env/bin/activate 
(env) pi@raspberrypi:~/4mics_hat $ pip install spidev gpiozero

  • Step 3. Then run the example code under virtualenv, now we can see the LEDs blink like Google Assistant.

(env) pi@raspberrypi:~/4mics_hat $ python pixels_demo.py

There is a LOT more you can do with this board but I will leave that for you to discover. There is a great WiKi on this over at the Seeed Studio website.

The main reason for me wanting to install the Respeaker is that there are two programs that I used on a regular basis that require a microphone to work and this is the perfect solution for my needs. Those programs are:

Both are easy to install and I will show you how to install both of these in a future video.

Final Thoughts:

The Respeaker is a great add-on for the Raspberry Pi. It is expensive but it has a lot to offer. For all of my future projects, this seems for now to be a good choice. See you next week!