RetroPie system hanging problems Answered
Not too long ago I ordered a Raspberry Pi 3 and used it as my main computer for about a day and while it did most things pretty well, internet browsing, as usual, was painful, with the browser tabs loading very slowly and crashing frequently, probably due to the small about of RAM and poor RAM management. Anyways I decided that while the Pi 3 may still not be suitable for me in desktop use, what about game emulation!?!?
So I download the RetroPie distro and flash that to a quality SD card, and get it set up. I installed a few experimental emulators and messed with the CPU/GPU RAM allocation a bit but any time I try to emulate a system, or even exit an emulator and get back to the emulation station, the entire system hangs!!!!
Being a hardware guy, I get the osciloscope and measure the power supply. I did notice that when the PS3 is connected via USB, the red light on the Pi goes out. Surely enough the red light goes out because the nominal 5V input drops to below 4.5V, which causes the 1.1V regulator powering the processor to drop out for some reason. I replaced the dodgy 6 ft USB cable and 5V 2A power adapter with a much shorter 2 foot long and thick micro USB cable and use a quality samsung 5.3V 2.5A charger, and this seemed to fix that problem and reduce the frequency of system hangs. Now I can no longer observe a correlation between a system hang and low voltage dropout. The minimum voltage observed was 4.8V.
However I still sometimes get system hangs when exiting emulators, and it is just about guaranteed to hang when trying to use the SNES, N64, and PSP emulators. I might try to reflash RetroPie over this weekend if I have time, but I want to know if anyone else had this problem or might have a solution.
The SD card used was a 32GB SONY UHS1 card nominally rated at 40MB/s transfer rate, and benchmarked the highest of all my 32GB cards with 4Kbyte random read/write. I used Win32DiskImager to flash the card in windows 10.