Heater
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:07 pm

@moderator,

Hey, what's with the deleting the Facebook bashing?

The despicable behavior of FB deserves to be pointed out at every opportunity.

Young users of the Pi deserve being made aware of how internet giants abuse us. Isn't such computer literacy education part of the mission of the Pi Foundation?

@bjtheone
Can you point to an example of a "modern web page" other than the abomination that is Facebook, that cause issues?
Perhaps not so modern but slashdot is a major resource hog: https://slashdot.org/

If you have a Pi 4 to hand I would love to know how well this page performs on it: https://www.babylonjs.com/demos/v8/
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

jdb
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:51 pm

Heater wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:07 pm
@moderator,

Hey, what's with the deleting the Facebook bashing?

The despicable behavior of FB deserves to be pointed out at every opportunity.

Young users of the Pi deserve being made aware of how internet giants abuse us. Isn't such computer literacy education part of the mission of the Pi Foundation?
Not me that did the edit, but in general bashing companies for being "evil" is tiresome and in this particular situation detracts from the thread. You just end up with a dogpile of "{$FAANG COMPANY} is baaaaaad!!!1" posts and inevitably one will be libelous.

That said, I'm going through the process of setting up a new win10 works laptop as win7 is about to go the way of the dodo (and my current laptop is from when I joined RPTL). Dear God this is a vomit-inducing experience that makes my skin crawl - first thing I did was to iterate over every single setting that parsed as "leak arbitrary data over the network connection to a third party" and disable it. 30-odd pages later I thought I got them all, but I was subsequently playing whack-a-mole with every single program ("""app""") I installed that either a) wanted an online account b) wanted to gather analytics c) didn't ask about either but had a buried setting that needed disabling. The bloody start bar search feature STILL retrieves (read:keylogs) search terms from the internet despite group policy edits. Next step will be to install an egress-filtering firewall app and defaulting everything to deny.

It's certainly cemented my belief that I need to compartmentalise computing usage at home - a Pi 4 is going to be the machine I do anything handling PII on (banking, communicating with people I know IRL, most browsing) and the to-be-purchased Ryzen win10 box is going to be a glorified gaming appliance.

Unfortunately the desktop experience of a Pi 4 for most people is going to be modulated by "how fast chromium runs", which is why we're expending quite a bit of effort on optimising that.
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Heater
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:21 pm

jdb,

I do appreciate the desire to keep the forum free of flame wars. On the other hand I believe these issues are serious and worthy of discussion. An obvious place to discuss them is on a somewhat technical forum where the audience is more likely capable of understanding what is going on. So it's disturbing that such comments get censored so easily.
That said, I'm going through the process of setting up a new win10 works laptop..
Oh dear. As my colleague and I have discussed many times it seems that almost all software one takes into use today, from Win 10 to Android etc, has a million options that are always defaulted to the opposite of what any sane human would choose if they were asked. Presumably the intention is that the majority of people don't go digging for all those options or are not totally aware of what they are even if they do.

This is not done by accident. It is actually malicious. Which brings us back to the first point above.

What are we, as responsible and aware humans going to do about it? Just suck it up as "normal" or fix it?
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

fanoush
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:26 pm

For windows 10 check Winaero Tweaker, it can disable or tune many annoying features. Each tweak is also documented what it does to registry so you can do it by hand if you wish. This is first thing I install in each new win10 vm to keep some sanity.

cruster
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Fri Nov 15, 2019 8:36 pm

That said, I'm going through the process of setting up a new win10 works laptop as win7 is about to go the way of the dodo (and my current laptop is from when I joined RPTL). Dear God this is a vomit-inducing experience that makes my skin crawl - first thing I did was to iterate over every single setting that parsed as "leak arbitrary data over the network connection to a third party" and disable it. 30-odd pages later I thought I got them all, but I was subsequently playing whack-a-mole with every single program ("""app""") I installed that either a) wanted an online account b) wanted to gather analytics c) didn't ask about either but had a buried setting that needed disabling. The bloody start bar search feature STILL retrieves (read:keylogs) search terms from the internet despite group policy edits. Next step will be to install an egress-filtering firewall app and defaulting everything to deny.

It's certainly cemented my belief that I need to compartmentalise computing usage at home - a Pi 4 is going to be the machine I do anything handling PII on (banking, communicating with people I know IRL, most browsing) and the to-be-purchased Ryzen win10 box is going to be a glorified gaming appliance.

Unfortunately the desktop experience of a Pi 4 for most people is going to be modulated by "how fast chromium runs", which is why we're expending quite a bit of effort on optimising that.
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RossDv8
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Fri Nov 15, 2019 10:15 pm

Hey, what's with the deleting the Facebook bashing?
I apologise if my prior post led to some 'Facebook Bashing'. I didn;t get to see what was said, and I didn;t mean to create drama.
It is just my experience that Facebook, Google and its Android and Chrome derivatives and a few other companies seem to clog the Internet with garbage so they can make truckloads of cash from us as users.

And I might have been venting my frustration that this impacts on the performance of products like the Pi, because the web is so integral to our computing these days..
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bjtheone
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:21 am

Heater wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:07 pm
Perhaps not so modern but slashdot is a major resource hog: https://slashdot.org/

If you have a Pi 4 to hand I would love to know how well this page performs on it: https://www.babylonjs.com/demos/v8/
With my regular stuff and slashdot added, Ram sits a 348 MB free, and the engine simulator is running at 6 fps.

ejolson
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:50 am

bjtheone wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 12:21 am
Heater wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:07 pm
Perhaps not so modern but slashdot is a major resource hog: https://slashdot.org/

If you have a Pi 4 to hand I would love to know how well this page performs on it: https://www.babylonjs.com/demos/v8/
With my regular stuff and slashdot added, Ram sits a 348 MB free, and the engine simulator is running at 6 fps.
I get exactly 30fps in power-saving mode on an android mobile with specifications

Code: Select all

CPU   Octa-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53
GPU   Adreno 505
Why is the Pi 4B so slow? Is it the GPU driver? Is the 3B+ faster?

Heater
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:53 am

@bjtheone,
With my regular stuff and slashdot added, Ram sits a 348 MB free, and the engine simulator is running at 6 fps.
Ah, thanks for the feedback.

6fps is about what I was getting with my Samsung J1 phone from 2015. I recently bought a Nokia 7 phone that turns in 60fps in Chrome but only 30fps in Firefox.

@ejolson
Why is the Pi 4B so slow? Is it the GPU driver? Is the 3B+ faster?
Hard to say. That V8 engine simulator must also be making heavy use of Javascript. Which I suspect accounts for much of the difference between Firefox and Chrome on my phone.

Then Raspbian is constrained to 32 bit operation which is not ideal for Javascript.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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HawaiianPi
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sat Nov 16, 2019 5:38 am

Heater wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:07 pm
If you have a Pi 4 to hand I would love to know how well this page performs on it: https://www.babylonjs.com/demos/v8/
I'm averaging 8 fps (7 to 9 fps, but sitting at 8 most of the time).
  • Pi 4B4 v1.1 in Flirc case
  • Raspbian Buster with 64-bit kernel (4.19.75-v8+) on SanDisk Ultra A1 32GB
  • Older official 5.1V/2.5A micro USB PSU with USB-C adapter
  • 1080p monitor on HDMI-0
Other than arm_64bit=1 in config.txt the system is default Raspbian.

My Win10 laptop, Chromebook and Android phone seem to be v-sync limited, as they all run at the refresh rate of their screens (60, 60 and 90).

ejolson wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 1:50 am
Why is the Pi 4B so slow? Is it the GPU driver? Is the 3B+ faster?
My 3B+ running Stretch gets a whopping 0 fps (might register a few frames per minute, if the demo could measure that).
My mind is like a browser. 27 tabs are open, 9 aren't responding,
lots of pop-ups...and where is that annoying music coming from?

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sat Nov 16, 2019 8:33 am

7-9 fps on Chromium on Gentoo64, 5-6fps Aurora, but it is screen size dependant, got as high as 20fps at 640? width.
But I was compiling the Fifth browser dependences at the same time, that does not do WebGL.

How much faster can browsers go on Pi4's?
A stand-alone WebGL/glTF viewer will go faster or are browsers better optimized now?
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Heater
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:04 am

Browsers get their optimization honed everyday. Modern day JS interpreters are a couple of orders of magnitude faster than they were some years ago. Not up to the speed of compiled C but doing very well.

That V8 engine simulation uses webgl of course but it is primarily a demo of the babylon.js 3D library my Microsoft. Babylon is a very nice library to make working with webgl a lot simpler. Babylon.js is written in Javascript so the speed of the JS interpreter has a huge impact on it's performance.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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clicky
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sat Nov 16, 2019 9:44 am

And now you lost me with that JS WebGL (performance) test.

My Pi4 is averaging 4fps and in full screen from Chromium only 3fps.
But, of course - that's, along with other 7fps/9fps, etc, just partial information which doesn't help a lot.

My screen resolution is 2560x1600. On 1920x1080 it is 7fps and on 1024x768 11fps (full screen mode 10fps). If I make smaller window I can make it run up 14fps...

Also, I've double check CPU if it wasn't reaching 25% (one full core) - it was around 10-14%, so all the about talk 32bit or 64bin OS or speed of JS makes no sense. All is due GPU and those are fps I observed with my game, too...

BTW when I made tiny window to achieve 25fps (where JS side would add more CPU) it pushed CPU usage to around 30%...

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:28 am

Anyone with a 4K screen, what fps is that doing?
So what is the speed limiter for WebGL?

Is it GPU memory speed, JS, JIT, does not seem to be CPU speed?
But I have read the browsers are using more cores if they are there.
I click on a new tab and the 4 cpu bars go up.
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Heater
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:35 am

That's an interesting result clicky. Certainly seems to be the GPU that is the bottleneck.

Despite what everyone, everywhere says all the time, Javascript is not the problem in browsers.

2560x1600.is of course ludicrous resolution for this. Even in a full screen window I would expect the frame rate to go up a lot if you zoom into some small area and there is less action to render.

Probably a model with less level of detail and simpler lighting effects etc would get the speed up to something respectable.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

jamesh
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:40 am

4K resolution in 3D is a massive ask for GPU even a desktop one. We quadrupled speed in the V6 over the vc4 but that only means you'll get the same frame rates at 4K that we previously got at 1080p.
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clicky
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:29 am

Heater wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:35 am
That's an interesting result clicky. Certainly seems to be the GPU that is the bottleneck.

Despite what everyone, everywhere says all the time, Javascript is not the problem in browsers.
It really depends what you're using it for. In this instance CPU is relatively lightly used - a few calculations here and there and for orchestrating GPU. It is similar with Python - you can use Python as light weight wrapper over C/C++ code that can do much lower, byte level processing. But if you try to use it on byte level - it is completely inappropriate. Ask me how I know :roll:
Heater wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:35 am
2560x1600.is of course ludicrous resolution for this. Even in a full screen window I would expect the frame rate to go up a lot if you zoom into some small area and there is less action to render.
Me, too, but - if it is GPU intensive (and it is!) then making it full screen only adds more pixels to be processed and I suspect that's what we've seen there...

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Gavinmc42
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:40 am

So a good coding challenge would be a 3D app or game that renders at 60fps at 4K?
Is it possible?
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clicky
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:36 am

Gavinmc42 wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:40 am
So a good coding challenge would be a 3D app or game that renders at 60fps at 4K?
Is it possible?
Depends how simple you make it. It might be possible:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8q9RJtG ... e=youtu.be

Here is thing I am working on. It has really small number of polygons but uses several passes in order to calculate shadows. I've got following results:

800x600 windowed mode - 60fps easily
1024x768 windowed mode - 47 - 50 (mostly 50) fps
1280x720 windowed mode - ~ 43fps

2560x1600 full screen mode - 22fps
1280x960 full screen - 45-50fps
1280x720 full screen - 55 - 60fps (mostly 60)
1024x768 full screen - 70 fps

PS video is made on mac but I timed it on RPi4... I can give it a go without shadows - I'm sure it would run better...

jamesh
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:26 pm

Neverball runs OK at 4K IRC, that is what we use for testing (amongst other things).
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:27 pm

Heater wrote:
Sat Nov 16, 2019 10:35 am
Despite what everyone, everywhere says all the time, Javascript is not the problem in browsers.
Yes it is. 'Everyone' cannot all be wrong.

It's not the only problem though.
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Heater
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:30 pm

jamesh,
'Everyone' cannot all be wrong.
Sure they can. As was said in a Monty Python sketch: "99 percent of all right thinking people are wrong!"
Yes it is.
No it is not.

Javascript is just a programming language, a rather sophisticated, efficient and good language as it happens. "Universal" as Turing would have it. That is to say logically equivalent to Python, C++, Go, take your pick.

Therefore, if we accept that having a universal programming language in the browser at all is a good idea then we see that Javascript is no more the problem than if that language had been Python, C++, Go, take your pick.

Everyone rags on JS but if it were any other language in the browser all the same problems would exist. It is not Javascript's fault! Blaming Javascript is not right and not fair.
It's not the only problem though.
That is is certainly true. The more I have been working with "web stuff" in recent years the more I became convinced that the environment that JS lives in in the browser has been deigned for maximum insecurity from the ground up!

With care and effort one can disable a lot of bad stuff now a days when putting together a web site. But really why it's not all disabled by default is beyond me.

If Facebook and the like insist on sending tens of megabytes of JS down the line that takes forever to load and parse and eats all your memory that is not Javascript's fault. They would have done that in any other language.

As we will soon find out with the arrival of webasm. Which allows almost any language to be compiled into byte codes and sent to your browser.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

dickon
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:29 pm

Heater wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:30 pm
Therefore, if we accept that having a universal programming language in the browser at all is a good idea [...]
If. That's a *huge* if.

Personally, I don't think it is, but I do recognise that that ship has sailed, and we just have to get used to it. Installing NoScript and setting it to reject everything by default is instructive. You will find a: everything runs much, much faster (as there's no JavaScript running, so you just get a basic rendering), b: your ad blocker is more effective (as there's no ad-reinjection attempted by the website, running JavaScript), and c: a lot of things break (as the site relies on the scripting engine running the scripts).

But simply blacklisting all the analytics guff that every website seems to feel is an absolute requirement these days makes a notable improvement. Knocking out all the crap the ad networks inject is also a huge win.

Heater
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:52 pm

dickon,
If. That's a *huge* if.
I thought somebody would pick up on that.

I can kinda, sorta agree with you.

As it happens I don't suffer from adds much. If I ever find myself linked to a page that is busy downloading tons of adds the back button is only an instant away. Likely any content it had is not worth the effort, I tell myself. Often the content is available somewhere less obnoxious.

I do like that a page in my browser running JS and other code from my web server is so convenient. Browser and server are just an application program of mine with different parts running at different ends of the line. A web page makes a nice, cross platform and remotely usable GUI.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

dickon
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Re: Pi4 as Desktop computer

Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:37 pm

I thought you might. It was phrased as a bit of a challenge.

I suspect jamesh feels similarly to the way I do: JS is an inconvenience at best, and a huge problem at worst.

When people are doing benign things with it -- and I've done so myself -- it's great: it's a handy way of validating fields before submitting them to a backend for processing, or designing highly reactive interfaces which don't require a full page-load each time you change state. I like things like that, but sites should work without it.

When people are doing malign things with it -- and I've never done this -- it's a nightmare: it's a handy way of tracking a user's mouse position, setting cross-domain cookies, reporting back to a server on what the user is doing, where they've been, and assigning unique identifiers based on a fingerprint of the browser and window. And that's just the easy stuff: coin-mining, VM breakouts (to infect the host process), covert data collection, side-channel inter-process snooping -- all this has been done and isn't theoretical. I hate things like that, and sites must work without it.

JS is a nightmare. Causes horrendous problems, and, on an ideal planet, wouldn't exist. It's mostly lazy developers which require it, and although there are some really nice tricks which make running it worthwhile, on the whole it's more trouble than it's worth.

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