RESOLVED. Thread now here for posterity.
SUMMARY: BUY THE RIGHT GODDAMN (OFFICIAL PI!) CPU (and be careful when downgrading via ssh. It’s not guaranteed to work out exactly as you expect. Always back up your card beforehand).
I’ve just started with Batocera and on my Pi4 everything seems to run fine with few exceptions. But I have a few old 3B+ Pis knocking around and decided to install Batocera on one. Performance seems to be an issue on a number of titles, particularly arcade. Since I keep coming across issues so regularly, and since I can’t seem to find people with the same issues on google, I just wanted to pick the forum’s knowledgable brains on this to find out whether:
These are just a few I’ve noted that I’ve experienced problems with. There are others, and these are all early tests, hence I’m worried about performance across the board:
Starfox - runs slow, audio terribly choppy.
Pocky & Rocky - runs full speed, occasional audio breakup.
Mortal Kombat II - Slightly slow, audio is very slow, crackly.
Thunder Fox - so slow it barely runs. Switched to MAME instead and it runs fine, but audio is slow. Seems to work ok at Frame Skip 1 and a slight audio latency adjustment.
Atari Star Wars - Audio stutters like crazy on death star explosion
Lucky & Wild - So slow it doesn’t work in fbneo. Switch to MAME and with frameskip can get it to almost full speed, but no amount of tweaking saves the audio from being a stuttering mess.
Alien 3: The Gun - Too slow to work on fbneo. Switched to MAME, but as above, while full speed the audio just will not run without stuttering into a garbled mess.
Operation Wolf / Operation Thunderbolt - Neither work in fbneo, too slow. Both work in MAME.
Akumajo Dracula - Seems to be fine during the intro and title screen, and into the game for about 5 seconds before it all slows to a grinding unplayable mess. No amount of tweaking seems to resolve it.
As noted, there will likely be a lot more if these are early signs of things to come. I’m pretty sure SNES games shouldn’t be experiencing issues on this hardware, but I’m curious as to other people’s experiences with fbneo, X68k, SNES, MAME etc, and if everything ran fine for you out the gate on a Pi 3B+.
Thank you in advance for your input.