Please explain how to overclock.

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I previously asked about overclocking, but the article was not clear about what to do (in ubuntu), and assumed that I'm an expert already.

If I need to edit a specific file, it would help to actually state that in the instructions. I was given what looked to be a bunch of directories, but when I followed the paths, they did not match what was on my fresh install of Lubuntu.

If I need to create a script file, it would help to actually state that in the instructions.

As a documentation writer, myself, I find it best to approach is to write all instructions for complete novices. You need to write instructions for how to do something from the point of view of someone who knows nothing yet. This way, people who really do know nothing will be able to follow, while people who are experts can see what they need to see, and skip over what they know they won't need to review.

I am simply trying to get this banana pi up to the same level of functionality as my Raspberry pi, which i not only easily and quickly set up with MAME emulating at full speed, but which I easily got Linux installed on for general use, and can use as a fully-functional portable computer. I did not have to struggle as hard with the Raspberry Pi as i have had to with the Banana Pi.

dwirish, I completely agree with you about documentation. It is best to assume your reader knows very little. I would like to overclock as well.

If the Banana Pi is to succeed, documentation and guides need to be very simple and clearso that they are accessible by all not just super techies.

Edited by tkaiser at Tue Dec 2, 2014 04:31

Advanced features should be used by advanced users solely that also understand the implications of their doings (decreasing the life-span of their device due to overheating or burning their device immediately). If someone fails to use the forum search or use a simple web search using for example
  1. overclock
Copy the Code
then it's better he stays away from stuff like this.

BTW: There is no such thing like 'overclocking' on the Banana Pi since there do not exist clear specifications that would tell you maximum clock rates. It's all about understanding the implications of 'el cheapo' hardware and the CPU frequency stuff (thermal and consumption wise). If you take care of the necessary prerequisits (considering especially heat dissipation which is impossible using one of the crappy standard enclosures available for the Banana Pi) you might be able to run the Banana Pi stable at a clock rate that is higher than the conservative defaults.

Single board computers (SBC) like the Banana Pi do not use mainstream CPUs that have been tested under worst case conditions at the factory prior to being selected and marketed/sold under different names (like eg. Intel CPUs, for example these two CPUs,83507 are produced in exactly the same way. The ones that are able to be clocked higher and still operatore reliable will then be sold with a different name at a higher price). In the SBC world the heart of the system is based on a super cheap SoC (system on chip) in a 'one size fits it all' fashion. The selection has to be done by someone else eg. the user of the Banana Pi in question.

What does this mean? You might get a Banana Pi with an A20 SoC that is able to withstand being clocked with 1.4 Ghz if higher voltages will be provided via a modified fex file and the thermal issues have been resolved correctly (which means wasting many hours on your side! Compare with ... =8137&pid=42347 for example). Or you might get one where the Banana Pi starts to work unrealiably even at 1008 MHz (maybe because the chip fails more early or maybe because the inexperienced user does not want to understand that it's important to monitor system parameters like the voltage available to the Banana's power management unit? What most people do since they always blindly trust in everything, for example the ratings printed on their PSU that are totally irrelevant when you use a bad cable/connector).

Apart from that unfortunately you're both totally right regarding quality/amount of available documentation and the 'support quality' of this forum.

Okay, okay....

So let's start over.

In Ubuntu, how does one go about making the Banana Pi run at 1.4 Ghz, or any speed higher than default? Please note that I'd like this explained, as the first message in the thread says, in a simple, straightforward way, with the assumption that I'm not an expert.

Edited by tkaiser at Tue Dec 2, 2014 09:54
dwirish replied at Tue Dec 2, 2014 09:27
how does one go about making the Banana Pi run at 1.4 Ghz ... with the assumption that I'm not an expert

The answer is simple: A novice user won't do that since he's not able or willing to understand the implications and will end up with frustration and even a broken device.

If you're willing to understand how you should monitor voltage/current and temperatures from the AXP209 power management unit and the SoC, if you're willing to understand how to increase voltages based on clock speed in the approriate fex file, if you're willing to simply understand that it's impossible to give a general advice to operate your device reliably at 1.4 GHz then you would be ready to accept that a careful step-by-step approach to the required modifications is necessary. And then detailed technical explanations would make sense.

Edited by thatsbanana at Tue Dec 2, 2014 10:42

As was said in the other thread you only need to put these lines one-by-one into the console/terminal:

echo ondemand | sudo tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor
echo 1000000 | sudo tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_max_freq
echo 600000 | sudo tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_min_freq
echo 25 | sudo tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/ondemand/up_threshold
echo 10 | sudo tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpufreq/ondemand/sampling_down_factor

Th two higher numbers adjust the max and min frequency.

This will give you an oc to 1GHz, which I consider the max without additional cooling. Everything will be set to normal after rebooting, so that's best for quick-testing. However, you may still damage your Banana...

Edited by tkaiser at Tue Dec 2, 2014 11:25
thatsbanana replied at Tue Dec 2, 2014 10:35
This will give you an oc to 1GHz

Nope. This will give you a 'whopping' 48 MHz over the current Lubuntu maximum of 912 MHz:
  1. root@bananas ~ # cat /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_cur_freq
  2. 960000
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You have to use powers of 48 (912, 960, 1008 and so on).

And unless you do the other necessary stuff I repeatedly tried to point out you won't succeed in getting the Banana Pi to operate at higher clock rates reliable/stable. Don't rely on sysbench but instead create archives in parallel and run diffs on them later. Do you really want a device that is prone to multiple bit flips per hour?

And can anyone please tell me how a novice should adjust the necessary voltage entries in both dvfs_table and the pmu settings? ... ig/a20/Bananapi.fex

Have a look at the last official commits: "Fix the unstable problem caused by dvfs table." and "decrease DRAM timings". This stuff has been changed for a reason. And it's impossible to try to play around with this stuff without a deeper understanding.

thatsbanana replied at Tue Dec 2, 2014 10:35
As was said in the other thread you only need to put these lines one-by-one into the console/termina ...

That is not what was said in the previous article -- it did not say that I had to type those commands into the command-line terminal. It didn't say how to use those lines, so I didn't know if I was supposed to edit files, or look for specific files in specific folders.

Like a lot of things in these forums, everyone just assumed way too much, while missing the obvious. Now that you've said "just type these lines into the command line", I know what I'm supposed to do with that info. Trust me -- the original article doesn't say "type these into the command line".

tkaiser replied at Tue Dec 2, 2014 09:53
The answer is simple: A novice user won't do that since he's not able or willing to understand the ...

Tkaiser, that is the type of answer that an arrogant jerk would say to someone asking for help, rather than simply offer help. It's uncalled for. You have to be a special kind of broken to deem people unworthy of assistance when it is honestly asked.

The difference between the banana pi and the raspberry pi is that the Raspberry Pi support community is full of people who actually WANT TO HELP, and who don't insult newbies when they ask what self-proclaimed wizards deem to be "high knowledge, not suitable for anyone unless I approve of it!"

As a result of the ACTUAL support community, I was able to get a raspberry Pi, then get everything set up the way I wanted, within minutes. When i decided to make an arcade emulator, I successfully tested several versions out on my own, and easily got each one set up with minimal effort, including using the raspi-config to clock my Pi at the maximum speed without effort. All I want to do is get Mame set up on the banana pi so that it works just like it does on the raspberry, as well as conduct my experiment in making a modular laptop, with a Lubuntu computer as the base, which i did on my Raspberry Pi effortlessly.

What is the difference between the Raspi support community, and you people? Well, when I ask newbie questions in the Raspi community, I get lot of people who make no assumptions about my level of knowledge, and who ust give help. When i ask for help here, people like you come out and feel the need to tell me not to try what I'm asking for help with.

You give the banana Pi support community a bad name be being such a prick.


Well put.  Post time Nov 10, 2015 00:05

UGH this is beyond frustrating to read! You know tkaiser-the point of a raspberry or bananna pi is for experimentation. Who gives a flying f*** if we burn up a board that costs as much as a tank of gas? SO why even respond to a post if you aren't going to be helpful? I am very interested in this subject as well. Would someone helpful please respond? It is very unclear whether there is a similiar GUI interface to raspi-config or if it is all cryptic commands in the terminal (which nobody would know including experts without *&^&*^ specs!). I was so excited to buy a board similiar to my raspberry with 2X the RAM and dual cores. I am super disappointed that there is so little literature out there about this product.... lemaker/banana pi supporters you better step up your game or you will be quickly replaced by a better product!

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