I bought a Raspberry Pi 3 A+ hoping, among other things, to play HD videos. I have flashed Raspbian Buster on a 64GB microSD card, extended the FS, and, generally, the Pi seems to work fine with light stuff (like browsing simple web pages, including YouTube).

If I switch Fake/Full KMS on, however, everything on Buster becomes slow and sluggish. For instance, fully opening Chromium takes about a minute whereas it's a matter of seconds without OpenGL. If I then go and do something (not necessarily heavy) the Pi becomes unresponsive to the point that the only solution is to unplug the power cable (I'm using 5V at 2A btw) as even trying to ssh into the Pi is impossible.

To me, this behaviour looks very similar to a memory starvation issue. I have tried setting gpu_mem to some higher values than the default (which I think is 64M) but that didn't work. Setting it to 128M makes even loading the OS worse (about 5 minutes to get the full Raspbian desktop). Values of 256M and above cause a cma: failed to reserve 256M error message to appear in the log.

  • A+ does not really have enough memory for Chromium. Use omxplayer to play videos from sd card. – CoderMike Aug 21 '19 at 13:12
  • i cannot recommend using the pi 3 in desktop mode. Browsing was almost impossible for me too. Generally speaking, memory is way to low to properly browse or multitask. Using a headless raspbian stretch lite in conjunction with kodi and some kodi addons gives you the ability to watch / stream movies / music or browse youtube or vimeo (depends on the addons you install). Firefox, chromium etc, the big browsers, are too memory hungry. As far as i know there exists light weight browsers, but in general they lack html5 or javascript. For expample: Netsurf, Dillo, Links 2, Lynx, Elinks, Netrik – AlexOnLinux Aug 21 '19 at 19:24
  • Also i've heard that the raspberry pi 3 B+, perhaps the pi 3 A+ too, need more than 5V. They need 5.1V. In case they suffer undervoltage unpredectable or very strange errors can occur. – AlexOnLinux Aug 21 '19 at 19:25
  • I don't think the PS is an issue. I have now installed Raspbian and LibreELEC via NOOBS and Kodi works flawlessly with 1080p. A shame OpenGL support for Raspbian is so flaky. – Phoenix87 Aug 22 '19 at 18:06

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