When I was looking at improving performance of my raspnerry Pi I found a comment

"you dont have to have a swap , and if your doing heavy stuff which needs swap you can always add a HD via the USB -"

Can anyone explain the steps for doing this.

Below is my RPi Conf

  1. Raspberry Pi B+
  2. NOOBs - Raspbian OS
  3. Edimax Wi-Fi Adapter
  4. Bluetooth Adapter
  5. 32 Gb SD card

Any other way to get better performance will be of good help.

3 Answers 3


From your config it looks like you're using Raspberry Pi 2 model B+. I don't really know what do you mean by "heavy stuff" there, but that config seems enough to me...

Or if you want yet another performance boost, I suggest getting a Pi 3

  • I would like to try a prototype of Bluetooth controlled light switch as a first phase and then extend it features to collect usage patterns.
    – Varad A G
    Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 7:42
  • There's nothing about that use case that needs any kind of computing horsepower. In fact, I'd say even the lowest-end Pi might be overkill. You may want to take a look at something like an ESP8266 if WiFi control is acceptable instead of Bluetooth.
    – goobering
    Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 8:49
  • @VaradAG I think, you should make sure of your power supply, voltage has to be 5 volts, and current at least 2,5 amps. If you're not supplying enough power to the Pi it will automatically reduce performance. It happened to me while doing some image processing, the Pi had less amps and was running undervolt, consequently I was getting a low FPS, as I came up with a better power supply ( made a custom battery pack) the undervoltage warning was gone and I experienced a gain of ~25 FPS!
    – YaddyVirus
    Commented Jun 17, 2016 at 12:41
  • I am getting a better performance after changing the power cable now. Also I removed the touch screen and made the setup with my vga monitor. Thanks @Yaddy for your suggestion
    – Varad A G
    Commented Jun 18, 2016 at 7:24
  • @VaradAG happy to help or inspire!
    – YaddyVirus
    Commented Jun 19, 2016 at 8:10

I'm afraid that the most effective thing you can do is to overclock your Pi (there's an option for that in raspi-config). You may want to put a heatsink on the CPU chip to prevent overheating. This should give you a couple percent performance increase.

Adding swap on a USB HDD will not increase performance at all, since your Pi only supports USB 2.0, which is pretty slow, so using a HDD plugged into that as a 'RAM extension' wouldn't be effective.


Analyze your running processes with htop or top. Figure out what is installed that you don't need running and disable or remove the packages (not for the feint of heart or linux beginner). Don't start the gui.

Disable all logging or send logs to dev/null

Make sure the PSU is supplying ample power as others have stated. You can overclock, but I wouldn't do this without good cooling and heat sinks.

Externally power any addons. Then you should have as high performance as I could advise.

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