Raspberry Pi 3 Overclock and Turbo Configuration

It’s that time again. You may remember my old overclocking post for Raspberry Pi and Raspberry Pi 2. Yes, still obsessed with performance. This Raspberry Pi 3 overclock post attempts to overclock the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. Squeezing out some extra performance without compromising on stability. It is highly recommended that you use a capable power supply with 2.5 amps or better. i recommend CanaKit 5V 2.5A Raspberry Pi 3 Power Supply, now, but /boot/config.txt edits.

Raspberry Pi 3 – Before Overclocking

Linux kernel demand governor Whenever there is enough load, the Raspberry Pi will increase the CPU speed used to the maximum configured default value. Therefore, you can reduce lag and improve performance by disabling this CPU scaling feature and forcing the board to always use the default maximum.

The default idle configuration for the Raspberry Pi 3 board is arm_freq=600 and core_freq=250. The arm_freq setting still adds heat to the board when pushed beyond the default max of 1.2Ghz, so we’re not touching that. This only keeps the Raspberry Pi 3 board running at the maximum defaults which are arm_freq=1200 and core_freq=400. To do this simply set these lines in your config.txt:

force_turbo=1 #Voids Warranty!
boot_delay=1 #helps to avoid sdcard corruption when force_turbo is enabled.

It’s less risky than playing around with a bunch of other overclock settings. see below.

more speed? Raspberry Pi 3 Overclocked – 1.35GHz

#force_turbo=1 #Voids Warranty! (uncomment to avoid CPU scaling down to 600Mhz)
#boot_delay=1 #helps to avoid sdcard corruption when force_turbo is enabled.
#sdram_freq=500 #uncomment to test. Works only with some boards.

Raspberry Pi 3 gpu_mem (1GB memory) allocation

gpu_mem (GPU memory) is measured in megabytes and sets the memory split between CPU and GPU; The CPU gets the remaining memory. The minimum value is 16. If you are using for example Raspberry Pi 3 as a gaming emulator, media player or desktop environment (LXDE, XFCE, ). Maynard, etc) then you’ll want to increase the gpu_mem to at least 256. On the other hand, if you are using the Raspberry Pi as a web server, a drone or simply to build a console-based project then you should reduce the gpu_mem to 16. In other words, if your requirements are graphical then increase the memory of the GPU, if not, reduce it to a minimum.

For example web servers, wireless access points, firewalls, weather stations, etc.


Or for GUI use, e.g. OpenELEC, Raspbmc, RetroPie, XFCE, etc.


Raspberry Pi 3 Overclock Options

  • arm_freq– ARM’s frequency in MHz. (overclocked raspberry pi 3)
  • core_freq – Frequency of GPU processor cores in MHz. This has an impact on ARM performance as it runs L2 cache.
  • sdram_freq – Frequency of SDRAM in MHz.
  • over voltage – ARM/GPU core voltage adjusted. Values ​​above 6 are allowed only if force_turbo or current_limit_override are specified (which set the warranty bit).
  • force_turbo – Disables the dynamic cpufreq driver and the minimum settings below. void warranty.
  • initial_turbo – Enables turbo mode from boot to a value in seconds (maximum 60) or until cpufreq sets a frequency. default 0
  • arm_freq_min – Minimum value of arm_freq to be used for dynamic clock.
  • core_freq_min – The minimum value of core_freq to be used for dynamic clocking.
  • sdram_freq_min – The minimum value of sdram_freq to be used for dynamic clocking.
  • temp_limit – overheat protection. Sets the clocks and voltages to default when the SOC reaches this Celsius value. Setting it to exceed default voids warranty. default 85
  • disabled_splash – If set to 1, avoids rainbow splash screen on boot.
  • boot_delay – Wait for x number of seconds in start.elf before loading the kernel. default 1
  • gpu_mem – GPU memory in megabytes. Sets the memory split between the ARM and the GPU. ARM gets the rest of the memory.

Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Specifications

  • 1.2GHz 64-bit quad-core ARMv8 CPU
  • 802.11n Wireless LAN
  • bluetooth 4.1
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4 USB Ports
  • 40 GPIO pins
  • full hdmi port
  • Ethernet port
  • Combined 3.5mm audio jack and composite video
  • Camera Interface (CSI)
  • Display Interface (DSI)
  • Micro SD card slot (now push-pull instead of push-push)
  • Videocore IV 3D Graphics Core

The Raspberry Pi 3 has the same form factor as the previous Pi 2 (and the Pi 1 Model B+) and full compatibility with the Raspberry Pi 1 and 2.

I’d love to hear your Raspberry Pi 3 overclock configuration and the power supply amperage you run.

Disclaimer: As with most hardware and software modifications, individual results may vary.

Last Updated: June 12th, 2019

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