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How to Speed up Road Runner

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  • How to Speed up Road Runner

    Here is a list of things that you can do to significantly speed up Road Runner.
    (NOTE: It is suggested to try each of these at a time and then test how Road Runner functions. If you do everything at once, and there is a problem, you will have no way to know exactly what caused it).

    1) If have have ever noticed, when you go back to a screen, it loads instantly, this is because RR "Caches" the images when they are first loaded. You can force Road Runner to do that for the screens you use the most often when it is started up:

    Open the rr.ini file in a text editor. Add lines like the following to the end of the rr.ini file:;Initializing Navigation System;Initializing Audio;Initializing Music Library;Initializing Music Player;Initializing Applications

    You will have to change the skin names in the above example to what skins you are using ect. They are just to show an example of how it works. The text at the end of the line is what you will see on RR"s start up screen, like when you see "Loading Winamp". Doing this will preload the listed screens into Road Runner, so they will load almost instantly when the button is pressed to access that skin.

    You can do this for all the screens you use the most.
    DO NOT PRELOAD THE MENU SKIN (RR does this when it loads already) or any skins that are using /DISCARDABLE in them.

    2) Reduce the time it takes for a skin to load is to by reducing the JPG image quality. You can reduce a 350k full quality Jpeg down to around 80k and it will still look absolutely fine on a 7" screen. (I usually save my jpeg's out at 70% Quality for RR use) When a skin loads, most of the time 4 images loaded are the ON, Off, Empty, & Down images. Reducing the images in this manner, taking a 320k 100% quality image and reducing to 70% quality, will give you around a 90k image. This means RR will now only have to load 360k for all 4 images, verses the 1280k with the original image sizes, so in theory each screen will now load almost 4x faster!
    Tip: IRFanView is a FREE program, that can batch convert all of your jpg files quickly and easily for you.

    3) Use "fastmode" setting in the RR.ini. This changes how Road Runner handles memory access.
    (NOTE: If you are using a skin that uses transparency, you will have to set this to fastmode=-1)

    On faster machines, this may not improve the speed, and you can leave it at fastmode=0.
    On slower machines with plenty of memory, it may improve performance to toggle it ON ( fastmode=1 ).
    On VERY slow machines you can use fast redraw (poor quality) to improve performance a little more ( fastmode=2 ).
    When ON (1 or 2) memory usage is severely wasted to improve performance. The Typical memory usages for 5 screens is as follows:
    fastMode=1: 33Mb
    fastMode=0: 18Mb
    The loading times will depend on your individual hardware setup.

    4) This one is something that CAN POSSIBLY cause stability problems (Never had a problem here myself with it, but just be aware) is to launch Road Runner, and open the task manager and Right Click on the Road Ruunner.exe process, and set its priority to HIGH. This will allow Road Runner to run as a higher priority to other programs. If this seems to help, you can make this permanent with a program called PRIO. This will allow Road Runner to load at the priority you set, every time it is loaded, and you will no longer need to go in and change the process every time you load Road Runner.

    5) On most systems you can get a nice speed boost while running flash and visualizations by doing the following:
    Right click on the desktop, select properties, then select the settings tab, then click advanced in the lower right, then click the trouble shooting tab. Move the slider down one or two notches and give it a try. You can tweak this to your own needs for your system. On my system, with a flash logo spinning on the main menu took up around 60% CPU usage. After moving the hardware acceleration slider down a notch, it now runs at around 20% CPU with the same spinning logo. (A 66% performance boost with just this one setting!)

    6) To drastically reduce the CPU load when using AVS visualizations, you can do the following:
    • Open WinAmp outside of Road Runner. Right click on the window, and go to Options then to preferences.
    • Select Visulizations from the list on the left. Then select AVS from the list on the right, and select it.
    • Then click the start button on the bottom of that window. (You can not change the settings without AVS running).
    • Now click the Configure Plugin button. In the new window select the settings pull down, and choose display.
    • Uncheck "Wait for Retrace"
    • Move the slider below that to about a 1/4 of the way from the left.
    • Now close all the windows and you are done
    When I first used the spectrum analyzer AVS visualization in my car, I would jump to about 85% CPU usage! Now, after making the changes above, it barely hits 20% to 30% when the visualizations AND a spinning flash logo are on the screen at the same time!

    7) Reduce your color in display setting to 16 bit color, instead of 32 bit color. This will not be even noticeable on a 7" screen in the car, but will use less graphics memory (Especially good for on mother board graphics controllers), thus speeding up things a bit.

    8) Disable transitions: Transitions can take quite a bit of CPU, and will definitely lag a slower system when switching from one screen to another. To do this set:
    in the RR.INI file.
    9) Disable gestures: Gestures allow you to "draw commands" on the screen. Many people do not use it, and if you are not, disabling it can give you a small boost in performance. to disable it set:
    in the RR.INI file.

    10) If you are experiencing major slowdowns on flash skins, with a flash clock or gauges displayed, Road Runner appears unresponsive, or you have a white border around flash objects ect... You will need to get flash working correctly on your system. This is a major issue, and effects most users when Road Runner is first set up. Most of the time, updating your flash player will fix the issues. NOTE: You MUST use Internet Explorer, and go to, and install the latest flash. If you use Firefox or another browser, it will simply install the player plugin for that browser, and not install the other system files. If that does not work alone, there are also some great tips on how to fix this in this thread

    Lastly, MEMORY MEMORY MEMORY! Maxing out your system ram can seriously speed up any system! Ram is dirt cheap now, and the very best way to speed up a system, by reducing the need to cache memory to the hard drive.

    With a mixture of the above tweaks, or all of them, you should be able to make Road Runner FLY on even a low CPU system!
    Front End of Choice: Ride Runner (Is there anything else??? ) & Powered by the DFX5.1 Skin Available in the Mobile App Mart

    My Fiero Build Thread

  • #2
    Good write up John. This was needed for people who dont know how to configure RR


    • #3
      Wow, what a difference, thank you John in particular with the AVS visualizations.


      • #4
        thanks good write up, i have played around w/ rr and your digital fx skin (love it) managed to make it "fly" except for the visualizations so i never used it. never thought to play around with the win amp though.


        • #5
          Good Write up. A couple of observations though:

          1) the preload option: This works great as long as I don't change from Day skin to Night skin. Then screens are loaded at normal speed again. Also when coming out of Hibernation after a long time not using the PC (a couple of hours) he seems to have "forgotten" everything he has cached and loading times are back to normal. After less time in Hibernation (aprox. an half hour) he seems to remember it all and loading times are fast.

          2) Changing RR's priority in taskmanager works but sometimes when changing screens music is interupted. This seems logical since winamp has a lower priority now.

          In general these changes work. I have used:

          -Reducing skin jpg quality
          -RR high priority
          -Reducing colour stettings to 16bit

          I didn't use the other ones since I don't use visualisations and flash at the moment.

          Except for the problems described above everything works and RR is significantly faster then before.

          System running it on: see sig.
          BMW 525tds -Biostar I94GM-I4 -Celeron M44O 1,86GHz, M2-ATX, 1Gb, 320GB -HQCT RDS tuner -Creative Extigy -iBus controller -Lilliput 7" touchscreen -DLS Ultimate A7 amplifier -Focal 130K, 130V, 27V2 speakers

          Bezel Worklog-My Install -iDrive F01 RR Skin