Hi guys, I had the same problem. After night of working I solved like this.
For gngeo freezeing upon loading it depends 100% by rom and neogeo.zip bios. You have to find the right bios for the right rom. There are sites where you can download roms and they say to you the required bios for that rom. Trust me! After a long search i found the right couple (bios and rom).
Make sure also that you have gngeorc file in ~/.gngeo/
About Final Burn Alpha low performance, it depends if you run pifba through retroarch or not. It seems that in retropie there are two different version of FBA: one loading module through retroarch (very low performance) and another that run natively.
To change that you have to modify ~/.emulationstation/es_systems.cfg in FBA section where you see COMMAND=…. put an “#” to comment that and use the command where it says “alternatively”, of course copy the string or remove “#alternatively” before “COMMAND=….”
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