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 Post subject: [SOLVED] 1.5GHz CPU Not Strong Enough to Play DVD Video?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:00 pm 
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I inherited an EX15000LG motherboard from a friend, which I thought I could use to build a media center based on Windows XP Home. The system seems to work fine (with the latest VIA/S3G UnChrome Pro II IGP driver installed) and can play music fine (with 20% CPU utilization!) but when I try to play a YouTube video or a DVD video (SD, not even HD or Blue Ray!), it is extremely choppy.

I find this odd, given that the CPU is 1.5GHz, the system has 1GB RAM and it uses full hardware acceleration for the video.

More precisely, here is the system info report:

Code:
Item   Value   
OS Name   Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition   
Version   5.1.2600 Service Pack 3 Build 2600   
OS Manufacturer   Microsoft Corporation   
System Name   MC   
System Manufacturer   VIA Technologies, Inc.   
System Model   CX700   
System Type   X86-based PC   
Processor   x86 Family 6 Model 10 Stepping 9 CentaurHauls ~1500 Mhz   
BIOS Version/Date   Phoenix Technologies, LTD 6.00 PG, 5/28/2008   
SMBIOS Version   2.3   
Windows Directory   C:\WINDOWS   
System Directory   C:\WINDOWS\system32   
Boot Device   \Device\HarddiskVolume1   
Locale   United States   
Hardware Abstraction Layer   Version = "5.1.2600.5512 (xpsp.080413-2111)"   
Time Zone   Eastern Daylight Time   
Total Physical Memory   1,024.00 MB   
Available Physical Memory   420.82 MB   
Total Virtual Memory   2.00 GB   
Available Virtual Memory   1.96 GB   
Page File Space   2.26 GB   
Page File   C:\pagefile.sys


And the video related components:
Code:
[Video Codecs]

CODEC   Manufacturer   Description   Status   File   Version   Size   Creation Date   
c:\windows\system32\tsbyuv.dll   Microsoft Corporation      OK   C:\WINDOWS\system32\TSBYUV.DLL   5.1.2600.5908 (xpsp_sp3_gdr.091127-0541)   8.50 KB (8,704 bytes)   8/17/2001 6:36 PM   
c:\windows\system32\iccvid.dll   Radius Inc.      OK   C:\WINDOWS\system32\ICCVID.DLL   1.10.0.11   78.50 KB (80,384 bytes)   4/14/2008 8:00 AM   
c:\windows\system32\msh261.drv   Microsoft Corporation      OK   C:\WINDOWS\system32\MSH261.DRV   5.1.2600.5512   184.00 KB (188,416 bytes)   9/5/2012 8:59 PM   
c:\windows\system32\iyuv_32.dll   Microsoft Corporation      OK   C:\WINDOWS\system32\IYUV_32.DLL   5.1.2600.5908 (xpsp_sp3_gdr.091127-0541)   47.00 KB (48,128 bytes)   4/14/2008 1:41 AM   
c:\windows\system32\msrle32.dll   Microsoft Corporation      OK   C:\WINDOWS\system32\MSRLE32.DLL   5.1.2600.5908 (xpsp_sp3_gdr.091127-0541)   11.00 KB (11,264 bytes)   4/14/2008 8:00 AM   
c:\windows\system32\msyuv.dll   Microsoft Corporation      OK   C:\WINDOWS\system32\MSYUV.DLL   5.3.2600.5908 (xpsp_sp3_gdr.091127-0541)   17.50 KB (17,920 bytes)   4/14/2008 1:42 AM   
c:\windows\system32\msh263.drv   Microsoft Corporation      OK   C:\WINDOWS\system32\MSH263.DRV   5.1.2600.5512   288.00 KB (294,912 bytes)   4/14/2008 1:42 AM   
c:\windows\system32\ir41_32.ax   Intel Corporation      OK   C:\WINDOWS\system32\IR41_32.AX   4.51.16.03   828.50 KB (848,384 bytes)   4/14/2008 8:00 AM   
c:\windows\system32\ir50_32.dll   Intel Corporation   Indeo® video 5.10   OK   C:\WINDOWS\system32\IR50_32.DLL   R.5.10.15.2.55   737.50 KB (755,200 bytes)   4/14/2008 8:00 AM   
c:\windows\system32\msvidc32.dll   Microsoft Corporation      OK   C:\WINDOWS\system32\MSVIDC32.DLL   5.1.2600.5908 (xpsp_sp3_gdr.091127-0541)   28.00 KB (28,672 bytes)   4/14/2008 8:00 AM   
c:\windows\system32\ir32_32.dll   Intel(R) Corporation      OK   C:\WINDOWS\system32\IR32_32.DLL   Not Available   194.50 KB (199,168 bytes)   4/14/2008 8:00 AM

[Display]

Item   Value   
Name   VIA/S3G UniChrome Pro II IGP   
PNP Device ID   PCI\VEN_1106&DEV_3157&SUBSYS_31571106&REV_03\4&17F55CA6&0&0008   
Adapter Type   VIA/S3G UniChrome Pro II IGP, VIA/S3G compatible   
Adapter Description   VIA/S3G UniChrome Pro II IGP   
Adapter RAM   64.00 MB (67,108,864 bytes)   
Installed Drivers   vtdisp.dll   
Driver Version   Not Available   
INF File   oem7.inf (viagfx_3324 section)   
Color Planes   1   
Color Table Entries   4294967296   
Resolution   1280 x 1024 x 60 hertz   
Bits/Pixel   32   
Memory Address   0xA0000000-0xBFFFFFFF   
Memory Address   0xDD000000-0xDEFFFFFF   
IRQ Channel   IRQ 16   
Memory Address   0xA0000-0xBFFFF   
I/O Port   0x000003B0-0x000003BB   
I/O Port   0x000003C0-0x000003DF   
Driver   c:\windows\system32\drivers\vtminiwr.sys (, 6.00 KB (6,144 bytes), 10/16/2008 2:19 AM)


Any idea what could be the problem and how to fix it?

(if you need more information about the system, let me know and I will try to fetch it)


Last edited by vintager on Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.5GHz CPU Not Strong Enough to Play DVD Video?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:57 pm 
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Quote:
VIA/S3G UniChrome Pro II IGP


That graphics chip is old, and as far as I can remember only had "hardware" playback for a few old codec's, MPEG or MPEG 2 probably.

According to this it supports MPEG 4, and WMP9 as well, but I would not be certain about that as it may be a refreshed version of the one you have.

http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/chips ... es/cx700m/

However even if it supports those codec's does it support them at the quality level that you are trying to play.? Does the media player even use the hardware acceleration.?

It would be nice if you could get it to be an effective media player, but I dont hold out a lot of hope for you.

Perhaps try Linux, Via are renowned for having good driver support, otherwise use it as a torrent box or some other menial talk.

As far as the raw CPU power is concerned, I seem to remember that 1.5GHz CPU was on=par with 800Mhz AMD and Intel CPU's, so anything that does not use hardware (video) acceleration is going to be painfully slow.

PS: WELCOME TO SPCR


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: 1.5GHz CPU Not Strong Enough to Play DVD Video?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 5:22 pm 
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Posts: 405
Location: Ottawa
Are you trying to play an actual DVD, ie MPEG2 or something transcoded from DVD? Just because it is SD doesn't mean it's MPEG2. It could be H264 which would be much harder to decode. Even SD youtube videos are at least H263, still much harder to decode then MPEG2. Plus you likely have the overhead of Flash which is unlikely to be using much if any hardware acceleration on such an old video card.

Also, while andyb pointed out that a 1.5 GHz Via C7 is about equivalent to an 800 MHz P3, that is only in integer. In floating point it is much worse, closer to a 200-300 MHz P3.


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 Post subject: Re: 1.5GHz CPU Not Strong Enough to Play DVD Video?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:58 pm 
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Try running task manager's performance tab while playing the DVD/video and see what the CPU % is.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.5GHz CPU Not Strong Enough to Play DVD Video?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:52 pm
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andyb wrote:
PS: WELCOME TO SPCR

Thank you and sorry for posting my question in the wrong forum (it was labeled "troubleshooting" so I thought that might be the best place for it).

andyb wrote:
However even if it supports those codec's does it support them at the quality level that you are trying to play.?

I believe so, because my expectations are very modest. I am not looking to play Blue Ray discs. I just want to play legacy DVDs (still available on some rental stores) like this one.

andyb wrote:
Does the media player even use the hardware acceleration.?

The adapter's driver itself is set to full hardware acceleration:

Image

But I don't know whether the media player (XBMC ver. 11.0 AKA "Eden") uses it.


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 Post subject: Re: 1.5GHz CPU Not Strong Enough to Play DVD Video?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 4:51 pm 
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Posts: 5
washu wrote:
Are you trying to play an actual DVD?

Yes, I am trying to play an actual DVD ("Contact" from 1997). Nothing transcoded or copied.

washu wrote:
Even SD youtube videos are at least H263, still much harder to decode then MPEG2. Plus you likely have the overhead of Flash which is unlikely to be using much if any hardware acceleration on such an old video card.

I understand it is old, but this motherboard has component video outputs which tells me that it was designed to serve as a media center for playing at least legacy DVDs. Am I mistaken?


washu wrote:
Also, while andyb pointed out that a 1.5 GHz Via C7 is about equivalent to an 800 MHz P3, that is only in integer. In floating point it is much worse, closer to a 200-300 MHz P3.

This is a good reference point. I recall playing that same DVD on an old IBM ThinkPad running at 350MHz. Maybe there is hope?


CA_Steve wrote:
Try running task manager's performance tab while playing the DVD/video and see what the CPU % is.

I ran it, and I ran Process Explorer from Sysinternals, too. All 3 tools (Windows Task Manager, Process Explorer and XBMC) show 100% CPU utilization as soon as I fire up XBMC, even before I place a DVD in the player's tray!

I somehow suspect my motherboard's drivers are not setup properly (even though Windows shows perfect operation), but how do I find out when this is a discontinued motherboard from a company whose support forum seems to be even more discontinued? :)


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 Post subject: Re: 1.5GHz CPU Not Strong Enough to Play DVD Video?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 6:39 pm 
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The hardware acceleration settings in display properties has really nothing to do with video acceleration as we are discussing it. It's referring to 2D GUI acceleration in Windows, the mouse pointer and other really basic operations that have been around since at least the Windows 95 days.

Physical outputs really have no bearing on what a video card can do. I have an old ATI all in wonder card that can barely accelerate MPEG2 which has component outs. Doesn't make it a better card for video playback then a newer card with full H264/VC1 offloading that only has VGA.

I'm not trying to be offensive, but you have a slow computer with a crappy video card. It is what it is and you can't expect magic from it. That old Thinkpad probably had better FPU performance (very important for video decoding) and a better video card that helped more.

XBMC using 100% CPU before it even loads the video is a bit weird. I'd suggest trying some other video players. VLC is a good one to try as it doesn't depend on any other codecs.


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 Post subject: Re: 1.5GHz CPU Not Strong Enough to Play DVD Video?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:11 am 
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seconded trying VLC.

have you thought about dropping windows (and all its bloat and overhead)and trying a linux distro?

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 Post subject: Re: 1.5GHz CPU Not Strong Enough to Play DVD Video?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:04 am 
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xan_user wrote:
have you thought about dropping windows (and all its bloat and overhead)and trying a linux distro?

Not trying to start a Linux vs Windows flame war, but in this case Windows is likely the better solution. While in most cases the low overhead that Linux can bring can help in certain tasks, video output is not one of them. The overhead of X and all the associated parts (WM, etc) is quite a bit more than the overhead of the Windows display system. Especially given that he is using XP, much of the graphics operations will be in kernel mode VS user mode on Linux. Also, if video acceleration isn't working properly in the official Windows driver, the chances that the Linux driver will do better is very unlikely.

If you have the time and inclination, go ahead and try Linux. I could be wrong and you might get lucky. If you have that time you should also try a clean install of XP just to make sure there is no codec issues or other junk.


Last edited by washu on Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 1.5GHz CPU Not Strong Enough to Play DVD Video?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:08 am 
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Problem solved: DVDs plays smoothly, utilizing less than 30% CPU, using Windows Media Player 9.

All I did to accomplish that was to install the free K-Lite Mega Codec Pack (ver. 9.2, downloaded from CNET).

Amazing, isn't it?

So, I guess the bottom line answer is: Yes, a VIA 1.5GHz CPU is more than enough to play a DVD, if it's part of a motherboard that includes CX700 chipset, like the ancient (and no longer available) EX15000LG.


Thank you all who guided me through this troubleshooting process.


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 Post subject: Re: [SOLVED] 1.5GHz CPU Not Strong Enough to Play DVD Video?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 10:20 am 
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The "K-Lite Codec Pack" is the only media player/codec pack that I will touch.

You might want to go to "add/remove programs" and look for any "shitware" that has been installed when you installed it, the last time I did that is installed a "shit toolbar and search engine add-in" called "Klit", which unfortunately isn't poor spelling just a bit of "shitware".

Glad that you have your problem solved.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: [SOLVED] 1.5GHz CPU Not Strong Enough to Play DVD Video?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 10:59 am 
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andyb wrote:
You might want to go to "add/remove programs" and look for any "shitware" that has been installed when you installed it, the last time I did that is installed a "shit toolbar and search engine add-in" called "Klit", which unfortunately isn't poor spelling just a bit of "shitware".

Thanks for this tip. Indeed, this amazing package comes with lots of "shitware" but fortunately for me I noticed that during installation and unchecked all the extra "goodies" that were somehow checked by default.

BTW, XBMC is a hog. It didn't seem to benefit at all from this solution and still takes 100% CPU while stuttering the video. Fortunately for me WMP9 does the job very well (I can upgrade to WMP11 but will it really improve my experience without any tradeoffs?)


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 Post subject: Re: [SOLVED] 1.5GHz CPU Not Strong Enough to Play DVD Video?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2012 7:02 am 
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Quote:
Fortunately for me WMP9 does the job very well (I can upgrade to WMP11 but will it really improve my experience without any tradeoffs?)


I have no idea, I have not used WMP since about version 6. You might want to check that you can uninstall it before going ahead, I imagine that you can remove it and go back to version 9 if you need/want to.


Andy

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Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,000MHz, 256 GB Samsung 830, 500-GB 7K500, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr, PC is super quiet :o
Server, 6-TB RAID-5 array, + 2 x 2-TB backup drives, 380W Enermax Pro82+, 4x very quiet fans, positive pressure only, no exhaust fans
Living Room PC, 3500+, 2-GB RAM, HD501LJ


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