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  1. #1
    Joined
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    6

    Choppy Video Playback--Who's the culprit?

    I think HTPC was the best category for this, given that I'm not actually sure what component is the issue...

    I'm a college student bored in the summer and trying to prove to my parents that high definition actually IS pretty cool. Anyways, I've got an old Compaq Presario S5300NX from 2003 hooked up and am trying to get it to do things it was never intended to for kicks. Specs that matter:

    Intel Pentium 4 2.5 GHz
    1024 MB Ram
    Windows 7 32 Bit.
    All drivers are up to date.

    Remember we're talking 2003... IDE, DDR1, straight-up PCI, and all those other great standards of yesteryear.

    Just yesterday I stuck a GeForce 9500GT with 1 GB memory in the thing. It's a straight PCI, which I'm pretty sure negates any speed the 9500GT offers, but whatever. I have not replaced the sound card yet, so it's the good old integrated Realtek.

    Now my problem: Video playback sucks.

    No matter what the source, it is choppy. Youtube, DVD, files, anything. Not just high definition material (which is VERY bad), but standard as well. No audio problems, but the picture is jerky.

    I use VLC for everything not online, and all of my files on the computer are MKV containers, mostly either MPEG2 or H.264. I have tried adjusting preferences including caching sizes, video outputs, etc. Some things help but do not solve the problem. Disabling audio entirely seems to help quite a bit. Task manager would suggest the CPU is not the issue, although that seems like it would be a bottleneck... Anybody got any ideas??

    I can give more details upon request! Just trying to keep this post to a short story as opposed to a novel.

  2. #2
    Joined
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    8,472

    Re: Choppy Video Playback--Who's the culprit?

    How does it run in windows media center ?
    Is gpu acceleration turned on in vlc ?
    http://wiki.videolan.org/VLC_GPU_Decoding

    1gb ram...is the machine running out of memory and using disk ?

  3. #3
    Joined
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    6

    Re: Choppy Video Playback--Who's the culprit?

    And voila, Windows Media Player is flawless for discs and files. Teaches me to not exhaust my options before running for help, I guess! There's no reason I have to use VLC instead of WMP so this effectively solves my problem there--thank you for the simple suggestion.

    However, this problem still pops up in other places such as online (YouTube, Hulu, etc.) and in games.

    Lowering the resolution helps considerably for streaming, but I don't understand that because even at maximum resolutions the video appears to be loading well ahead of the playback location (no buffering problems)... perhaps I'm not understanding streaming correctly?

    As far as games, I am not (yet) running anything that should actually present a challenge to the system--10 year old games that this computer could have run even on integrated graphics (no, seriously). The graphics load fine (detail, texture, etc.) and gameplay runs smoothly but video playback is again jerky. It is particularly noticeable (strangely) when there is a video sequence that the player does not interact with... such as intros, etc. However, it does in general trip up whenever the scenery is changing quickly.

    So what is WMP doing that VLC isn't, GPU acceleration? Is there a way to just enable that globally for the system, regardless of application? Seems like if that option existed I would find it in Nvidia's control panel...

    Thanks for your help.

  4. #4
    Joined
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    6

    Re: Choppy Video Playback--Who's the culprit?

    Ah and forgot to add that I was checking out CPU and Memory usage while playing blu ray quality files... CPU stuck around 30-40% and Memory usage stuck around 50-60% I didn't look at the breakdown of user vs. system memory usage etc. Wouldn't the GPU memory take the hit though? I didn't look around, but I'm not sure I know how to check GPU memory usage...

  5. #5
    Joined
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    8,472

    Re: Choppy Video Playback--Who's the culprit?

    Did you uninstall the original onboard video drivers ?
    In bios is the onboard video disabled and/or onboard video memory allocated set to lowest value ?

  6. #6
    Joined
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    6

    Re: Choppy Video Playback--Who's the culprit?

    Yessir, you bet. Onboard video is disabled and drivers uninstalled... should I change the onboard video memory just in case? I can give it a shot when I'm home, it might not be an available option given that it's disabled.

    Despite uninstalling the drivers, I have noticed that there is now a driver in device manager called "standard VGA adapter" that is flagged as not working... Is Windows trying to find the integrated graphics?

  7. #7
    Joined
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    8,472

    Re: Choppy Video Playback--Who's the culprit?

    What is that driver listed under ? Is your onboard video still showing in device manager ?

  8. #8
    Joined
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    6

    Re: Choppy Video Playback--Who's the culprit?

    That driver is listed under "display adapters" in device manager... the device itself is titled "Standard VGA adapter," which is also the description of the driver. And again, it is flagged--the status pane states "The device could not be started."

    The onboard video is NOT showing in device manager--Prior to disabling it there was a display adapter called "Intel Extreme Graphics" or something to that effect... it is no longer there.

  9. #9
    Joined
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    8,472

    Re: Choppy Video Playback--Who's the culprit?

    Not sure why you are seeing standard vga adapter still.
    Did you uninstall the drivers after you disabled the onboard ? maybe try the sequence in reverse, uninstall the drivers then turn off onboard.
    Not really sure on that one.

  10. #10
    Joined
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    6

    Re: Choppy Video Playback--Who's the culprit?

    Hmm... so if I uninstall the drivers and reboot the computer, Windows actually takes the obnoxious liberty of finding and re-installing drivers. Then once installed, it tells me the device is not working properly. Should I try to re-enable onboard video, uninstall drivers, and then disable it upon reboot?

    I'll be home Friday night and can try that then.

  11. #11
    Joined
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    85

    Re: Choppy Video Playback--Who's the culprit?

    if you are running a system from 2003 and you are trying to shoe horn a video card into the system in order to play HD stuff.

    it ain't happening..........and what you are suffering from is normal.


    you need a new board / proc /ram

  12. #12
    Joined
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    3

    Re: Choppy Video Playback--Who's the culprit?

    Exactly. The P4 just isn't going to cut it. Not to mention the pci bus speeds which are crippling it. You could try some asio drivers for sound it might reduce some latency. Also, don't use windows drivers for the videocard, go search out the correct nvidia drivers for that card.

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