Quite a bit of lag during blu-ray disc playback - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 07:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

My HTPC is beginning to get quite old and I wonder if I need to upgrade it.

My biggest issue is that I have severe lag during blu-ray playback (during some movies more than others). I'm not talking ripped blu-rays, I'm talking blu-ray discs. It seems like the CPU is maxing out and I wonder if there's any easy fix for this. Unfortunately, I'm sort of restricted to playback in TMT5/TMT3 due to my Xonar sound card.

Hardware:
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz
MBO: Gigabyte GA-E7AUM-DS2H
GFX: Integrated GeForce 9400
RAM: 4GB Corsair PC6400
Sound: Asus Xonar HDAV1.3 Slim
Blu-ray: LG GGC-H20L
HD's: 2x 5400 RPM Samsung EcoGreen F2 1TB


Help is much appreciated!
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post #2 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 07:45 AM
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You don't mention any graphics card. Most (all?) modern graphics cards include video acceleration features in the GPU which help offload the main CPU.

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post #3 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Selden Ball View Post

You don't mention any graphics card. Most (all?) modern graphics cards include video acceleration features in the GPU which help offload the main CPU.
I should have mentioned, the graphics card is an integrated Geforce 9400
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post #4 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 07:54 AM
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Personally, I'd keep the system, buy a new inexpensive graphics card like a GT430 or a Radeon 6570, and instead use the money to buy a new AVR with HDMI switching and ditch the sound card. Your current CPU should be enough.

Although I thought the GeForce 9400 on that motherboard did hardware decoding and I would think it should be sufficient. Do you have hardware decoding turned on?

And then if you want to play disks, give the free trial of WinDVD Pro a try. You might prefer it to TMT.
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post #5 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

Personally, I'd keep the system, buy a new inexpensive graphics card like a GT430 or a Radeon 6570, and instead use the money to buy a new AVR with HDMI switching and ditch the sound card. Your current CPU should be enough.
Although I thought the GeForce 9400 on that motherboard did hardware decoding and I would think it should be sufficient. Do you have hardware decoding turned on?
And then if you want to play disks, give the free trial of WinDVD Pro a try. You might prefer it to TMT.
Hardware acceleration is indeed already enabled in TMT.

As for WinDVD, I can't get HD audio using other players than TMT with the Xonar HDAV cards.

For the record, my AVR has HDMI switching (Onkyo TX-NR807)
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post #6 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 08:24 AM
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you should be able to do this - i was using an e6550 and integrated geforce 7100 for a while.

there should be some things in the bios you can adjust - i forget the exact names of settings but they are pertaining to the amount of memory the integrated graphics are allowed to use.

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post #7 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Peligroso View Post

Hardware acceleration is indeed already enabled in TMT.
As for WinDVD, I can't get HD audio using other players than TMT with the Xonar HDAV cards.
For the record, my AVR has HDMI switching (Onkyo TX-NR807)

Then why not use HDMI to bitstream the DTS-MA and Dolby TrueHD to your AVR? I assume you didn't have an HDMI capable AVR from the fact you were using the soundcard.
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post #8 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 08:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

Then why not use HDMI to bitstream the DTS-MA and Dolby TrueHD to your AVR? I assume you didn't have an HDMI capable AVR from the fact you were using the soundcard.
That's what I'm doing but I need the sound card in order to get DTS-MA and Dolby TrueHD. Back when I bought this HTPC the graphics cards couldn't output DTS-MA or Dolby TrueHD so you had to get a soundcard and output the sound via that.
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post #9 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

you should be able to do this - i was using an e6550 and integrated geforce 7100 for a while.
there should be some things in the bios you can adjust - i forget the exact names of settings but they are pertaining to the amount of memory the integrated graphics are allowed to use.
Interesting, I'll have a look at that. Any idea what kind of values you had to change it to? smile.gif
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 08:34 AM
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i found this from something i told someone before about adjusting the bios. my motherboard is a similar gigabyte one:
Quote:
once there, look for an advanced features or something that sounds like that. then look around for something that says FRAME BUFFER RATE/FRAME BUFFER SIZE. Mine was set at 128mb as a default, once I moved it to 256mb the video worked just fine and my CPU usage came way down. If you have an onboard video card this is likely what happened.

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post #11 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 08:35 AM
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You could buy a new $40 graphics card (or even a $20 5450 for that matter) and solve all the problems. Then you could bitstream the HD audio, and you could get past the stuttering, and you could give yourself a choice of player software to use.

That would be a lot cheaper than building a whole new htpc.
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post #12 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

i found this from something i told someone before about adjusting the bios. my motherboard is a similar gigabyte one:
Quote:
once there, look for an advanced features or something that sounds like that. then look around for something that says FRAME BUFFER RATE/FRAME BUFFER SIZE. Mine was set at 128mb as a default, once I moved it to 256mb the video worked just fine and my CPU usage came way down. If you have an onboard video card this is likely what happened.
Yeah, I found the frame buffer setting and just came back to see if that could be what you meant. However, mine is set to 256mb by default, I'll try changing it to 512mb though (however, the 9400 only has 512mb so maybe that's too much?).
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post #13 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 09:01 AM
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my board is older - 256 was all i had or id have moved it up even more. go for it, it cant damage anything.

if youre still not happy perhaps its time to try a graphics card. TMT swallows a decent amount of my cpu too even now that i use a graphics card with acceleration.

My HTPC front end set up
Integration for whole home ATSC, CableCARD, FM radio, Blu-Ray, HD-DVD, DVD, VHS control & capture, video games, and archived & streaming media playback
Mironto's Panasonic plasma black level restoration guide
Restore the initial MLL on a 2009 Panasonic plasma
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post #14 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 09:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pittsoccer33 View Post

my board is older - 256 was all i had or id have moved it up even more. go for it, it cant damage anything.
if youre still not happy perhaps its time to try a graphics card. TMT swallows a decent amount of my cpu too even now that i use a graphics card with acceleration.
Yep, I tried 512mb and at first glance it seems to have made a huge difference. Thanks a lot! Hopefully it'll stay this way, otherwise I'll definitely consider getting a new graphics card smile.gif
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post #15 of 15 Old 06-19-2012, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Peligroso View Post

Yep, I tried 512mb and at first glance it seems to have made a huge difference. Thanks a lot! Hopefully it'll stay this way, otherwise I'll definitely consider getting a new graphics card smile.gif

The 9400 IGP was designed by Nvidia specifically to market motherboards for Intel 775 CPUs. As such it is more than capable of HD video decoding.
Of course, modern (entry-level) cards will have some better capabilities, but not by much.
Since you solved your problem, this is moot.
But the next time you have a problem you might consider a $20 HD5450.
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