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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!


The HTPC in question is built in the late 2007. and it was a joy watching 720p & 1080p content on it until recently. Now I'm in trouble.


Specs are as follows:

case: Silverstone Lascala LC17
MBO: Gigabyte P35-DS4 (rev 1.1)
CPU: Intel Pentium Dual Core E2180(2.0GHz/800MHz) cooled by Ninja Sycthe SCNJ-1000
RAM: Crucial Ballistix 1GB, 800MHz
GPU: Gigabyte Radeon 2600XT, 256MB DDR3, (GV-RX26T256H), passive
HDD: Samsung HD082GJ, 80GB, SATA-II
BD: Pioneer BD-ROM
PSU: Fortron 350W, FSP-60THNP, Super Silent, 12cm vent
OS: Windows 7 Pro (XBMC app)
decoder: CoreAVC (latest version, 2.5.5 if I'm not mistaken).


The HTPC is connected to my Panasonic TX-P50V10E 50" plasma running at native resolution of [email protected] (connected via DVI->HDMI adapter).


So what's the problem? Well, 720p content is running smoothly as ever as well as BD, but I'm having problem with 1080p material. Some work without a hich, but some just stutter like crazy (especially the ones in 1.78 aspect ratio and "color rich" fast moving scenes. Think "Limiteless"). The whole X.264 decoding is being offloaded to my GPU so I believe there's the problem.

Or am I wrong? And that's why I'm asking you...


I'm considering upgrading to a Radeon 6750 (based on a fairly recent Anandtech test ), but what if the problem is not in the GPU?


Thoughts, comments, ideas?
 

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Are sure you`re GPU isn`t overheating? Have you checked the temps?
 

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What usage is your CPU at when playing back the stream. What format is the container (MKV, M2TS etc)? Have you tried using MPC-HC to playback the movie using EVR? This should offload all the decoding to the GPU.


While an older card now, the 2600XT still has the UVD, so can decode pretty much anything around today. It's UVD v1, so can't do dual-stream decode, but should work with pretty much anything else. I ran one of these until around 18 months ago, and never had a problem.


You should remember that CoreAVC is a highly optimised software decoder, so might be asking too much of the CPU for some things, and the E2180 is quite a low spec processor, with only 1MB L2 cache.
 

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I think CoreAVC also has DXVA support, but yeah, a test with MPC-HC would be better, aside from checking the temps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenEyez /forum/post/20852275


Are sure you`re GPU isn`t overheating? Have you checked the temps?

the temps are not the problem. the case is very well ventilated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tman247 /forum/post/20852277


What usage is your CPU at when playing back the stream. What format is the container (MKV, M2TS etc)? Have you tried using MPC-HC to playback the movie using EVR? This should offload all the decoding to the GPU.

Thanks for this. I just tried it via MPC-HC using EVR and it's running smoothly.

But I'm still puzzled why it's stuttering in XBMC. I prefer XMBC over MPC-HC, but if this settles the problem then I have no issue watching these "problematic" 1080p in MPC-HC. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tman247 /forum/post/20852277


While an older card now, the 2600XT still has the UVD, so can decode pretty much anything around today. It's UVD v1, so can't do dual-stream decode, but should work with pretty much anything else. I ran one of these until around 18 months ago, and never had a problem.

my thoughts exactly. I bought that card specifically because it had UVD and it can offload all X264/VC-1 decoding.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by snnoopypw /forum/post/20852816



Thanks for this. I just tried it via MPC-HC using EVR and it's running smoothly.

But I'm still puzzled why it's stuttering in XBMC. I prefer XMBC over MPC-HC, but if this settles the problem then I have no issue watching these "problematic" 1080p in MPC-HC. Thanks!

some playback programs are inherently more resource heavy than others due to various "bells and whistles" MPC-HC is known to be very efficient compared to others.

like tman247 said, check CPU usage with your task manager. The E2180 is very constraining mainly due to the crippled L2 cache, I'd try to move up to at least E6300 or E7500 before spending more on the GPU (check gigabyte website to ensure latest bios supports them), that way you get more flexibility in case you ever need to do soft decoding / HD audio processing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by jyzz /forum/post/20854932


some playback programs are inherently more resource heavy than others due to various "bells and whistles" MPC-HC is known to be very efficient compared to others.

like tman247 said, check CPU usage with your task manager. The E2180 is very constraining mainly due to the crippled L2 cache, I'd try to move up to at least E6300 or E7500 before spending more on the GPU (check gigabyte website to ensure latest bios supports them), that way you get more flexibility in case you ever need to do soft decoding / HD audio processing.

thanks for your comment, but I believe I'm fine for the time being.

I'll continue to use XBMC as my primary HTPC software, but I'll use MPC-HC for those media that cause trouble.



Thank you all.
 
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