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Old 11-13-2011, 03:59 PM   #1
^andrea^
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Hardware/graphic card powerful enough to play 1080p videos


Hi All,

I'm trying to make my desptop playing some 1080p videos.
Mainly .mkv files (8/12GB each).

Unfortunately it doesn't seem to be powerful enough.
The CPU gets to 100% and the videos don't play smoothly.
They all get played jerkily...

(I've seen VLC 1.1.11 using 110% of my CPU - not sure whether it's multi threaded or not -
but still it couldn't play the 1080p videos).
Tried many other video player... no luck.

My computer has the following specs:
OS: Ubuntu 10.04
CPU: Intel(R) Pentium(R) D CPU 3.20GHz
MB: Asus P5VD2-X
GPU: GeForce 7300 (128MB dedicated / 512MB shared - PCI-E 16x)
RAM: 4GB (3GB available)

Now, I consider the graphic card to be the bottle neck here,
because if it was more powerful it wouldn't bother the CPU so much (correct me if I'm wrong),
so I was thinking of replacing it with something like:

-- cheapest
Nvidia Geforce 8400GS 1GB DDR3 - Gainward (29 euros - http://www.shoptec.it/browse/item/fn0690)
Nvidia Geforce GF210 1GB DDR3 - Palit (29 euros - http://www.shoptec.it/browse/item/fn1110)
Nvidia Geforce GF210 1GB DDR3 - Gainward (30.50 euros - http://www.shoptec.it/browse/item/fn1447)
ATI Powered Radeon HD5450 1GB DDR3 - Sapphire ( 32 euros - http://www.shoptec.it/browse/item/fn0961)

-- a bit more expensive (but still reasonable)
Nvidia Geforce GT430 1GB DDR3 - Gainward (53 euros - http://www.shoptec.it/browse/item/fn1422)
ATI Powered Radeon HD6450 1GB DDR3 - Asus (55 euros - http://www.shoptec.it/browse/item/fn1575)
ATI Powered Radeon HD5570 1GB DDR3 - Sapphire (58.50 euros - http://www.shoptec.it/browse/item/fn1187)
ATI Powered Radeon HD6450 2GB DDR3 - Sapphire (59 euros - http://www.shoptec.it/browse/item/fn1589

With the hardware I've got I would stay on the cheapest ones unless someone could tell me why not to.


Anyway, my questions here are:
1) Am I right considering the GPU my bottle neck? (and not the CPU)
2) if yes, any advice of what card should solve my problem? (Nvidia? ATI? any preference?)


Thanks in advance,
Andrea
 
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Old 11-13-2011, 04:23 PM   #2
_bsd
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I would read through the VLC Guide "HELP: Stuttering, skipping; fast CPU, network drive" first.
There are many settings that can be tweaked in the Tools->Preferences, checking Show All, to optimize playback.

I cache my sound and video for 3000 ms when reading from file, and play blurays converted to mkv on a cheap RADEON 4850 card with no problems.
 
Old 11-13-2011, 07:47 PM   #3
jlinkels
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This page might be helpful:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nvidia_PureVideo

I am able to decode H264 video on an Intel Atom 510D 1.6 Ghz with an NVidia ION. Without VDPAU I see a framerate of 1/10 (that is one frame every 10 seconds!) at 100% CPU. With VDPAU it is smooth with < 80% CPU.

I am waiting to get my ordered 8400GS PCI(!) which is reported to work as well.
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/show...33&postcount=5

jlinkels
 
Old 11-13-2011, 08:29 PM   #4
MrCode
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Quote:
This page might be helpful:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nvidia_PureVideo
AFAIK GeForce 7 series GPUs don't have PureVideo (and thus no VDPAU support). I have a GeForce 7300 GT in my desktop machine, and it doesn't support VDPAU… :-\

EDIT: I'm not reading the post…yes, you will need at least an NVIDIA GeForce 8 series card or higher if you want PureVideo/VDPAU support. I think all of the above NVIDIA cards you've listed are good candidates. AFAIK AMD/ATI cards/GPUs don't have an equivalent H.264 decoding engine implemented in silicon…I could be wrong, though.

Last edited by MrCode; 11-13-2011 at 08:35 PM.
 
Old 11-14-2011, 02:51 AM   #5
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCode View Post
AFAIK GeForce 7 series GPUs don't have PureVideo (and thus no VDPAU support). I have a GeForce 7300 GT in my desktop machine, and it doesn't support VDPAU… :-\
GF6/GF7 has 'pure video' but not VDPAU. To get VDPAU you need 8XXX+ (NOT a 8800 Ultra, 8800 GTX, 8800 GTS (320/640 MB), they have no VDPAU support). Not that the OP was looking at any of the 8XXX cards withotu support- besides being long gone from the shelves, they were expensive 'gamers' cards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCode View Post
EDIT: I'm not reading the post…yes, you will need at least an NVIDIA GeForce 8 series card or higher if you want PureVideo/VDPAU support. I think all of the above NVIDIA cards you've listed are good candidates. AFAIK AMD/ATI cards/GPUs don't have an equivalent H.264 decoding engine implemented in silicon…I could be wrong, though.
ATI/AMD does have a VDPAU equivilent- XvBA (and others).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X-Video...m_Acceleration

XvBA is 'less mature' than VDPAU, and harder to setup, but it can work. Though I quite like the ATI/AMD cards, I wouldnt suggest a ATI/AMD card for hardware video decoding for most people, including the OP.

@ ^andrea^- IMO get a G210, or maybe a GT430 if you play games (the GT430 is faster for games, it will make no differecne to VDPAU). The only other reason to get a GT430 is because you want to stream DTS sound digitally to a HDMI TV.

Do NOT get the GS8400- they are crap cards, I know, I've got one. The G210 is the same price, newer, uses less power, runs cooler and is even slightly faster than the GS8400.

Also, VLC is not fun to get working with VDPAU. Its far eaiser to get VDPAU working with mplayer, or any of the mplayer frontends (gMplayer, Gnome MPlayer, KMPlayer, SMPlayer, etc.)
 
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Old 11-14-2011, 04:18 AM   #6
H_TeXMeX_H
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See here for vdpau support (the right most column, '-' means no vdpau):
http://us.download.nvidia.com/XFree8...rtedchips.html

I don't think that you can currently play 1080p, but you can try using mplayer:

Code:
mplayer -vo gl -lavdopts threads=4 -idx movie.mkv
 
Old 11-14-2011, 07:42 PM   #7
^andrea^
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Hi All,

thanks for all your suggestions.

Let's go in order:

@_bsd
I've increased the caching value for files to 3000ms and set the loop filter for H.264 decoding to "All".
These are the first two things I've easily found...

It seems to be a bit better but not completely smooth.

If there is anything else that is worth trying with VLC please let me know or point me in the right direction.

@jlinkels
On the wikipedia link you pasted VDPAU for my card series is reported as "not supported"
Anyway good to know that VDPAU makes such a big difference... I need to get one with it.

@MrCode
you need to upgrade too then... :-)

@cascade9
Thanks for being specific. I don't play games on that machine.
At the moment the computer is connected to the monitor with a DVI, so the speakers are already separate...

Therefore, the GF210 seems to be good for me (even though I had never heard of this DislayPort - I would use the DVI for now anyway).

@H_TexMeX_H
No way. I've also tried with threads=2 (my dual core is single thread) but nothing to do. Too slow.
The terminal also said:

*******************************************
***Your system is too slow to play this!***
*******************************************

A: 111.6 V: 111.5 A-V: 0.107 ct: 0.030 0/ 0 67% 13% 0.8% 1300 0

I have no clue what those numbers are... :-/

So I'm left with two(one?) graphic cards.
Nvidia Geforce GF210 1GB DDR3 - Palit (29 euros - http://www.shoptec.it/browse/item/fn1110)
Nvidia Geforce GF210 1GB DDR3 - Gainward (30.50 euros - http://www.shoptec.it/browse/item/fn1447)

Palit or Gainward?
Anyone knows the difference?
On the Nvidia site there is nothing about that: http://www.nvidia.com/object/product...ce_210_us.html

Thank you very much again for all your suggestions.
Much appreciated!

Andrea
 
Old 11-14-2011, 08:36 PM   #8
MrCode
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Quote:
@MrCode
you need to upgrade too then... :-)
I have a laptop with a GeForce 310M (which does support PV/VDPAU); I'm posting from it now.

Also:

Quote:
Originally Posted by cascade9
Also, VLC is not fun to get working with VDPAU. Its far eaiser to get VDPAU working with mplayer, or any of the mplayer frontends (gMplayer, Gnome MPlayer, KMPlayer, SMPlayer, etc.)
This. I remember trying VLC once and couldn't seem to find any setting for using VDPAU for video decoding. I prefer GNOME MPlayer myself.

Last edited by MrCode; 11-14-2011 at 08:40 PM.
 
Old 11-15-2011, 12:35 AM   #9
cascade9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCode View Post
This. I remember trying VLC once and couldn't seem to find any setting for using VDPAU for video decoding. I prefer GNOME MPlayer myself.
There isnt a neat drop-down selection for VDPAU with VLC......or 'real' VDPAU support either (IIRC you needed a VAAPI patch for VLC + FFmpeg, then you needed to change an option in VLC, then compile it. Real fun!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ^andrea^ View Post
So I'm left with two(one?) graphic cards.
Nvidia Geforce GF210 1GB DDR3 - Palit (29 euros - http://www.shoptec.it/browse/item/fn1110)
Nvidia Geforce GF210 1GB DDR3 - Gainward (30.50 euros - http://www.shoptec.it/browse/item/fn1447)

Palit or Gainward?
Anyone knows the difference?
On the Nvidia site there is nothing about that: http://www.nvidia.com/object/product...ce_210_us.html
OK, I'm making an educated guess because the store you have not listed the full model number. These are what I thinkn are the manufacturer product pages for those cards-

http://www.gainward.com/main/vgapro.php?id=424

http://www.palit.biz/palit/vgapro.php?id=1312

The main difference is that the Palit is running a slower core, slower memory (probably DDR2, the Gainward card use cooler and less power hungry DDR3). The palit card is actually well under the nVidia specs as far as speeds go.

I'd probably get the Gainward card.

BTW, nVidia just sells the GPU chips to manufacturers, its up to them excatly what parts to use, then to mount the GPU and memeory on a card.

Since nVidia has very little control over the exactly what parts are installed, they just list 'reference' specifications on the nVidia website.
 
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Old 11-16-2011, 09:12 AM   #10
^andrea^
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@MrCode
I might have to upgrade my laptop too (at some point, soon-ish...).

Anyway, normally I simply use Totem (VLC was only for testing) but I'm happy to use Gnome MPlayer or whatever.
It doesn't make any difference.. as long as it works. :-P

@cascade9
I see now what Gainward and Palit are! DOH!
Ok. I'm gonna go and get the Gainward so I've got something to do at the week-end
and let you guys know.

::fingers crossed::

Thanks again for all your help!

Andrea
 
Old 11-20-2011, 06:31 AM   #11
^andrea^
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After having decided to go for the Gainward GF210, I go down the shop and... it's run out! :-/

So I thought about getting the GT430 but just found out it's not compatible with my mother board.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but the GT430 seems to require a PCI-E x16 2.0 slot
(http://www.gainward.com/main/vgapro.php?id=673 - if you download the pdf it's specified as a requirement)

while my mother board doesn't say anything about a 2.0 specification (http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/Int...specifications)
which makes me think it's not supported...


Keep looking for Gainward GF210... :-)
 
Old 11-20-2011, 07:43 AM   #12
H_TeXMeX_H
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It should still work. My card also supports PCIE 2.0 and my mobo only supports 1.0, but it still works fine.
 
Old 11-22-2011, 05:37 AM   #13
cascade9
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GT430 is a PCIe 2.0 card....but so are pretty much all the nVidia cards from 9XXX onward. I've seen people running 9800GTs in that board (another PCIe 2.0 card) so IMO the G210 or GT430 should work.

Pity its a VIA chipset, they are harder to track down info about than AMD or Intel chipsets.
 
Old 03-15-2012, 08:33 PM   #14
^andrea^
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Hi All,

I just wanted to mark this thread as solved.

At the end I bought an "Nvidia Geforce GF210 1GB DDR3 - Gainward".
Incredibly the CPU usage, while playing 1080p videos, dropped from %100 or more to maximum 5%...
Basically the CPU does nothing, the GPU takes care of everything.

To achieve this result you need to use a software that supports VDPAU.
The easiest I found to configure is SMPlayer (sorry, I don't remember the exact steps to set it up).

I must say, every now and then the video still stutters but it happens rarely and the video is more than "watchable".
This saved my almost six year old computer!!! :-)

Thanks everyone for your help.

Andrea
 
Old 03-16-2012, 10:17 AM   #15
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If it still stutters, it could be due to other reasons, like possibly bandwidth reasons. Maybe the HDD is slow, or the I/O scheduler isn't doing its job properly. You can always change the I/O scheduler on the fly:
http://blog.nexcess.net/2010/11/07/c...-io-scheduler/
I recommend deadline, because I've had video and audio stuttering in the past using CFQ.
 
  


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