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Old 24 Sep 2007, 09:19 PM   #1
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Default Improving H264 decoding performance

Hi all,

I haven't been to this forum for a long time (boy has it changed a lot!). Anyway, I have a question that I hope someone can help me out with.

To start with, my PC spec is a X2 3800+ with 2GB of RAM and ATI x1950Pro as GPU. On this machine, I used to be able to play high-def (1280x720 resolution) H.264-compressed .MKV (Matroska) media file on WinXP 64-bit (x64) with ease, but not on WinXP 32-bit (x86). Recently the x64 had begun having similarly low video decoding performance as the x86, that is maxing out of the CPU and thus stuttering video. After a recent reinstall of both Windows versions, I expected the x64 to regain its video decoding performance advantage but alas that was not to be. I thought the x64 had a bleeding obvious performance advantage when it comes to this but I suspect now that was because it ran the video at a lower quality setting (some videos -not all- used to smear especially if there was a lot of scrolling around) or there was a setting somewhere that took a lot of processing burden off the CPU. At any rate, I am now unable to play my high-def files and have no idea how to tweak Windows (x64 or even x86) so that it can play the files like it used to be able to. Iím tempted to hunt down a used s939 X2 4600+ just to improve my chances on successfully playing the files but itís a silly and expensive gamble.

Any suggestions on what I can do to improve video performance? The PC was able to effortlessly decode the video so there must be some kind of settings out there that needs to be tweaked. TIA!
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Old 24 Sep 2007, 10:40 PM   #2
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I assume you are running the latest catalyst drivers


http://www.digital-digest.com/articl...ack_page1.html
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Old 24 Sep 2007, 10:54 PM   #3
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Yes, I am. I forgot to include that I am using the CCCP codec pack and WMP Classic (which are the same versions from back when the hi-def videos worked smoothly -in order to keep some constant variables-).
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Old 24 Sep 2007, 11:00 PM   #4
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http://www.cccp-project.net/

pretty heavily involved with mkv, that's for sure, I was a little skeptical of their codec pack, ffdshow for me all the way

why not test on some know 720p h264 files and see cpu use?

problem is your vid card doesn't enable hardware acceleration of h264 streams and the cpu has to do all the work
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Old 24 Sep 2007, 11:24 PM   #5
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The last CCCP update was in July ... either use a more frequently updated codec pack like K-Lite (www.codecguide.com) or simply upgrade the included ffdshow version to the latest tryout version:

http://sourceforge.net/project/showf...roup_id=173941

There's an experimental x64 build there, but probably try the generic build (either clsid or xxl builds should be fine) first to see if it solves your problem.
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Old 24 Sep 2007, 11:28 PM   #6
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CCCP pack does use FFDShow as decoder. AFAIK it utilises the Haali Media Splitter and FFDShow Audio/Video decoder to work its magic on .MKV files. Besides, I had no problem back then with the same version of decoders.

Anyway, I'll try out the suggestions and hopefully something positive happens. Thanks and cheers!
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Old 24 Sep 2007, 11:47 PM   #7
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I haven't touched ffdshow in months, using medi player classic, my oc'd amd athlon64 @ 2250Hz and ati agp 9600

playing admin rise silver surfer trailer 720p
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Old 24 Sep 2007, 11:49 PM   #8
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Having reinstalled CCCP pack to the latest version (I actually had a 2006 version!), updating to the latest DirectX & SP2 (I just reinstalled Windows, remember), I've got my speed back. Now to try this to WinXP 32-bit. Thanks for the help guys! I'll be surely back if there is any further issue or question.

Cheers!
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Old 26 Sep 2007, 12:24 PM   #9
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Sadly the same cannot be said for WinXP 32-bit, despite having installed the latest DirectX and SP2. Observing CPU usage during playback of these hi-def files, apparently x64 is able to utilise both cores of the CPU for decoding (30-50% load on each core during decoding) whereas x86 is only able to use one core (100% on one core while the other core is relatively idle).

Any takes on this?
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Old 26 Sep 2007, 01:34 PM   #10
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Not sure about this, did you download and install the latest ffdshow version from this page?

http://www.ffdshow.info/

This FAQ gives details on the differences between each compiled version, and multi-threading details:

http://ffdshow-tryout.sourceforge.net/html/en/faq.htm
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Old 26 Sep 2007, 06:43 PM   #11
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Thanks. I've tried the following suggestion: "Queue & misc" -> "Queue output samples" checked; and it works. The decoding is still not strictly multi-threaded though (one core is still doing most of the work), but at least I am not getting dropped frames now. I'll also give the articles further reads.

Thanks again!
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