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PureVideo performance


envydyauser

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30% of a DualCore is *a lot* of CPU.

...Im running dual screen with primary on my 32 inch LCD! Also remember I maxxed out the MPC settings with BiCubic 3D resizing. .

Ive also set PDVD to Best Picture as opposed to Auto. Now before this would bring the film to a hault. Maybe the EVR fix again?

[Re-edit] OK. I switched from EVR custom (i.e. 20 buffers, 3D render, bicubic max) to VMR9 on a 720p film and the CPU went down to 5 to 10% even with 3D render and Bicubic maxxed out. I switched back to EVR custom and got 30%. Theres you answer!

Maybe using the extra EVR buffers extracts some toll other than memory.?

Edited by cdx47
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  • 2 weeks later...
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  • LSudlow

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For what it's worth, I'm having great luck with the latest versions of ffdshow posted here and here.

You also need to use a splitter like this one.

A bit more CPU usage than CoreAVC, but better quality (at least to my eye) and many more options. They're updating it frequently, so it just keeps getting better.

My poor little FX Go5200 can only handle 720p - I'd be interested to hear the results you guys get with more horsepower.

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  • 4 weeks later...
For what it's worth, I'm having great luck with the latest versions of ffdshow posted here and here.

FFDSshow is my defacto codec except for h264. Its very slow for this. PowerDVD plus Nvidia is much faster

You also need to use a splitter like this one.

I already have this!

A bit more CPU usage than CoreAVC, but better quality (at least to my eye) and many more options. They're updating it frequently, so it just keeps getting better.

My poor little FX Go5200 can only handle 720p - I'd be interested to hear the results you guys get with more horsepower.

Im not sure how Haali splitter is relevant to this? You need Haali plus PDVD/FFDshow/CoreAVCin order to play h264 mkv files! CoreAVC plays very efficiently. FFDShow has "some" issue. PDVD is simply the best right now!

BUT....Nvidia does not like MKV files. I have to turn off Hardware Acceleration in order to play them without stuttering. But then my Core2Duo handles them fine without the extra help anyway.

But in answer to your last question, Transformers at 1080p looks stunning!

Revenge of the Sith and Appocalipto at only 720p rivals Transformers. RotS was filmed on latest gen digital cameras so I understand that. Not sure why Apocalipto looks so good.

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I agree 720p can look great, but I want more. Gotta get more horsepower here one of these days!

And yes, I agree PDVD is the best. But I help a lot of people who don't really want to shell out for a player, so it's a personal challenge for me to see what can be done with just WMP and nvidia. Right now, ffdshow is performing quite well with h.264 content. The CPU load is slightly more than CoreAVC (very slightly), but it has many more configuration and post-processing options. They guys who picked up the project have improved it enormously over the versions that were available even a few months ago.

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Maybe what you should do is post any recommendations you have for ffdshow settings.

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cdx47, LSudlow

Seen your quotes, but I'm still trying to pinpoint PureVideo hardware acceleration.

Neither CoreAVC (which I confirm does a good job) nor ffdshow (which I dont use at all) provide any HW acceleration.

The most significant advancement in this respect, and which at least explains why this issue has been so hard to pinpoint, is being discussed right now over at doom9. Some guys seem to have figured that hardware acceleration OR dxva are broken if a video breaks the num_ref_frames value for a given H264 Level.

Since a "non-compliant" stream seems not to get accelerated both on Nvidia and ATI cards, this looks more like a DXVA-level problem, rather than hardware.

We have already discussed above that, at least nominally, you can ONLY get hardware acceleration in Nvidia cards if you use Cyberlink PDVD.

My initial contention remains that some videos seem to get accelerated when played with VLC.

I have also been testing with MPC Home Theater Edition with near-identical results to VLC.

But now we may be onto something. If you can encode a sample video, at any resolution, in two different ways: level 4.1 compliant, and non-compliant, and play it back with PDVD / MPC-HT / VLC, and post your CPU usage figures, I'd be very interested to see your results.

cheers

envydyauser

Edited by envydyauser
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Here are the results for my FX Go5200, running the Serenity HD (h.264 720p) trailer on XP SP3:

The worst was MPC Home Cinema, frequently pinned at 100% CPU usage with many skipped frames:

MPC Home Cinema

Significantly better is WMP11 with ffdshow. High CPU usage, but no dropped frames:

WMP Ffdshow

Better still is VLC, with lower CPU usage and no dropped frames:

VLC

And the winner is WMP11 with CoreAVC, which never hit 100% CPU usage after the initial spike:

CoreAVC

I haven't tried this with PDVD, but it ran slightly better than CoreAVC the last time I checked.

I know the CoreAVC site says GPU support is "to be added later", but I wonder if it might have been slipped in since that was written. I doubt I could play that trailer and never hit 100% CPU without it.

EDIT: Scratch that - I've discovered what's going on. The CoreAVC decoder defaults to "Skip Deblocking." When I set the ffdshow h.264/AVC codec to "Skip Deblocking Always" it uses even less CPU than CoreAVC - never even hitting 100% in the initial spike.

WMP Ffdshow NoDeblocking

It looks like there's no PureVideo (or other hardware) support after all.

EDIT 2: Out of curiosity, I tried the Serenity trailer with the latest Quicktime player. The CPU stayed pinned at 100% from the start and there were so many dropped frames, it looked like a slide show.

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Here are the results for my FX Go5200, running the Serenity HD (h.264 720p) trailer on XP SP3:

Ahh Serenity. One of my favourite films of all time. If I had a HDVD drive and the they actually sold HDVDs out here where I am, this would be one of the first films I would buy. I bought the DVD and I have a HDrip. I forget to mention this film before and say that the PQ for this film is also stunning.

My initial contention remains that some videos seem to get accelerated when played with VLC.

I have also been testing with MPC Home Theater Edition with near-identical results to VLC.

But now we may be onto something. If you can encode a sample video, at any resolution, in two different ways: level 4.1 compliant, and non-compliant, and play it back with PDVD / MPC-HT / VLC, and post your CPU usage figures, I'd be very interested to see your results.

cheers

envydyauser

I have seen problems with a couple of m HD rips in that the PDVD x264 codec wont play them but FFdshow and VLC do play them.Could you put up a couple of clips (not more than 5MB each as I got crap Internet) on your site. I will download them and test them.

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After seeing the excellent post on the from page explaining the driver series numbering, I have just upgraded to 167.49. This seems to be a little better than the 156 I was using as I am now able to play one particular film using PDVD codecs where as before I could only play it in VLC. In general I think the brightness and other settings need tweaking when first installing this driver. I didnt have to do this for the 156. For example, the Digital Vibrance on your second (or in my case primary HDMI LCD) screen to 100% so you end up with a purple desktop :) , so I to reset it back to 0 (or in my case 10)

**Edit**

OK it seems the 167 broke my lappys ability to play full HD rips as opposed to rips compressed and transcoded to x264. Ive gone back to 156.73 and its fine again. Im going for a later 156 and see what happens.

**Edit**

It looks like Nvidia have added something to the 16* series to stop you playing encrypted HD rips from your hard drive. So if you back up your disks then the 16* series is not for you. I will try AnyDVD HD

Edited by cdx47
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  • 3 weeks later...

Ok the issie with the drivers is that the ones I chose were not WHQL. Ive now installed the latest desktop WHQL driver on my laptop without using the modded inf as that breaks WHQL. Bottom line PQ has improved but now CPU stuck at 30% when playing "full" HDDVD rips. My guess is that more post processing is going on?

My test has always been Troy which simply didnt look HD to me. At least until today. Now it matches, Serenity,Hot fuzz and Transformers for PQ!

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  • 4 weeks later...

OK Im on 171 desktop series now on my laptop. After each upgrade the films look a little better. T2 BluRay is very grainy but with the latest drivers the grain is almost gone.

HotFuzz,Serenity etc HDDVDs look even better than before. I think that NVIDIA are constantly improving their algorithms, especially the pulldown algorithms.

Ok the issie with the drivers is that the ones I chose were not WHQL. Ive now installed the latest desktop WHQL driver on my laptop without using the modded inf as that breaks WHQL. Bottom line PQ has improved but now CPU stuck at 30% when playing "full" HDDVD rips. My guess is that more post processing is going on?

My test has always been Troy which simply didnt look HD to me. At least until today. Now it matches, Serenity,Hot fuzz and Transformers for PQ!

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cdx47, thanks for the updates. This thread doesn't get much traffic, but it's an important topic. I think more people will catch on to it soon.

:)

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OK Im on 171 desktop series now on my laptop ..... I think that NVIDIA are constantly improving their algorithms, especially the pulldown algorithms.

So much stuff to test, so little time ...

Hello there. I'm still using 163-level drivers. Partly through lack of time, partly because I've seen nothing in the 17x discussions to tempt me to upgrade to any other version.

I went from 163.71 to 163.75, but I have a suspicion it is causing the fan to run constantly.

I may tilt toward the 167.59 "Clevo" version, but simply have to find a longish slot to edit the modded inf, or may wait for whatever is the next version posted in the NVidia website.

I've also been investigating with playback other than VLC (MPC-HT, CoreAVC 1.6.x, a trial version of Cyberlink 7.0) but keep coming back to VLC : it simply uses the least CPU when playing back any content.

The other major area I've been checking (as an x264 user who doesn't do BluRay) is the x264 encoding options needed for "DXVA / PureVideo compatibility".

I'll report back when ...

cheers

envydyauser

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I've also been investigating with playback other than VLC (MPC-HT, CoreAVC 1.6.x, a trial version of Cyberlink 7.0) but keep coming back to VLC : it simply uses the least CPU when playing back any content.

The other major area I've been checking (as an x264 user who doesn't do BluRay) is the x264 encoding options needed for "DXVA / PureVideo compatibility".

envydyauser

I recently have found two interesting x264 files. One that wont play with the Cyberlink x264 codec at all. It does play with FFDshow and VLC. The second one plays but doesnt get accelerated at all. The CPU peaks at 100% and averages around 50%. I am playing full BluRay and HDDVDs with PDVD set to Best Picture averaging around 20% CPU so I assume that both problems are related to the profiles issue you were talking about before?

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  • 2 months later...
Guest cdx47

OK Ive now gone to 175.95 because

1. This "is" a more laptop oriented driver

2. Comes with original drivers (no need for have disk)

3. Seems to have the new 17x.xxx features

4. So far seems to be just as good for HD performance as the desktop 171s

OK Im on 171 desktop series now on my laptop. After each upgrade the films look a little better. T2 BluRay is very grainy but with the latest drivers the grain is almost gone.

HotFuzz,Serenity etc HDDVDs look even better than before. I think that NVIDIA are constantly improving their algorithms, especially the pulldown algorithms.

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  • 1 month later...
OK Ive now gone to 175.95 because

1. This "is" a more laptop oriented driver

2. Comes with original drivers (no need for have disk)

3. Seems to have the new 17x.xxx features

4. So far seems to be just as good for HD performance as the desktop 171s

This is getting boring I know but Ive gone back to the desktop 171 series. Transformers would just bomb out on 174s and 175s.

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It's not boring at all. This is how we find out which drivers work. Thanks for reporting!

:)

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OK what I said before is not quite true which is why I have erased it.

Dual monitor signal problem was due to kiddies playing with daddy's cable.

Also I can now get transformers to work with 175 drivers if I am careful. I prefer this because 175 can be installed using the setup and original inf files (no messing around forcing the wrong driver). I cant wait to get my popcornhour :)

It's not boring at all. This is how we find out which drivers work. Thanks for reporting!

:)

Edited by cdx47
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I am using driver 177.41 and it is working great for video.

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Are we talking about the same thing?

I am talking about Hi Def rips/backups/blue ray/hddvd running on PowerDVD.

P.S. Changed my mind again :) Cant use 175 for HiDef stuff. Can use 171. Moral of this story is dont install drivers in Safe Mode. :)

I am using driver 177.41 and it is working great for video.
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I have never tried with Bluray/HDDVD. (I don't have such a drive in my laptop) I am sorry. I must be talking about the wrong thing.

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what does purevideo exactly do? nvidia has been bragging about this but im confused :)

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In general, it's nvidia's video acceleration technology, but specifics are hard to come by. A read through this thread will give you some ideas and provide some links for you to check out, but we'd all like to know more.

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Something weird has just happened.

I installed a driver 174.74 which this site says is WHQL but Vista (and Nvidia) says isnt :) .

I removed and reinstalled PowerDVD but didnt install the patch to make it Vista compatible. Remember I needed the patch for Hardware Acceleration. Not anymore! The Hardware Acceleration button is blank (off) when I show configuration but under information it shows DxVA working.

Transformers and Hot Fuzz now work flawlessly.I dont have to turn off my Antivirus, Firewall etc or kill Aero.

I can even run on battery power on power saver mode. :) In this mode the CPU hits averages around 50% Once I switch back to high power mode it averages around 23% maxes at 30%

*edit* OK its a little more strange than I first thought. On Transformers DxVA is enabled. On Serenity, Hot Fuzz and Total Recall it isnt. Its almost as if its detecting extra resources are being required then turning it on? Very Strange. Of course CPU is running at around 50% without DxVA but that's OK on a modern dual core.

This is on my laptop only at the moment. I still have to try this in dual mode this evening with my LCD. That should be very interesting.

Edited by cdx47
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