Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.




147 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 30


Topic # 50107 22-Nov-2009 15:54
Send private message

I have been upgrading my XP MCE HTPC this weekend and have encountered an unexpected problem. Perhaps someone could point me in the right direction.

I am using an Asus P5n7A-VM motherboard with onboard nvidia 9300 graphics, Zalman HD160XT case, Hauppauge DVB-t & s cards. This motherboard has had good reviews and I expected that it would work well for me but I hadn't taken into account running 2 monitors - the Zalman case has a 7" LCD and I am connecting to a Panasonic plasma. When I tune into sat broadcast everything is good. When I use the terrestrial card the picture becomes jerky, audio out of sync, CPU usage goes from 5% to spikes of up to 60%. Seems like it isn't coping with decoding H264. If I disconnect the LCD monitor DVB-t is fine.

What are my options? Is it worth looking at hybrid SLI? Would this give me the performance boost that I need? Should I play it safe and go for a better stand alone graphics card? If so, what minimum spec? Hoping someone has had a similar experience and can offer advice. Thanks in advance.

Create new topic
257 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 275267 22-Nov-2009 19:55
Send private message

What CPU and RAM? I'm running the same board just fine for DVB-T.



147 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 30


  Reply # 275300 22-Nov-2009 21:39
Send private message

Dual core E5300 and 2GB of ram. Are you running 2 monitors?

 
 
 
 


8019 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 384

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 275336 23-Nov-2009 02:48
Send private message

I wonder if your media player software and/or codecs aren't off loading H.264 decoding to the video card at all and are doing software rendering using the cpu?

257 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 275346 23-Nov-2009 07:52
Send private message

Same CPU and memory here (spooky), however I missed the bit about the OS being XP. Ragnor's got it - my understanding is XP won't offload to the GPU without 3rd party codecs of some description. I'm running Win7 and it does it out of the box.

1539 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 39

Trusted

  Reply # 275348 23-Nov-2009 07:57
Send private message

Your system should be fine, I would imagine XP is not offloading it to the grahpics card, If you have access to windows maybe RC1? try see if that helps



147 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 30


  Reply # 275354 23-Nov-2009 08:33
Send private message

Sorry, my mistake. Should have said that I was upgrading from XP to windows 7. So I assume that the necessary codecs are part of the OS. I don't know if it's relevant but I am connecting to the TV with HDMI and the LCD with D-Sub. I did another check this morning. All done with TV3 which I understand is the best torture test. With the 2 monitors connected the CPU usage range was mainly in the range of 30 - 60%. With the LCD disconnected range of 5 - 25% - the picture was then good. I also closed the software that is running and displaying on the 2nd monitor just to make sure that this wasn't causing the problem. It lowered the CPU usage slightly but the picture was still jerky.

Thanks for your responses so far. Are any of you people running 2 monitors? If so what graphics are you using?



147 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 30


  Reply # 275471 23-Nov-2009 14:31
Send private message

OK, a bit of progress.

I discovered that this motherboard will support another graphics card as well as the on board graphics. I slotted in my old 7300 card and hooked up the LCD. The CPU usage dropped right down to a range of about 6 - 12% but the picture on the TV was still bad. Around this time I noted that when only connected to the TV the picture was pretty good but not perfect. There was an ever so slight jerkyness (showed up in the banner scrolling across the screen at the end of the morning show) and when asked to do something a lttle bit graphics intensive (like going back to the start menu after watching TV) there was a slight intermittant flash. I thought about connecting to the TV by other means but HDMI is the only connection that supports 1080p on this card.

As a last resort I dropped the resolution on the TV to 720 x 1280 - perfect picture with both monitors connected, CPU usage right down.

It occurs to me this motherboard struggles with full HD and .h264 decoding especially when 2 monitors are connected or do you think I might have a faulty board or cable? I will get an email off to the suppliers for their comments. Will update in due coarse.

722 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 276620 26-Nov-2009 19:07
Send private message

Have you tried connecting the HTPC to the other HDMI sockets on the TV? The reason I ask is my 32" TV will only display 1:1 pixel mapping on the second HDMI.

It's out there, but you never knowSurprised




Silverstone LC14 HTPC Case/Intel E4600 CPU/GA-EP35-DS3 MOBO/Asus EN9500GT graphics/2GB RAM/total 2TB HDD space/HVR-2200 & 2X 150MCE tuner cards/LG GGC-H20L BD Drive/MCE2005/Mediaportal/TVServer 1.1.0Final/LG 55"3D LED-TV/Denon AVR-1803 receiver/X1 projector

2548 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 88


  Reply # 277138 28-Nov-2009 01:11
Send private message

My brother had problems with the built in Win7 codecs for Freeview.

Try this -> http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=84&topicid=51387

I'm pretty sure these are the steps i used to get his setup running nicely.




HTPC: Intel i3-2100 / 12GB RAM / AMD HD7750 / 480 GB SSD / 58TB Storage / MediaPortal / MadVR / Win10
AVR: Pioneer Elite SC-LX87 220W 9.2 Ch AVR
Speakers: Wharfedale Jade 7 Fronts / Jade 2c Center / Jade 5 Rears
Subs: iNuke 3000dsp 3000W proamp with 4x 15" JBL Sealed Subs
Display: Samsung 60" UA60H6400 LCD TV
Accessories: Gefen HDMI Detective with splitter




147 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 30


  Reply # 279509 5-Dec-2009 11:05
Send private message

OK, another update - this has got me totally whacked. Here are the things that I have tried so far, none of them have fixed the problem.

Updated bios, fresh install of windows home premium, latest motherboard drivers from Asus site, latest nvidia graphics drivers, latest hauppauge drivers, tried media centre before connecting front panel on Zalman case and without installing Zalman MPlay software, tried all 3 HDMI inputs on TV, tried DVI-D to hdmi adapter, fresh install of Windows Enterprise, tried 15.49 nforce motherboard drivers from nvidia site (bundled with earlier graphics drivers), updated to latest graphics drivers, replaced HVR2200 card with HVR3000 card, disabled aero, tried changing a couple of settings in the TV, and probably a few other things that I've forgotten.

Anything else I should try before I send the motherboard back? Thanks for the suggestions so far. kiwijunglist, a bit reluctant to try your suggestion as too many other people say that media centre should run fine with the win 7 codecs. One other observation. Previously I reported that the picture was perfect at 720p. While the white flashing is no longer present when I click back to the guide or a menu, I do however notice that the TV picture is not 100% smooth. I notice this when a scrolling banner is moving across the bottom of the screen - almost imperceptable jerkyness.

483 posts

Ultimate Geek

Trusted

  Reply # 279543 5-Dec-2009 13:12
Send private message

Coming into this one really late...

If your trying to run 2 monitors, and want the both to perform, especially if either is running 1080p your gonna need a dedicated card for each. While the 9300 is probably more than capable of running 1080p, running 2 monitors will effectively need 2 screen buffers (unless both screens are identical/mirrored which they're not), and its gonna be well out of grunt for that, especially using shared memory. The other issue you will have trying to run 2 screens off one card, is that you won't have a HDCP compliant path, which means no Bluray if you ever want to do that.

You could pick up a 8400/9400 for well under $100 to run the internal screen.

The last little bit of flicker your seeing is probably 50/60hz flicker. Are you running 1920x1080 50hz?

If not your gonna get the "breakfast ticker flicker". All NZ broadcast TV is 50hz. All NVidia drivers and most plug&play TV's default to 60hz. Easy to change in the NVidia Control Panel if your not at 50hz.

Cheers,



147 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 30


  Reply # 279546 5-Dec-2009 13:53
Send private message

Earlier on I tried with a 7300 card. The board supports on board graphics + a card. CPU usage dropped but the picture on the TV was still bad. I hear what you are saying about single card - non HDPC compliant so I will probably use the 7300 when I get the onboard sorted. All of the things that I have tried in my last post have been done without the second monitor connected (and without the front panel of the case connected). I wanted a totally 'bare bones' installation to begin my trouble shooting. Seems I haven't got past 1st base. I do have both 50hz & 60hz settings in the nvidia control panel & have tried both to no effect. You refer to the "breakfast ticker flicjker". I don't see this as a flicker but rather a slight acceleration/decceleration. When I look at the same thing on the TV (without HTPC) it is dead smooth ie. constant speed. Perhaps the white flash that I describe when I am looking at the TVguide (with TV playing in the background) could be described as a flicker but it is intermittent occurring 1/2 to 2 seconds apart.

483 posts

Ultimate Geek

Trusted

  Reply # 279549 5-Dec-2009 14:33
Send private message

Have you adjusted the default onboard memory (in the bios) for the graphics card ie increased it?

What your describing sounds like some sort of memory buffer issue, ie its either running out of graphics memory, or your memory is too slow (unlikely) or something is interferring with things...

The easiest way to isolate it would be to chuck in a Nvidia 8500 GT (94/9500 etc etc etc) onwards ie a card which has no known issues. This will isolate out the graphics.

My machine's got a Asus 8300 (even though its turned off), and it can run 1080p using the onboard just fine, the 9300 should be faster still. I've also setup a couple of XFX 8200 based machines for mates, they seem to be very sensitive to memory timing, and configuration. They can be fine at 720p, but absolute crap at 1080p.

Strangely enough I've also seen a dodgy SATA cable cause similar kinds of issues - it was one of the Asus ones with the metal clips... Absolute longshot...






147 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 30


  Reply # 279622 5-Dec-2009 21:54
Send private message

RustyG, I believe you may have hit the nail on the head. I have increased the iGPU frame buffer size from the default 256 to 512. The manual that came with the motherboard seems to suggest that the default is (believe it or not) 32MB so I think that asus may have tweaked this with the updated bios. Anyway, I have been watching the V8 supercars this afternoon, complete with a scrolling thingamebob on the bottom of the screen and to my eye it looks 100% smooth. Average CPU usage is beloww 10% though tonight I have been watching Prime and it sits around 15% average. I still experience this intermitent flashing when I click back to the menu however, overall this is whole lot better than I have previously experienced.

Tomorrow, in between mowing the lawns I will carry on with the rest of the install & report back. Thanks for your help - much appreciated.

Create new topic



Twitter »

Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:





News »

Intel introduces new 8th Generation processors
Posted 21-Aug-2017 19:02


Trend Micro launches Home Network Security
Posted 21-Aug-2017 18:38


Avondale College students at top of Microsoft Office Specialist World Championship
Posted 21-Aug-2017 14:11


Garmin introduces inReach SE+ and inReach Explorer+
Posted 21-Aug-2017 14:05


Public Wi-Fi plus cloud file sharing
Posted 18-Aug-2017 11:20


D-Link NZ launches professional Wireless AC Wave 2 Access Point for businesses
Posted 17-Aug-2017 19:25


Garmin introduces the Rino 700 five-watt two-way handheld radio
Posted 17-Aug-2017 19:04


Garmin announces the Foretrex 601 and Foretrex 701 Ballistic Edition for outdoor and tactical use
Posted 17-Aug-2017 19:02


Brightstar announces new distribution partnership with Samsung Knox platform in Australia
Posted 17-Aug-2017 17:07


Free gig-enabled WiFi network extends across Dunedin
Posted 17-Aug-2017 17:04


Samsung expands with connect Gear S3 Frontier
Posted 17-Aug-2017 15:55


Fact-checking Southern Cross Next cable is fastest to USA
Posted 17-Aug-2017 13:57


Thurrott says Microsoft Surface is dead last for reliability
Posted 16-Aug-2017 15:19


LibreOffice 5.4 works better with Microsoft Office files
Posted 16-Aug-2017 13:32


Certus launches Cognition
Posted 14-Aug-2017 09:31



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.