/ Perfromance tuning a pc

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balmybaldwin - on 21 Sep 2013
Hopefully someone on here can help.

I'm having problems with my pc reading large high res video files (1080p 60fps, 720 120fps, 2.7K and 4K Go Pro footage), and I'm hoping its more to do with my pc being gunked up with rubbish, rather than it just not being up to the job.

Being of a suspicious nature when it comes to free malware scanners etc i was hoping for some recommendations as to what software to use to identify nasty malware, but also to perform a general clean-up as I've got years of random software I rarely use on the machine.

Is my best option to do a back-up of wanted software, and then do a clean re-build of the machine back to original settings?

My system:

Intel Core2 Quad CPU Q8200 @2.33 GHz
4GB Ram
NVIDIA GeForce GT120
1TB HDD (446GB free)
64 Bit Vista SP2

Or, if the system isn't up to it, what should I be looking to upgrade/build into a new machine?

Thanks
Rob Exile Ward on 21 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin: What sort of problems are you encountering - the spec looks OK to me though I'm not really a hardware person.

Vista rings alarm bells though, I use Windows 7 and am very happy with it and I'm certain it's quicker than my old XP.
balmybaldwin - on 21 Sep 2013
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

The problem is that playback at lower res has a weird stuttering effect... a second ant normal play speed, then half a second much slower and back again if you see what I mean.

On the higher res stuff, it seems to just slow down to the point that 1 sec run time lasts about 15 seconds and is shown frame by frame (combined with a horrible clicking sound on the audio)

I've tried different video players that are supposed to be less resource hungry than windows media player or quicktime (which both have the same problems to different extents), and have found MPC-HC to be much better, but still struggles.

I did wonder if it was time to move to W7 (I hate the idea of Windows 8)
GridNorth - on 21 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin: Vista is crap and always has been. I returned my laptop to XP and every so often I run a product called CCleaner to get rid of crap in the registry, browser cache etc. etc. it does seem to work although I'm not convinced that it doesn't do anything that can't be done by other means but it is more convenient and free and makes it easier. It also facilitates removal of stubborn programs that are no longer required and does a better job than the Windows uninstall program.

Some people say there is no need to do all this and that this crap doesn't impact the PC but there is little doubt in my mind that using it speeds things up on my laptop.
Rob Exile Ward on 21 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin: I imagine you've done a Windows clean up and it might be worth doing a defrag if you're using large files?
balmybaldwin - on 21 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Running Defrag now, but don't think that's a major problem as I do it fairly regularly.
Eric9Points - on 21 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

I suggest you add the CPU meter sidebar gadget to your desktop so you can see how much memory and RAM you're using when you're playing videos.

There's a free download package called Advanced Suystem care that's got lots of different utilities for cleaning out big files etc, etc. You might want to try that.

Also have you tried defragging your hard drive? I don't know if it makes a difference with Vista or not but might be worth a try. Here's a 64 bit one: http://www.mydefrag.com/

lowersharpnose - on 21 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

Does anything show up if you run Windows Task Manager?

Look for other programs taking CPU and memory.

You can use CCleaner to cut down on the number of programs that startup. You don't need lots of software updaters and whatnot.
balmybaldwin - on 21 Sep 2013
In reply to lowersharpnose:

So far I've used system config to do a selective start-up which is running a lot better, but it's still not great.

I seem to have a stupid number of services on the pc (haven't counted them, but looks to be over 100 - a lot of these are disabled due to the selective start-up), and maybe 30 processes.

When running the videos, CPU and Memory aren't maxed out, but it looks like HDD might be (although it seems to be showing max read speed at 10Mb/sec which seems very low)
Jim Fraser - on 21 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

I have not used Vista much but doesn't the 64 bit version allow use of a lot more memory than 4Gb? If so then I would certainly go for doubling that.

New graphic cards are a step beyond that one but I would be surprised if the card is the real problem.

Your machine is more likely to suffer from software problems than hardware limits. First, you need to consider the application that you are using for the video work and whether it is simply too demanding.

Most modern machines have dozens or hundreds of applications loaded. Most of them work very well, some are a pain and some are trully dreadful. Adobe and Adaware are two problems I have had to deal with recently. Adobe apps are horrendous for bringing things to a halt. Adaware, like so many others in that field, has turned from a help to a hindrance and I now consider it malware (watch out for adawarebp.exe). There are dozens more like that out there. It would take most of us months or years to go through a PC manually and clean this stuff up.

I am struggling with the decision to do a clean re-install myself. This desktop has seen several hardware upgrades but has been building up rubbish on this disk since 2007! A clean re-install is a pain but it's only a day or two on a relatively simple setup.
Mike Stretford - on 21 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin: A few suggestions:

Manlwarebytes scanning software is effective at finding bad stuff and free for the scanning program. Many people have bits of various antivirus software which slows the PC down. If this is you get rid of all of it and use Microsoft security essentials.

If you are worried about startup programs type 'msconfig' in the run box at the bottom left (it might be different in vista but it works in W7 and XP so I assume it's ok). This brings up a diagnostics window, where you can choose to reboot without startup programs. If your system is faster after this then there is your answer.

Use add/remove programs to get rid of anything you don't want.

Personally, I would install a version of Windows 7 from scratch. As you say you will need the install files for any programs you want to re-install.

On hardware, it looks ok. I think Windows 7 and your system could use more RAM, so you could check to see if you have any spare slots.

itsThere on 21 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin: Defrag your hdd (google it), try VLC media player. Vista is crap. Do a re-install if you cant get anything else to work first.

Sounds like your pc cant keep up with the video anyway, 4K is alot of data. as others have said try a program to monitor ram/cpu use. http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html
Dominion - on 21 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

One of the problems with Vista was that by default it loads a horrendous lot of RAM and CPU intensive widgets onto your desktop, and one of the first things to do is eliminate them.

In fact Microsoft are actually recommending that you turn them off as a matter of urgency.

http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/microsoft-tells-customers-disable-windows-sidebar-gadgets-879132

also

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/disable-windows-sidebar-in-vista/

Other performance hogs are anti-virus programs. Some will be doing a complete HDD scan pretty much every time you switch your computer on. This will make it run horrendously slowly, so you need to be aware of how to tell whether you are running anti-virus scans, and how to turn them off, and only run a full scan once a week (for example) rather than every time you switch the computer on.

Or get a different AV program. Some of them are system hogs, regardless.


Also learn the basics of disabling programs that run at startup

http://www.pcworld.com/article/241049/how_to_disable_windows_startup_programs.html

A lot of programs offer you a basic install, and a custom install. If you just choose the basic install a lot of them will download extra software or toolbars, and set themselves to always load on startup.

In most cases you really don't want this, but in most cases people don't choose Custom install, so they get them anyway...

I barely use Windows nowadays because of having to deal with shite like this...

rallymania - on 21 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

ok couple of additional questions...

1) are you copying the videos to the hard drive first or watching from the micro SD card? (copy to HD if not)
2) have you tried running the files through cineform and converting to avi files first? (see gopro.com to download the free cineform program)
3) what are you watching the files with? windows media play (gah!) or VLC player?

anything here that might help?
http://goprouser.freeforums.org/


The Lemming - on 21 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:


My suggestion would be to install Windows 7/8 from scratch and install it onto its own hard drive.

If budget allows then make that dedicated hard drive a solid state hard drive.

A solid state hard drive will be the best upgrade that you can ever make.

Then you should be good to go.
Dino Dave - on 21 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin: vista eats RAM like nothing else! 4gb is about minimum to keep vista running. I've 8gb and windows 7, even that can struggle with hd video editing. Ram upgrade would help. SSD's as previously said are a massive bonus if you can afford them (they're pretty cheap now compared to what they used to cost)
MischaHY - on 21 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin: Realistically it's a combo of spec and OS. Core 2 is really outdated by this point, and 4GB of ram is not up to the mark of modern video editing, especially with advanced software and 4K resolution.

The best thing you could do is upgrade your system to current spec, short of that you should update your OS to Win 7 and at least another 4gb of ram into your motherboard.
Enty - on 22 Sep 2013
In reply to Papillon:
> (In reply to balmybaldwin) A few suggestions:
>
> Many people have bits of various antivirus software which slows the PC down. If this is you get rid of all of it and use Microsoft security essentials.
>
>

Hey up.
PC is a month old now and I keep getting a McAfee pop-up saying the initial trial has now finished. I'd like to uninstall anything to do with McAfee and install Microsoft Security Essentials.

Is this easy to do? I remember having a nightmare getting rid of McAfee stuff in the past.

Cheers,

E
Kipper - on 22 Sep 2013
In reply to Enty:
>
> Is this easy to do? I remember having a nightmare getting rid of McAfee stuff in the past.
>

It's easier now - http://service.mcafee.com/FAQDocument.aspx?id=TS101331
Enty - on 22 Sep 2013
In reply to Kipper:

Cheers, got shut of McAfee and now got Windows Defender running.

E
ads.ukclimbing.com
balmybaldwin - on 22 Sep 2013
In reply to rallymania:

1) Yes
2) No, will give it a go
3) Using MPC-HC which is similar to vlc in terms of resources
rallymania - on 22 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

re 2)

try it with a small file first, be aware that it expands the file into a standard avi video file (and significantly increases the size of the files)

the other thing to consider with the larger formats (especially the 4k and the 2.7k) is that unless your monitor is massive and very expensive it's probably have to resample the video files down to a smaller size to play them

eg a 1080 video is actually 1920x1080 in size so if your screen isn't that big it's having to resample the video to play it, now take a 4k file which is 3840x2160 and you start to see the problem even more. (and the 4k from your gopro is only 15fps so will play "jerky" anyway)
balmybaldwin - on 23 Sep 2013
In reply to rallymania:
> (In reply to balmybaldwin)
>
> the other thing to consider with the larger formats (especially the 4k and the 2.7k) is that unless your monitor is massive and very expensive it's probably have to resample the video files down to a smaller size to play them
>
what I want to be able to do is record at the native 2.7K for the sensor so that I can do things like narrow field of view, zoom in etc when processing on the PC rather than having to think about it whilst out and about
alasdair19 on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin: its a bit radical but installing a Linux operating system will massively speed things up and no body bothers writing malware for it.open.office works.well and you could set up a dual boot to run things that really need windows.
mattrm - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

More RAM, you could probably do with at least 8gb of high speed (highest your PC will support) good quality RAM.

Also an SSD for the OS is worth considering and keep the 1tb for storage.

Win 7 wouldn't be a bad idea either.

rallymania - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

ok, just for curiosity sake

could you record a 30second clip and upload it to a dropbox account (or similar)

i (and others if they wish) could download it and try playing it and rport back their experience along with the spec of their machines to see if we can narrow it down a bit?

regards
balmybaldwin - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to rallymania:

Good idea. Will do that tonight...
rallymania - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

drop me an email via above when you've done it and i'll try and take a look
balmybaldwin - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to rallymania:

Thanks...


I've just been out and taken a 31s clip in 4K and it is running fine on MPC-HC. but the 4K file I took the other day is about 2 mins long, and still doesn't work... which makes me think it's a memory/HD and buffering issue. Therefore, I have uploaded the longer file... - It's a big one at just over 2Gb, so I understand if you don't want to use up internet limit etc.


Email coming soon as soon as the thing uploads
The Lemming - on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

I have a question, how much RAM is too much RAM for a home user who does not do any serious video editing or encoding?

I'm guessing that there is a limit at which you are just buying empty space that may never be used up?
armus on 24 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

I advise you to look at Iolo System Mechanic. Seriously!
rallymania - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

morning

well i didn't get your email until really later lasy night but managed to grab it this morning.

right for reference i have a Q9400 CPU (that's core 2 quad 2.6Gh so a wee bit faster but a slightly older 9600 GT video card. my windows 7 experience index is 6.7 due to the graphics card. and 8Gb of RAM

that video played silky smooth on my machine in VLC, with total CPU usuage at about 51% and RAM useage 1.6Gb (firefox was using 250Mb for example) so i'd say the basic hardware you have is unlikely yo be the limitation.

i've got a really crap machine at work, i'm just about to dl and try the video on that now for comparison

balmybaldwin - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to rallymania:

Interesting, you seem to imply that your windows experience index is lower due to the video card? mine is 5.8 I think, so quite a step down... I'm guessing the RAM is making a difference there
rallymania - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

so my scabby work PC
E5500 dual core 2.8Ghz cpu
2gb RAM
intel express g41 onboard grpahics
windows 7 experience of 2.0

plays the video with a few slightly noticeable stutters (delays almost, not constant it's watchable but would annoy you in a feature length film if you see what i mean)

CPU usage 96 to 97% and again about 1.6Gb of RAM

but this is a bog standard business class PC with no tuning for video playback or anything fancy like that.

CPU usage though suggests VLC isn't using the video card to display the video,

to be honest my inital thought is "rebuild" your machine... backup all your data and then do a fresh install of the OS (win7 if you can) and your programs and then try that again. depends on how reluctant you are to buy a new PC i guess :-)
rallymania - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:

the windows experience index displays the lowest result
my CPU / ram and HD are in the 7's on my home PC and 5 > 6's on my work box

it's the aero experience that's knocking the score down on both machines which isn't of any real worry :-)

if you wanted to make your machine run super fast i'm going to suggest
buy a small SSD from crucial or similar.
use that as your OS and Apps drive
use your exisiting spinny hard drive as your data drive (you can move the "users" folder on the c: drive to the second disk quite easily, google will show you how)
on the SSD install windows 7, MS security essentials and all the updates and your playback and editing software and try it again.

however
our machines (because mine is quite old too) are getting a bit slow for the output rendering part to be super snappy. if you have budget available for a newer machine or upgrading a fair amount of it, then that's another option too!

also check your email :-)
itsThere on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to rallymania: A 9600 GT is better than a GT120, the RAM will also help. I would offer to help but have a download limit on my internet.
rallymania - on 25 Sep 2013
In reply to itsThere:
fair enough, i hadn't looked at the video card specs properly yet.


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