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New computer quite slow


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#1
Beerbourbon

Beerbourbon

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I just bought a new computer because it's supposed to be really fast. My friend has an old Prescott 3.2GB and we ripped the same DVD using the same software on our machines and his ran at 68 fps and mine only goes at 57! He uses Windows XP Professional. We both thought mine would blow his out of the water.

So I'm thinking - I have 4 processors and he only has one. Why is his faster and so much cheaper? He mentioned something called hyperthreading and when he looked at my computers BIOS system, there's no option to turn it off. When he looked at at the task manager, it never went over 25% when it was converting.

My question then, is how can I make my computer faster by using all the processors in Windows Vista? I've just spent a fortune on a slower computer - the main thing I do is convert videos!

Any help will be nice.

Thanks.
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#2
HTF

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It sounds like whatever software you are using to convert your videos is not multi-threaded properly so it does not use all 4 cores on your CPU. There may be alternative software or an update to what you currently use that enables multi-core support. It could also be the movie codec you are using to convert the video that is not multi-core compatible I would see if there is an update for it or download a codec pack to make sure you have the latest version. To clarify regardless of the operating system if a program is not coded in such a way that it can use all 4 cores of your processor it won't so it really does depend on the application. Hyperthreading is also something you don't want to turn off so that will by why there is no option to do so in the bios.
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#3
Beerbourbon

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I'm not quite clear - do you mean that the other three don't get used unless the software tells it to? I'm sorry I might not understand it all very well. It sounds like I would've been best getting a single processor that's very fast rather than a computer which has four processors that don't get used as much. Bit late now, I suppose!

We used the trial version of DVD Fab Platinum with 30 days trial period - at least I didn't buy it. That'd suck! I'm just downloading something called #1 DVD Ripper and I'll see if that's any better.

Perhaps my question should be if anybody knows a software program I can use to convert the DVD that uses the processors simultaneously in the Windows Vista system from Microsoft?
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#4
HTF

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What I mean is although the operating system will make it use some of all the cores it won't use all of them unless the software is made in a specific way, more and more software is supporting multiple processors but not all software does and it seems you found a piece of software that does not. When ripping from DVD you also have to bear in mind that the speed is also limited to how fast your DVD drive is.

As for alternative software I would take a look at the site I linked to before http://www.codecguide.com/ it has a lot of information about ripping from DVD and burning to DVD as well as just general video conversion information. This pack should have everything you need to rip from and burn to dvd though it might not be as easy to use as your old software.

I don't really rip from DVD that often so I don't know for certain what software you need but as far as I know what I linked to does support multiple cores.
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#5
Beerbourbon

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Thanks for that - it makes sense, although I'm puzzled why an operating system doesn't use hardware more effectively. It's like having a car with four engines but instead of going 4 times faster, it remains at the same speed because one can use only one engine at any one time!!

I'll download those files and give them a go. Thanks for your time with this.

I own lots of DVD's and an old laptop so I convert to to avi format so I can watch them on the train. I had a choice whether to buy a medium computer and a medium laptop or an expensive computer. I chose the latter of course!

Thanks again.
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#6
Beerbourbon

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No, the software doesn't work because it doesn't open a DVD: it only opens video files.

I'm not a technical person but I do know that I've always used the XVid codec since using Windows XP. I know many people preer the DivX codec so I didn't need the codec pack. I know what I want in that respect! Besides, when I send the avi file to my folks in England of the family, they have the XVid installed and are much less technical than me, so another codec isn't an option.

I suppose I just need the right software to convert DVD to avi that uses two or more of my processors at the same time.
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#7
HTF

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Yeah I didn't know if it did or not. It also isn't the operating systems fault it is all down to the software developer the tools are there in the operating system to allow a developer to make a program that runs on more than one core it is just hard to do so some software is still without it. As for Xvid VS DivX they are pretty much the same thing anyway, Xvid is divX backwards :) It is an offshoot of DivX that is open source. There should be an option in the Xvid codec to enable multi-core support I know the latest version of it have it at least I have used it myself.

I do hope you find the right piece of software you need if I see anything that could be useful for you I will post it.
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#8
Beerbourbon

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Talk about intensive learning. This may be very interesting for people who want to rip DVD's to avi format using a complex processor:

I've tried a lot (and I mean a lot) of programs out there that convert DVDs to DivX, Xvid etc - including DVD Fab and #1 DVD Ripper which are supposed to be among the best, with my Intel Quad 2 Core, they run at around 50-60 frames per second (fps). As well as recording the fps, I also take note of the Vista Task Manager for all four processors. One of them is being utilised fully but the others don't. They fluctuate, but are not comprehensively utilised.

I tested the same DVD with a program called Auto Gordian Knot (AGK) and the real kicker is that it's freeware. It's brilliant and utilises the system resources available. I thought I'd put it through it's paces with a 2-pass transcode with the Xvid codec. Here's my results!

The program uses a number of smaller programs including VirtualDub. I can either set a thread priority manually per movie or default it - I default it at highest thread priority. With a Quad 2 Core, who wouldn't, right!

I went a step further and looked at the priority in Task Manager. It was set to low so I changed it to high, then real-time. The strange thing is that setting a higher priority in task manager lowered the fps substantially. I changed it back to the default of low.

To understand my results, here's my system specifications:

22" high definition widescreen LCD monitor running 1680 x 1050
Asus motherboard at 1066 Mhz
Intel Quad 2 Core 2.6GHz
3GB DDR2 RAM
Nvidia 8600GT 512mb
2 x 500gb HDD
Windows Vista Ultimate
Other stuff that's not important for this test.

Transcoding fps
==========

The results are based on the same DVD residing on my hard drive, encoded to a second hard drive using the Xvid codec. Note that the average fps with other programs like DVD Fab was around 50-60 per pass using the 2-pass method.

With AGK:
- First pass 130-150 fps (15 minutes)
- Second pass fluctuated rapidly from 60-220 fps (the result was an average of 110 fps) (22 minutes)

Results
=====

- The avi product after encoding was far greater than any other product I have tested.
- Even on a high definition 22" LCD monitor, it looks great at full screen. Much better than other programs.
- The file finished almost 15 minutes quicker than any other product tested.
- There's no sound in Windows Media Player or Windows Media Center. There are audio options and I assume one of them will work (note that the product using Auto settings did work on my DVD Player which is weird).

The download link for AutoGK is http://www.autogk.me.uk/

It installs VirtualDub as well but remember that to set the thread priority in VirtualDub before using AGK. I'd be interested in any results for the DivX codec, but I prefer XVid because it's free.

Hope this helps! I definitely recommend AutoGK.
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#9
HTF

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That is great new congrats on getting it working and so fast.
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