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How Can I Confirm The Bottleneck

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Home PC Nut, Sep 8, 2002.

  1. Home PC Nut

    Home PC Nut
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    Hi All,

    My Home Cinema PC is as follows:

    Hardware:
    P4 2.2 Ghz (Not overclocked)
    Intel 845 Chipset (Not overclocked)
    256 MB DDR (Not overclocked)
    GF4 Ti4400 128 MB
    74 GB ATA 100 HD
    SB Live Value
    LG DVD-Rom DRD 8120B
    Sony Trinitron 17" Multiscan

    Software:
    W98SE (all latest updates & drivers)
    W2K Pro (All latest updates, drivers & service packs)
    Intel Application Accelerator (latest version)
    Power DVD4
    Win DVD4

    The problem I have is that whatever DVD I watch (my entire collection is Region1) I nearly always get a glitch whereby the DVD drive hesitates for a fraction of a second and this causes the picture to skip a frame or stutter for a second whilst it retries that part of the DVD again.
    Layer changes also seem to take up to 5 secs.

    I only listen to DVD's on my PC via Headphones so have to use the downmix to 2 channel Audio options on the Software player.

    I have tried brand new unopened discs, old discs, cleaning discs and nothing makes any difference.

    I have tried the evaluation version of DVDIdle which is supposed to cache the entire disc (if you set the cache size to 9GB & I have then the picture breaks up into little blocks).

    I am at a loss to find the bottleneck and I have even rebuilt the PC several times.
    This problem happens under either W98SE, W98 1st Edition or W2K with or without the Intel Application Accelerator installed.

    Does everyone else get glitch free playback on their Home Cinema PC?

    How can I issolate the bottleneck as I do not want to spend money on new components unless I am certain what to upgrade.
    I suspect either the DVD Drive (new in June 2001) or SBLive Value soundcard (new in 1998) are the culprits but how can I be sure?

    All/Any suggestions welcome.

    Many Thanks
     
  2. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Hi,

    It could be a number of things, but I would go for replaceing the DVD drive. The Pioneer 106s and Lite-on drives are good.

    Jeff
     
  3. Paul D

    Paul D
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    I would also say the "DVD drive"!.
    I use a 16x Sony DVDRom with no pauses etc.

    Second, i always load the latest motherboard chipset drivers..."IDE-4 in 1-" etc. This alone can decide if a system runs stable.

    Third, always check that the DVDrom IDE channel is set to DMA mode. I use the primary master for my hard drive, and secondary master for the DVD Rom. Ie i don't put the two drives on the same IDE channel.

    Good luck.
     
  4. MAW

    MAW
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    I'm sure they're right, my spec is much lower, but it's glitch free. I had trouble like that, not so bad and I put up with it till my drive wouldn't play a disc at all. Repaced it then, and cured both problems.
     
  5. Home PC Nut

    Home PC Nut
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    Thanks for all the advice guys.

    I've just ordered a Pioneer 106 so will let you know how that turns out in the next few days.
     
  6. squid

    squid
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    It could allso be that the laser might need a clean . Cleaning kits are quite cheap and dirt on the lence can give you just this type of problem
     
  7. The Nightfly

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    I have exactly the same problem but I don't believe its the DVD drive. I've noticed it almost always occurs either just before or just after a cut to another scene/angle in the film.

    I'm reasonably sure its caused by bad edits in the transfer. What I don't know is whether its a weakness with the software DVD player or something related to the graphics card.

    BTW, I'm using a Radeon 7500 with PowerDVD

    Allan
     
  8. MAW

    MAW
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    Whist you may be right, some drives are able to cope with problem discs much better than others, just like some DVD players are known to have problems playing some discs.
     
  9. Home PC Nut

    Home PC Nut
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    I've noticed on mine that it almost always happens on or around the 56 mins to 76 mins mark (basically either side of an RSDL layer change which the drive takes up to 5 secs to handle).

    On some (under 4GB) but not all single layer discs it never happens at all regardless of how old or dirty the disc is.

    I should also mention that all of the DVD's I have play perfectly on my other DVD player (a Pioneer DV05 THX certified pure region1) figure it must be the drive as it seems to also pause or stutter on some game PC CD-Roms.

    My new drive comes tomorrow so should be able to tell in the next day or so.


    Thanks
     
  10. The Nightfly

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    Are the momentary glitches you refer to repeatable (ie you can go back to the exact same spot and it always does it) ?

    Allan
     
  11. Home PC Nut

    Home PC Nut
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    The Pioneer 106S I ordered yesterday & installed today did the trick.

    This drive is light years ahead of the LG 8120B which not only stutters & pauses but also produces approx 25% less picture detail than the Pioneer (which really gives a superb picture and glitch free playback).

    IMHO & experience avoid this particular LG DVD-Rom unit.

    A big thank you to everyone for all their advice & suggestions.
     
  12. Jeff

    Jeff
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    Cool it worked. :D
     
  13. Epithet

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    I have the Pioneer 116 which I believe is the tray version of the 106. This is an excellent drive but at full speed can be noisy, particularly when watching DVDs and listening to CDs.

    If you find the 106 noisy search the Pioneer web sites for speed control software. This will enhance your enjoyment of the drive.
     

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