What're the optimal settings for a Windows 7 PC to play back 1080p mkv

I currently use VLC (default settings) and I have CCCP installed on my Win7 Pro HTPC. It's got a 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo E6700, 2 GB RAM and an ATI HD 5450. It plays 1080p mkv's really well, except for high intensity/motion scenes. Then, it starts artifacting and becomes really choppy. I usually play the movies off the external HD and I'm sure that contributes to it, but the issue still arises even when it's on the actual local HD.

My question is, what can I do software-wise to address the choppiness issues? I'm sure that VLC right out of the box isn't fully optimized to run stuff smoothly. What tweaks should I make? Should I go with a different video player? Turn off Aero? What other services should I turn off, if any?
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  1. Are you using the most current version of VLC (1.1.5)? Also, is this 32-bit or 64-bit Win 7? I would suggest you bump your memory up to 4GB. Regarding software, I, too, use VLC in a similar system and I don't see the issues you are experiencing.

    Last, what version of Catalyst drivers are you using? I suggest you update those as well if not current. ATI/AMD have made several improvments in recent drivers that can help with VLC playback.

    Good luck!
  2. Yep, currently on the latest version. 32-bit Win7, latest version of Catalyst drivers. Unfortunately, I'm using a mATX mobo and all the memory slots are filled up. Plus, DDR2-800 RAM is kinda a rip off nowadays. I've been told the problem isn't hardware-related, because my processor is more than enough to deal with the load.

    But if it is hardware-related, would it help if it's reading off a faster hard drive, say an SSD? If so, I'd rather invest in a small SSD as a temporary location to play my video files from, rather than using money on more RAM.
  3. I doubt that your HDD throughput is the problem and adding a SSD for this is overkill. When I return home later, I'll look at my VLC settings to see if I can point you in the right direction.
  4. Sounds great, thanks a bunch!
  5. I took a look at my settings and I really didn't see anything that would of great help to you. Verify that Accelerated video output is selected in your video settings (Tools/Preferences/Video Settings). Same for Use hardware YUV>RGB conversions on the same page.
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