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Poor performance playing 1080p video on my computer

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July 10, 2012 5:44:38 PM

I am having problems playing 1080p mp4 videos on my computer, and I can't figure out what the cause might be. This is my machine:

OS: Vista x64
CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 - 3.1 GHz Dual Core
Video Card: HD 5770 - 1GB
Memory: 8GB RAM
Disk Drive: Western Digital - 2TB w/ 64MB Cache - SATA 3.0 Gb/s

...WHAT I HAVE TRIED SO FAR...
FIRST TRY: When I first tried playing the video, I was playing it on Windows Media Player (latest version, no updates available) using the K Lite Codec pack. The video had some visual artifacting and it kept lagging and skipping (audio seemed to play forward at a regular speed while the video played back in a disjointed and slow manner). Looking at system performance in task manager showed that the CPU was pegging, with Windows Media Player using up as much of the CPU as it could (the rest being used by other open apps, of which there were only a few). Memory usage wasn't very high, but the CPU was bouncing around between 80% and 90+% usage. Even after I tried closing the other apps, the playback remained the same.

SECOND TRY: I uninstalled K Lite and installed VLC. This was worse. The CPU pegged and the video basically froze, playing back audio but only intermittent, broken pictures that looked like negatives.

THIRD TRY: I uninstalled VLC and installed DivX. Same as VLC.

FOURTH TRY: I uninstalled DivX and installed haali media splitter and ffdshow. Then I tried running it in Windows Media Player again (since that was the player that gave me the best performance so far). It seemed to be the same as the first attempt: minor visual artifacting with slow and jerky playback.

I would think my machine would be enough to run 1080p videos, but something is clearly not working right. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!
July 10, 2012 11:54:06 PM

Are you sure you have the proper video drivers installed?
July 12, 2012 7:04:18 PM

I don't believe your cpu can handle it. I also had that issue a few years ago with a dual core and it wouldn't work either. If you downgrade the video to 720 or less you might be able to watch it without pixelation.

And yes, as PhilFrisbie says, make sure your video drivers are up to date.
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July 12, 2012 9:26:59 PM

Thanks for your thoughts! I did find a solution that worked for me, and this is what I did:

I used MediaInfo to check the file out. Maximum frame rate of 30, video encoded with AVC. I tried VLC again, enabling hardware acceleration. That was better than the first attempt with VLC, but still not great. Then I tried MPC, and found that DXVA was already enabled, so no additional hardware acceleration to be had there.

MediaInfo sent me to the QuickTime download page for a player to play the file, and for the driver. So I downloaded QuickTime and tried that. It was okay, but still not great.

THEN, I googled for players that play AVC, and Splash Lite came up. So I finally tried that, and it was perfect. Just no hassle at all. Like a dream.

Anyway, I hope that might help someone with the same problem in the future.
July 13, 2012 3:10:43 AM

juarez said:
and found that DXVA was already enabled, so no additional hardware acceleration to be had there.

Yeah, but you may not have the settings set up correctly.
July 19, 2012 5:48:18 PM

Was all this happening with one file? Your solution seems to point to that. That would be an issue with how the file was encoded.
!