Why will my new computer lag when displaying HD video?

Hi everyone,

My brother and I recently bought a new custom built computer specifically for HD video editng. Here are the specs:

CPU: AMD Phenom Quad Core 940

Motherboard: Asus M4A78

Video Card: EVGA Nvidia Geforce 9500 GT

Ram: 8 Gb 1066 (However, I am running Windows 32 bit so it only shows up as around 2 gbs.)

As you can see, the specs are great. I have more than enough power to play and edit HD video. However, whenever I try to edit or even export and then watch the content, the HD video lags. I am stumped. Why would it lag?

I am using the AVCHD format to edit in, and Sony Vegas Platinum 9 to edit with.

Could you guys help me out? I'd appreciate it. Sorry if this isn't in the right place, I didn't know where it should go!
23 answers Last reply
More about computer displaying video
  1. Well first of all if you have 8Gb of ram using a 32bit OS the PC should see 3.25Gb an not 2GB like you posted. So make sure that is covered before you do anything...

    The 9500GT is not going to give you enough frames to view HD 1080p playback, on the other hand 720p should run fine w/o any lag whatsoever. 9500Gt's are known for lagging at 1080p resolutions, specially if it is the 512MB version. 1080p needs more than 32 SP's to run without lagging/stuttering....

    My advice would be to try and upgrade to something in the 9600GT/4670 arena and make sure they are 1GB models to give you that extra juice needed for such high resolutions.
  2. Hey OvrClkr,

    Thanks for your help. I really appreciate it. I checked the RAM and it shows up as 3.25 GBs, so that's good. It seems to fluctuate though... I'm positive it was less than that a few weeks ago. But anyway...

    You say I'll need a 9600GT to get 1080p playback? I can try to return the model I bought to the store - just bought it this week. I do have the 1 GB model, and I will make sure the new one I buy is a 1 GB model as well.

    I was under the impression that the computer I bought would play HD right out of the box... hmm, I will try the new graphics card though. Just a random thought - the 3.25 GBs I have should be enough to play HD video, right? Any other advice?

    Thanks, and I'll let you know what happens.
  3. Try gettin something like a 9800GT/HD4770 , it might cost a tad more but this way you will have more headroom and will not have to upgrade in a while.....
  4. Here are some prices you can go by just in case:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102820

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133279

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102835

    of course you can get 1080P with cheaper cards but the issue with skimping on the card right now is that you will end up having to upgrade sooner than later so spend as much as you can on the card and this way you save in the longrun...
  5. Hey OvrClkr,

    Would this one serve my needs?

    http://microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0309719

    Thanks!
  6. @OverClkr: Are you sure that the video card is the problem? This is something that I've been wondering about recently. ATI and nVidia claim that even their low-end video cards can play 1080P video, but my system (Athlon 64 with Radeon HD2600) stutters even when playing HD content on YouTube or Vimeo, whereas my sister's MacBook with a Core 2 Duo plays it flawlessly, despite the far inferior Intel integrated graphics. Some new netbooks can reportedly play HD video because of their integrated nVidia graphics.

    How does one enable these features?
  7. Well as far as 1080p goes it really stresses the GPU.. I have a netbook as well (ATOM 1.6Ghz) and it cannot do 1080p regardless.....Macbooks use the 8800M GPU's that have 112 Sp's.... That is more than enough for 1080p

    Me personally, I have never seen 1080p run at respectable frames with anything under a 9600GT or ATI equivalent. Yes you might get a 9500GT to run 1080p but not with the frames needed to sustain flawless playback.

    You have to remember that the 9500GT is considered more than low end, 32 SP's is VERY low specially for the amount of processing power that 1080p requires .... The 8800GT is a much faster GPU and can handle any HD playback but they are hard to find at a good price......
  8. michaelbashaw said:
    Hey OvrClkr,

    Would this one serve my needs?

    http://microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0309719

    Thanks!


    yes Sir, but try looking for a brand like XFX, BFG or EVGA... PNY is kinda sketchy IMO....
  9. I went to Micro Center today and bought the EVGA GTS 250 (512 Megabytes). The salesman said that for the money, the 250 was slightly better than the 9800, and he also said that 512 megabytes would be more than enough to handle HD video. I installed the card but am seeing no improvement. Any suggestions? This is really starting to frustrate me considering I spent over a thousand dollars total to achieve a complete HD workstation. Thanks for your time.
  10. Get a 64bit os so you can use your ram.
  11. angry_ducky said:
    @OverClkr: Are you sure that the video card is the problem? This is something that I've been wondering about recently. ATI and nVidia claim that even their low-end video cards can play 1080P video, but my system (Athlon 64 with Radeon HD2600) stutters even when playing HD content on YouTube or Vimeo, whereas my sister's MacBook with a Core 2 Duo plays it flawlessly, despite the far inferior Intel integrated graphics. Some new netbooks can reportedly play HD video because of their integrated nVidia graphics.

    How does one enable these features?


    The 2600 is not really a stellar card, it might handle 720p but I doubt 1080p. Also Flash video currently uses the CPU for rendering, that is why some people are awaiting for the Adobe to release Flash that uses the GPU. That is why your sister's MacBook could play youtube videos, as the Core 2 is leaps ahead of the Athlon64 and not because of the integrated graphics.

    When you play avi, mpeg, mp4, etc on a video player that uses hardware acceleration (uses the graphics card, i.e. Windows Media Player, Quicktime, VLC, MPC, etc) then would the graphics card only come to play.


    michaelbashaw said:
    I went to Micro Center today and bought the EVGA GTS 250 (512 Megabytes). The salesman said that for the money, the 250 was slightly better than the 9800, and he also said that 512 megabytes would be more than enough to handle HD video. I installed the card but am seeing no improvement. Any suggestions? This is really starting to frustrate me considering I spent over a thousand dollars total to achieve a complete HD workstation. Thanks for your time.


    Might be the hard drive? It could be the bitrate is so high that your hard drive could barely feed it to the video card. What is your hard disk, and could you try running HDTach and tell us the speed that it is able to determine (or post the graph). Also could you tell us the bitrate of the video (use GSpot or VLC or some other util).
  12. I have a GTS 250 installed in one of my PC's and it plays 1080p fine.

    What drivers did you install? Did you wipe out the old drivers, install the card and re-install drivers?
  13. I'm starting to think the graphics card isn't the problem, and yes OvrClkr, I did remove the old drivers before installing the new ones.

    Here is the data from HDTach:

    http://bashawproductions.com/signaturesandavatars/harddrive.jpg

    How do I find the bitrate in VLC? I tried playing my videos in there and it was a little smoother... after a time or two they played fine.

    My hard drive is a 1 TB SATA drive. I have it partitioned into two partitions, one is all my video and projects and the other is the operating system and everything else.

    When I edit, after I play the video a few times it smooths out a bit, which leads me to believe it might be the hard drive...

    Thanks for the help guys.
  14. I would of gotten a 4850. Cheaper, and trades blows with the GTS250. And you could CF in the future. Doesn't really have much to do with your problem though.
  15. Any ideas, anyone?
  16. What are your ram timings and voltage? Your PC should be running 1080p without a hitch....

    Install "SANDRA" and benchmark you hard-drive... Look for the read/write times and compare to a similar drive....
  17. OvrlClkr,

    Thanks for your help. Here are the results...

    Benchmark Results
    Drive Index : 68.63MB/s
    Results Interpretation : Higher index values are better.
    Random Access Time : 13.63ms
    Results Interpretation : Lower index values are better.

    Performance vs. Speed
    Drive Index : 9.76kB/s/rpm
    Random Access Time : 0.002ms/rpm
    Results Interpretation : Higher index values are better.

    Detailed Benchmark Results
    Speed at position 0% : 69.57MB/s (78%)
    Speed at position 3% : 89.11MB/s (100%)
    Speed at position 7% : 88.13MB/s (99%)
    Speed at position 10% : 80.46MB/s (90%)
    Speed at position 13% : 80.45MB/s (90%)
    Speed at position 17% : 81MB/s (91%)
    Speed at position 20% : 78.27MB/s (88%)
    Speed at position 23% : 78.27MB/s (88%)
    Speed at position 27% : 78.27MB/s (88%)
    Speed at position 30% : 75.22MB/s (84%)
    Speed at position 33% : 78.27MB/s (88%)
    Speed at position 37% : 73.4MB/s (82%)
    Speed at position 40% : 75MB/s (84%)
    Speed at position 43% : 72.12MB/s (81%)
    Speed at position 47% : 71.71MB/s (80%)
    Speed at position 50% : 71MB/s (80%)
    Speed at position 53% : 71MB/s (80%)
    Speed at position 57% : 69.43MB/s (78%)
    Speed at position 60% : 69.38MB/s (78%)
    Speed at position 63% : 65.14MB/s (73%)
    Speed at position 67% : 68.25MB/s (77%)
    Speed at position 70% : 63.7MB/s (71%)
    Speed at position 73% : 61.33MB/s (69%)
    Speed at position 77% : 61.32MB/s (69%)
    Speed at position 80% : 60.62MB/s (68%)
    Speed at position 83% : 54.38MB/s (61%)
    Speed at position 87% : 52.14MB/s (59%)
    Speed at position 90% : 51.43MB/s (58%)
    Speed at position 93% : 47.6MB/s (53%)
    Speed at position 97% : 44.9MB/s (50%)
    Speed at position 100% : 46.52MB/s (52%)
    Random Access Time : 13.63ms
    Full Stroke Access Time : 13.28ms

    Performance Test Status
    Result ID : WDC WD10EADS-00L5B1 (1TB, SATA300, 3.5", NCQ, 32MB Cache)
    Platform Compliance : x86
    System Timer : 3.58MHz
    Use Overlapped I/O : Yes
    I/O Queue Depth : 8 request(s)
    Block Size : 1MB

    Volume Information
    Capacity : 931.51GB

    Physical Disk
    Model : WDC WD10EADS-00L5B1
    Version : 01.01A01
    Interface : SATA
    Removable Drive : No
    Queueing On : Yes
  18. Yea your drive is fine... I would say excellent....

    What PSU are you using and did you connect the 6 pin power cable to the card???

    Have you tried viewing 1080p over at apple.com? If not try that and let me know what happens...

    http://www.apple.com/trailers/
  19. I believe I have a 550 power supply, and the 1080p trailer on Apple played fine.

    Thanks again,

    ~Michael
  20. Let me know if you encounter any other issues.... Normally it is something minor when you cannot get flawless HD playback... With your system you should be able to play files that are even higher than 1080p
  21. All right. It seems to be files on my system that don't play well -- compressed Apple trailers play fine. It's really annoying though. Hard to edit with.
  22. Before you waste any more money on purchasing new Graphics card, you need do some research on the video editing software that you use, some software relay heavily on CPU, while others on GPU.

    Powerful dedicated video cards like ATI CrossFire and NVIDIA's Quadro comes at cost.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=ati+firepro+&x=0&y=0

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&Description=nvidia+quadro+graphics+card


    Also I suggest you download Windows 7 RC (from warez-bb.org). This will give your system a big boost and it can recognise your 8Gig memory too.

    You can use Windows RC fully till March 1, 2010.
    {After that your pc will start shutting down every two hours.
    The RC will expire on June 1, 2010}.


    whats your hard drive model?(go to system properties)

    Read these REVIEWs of workstation-class graphics cards. http://www.digitalartsonline.co.uk/reviews/index.cfm?reviewID=1025&pn=1
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