bad Divx playback on 550 Athlon

I recently started converting my DVD movies to DivX so I can watch them on my computer without getting up and getting the DVD (lazy, I know). I originally tried this a while ago with Windows 98, and it was dog slow, I couldn't even get normal size playback to run smoothly. I now run Win2k (advanced server), and the normal size playback runs ok. Trying to make it run full-screen is impossible though, as the skips re-appear. From what I've read at Tom's, my system should be adequate. Maybe someone can explain the quality problems.

Athlon Classic 550
Asus K7 mobo (I forget the letter, but it's the first athlon mobo from asus)
27GB 7200 RPM maxtor HDD for the OS
61GB 5400 RPM maxtor HDD for the movies
Guillemot 32mb DDR GeForce
SB Live Value
Sigma Designs Hollywood+ DVD Decoder card (sadly does no good for DivX playback)

that's all the relevant hardware.

Also, I did a few tests with the CPU util graph, in windowed playback, it's using about 80-90%, and in full-screen it's using 100%. That can't be right.


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  1. two things:

    1. 550MHz is quite slow these days

    2. Is your 61GB hard drive ATA33? If it is then that's the problem.

    I don't hate Intel............ Do I?
  2. 1. 550 SHOULD be sufficient...I just talked to a friend who has a 550 PIII, and his play just fine. Athlon's supposed to be better at the kind of floating point calculations that divx requires.

    2. it's ATA66. it's not in the HDD speed anyway...otherwise windowed playback would be affected too.

  3. This might not be the problem, but doesn't win2k adv server require 256 MB ram? That could be something, but if you were having problems with win98 too...

    I know I had problems with divx and media player 7. Media player 6.4 worked fine though.
  4. Could be that your hard drive is fragmented, have you looked at the disk administration tools yet?

    T-Bird 800Mhz
    2X IBM 75GXP 30GB in RAID0 config
    Geforce2 32MB
    SB Live
  5. Nah, I think I'm fine on memory. Divx doesn't really use all that much anyway.

    What was the prob with Media Player 6.4?

    As for the HDD being fragmented...why would this cause problems with full-screen, but not with windowed?

  6. If you're using windows media player for playback, that could be your problem...with high bitrate rips, I had choppy playback on my ghz athlon, 256 ram, win2k...and I've heard of other people having trouble w/2k...if you go to and search in their software section, you'll find some other divx players...try em out, some of them use alot less cpu/memory than media player...good luck
  7. Actually, 550 is about the bare minimum, Your cpu usage is correct. Remember when tom tested this an amd k6-2 500 would not cut it, admittably yours is better but still close to that bare minimum. A p3 550 is a bit better cpu with its l2 cache at full clock ( this changed with the t-birds) expecially if the divx is optimized for sse. I also see that you are using a gforce card. Are you aware that with your chipset ( amd irongate ) you are only running at agp1x? Seems the geforce and irongate do not get along. This, however is not the source of your problem. I suggest you look into getting a slot a thunderbird in the 800 mhz range. Your board will support it, your l2 cache will be running at full cpu clock and the performance increase will be quite a bit. You can pick these up for 80 bucks nowadays.

    A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing!
  8. I had a 400mhz p2 with voodoo 3 2k and it ran very smoothly so i doubt that its the processor, you said you made the movies yourself, it could be the settings that you choose when you made your divx movies.
  9. Thanks to all who replied! I fixed my problem!

    Apparently it was Media Player. I downloaded BSPlayer ( player recommended by out of the 15 players they have, and it runs smoothly. It uses only about 60% of my CPU even in full-screen mode.

    Thanks again folks.

  10. *whispers* Can you get me a DIVX version of The Matrix?

    I don't hate Intel............ Do I?
  11. I would still recommend upgrading your memory. My Win2k Pro install uses @140MB immediately after logging in, before I even start doing anything. hit ctrl+alt+del and click the task manager, check out the Performance tab. Your MEM Usage should be near or under Total in the Physical Memory box. If its not, you're using virtual memory, which is really your HD. A 128MB memory upgrade for $50 would go a long way in improving system performance.

    Everything in moderation
  12. You can never have too much memory, but it's amazing how much of a hog media player is...when I bump the bitrate on my rips up to 1400 or 1500, they skip if I use media player, but not with some other players out there...and my system is pretty fast...
  13. i know you fixed your problem but i just want to comment on a few errors i have seen people say. First, the Asus K7V does NOT use Irongate, it uses Via KV133 which does support AGP 2X.
    Also, I have Tbird 950 (o/c from 800) and 256mb ram running win2k pro and i have absolutely no probs playing divx with media player 8 and a divx codec with the file name "divx_311alpha" (not sure of the actual name). Im glad you found a program that is a bit more efficient, but im reluctant to install programs i dont need.

    If at first you don't succeed, skydiving isn't for you.
  14. thanks TheAntipop, but I have the Irongate K7M. I don't know about AGP performance, since the most graphic-intensive game I play is CounterStrike, which runs just fine at 1600x1200.


    "intel inside, idiot outside"
  15. The first Asus motherboard for the athlon was the k7m ( irongate) not the k7v ( via). Before you choose to correct an error please make sure that first of all it is indeed an error. :)

    A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing!
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