XBMC for Windows - Performance

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rickler Offline
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Post: #1
I am a longtime XBMC user on the XBOX and have been using the OSXBMC port and have tried the linux port. I have just tried using the Windows version and was pleased with the progress.

The only thing that has concerned me was the gui performance seemed a bit slow and also video playback for 720p .mkv files.

On my test machine which can playback these files under Ubuntu with XBMC, Vista with Mediaportal & Vista with Mediaplayer Classic without dropping frames I find my machine at 100% cpu and lots of frames dropped.

Does anyone know if there is reason for the reduced performance? and if it has been noted is it going to be looked?

Thanks,
rickler
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t029248 Offline
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Post: #2
This weekend a used the Windows port (Xeon C2D 2.33, 4gb) struggling to play the BBC Planet Earth 1080p, my "slower" Macbook Pro (C2D 2.33, 4gb) played them yesterday, flawless..

My favorite at the moment is OSXBMC.
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scoundrel Offline
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Post: #3
Take a look at this thread.

http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=33015&page=2

Assuming you have an Nvidia card, this might help. I went from 100% to between 20-40%.
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t029248 Offline
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Post: #4
Yes, I have an Nvidea, turning off threaded optimization is a good workaround if i had thee tools on the x64 pc. On my Macbook with Vista XBMC is also noticeable slower en buggier then when i run OSX. (it's a work in progress)

Well it's an work in progress, i just got my first full HD tv and and i'm amazed how much XBMC has evolved over time. It's great to be able to watch 1080p on the good "old" Xbmc no matter what't the platform.

Great work,... Big Grin
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paco Offline
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Post: #5
I've noticed that XBMC uses more CPU in the GUI than during x264 playback. The other day, by accident, I had task manager running in the background. When my movie finished playback, I putzed around in the menus for a minute or so before exiting out to Vista. When I looked at Performance on Task Manager, I noticed that the last minute or two before exiting out to Vista, I had 100% CPU utilization. During playback of the 720P Mkv, I had ~20-30%. In other words, the CPU utilization spiked AFTER playing back the movie. I can't imagine this is by design.

For those curious, I have a C2D 2.4, 2 GB RAM, Vista SP1, Nvidia 8500GT. I'm using the latest Nvidia drivers (175.16) and I have disabled the multi-core optimization in the Nvidia drivers as mentioned in another thread.

Overall, XBMC is maturing nicely. I'm currently using it as my primary media center app. Sometimes it runs beautifully for hours on end and other times it crashes randomly while browsing the menus. The main culprit seems to be ProjectM. I find that using a different visualization helps stability.
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rickler Offline
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Post: #6
I have got a Nvidia card but have looked at all the options and cannot improve the performance.

The gui problem is only when using the mouse - using a remote to navigate is snappy.

Most files play ok but just the odd one I will have to resort to other software.

Cheers
rickler
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paco Offline
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Post: #7
I didn't mean to imply the GUI isn't snappy - it is very responsive! I was just saying that the idle cycles are all being used up by the GUI, making it appear that the CPU is being pushed 100% (similar to a non-multitasking OS). My original point was that the CPU was taxed less while playing back a 720p file than while browsing the GUI. If the coders tweak the GUI to account for idle cycles, the CPU usage should plummet.

I don't use a mouse in the GUI. I use my Harmony 880 and the Soundgraph software with the appropriate mappings.

Actually, I just tried LiveXBMCV2 on that same PC and was blown away by the performance. I tested the 'birds' clip and for the first time I had no dropped frames. The linux version also displays the CPU utilization for each core in the info screen. I was getting 70-80% on each core. I get ~15-16 fps using XBMC under Windows. Even the Cabac patch doesn't make a diff for me. I wouldn't have thought such a difference would be possible. Especially considering how mature the Windows OpenGL drivers are.
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WiSo Offline
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Post: #8
paco Wrote:Especially considering how mature the Windows OpenGL drivers are.

They aren't and that's one of the problem.

Always read the XBMC online-manual, FAQ and search the forum before posting.
Do not e-mail XBMC-Team members directly asking for support. Read/follow the forum rules.
For troubleshooting and bug reporting please make sure you read this first.
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SandmanCL Offline
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Post: #9
Is the CPU usage issue a solvable one ? Or is this something we have to live with ? If it is, it's a deal breaker for me and I'll have to stick with the trusted old Xbox for a few more years. I'm not gonna have a box in my living room consuming all available CPU. My system would get super hot, and I'd be wasting tons of electricity. In these days it's hip to 'think green'. I don't think XBMC for Windows/Mac/Linux could get worldwide acceptance unless this issue is addressed.
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SandmanCL Offline
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Post: #10
Ok, I submitted that last post too soon.
I found this: http://trac.xbmc.org/ticket/4462

"as a workaround you can set vsync to Enabled During Video Playback (Settings -> Appearance -> Screen -> Vertical Blank Sync) "

This is the best workaround I've seen anywhere :-)
Not sure what the catch is ? CPU usage went from 100% to 1.5% when I did this, and XBMC is now VERY smooth Big Grin
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ashlar Offline
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Post: #11
paco Wrote:Actually, I just tried LiveXBMCV2 on that same PC and was blown away by the performance. I tested the 'birds' clip and for the first time I had no dropped frames. The linux version also displays the CPU utilization for each core in the info screen. I was getting 70-80% on each core. I get ~15-16 fps using XBMC under Windows. Even the Cabac patch doesn't make a diff for me. I wouldn't have thought such a difference would be possible. Especially considering how mature the Windows OpenGL drivers are.
You mean you lost no frames and sound was good while playing the killer BBC Planet Earth sample? With no multicore usage it should be impossible!
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Freddo Offline
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Post: #12
I think his point was that on Linux it was using multiple cores much better, or at all? compared to windows? I've noticed the same myself, on a Linux build I can run killasample no dropped frames totally smooth, on windows it's a mess. If you look at the CPU usage in Linux it's like 90% per core wheras on windows its about 60/40, so something is up with either XBMC or windows (personally I bet it's windows lol)
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ashlar Offline
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Post: #13
Any explanation from developers? 1080p performance is what's keeping me from switching back to XBMC.
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Freddo Offline
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Post: #14
I have to admit I'm curious to know whats up too, it's not like any "real" content (not even direct bluray or hddvd rips) come anywhere near to the performance requirements of the birds clip but it'd still be interesting to know if this behavior is normal or some kind of bug.
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WiSo Offline
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Post: #15
XBMC uses and depends on the ffmpeg libraries to decode videos. On windows configuring ffmpeg with more than one core (threading) crashes XBMC but somehow I assume it still uses more than one core.
MS just reports the overall CPU usage of all cores. Therefore only CPU0 is shown.

Always read the XBMC online-manual, FAQ and search the forum before posting.
Do not e-mail XBMC-Team members directly asking for support. Read/follow the forum rules.
For troubleshooting and bug reporting please make sure you read this first.
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