Problems with VDADecoder on MacMini (2ghz/1gb ram. nVidia 9400m)

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jkillah Offline
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Smile  Problems with VDADecoder on MacMini (2ghz/1gb ram. nVidia 9400m)
Post: #1
Hello All!

after posting on the xbmc.org homepage, davilla recommended I post my error here. Unfortunately, the mini that I'm experiencing problems with is at another location and I can't currently provide a debug log (however I will update as soon as I can).

I've tried Every OS X XBMC build since May 1st and have encountered the same problem. 1080p videos still stutter and drop a ton of frames (Avatar 1080p release 15mb/s video bitrate, Planet Earth 1080p bird scene, etc. ) I HAVE verified that the mini is running osx 10.6.3 and that the vda-h264 appears when I hit "o" during playback of hi-def content. CPU usage tends to be around 75% or so on all the high def stuff. To make things more complicated, I'm running boot camp with ubuntu karmic (9.1) and while running VDPAU in XBMC, all videos play perfectly (including the killa_sample!) .. I have another mac mini (more recent: 2.26 ghz, 2 gb ram nvidia 9400) running both Ubuntu and OSX 10.6.3 as well, and all 1080p content streams perfectly as well. This leads me to believe that perhaps I do not have enough ram in the 2.0 ghz mini to decode 1080p content even though VDADecoder appears to be running properly. Prior to updating to svn builds and using VDADecoder, CPU usage on the same files (avatar, planet earth) was over 150%! So clearly, the decoder is working to an extent.. but its still dropping too many frames, and is much too choppy to watch.

Does anyone else have a similar mini? (2.0 ghz, 1 gb ram) if so... Have you managed to get hardware acceleration using vdadecoder working proplerly?? Please help! With the exception of that one slower mini, XBMC has been running fantastically well on all my other systems! Any advice would be much appreciated. I will provide a debug log as soon as I can! Hopefully within the next 24-48 hours or so..
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davilla Offline
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Post: #2
jkillah Wrote:Hello All!

after posting on the xbmc.org homepage, davilla recommended I post my error here. Unfortunately, the mini that I'm experiencing problems with is at another location and I can't currently provide a debug log (however I will update as soon as I can).

I've tried Every OS X XBMC build since May 1st and have encountered the same problem. 1080p videos still stutter and drop a ton of frames (Avatar 1080p release 15mb/s video bitrate, Planet Earth 1080p bird scene, etc. ) I HAVE verified that the mini is running osx 10.6.3 and that the vda-h264 appears when I hit "o" during playback of hi-def content. CPU usage tends to be around 75% or so on all the high def stuff. To make things more complicated, I'm running boot camp with ubuntu karmic (9.1) and while running VDPAU in XBMC, all videos play perfectly (including the killa_sample!) .. I have another mac mini (more recent: 2.26 ghz, 2 gb ram nvidia 9400) running both Ubuntu and OSX 10.6.3 as well, and all 1080p content streams perfectly as well. This leads me to believe that perhaps I do not have enough ram in the 2.0 ghz mini to decode 1080p content even though VDADecoder appears to be running properly. Prior to updating to svn builds and using VDADecoder, CPU usage on the same files (avatar, planet earth) was over 150%! So clearly, the decoder is working to an extent.. but its still dropping too many frames, and is much too choppy to watch.

Does anyone else have a similar mini? (2.0 ghz, 1 gb ram) if so... Have you managed to get hardware acceleration using vdadecoder working proplerly?? Please help! With the exception of that one slower mini, XBMC has been running fantastically well on all my other systems! Any advice would be much appreciated. I will provide a debug log as soon as I can! Hopefully within the next 24-48 hours or so..

are both MacMini's running with pbo's enabled ?


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jkillah Offline
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Post: #3
davilla Wrote:are both MacMini's running with pbo's enabled ?


Sorry, new to the whole debug thing... pbo's? tried googling, but I'm still not sure what you mean.
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davilla Offline
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Post: #4
jkillah Wrote:Sorry, new to the whole debug thing... pbo's? tried googling, but I'm still not sure what you mean.

system -> video -> playback -> use pixel buffer objects, click.


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jkillah Offline
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Post: #5
davilla Wrote:system -> video -> playback -> use pixel buffer objects, click.

Sorry it took me so long to get back. Pixel buffer Objects is clicked on both minis... still no dice. Any other ideas?
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davilla Offline
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Post: #6
jkillah Wrote:Sorry it took me so long to get back. Pixel buffer Objects is clicked on both minis... still no dice. Any other ideas?

compare xbmc.log from both boxes, playing the same video content. what's different ?


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jkillah Offline
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Post: #7
davilla Wrote:compare xbmc.log from both boxes, playing the same video content. what's different ?
Thanks for the reply!

The non-working mini is at my parents place. I'll head over tomorrow morning and grab the xbmc.log. I'll post the results tomorrow afternoon/evening.

But as far as you know, hardware should be ok, right? You think upgrading to 2 or 4 gigs of ram could make a difference? I noticed that his cpu is running around 75% on 1080p content, mine is around 40%, and a friend of mine with 4 gigs of ram in his mini is apparently around 25%.. I didn't think it could make that big a difference... but I'm not sure??
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davilla Offline
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Post: #8
jkillah Wrote:Thanks for the reply!

The non-working mini is at my parents place. I'll head over tomorrow morning and grab the xbmc.log. I'll post the results tomorrow afternoon/evening.

But as far as you know, hardware should be ok, right? You think upgrading to 2 or 4 gigs of ram could make a difference? I noticed that his cpu is running around 75% on 1080p content, mine is around 40%, and a friend of mine with 4 gigs of ram in his mini is apparently around 25%.. I didn't think it could make that big a difference... but I'm not sure??

Possible, I forget the rules about GPU memory usage with OSX. There might be some issue with that. More ram always helps and since you know how to take it apart now Smile


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jkillah Offline
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Post: #9
davilla Wrote:Possible, I forget the rules about GPU memory usage with OSX. There might be some issue with that. More ram always helps and since you know how to take it apart now Smile

haha, actually, I never had to take it apart! Pop's mini was the first gen to come with the nVidia 9400. He'd actually bought a mini a week prior to the release of that one, with the GMA 950 chipset, but when the new one came out, I made him take it back and exchange it... Smile
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jkillah Offline
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Post: #10
Ok, I've got the log file for the non-working mini...

This is the pastebin: http://pastebin.com/MUxFGESt


Haven't had a chance to compare it to to the working one yet, but I was wondering if maybe you're seeing something just by looking at it?

Also, I just did a completely clean install of the newest svn. App Zappered my previous version, hoping a clean install would help, but no dice!

The xbmc.log is me trying to play the 1080p avatar. XbMC dropped a ton of frames, and was nowhere near smooth... help!! Smile
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davilla Offline
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Post: #11
jkillah Wrote:Ok, I've got the log file for the non-working mini...

This is the pastebin: http://pastebin.com/MUxFGESt


Haven't had a chance to compare it to to the working one yet, but I was wondering if maybe you're seeing something just by looking at it?

Also, I just did a completely clean install of the newest svn. App Zappered my previous version, hoping a clean install would help, but no dice!

The xbmc.log is me trying to play the 1080p avatar. XbMC dropped a ton of frames, and was nowhere near smooth... help!! Smile

log is a little confusing, start xbmc, nav directly to video, play it for at least 10 mins and do nothing else (no mousing or keyboarding please), then stop and exit xbmc. Retrieve log and pastebin it.


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RckStr Offline
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Post: #12
jkillah Wrote:You think upgrading to 2 or 4 gigs of ram could make a difference?
I seriously doubt that. Granted, I have 3 gigs of memory and have no problems. But I have checked resource usage while xbmc played files that were previously unplayable, and as far as memory usage goes, xbmc doesnt use very much.

Id really be surpriced if upping the memory gives u any bost.
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beelzetron Offline
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Post: #13
I'm experiencing same problem here, with a macmini3,1.
Here is the pastebin of xbmc.log

http://pastebin.com/3J58nkc4

The mini's specs are the same of the one working fine for jkillah.
Playback is choppy and not very fluid.
Here is the mediainfo output for the file i'm trying to play.
Code:
General
Complete name                    : Avatar [1080p, x264, dts ita, aac eng, subs, chaps].mkv
Format                           : Matroska
File size                        : 12.3 GiB
Duration                         : 2h 41mn
Overall bit rate                 : 10.9 Mbps
Encoded date                     : UTC 2010-05-02 21:50:57
Writing application              : mkvmerge v3.3.0 ('Language') built on Mar 24 2010 14:59:24
Writing library                  : libebml v0.8.0 + libmatroska v0.9.0

Video
ID                               : 1
Format                           : AVC
Format/Info                      : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile                   : High@L4.1
Format settings, CABAC           : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames        : 4 frames
Muxing mode                      : Container profile=Unknown@4.1
Codec ID                         : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
Duration                         : 2h 41mn
Nominal bit rate                 : 9 922 Kbps
Width                            : 1 920 pixels
Height                           : 1 078 pixels
Display aspect ratio             : 16:9
Frame rate                       : 23.976 fps
Color space                      : YUV
Chroma subsampling               : 4:2:0
Bit depth                        : 8 bits
Scan type                        : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)               : 0.200
Title                            : AVC HD 1080p
Writing library                  : x264 core 94 r1570 d9db8b3
Encoding settings                : cabac=1 / ref=4 / deblock=1:-2:-1 / analyse=0x3:0x133 / me=umh / subme=10 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.00 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=32 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=2 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=3 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate=0 / interlaced=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=5 / b_pyramid=2 / b_adapt=2 / b_bias=0 / direct=3 / wpredb=1 / wpredp=2 / keyint=240 / keyint_min=24 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=40 / rc=2pass / mbtree=1 / bitrate=9922 / ratetol=1.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=10 / qpmax=51 / qpstep=4 / cplxblur=20.0 / qblur=0.5 / vbv_maxrate=50000 / vbv_bufsize=50000 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00 / nal_hrd=none

Audio #1
ID                               : 2
Format                           : DTS
Format/Info                      : Digital Theater Systems
Codec ID                         : A_DTS
Duration                         : 2h 41mn
Bit rate mode                    : Constant
Bit rate                         : 754 Kbps
Channel(s)                       : 6 channels
Channel positions                : Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE
Sampling rate                    : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth                        : 24 bits
Stream size                      : 873 MiB (7%)
Title                            : DTS ITA 5.1
Language                         : Italian

Audio #2
ID                               : 3
Format                           : AAC
Format/Info                      : Advanced Audio Codec
Format version                   : Version 4
Format profile                   : LC
Format settings, SBR             : Yes
Format settings, PS              : No
Codec ID                         : A_AAC
Duration                         : 2h 41mn
Channel(s)                       : 6 channels
Channel positions                : Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE
Sampling rate                    : 48.0 KHz
Title                            : AAC ENG 5.1
Language                         : English

Text #1
ID                               : 4
Format                           : VobSub
Codec ID                         : S_VOBSUB
Codec ID/Info                    : The same subtitle format used on DVDs
Title                            : SUB ITA Forced
Language                         : Italian

Text #2
ID                               : 5
Format                           : VobSub
Codec ID                         : S_VOBSUB
Codec ID/Info                    : The same subtitle format used on DVDs
Title                            : SUB ITA Normal
Language                         : Italian

Text #3
ID                               : 6
Format                           : VobSub
Codec ID                         : S_VOBSUB
Codec ID/Info                    : The same subtitle format used on DVDs
Title                            : SUB ENG Forced
Language                         : English

Text #4
ID                               : 7
Format                           : VobSub
Codec ID                         : S_VOBSUB
Codec ID/Info                    : The same subtitle format used on DVDs
Title                            : SUB ENG Normal
Language                         : English

Menu #1
00:00:00.000                     : en:A New World
00:06:17.961                     : en:You Are Not In Kansas Anymore
00:07:53.598                     : en:"This is Your Avatar Now, Jake"
00:12:04.891                     : en:"This is Why We're Here..."
00:14:00.465                     : en:First Awakening
00:20:00.574                     : en:Colonel Quaritch
00:24:00.230                     : en:First Sortie
00:26:53.278                     : en:Thanator Chase
00:31:41.900                     : en:A Sign
00:33:33.428                     : en:Viperwolves
00:35:43.850                     : en:Neytiri
00:43:31.859                     : en:The Omaticaya Clan
00:49:23.627                     : en:Covert Report
00:54:29.975                     : en:The Hallelujah Mountains
00:59:56.051                     : en:Learn Fast or Die
01:05:10.198                     : en:Banshee Rookery
01:11:36.417                     : en:First Flight
01:15:11.006                     : en:Last Shadow
01:20:29.116                     : en:A Son of The Omaticaya
01:24:41.910                     : en:Willow Glade Destruction
01:36:04.801                     : en:"You Will Never Be One of the People"
01:37:55.786                     : en:Assault on Home Tree
01:44:33.100                     : en:Aftermath
01:48:15.489                     : en:Escape From Hell's Gate
01:53:53.868                     : en:"There's Something We Gotta Do..."
01:55:32.884                     : en:Toruk Macto
01:58:38.820                     : en:"She's Real"
02:02:05.568                     : en:Recruiting the Clans
02:05:33.859                     : en:Preamble to Battle
02:10:01.835                     : en:Battle For Pandora
02:16:07.284                     : en:Fall of the Heroes
02:19:50.841                     : en:Eywa
02:25:50.325                     : en:Quaritch Fight
02:31:14.065                     : en:"I See You"
02:35:05.296                     : en:End Credits

Menu #2
00:00:00.097                     : en:00:00:00.097
Thank you for your help. Smile
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davilla Offline
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Post: #14
beelzetron Wrote:I'm experiencing same problem here, with a macmini3,1.
Here is the pastebin of xbmc.log

http://pastebin.com/3J58nkc4

The mini's specs are the same of the one working fine for jkillah.
Playback is choppy and not very fluid.
Here is the mediainfo output for the file i'm trying to play.
Code:
General
Complete name                    : Avatar [1080p, x264, dts ita, aac eng, subs, chaps].mkv
Format                           : Matroska
File size                        : 12.3 GiB
Duration                         : 2h 41mn
Overall bit rate                 : 10.9 Mbps
Encoded date                     : UTC 2010-05-02 21:50:57
Writing application              : mkvmerge v3.3.0 ('Language') built on Mar 24 2010 14:59:24
Writing library                  : libebml v0.8.0 + libmatroska v0.9.0

Video
ID                               : 1
Format                           : AVC
Format/Info                      : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile                   : High@L4.1
Format settings, CABAC           : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames        : 4 frames
Muxing mode                      : Container profile=Unknown@4.1
Codec ID                         : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
Duration                         : 2h 41mn
Nominal bit rate                 : 9 922 Kbps
Width                            : 1 920 pixels
Height                           : 1 078 pixels
Display aspect ratio             : 16:9
Frame rate                       : 23.976 fps
Color space                      : YUV
Chroma subsampling               : 4:2:0
Bit depth                        : 8 bits
Scan type                        : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)               : 0.200
Title                            : AVC HD 1080p
Writing library                  : x264 core 94 r1570 d9db8b3
Encoding settings                : cabac=1 / ref=4 / deblock=1:-2:-1 / analyse=0x3:0x133 / me=umh / subme=10 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.00 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=32 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=2 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=3 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate=0 / interlaced=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=5 / b_pyramid=2 / b_adapt=2 / b_bias=0 / direct=3 / wpredb=1 / wpredp=2 / keyint=240 / keyint_min=24 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=40 / rc=2pass / mbtree=1 / bitrate=9922 / ratetol=1.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=10 / qpmax=51 / qpstep=4 / cplxblur=20.0 / qblur=0.5 / vbv_maxrate=50000 / vbv_bufsize=50000 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00 / nal_hrd=none

Audio #1
ID                               : 2
Format                           : DTS
Format/Info                      : Digital Theater Systems
Codec ID                         : A_DTS
Duration                         : 2h 41mn
Bit rate mode                    : Constant
Bit rate                         : 754 Kbps
Channel(s)                       : 6 channels
Channel positions                : Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE
Sampling rate                    : 48.0 KHz
Bit depth                        : 24 bits
Stream size                      : 873 MiB (7%)
Title                            : DTS ITA 5.1
Language                         : Italian

Audio #2
ID                               : 3
Format                           : AAC
Format/Info                      : Advanced Audio Codec
Format version                   : Version 4
Format profile                   : LC
Format settings, SBR             : Yes
Format settings, PS              : No
Codec ID                         : A_AAC
Duration                         : 2h 41mn
Channel(s)                       : 6 channels
Channel positions                : Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE
Sampling rate                    : 48.0 KHz
Title                            : AAC ENG 5.1
Language                         : English

Text #1
ID                               : 4
Format                           : VobSub
Codec ID                         : S_VOBSUB
Codec ID/Info                    : The same subtitle format used on DVDs
Title                            : SUB ITA Forced
Language                         : Italian

Text #2
ID                               : 5
Format                           : VobSub
Codec ID                         : S_VOBSUB
Codec ID/Info                    : The same subtitle format used on DVDs
Title                            : SUB ITA Normal
Language                         : Italian

Text #3
ID                               : 6
Format                           : VobSub
Codec ID                         : S_VOBSUB
Codec ID/Info                    : The same subtitle format used on DVDs
Title                            : SUB ENG Forced
Language                         : English

Text #4
ID                               : 7
Format                           : VobSub
Codec ID                         : S_VOBSUB
Codec ID/Info                    : The same subtitle format used on DVDs
Title                            : SUB ENG Normal
Language                         : English

Menu #1
00:00:00.000                     : en:A New World
00:06:17.961                     : en:You Are Not In Kansas Anymore
00:07:53.598                     : en:"This is Your Avatar Now, Jake"
00:12:04.891                     : en:"This is Why We're Here..."
00:14:00.465                     : en:First Awakening
00:20:00.574                     : en:Colonel Quaritch
00:24:00.230                     : en:First Sortie
00:26:53.278                     : en:Thanator Chase
00:31:41.900                     : en:A Sign
00:33:33.428                     : en:Viperwolves
00:35:43.850                     : en:Neytiri
00:43:31.859                     : en:The Omaticaya Clan
00:49:23.627                     : en:Covert Report
00:54:29.975                     : en:The Hallelujah Mountains
00:59:56.051                     : en:Learn Fast or Die
01:05:10.198                     : en:Banshee Rookery
01:11:36.417                     : en:First Flight
01:15:11.006                     : en:Last Shadow
01:20:29.116                     : en:A Son of The Omaticaya
01:24:41.910                     : en:Willow Glade Destruction
01:36:04.801                     : en:"You Will Never Be One of the People"
01:37:55.786                     : en:Assault on Home Tree
01:44:33.100                     : en:Aftermath
01:48:15.489                     : en:Escape From Hell's Gate
01:53:53.868                     : en:"There's Something We Gotta Do..."
01:55:32.884                     : en:Toruk Macto
01:58:38.820                     : en:"She's Real"
02:02:05.568                     : en:Recruiting the Clans
02:05:33.859                     : en:Preamble to Battle
02:10:01.835                     : en:Battle For Pandora
02:16:07.284                     : en:Fall of the Heroes
02:19:50.841                     : en:Eywa
02:25:50.325                     : en:Quaritch Fight
02:31:14.065                     : en:"I See You"
02:35:05.296                     : en:End Credits

Menu #2
00:00:00.097                     : en:00:00:00.097
Thank you for your help. Smile

How much RAM does your MacMini have? I've seen reports that VDADecoder works best with 4GB of ram. The deal with ram is the amount of ram sets how much vram is reserved. VDADecoder uses vram for decoding and it seem sensitive about the amount.


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beelzetron Offline
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Location: Italy
Post: #15
davilla Wrote:How much RAM does your MacMini have? I've seen reports that VDADecoder works best with 4GB of ram. The deal with ram is the amount of ram sets how much vram is reserved. VDADecoder uses vram for decoding and it seem sensitive about the amount.

My mini is in stock configuration, so has 2gb of ram. Do you think i should upgrade the ram amount to achieve best performances? Do you see anything bad in the xbmc.log?
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