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burple
05-29-06, 08:20 PM
Not sure if this is hardware related,software related, or both. I am thinking it is more hardware issues than anything.

Here is the deal. I purchased a cheap used PC for my kids to use the other day. It is a AMD K6-2 500. I upgraded the ram with some I had laying around to make it a total of 320 megs. I upgraded the video card to a 32 meg SIS I had laying around. I also installed XP pro on it. I first installed Windows 2k pro on it, but it had the same issues. The issue it is having is with streaming video such as from youtube, and none of the upgrades helped. It plays the audio just fine for the most part but the video really lags. Some files more than others depending on how compressed the video is. I had a K6-2 500 myself many years back but that was before streaming video became popular. So I do not know what the system can handle from that aspect. I really want to get as much as I can out of it, since my oldest really wants it to watch her anime and stuff on it. So we purchased this wanting to get her off of our other newer systems. I have linux which she hates. And my fiance does not like her hogging her system. So another pc for the kids was the next option. I just need to know what,if anything, I can do to help with this issue I am having. I hope that I can do something to make this older system handle it better, or my oldest kid will still be stuck using my fiance's pc for the streaming again. Sorry for the long post.

I appreciate the help.

A_old
05-29-06, 08:29 PM
Well, XP itself is a resource hog on a machine that old. I'd start by setting the visual styles for best performance. (Right click My computer, click properties, click Advanced, under Performance click on Settings, then click on "Adjust for best performance" and hit Ok to get out of everything...).

That may help a little. The requirements are on this page:

http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/productinfo/systemreqs/

and considering the lackluster FPU performance of the K6-2, I wouldn't be surprised about these issues (may be just under the requirements, and as you said..there could be different resolutions, bit rates, etc..and the upper ones might give you trouble). I'd also make sure DMA is enabled in Device Manager (for the HDD Controller). Someone else may have other good ideas.

burple
05-29-06, 08:51 PM
Thanks for the help. I already verified DMA when I set it up. I just now set the system for best performance as you suggested. I again tried one of the videos on youtube that was giving problems on this system and still the same. It may just be this system is too old to really handle it, but I would like to try all options first. And for XP. I know it uses a lot of resources. That is why I tried 2K on this old system first. But both OS's are giving about the same performance. I think I was running 98SE on my old K6-2 but my oldest does not like to use 98se. She may have no choice, if I have to go back to it to help with these issues. Thanks again.

cyberskye
05-30-06, 11:34 AM
Some files more than others depending on how compressed the video is.

Sounds like the CPU is the bottleneck; possibly the ram - have you verified that you have some ram free while streaming? I would bet the CPU is at/near 100% regardless.

The disk is handling the same amount of data/second regardless of compression, so I doubt you will gain anything there.

burple
05-30-06, 01:51 PM
Sounds like the CPU is the bottleneck; possibly the ram - have you verified that you have some ram free while streaming? I would bet the CPU is at/near 100% regardless.

The disk is handling the same amount of data/second regardless of compression, so I doubt you will gain anything there.

Yeah that was my concern too. One reason why I bumped up the ram from the measily 64 megs it came with as soon as I got it. I really need to monitor the ram and cpu while streaming to see for sure. I have not done that yet. But my fear too is it is the cpu as well. Thanks for the reply.

cyberskye
05-30-06, 02:00 PM
I didn't think you could run W2K or XP on 64MB. The reason I asked about the RAM usage is that you could begin swapping - which would then access teh disk.

I'm still betting on CPU - compression/decoding/etc are all CPU intensive. When a CPU is pegged in the high 90% area, lower priority items in the process queue (like TCP) start to have problems. TCP timeouts in this case, I imagine.

A_old
05-30-06, 06:01 PM
for firefox, there's an addin called VideoDownloader that could be used to dload the video to the hard disk, and play it back from there..maybe if it isn't being streamed, it'll handle it a little better..then again maybe not. GL w/ it. methinks cyberske is right about the proc.

burple
05-30-06, 07:13 PM
I didn't think you could run W2K or XP on 64MB. The reason I asked about the RAM usage is that you could begin swapping - which would then access teh disk.

I'm still betting on CPU - compression/decoding/etc are all CPU intensive. When a CPU is pegged in the high 90% area, lower priority items in the process queue (like TCP) start to have problems. TCP timeouts in this case, I imagine.

It actually loaded and ran windows 2k on 64 megs of ram. But it was very laggy. So I knew I needed to add the ram. I had some laying around anyways, so I upped it. Everything else seems to run normal on the machine now with XP for the most part. I am starting to think it may be the capabilities of the CPU as well. Like I said earlier, the more compressed the file the more lag it has. I still need to get time to get on it though and do a system monitor while trying to stream.

burple
05-30-06, 07:15 PM
for firefox, there's an addin called VideoDownloader that could be used to dload the video to the hard disk, and play it back from there..maybe if it isn't being streamed, it'll handle it a little better..then again maybe not. GL w/ it. methinks cyberske is right about the proc.

I will look into that addon. The machine does run video smoother if it is d/l. I have my main file server and when I play videos on the amd 500 from that machine, it plays fine. It is only when it is streaming. So I may have to do as you suggested and save them.

A_old
05-30-06, 09:40 PM
here's a link for u

https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/2390/

burple
06-01-06, 03:10 AM
Well that add on is working great so far. Just need minor tweaks to make each video play but still better than trying to stream it. BTW I monitored the system while trying to stream and the cpu stayed pegged at 100%. The ram usage stayed at only about 50% the whole time. So as everyone suspected, it appears the cause is the cpu.

thanks everyone for all the help.

A_old
06-01-06, 09:56 PM
glad you had some success