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Old 01-22-10, 03:02 AM   #1
JG234
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Default Choppy video & 100% CPU with 8800GT (Ubuntu)

Currently using NVIDIA accelerated graphics driver (version 185) and a Nvidia 8800GT. CPU is an Intel C2D E6600, so it's quite a fast PC.

Video playback is extremely choppy to the point of being unwatchable. It affects all applications that I have tried, such as VLC, Movie Player and flash videos in Mozilla Firefox. Videos on Youtube seem slow but playable, but when I try to watch them in full screen there's a drop to about 5FPS. CPU usage reaches 100%.

Scrolling is also slow on large web pages.

Disabling Compiz makes no visible difference. Before I installed Nvidia's driver, videos played perfectly...

Videos play fine in Windows XP.

It seems as if Nvidia's driver is using the CPU to 'process' videos, instead of the graphics card. Other than that, Ubuntu 9.10 is lightning fast... so what's going on here? I would really appreciate some help here! Is there some kind of codec pack I need? Thanks guys.
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Old 01-22-10, 04:58 PM   #2
Stephen Warren
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Default Re: Choppy video & 100% CPU with 8800GT (Ubuntu)

Can you please supply an nvidia-bug-report. That'll tell us which HW features your GPU has, and whether it can support GPU-accelerated video decoding under Linux at all.

Also, you'll invariably need to configure your video playback applications to use VDPAU to obtain HW accelerated decode. This is unlikely to be the default in any application. In the case of flash within Firefox, I don't believe there's any VDPAU support, so it's not surprising it's slow.
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Old 01-23-10, 03:31 AM   #3
JG234
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Default Re: Choppy video & 100% CPU with 8800GT (Ubuntu)

Thanks Stephen.

Log is attached.
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File Type: gz nvidia-bug-report.log.gz (42.1 KB, 126 views)
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Old 01-24-10, 08:13 AM   #4
poltsy
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Default Re: Choppy video & 100% CPU with 8800GT (Ubuntu)

From your Xorg.0.log

(II) NVIDIA(0): Bus detected as PCI Express
(II) NVIDIA(0): Detected PCI Express Link width: 1X

Looks like it's simply running out of bandwidth which explains the problems you're seeing.
Why it would set it to 1X only is beyond my understanding, bios bug perhaps?
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Old 01-24-10, 09:39 AM   #5
JG234
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Default Re: Choppy video & 100% CPU with 8800GT (Ubuntu)

Quote:
(II) NVIDIA(0): Bus detected as PCI Express
(II) NVIDIA(0): Detected PCI Express Link width: 1X
I hadn't even noticed that. Strange though, because I booted into Windows, loaded up Team Fortress 2 and it was playing smoothly at 1920x1080. Same with an HD movie trailer, played perfectly. I'm confident that the card itself is not to blame.

Just now I have swapped the 8800GT for an HD3850, which is working perfectly in Ubuntu, which implies that the motherboard's PCI-E slot is working normally. I would prefer to keep the 8800GT because it's a slightly faster card, so I am going to continue searching for a solution.
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Old 01-25-10, 01:56 PM   #6
Stephen Warren
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Default Re: Choppy video & 100% CPU with 8800GT (Ubuntu)

Your GPU should have HW decoding support using VDPAU. All I can suggest is to make sure you're enabling VDPAU support on your applications.

I don't know if the PCI-Express link width could cause your issues or not. Perhaps try to solve that first.
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Old 01-28-10, 07:09 AM   #7
JG234
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Default Re: Choppy video & 100% CPU with 8800GT (Ubuntu)

Solved! Thank you to everyone who helped out.

Poltsy was the first to point it out. The 8800GT was running with a 1x PCI-E link width, it should have been @ 16x. And it was all down to my motherboard. All I had to do was update the motherboard's BIOS and now it's flying. Previous BIOS was from early 2006, 1.5 years before the 8800GT was released, explaining the incompatibility.

Quote:
(II) NVIDIA(0): NVIDIA GPU GeForce 8800 GT (G92) at PCI:1:0:0 (GPU-0)
(--) NVIDIA(0): Memory: 524288 kBytes
(--) NVIDIA(0): VideoBIOS: 62.92.16.00.04
(II) NVIDIA(0): Detected PCI Express Link width: 16X
(--) NVIDIA(0): Interlaced video modes are supported on this GPU
And the Nvidia drivers seem to be working great, no annoying hacks or tweaks needed. I can't fault them.
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