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Old 03-23-09, 09:41 AM   #1
rocktale
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Default Stuttering video and opengl with KDE 4.2

I'm running Arch64 on my home desktop with KDE4.2. Since the upgrade from 4.1 the performance of displaying any video content (DVB, avi files etc.) with either mplayer/smplayer or kaffeine (xine-backend) went down the drain. However, I'm not entirely sure if things went wrong due to the update or just around the same time.

I can't really tell what it is, it just feels slow, it starts to stutter (and seems to repeat a couple of frames) every time you click somewhere else on the desktop or do something else like moving a window or opening KRunner. This is anoying because I used to put kaffeine on the second monitor to watch some TV (DVB) while working but I can't do that anymore. The sound plays ok, only displaying the video frames seems to be messed up.

Maybe related to that, I can't use any of kaffeine's deinterlacing algorithms anymore. I have the feeling they look worse than before (more like 256 colors) and they drop the video framerate even further.

I used to have a Nvidia Quadro NVS (which exhibited the problem) but replaced it with a GeForce 9500GT which at first seemed to reduce (but not solve) the problem. However, I have the feeling now that things stayed pretty much the same.

Recently, I played around with glxgears and had to realize that the problem exists there as well. As long as nothing else is happening on the desktop, the window gets updated correctly (although smooth is something else... it's more like the video stuff I described above). But as soon as I click somewhere, open a menu or something glxgears starts to stutter just like video does.

I have TwinView enabled but also tried things without it - no change.
I dropped my old xorg.conf in favor of a new (clean) one - no change.
I tried different video outputs (xv, gl, gl2) - no change.
I enabled/disabled desktop effects - no change.
I tried different driver versions (currently using the 180.29-3 from pacman, but also tried 180.22, .27 and .35 in the past) - no change.
Tried the latest beta (185.13) - no change.
Tried the nopat option - no change either.

The funny thing is that everything else works fine... desktop effects are smooth, even the video performance does not drop (further) when moving the video window itself with transparency and all that stuff.

I'm running out of ideas... really.
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Old 03-23-09, 10:43 AM   #2
qdlaty
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Thumbs up Re: Stuttering video and opengl with KDE 4.2

Was your Kernel changed before you have noticed the video problems?
Is your window focus policy set to follow mouse?
Is the problem with frame dropping noticed during the windows switching (only)?
What is your window style/kwin decoration?

I had the same problems with openSUSE then I've recompiled the kernel to lower latency and tickless configuration and since that - I have nice and stable video play and can work at the same time.
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Old 03-23-09, 10:50 AM   #3
rocktale
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Default Re: Stuttering video and opengl with KDE 4.2

Quote:
Originally Posted by qdlaty View Post
Was your Kernel changed before you have noticed the video problems?
Is your window focus policy set to follow mouse?
Is the problem with frame dropping noticed during the windows switching (only)?
What is your window style/kwin decoration?
I use the Arch linux standard kernel. I haven't changed anything there and I know that a friend of mine has a working system (pretty much like mine, also with Arch and its standard kernel).

I did not change any of the other things as well so I guess, my window focus policy does not follow the mouse (but I'm not entirely sure, what you mean).
Windows style is qtcurve.

The problem with frame dropping (and repition) seems to happen, whenever another app (or kwin) draws something on the screen. Even when the video player is active and the plasma twitter app updates and just shows "0 new tweets" you have a short time of stuttering and it doesn't matter whether the video player is in fullscreen or windowed mode.

Besides even without anything happening I have the feeling, that both video and opengl apps do not seem as smooth as they've been before.
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Old 03-23-09, 03:37 PM   #4
qdlaty
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Default Re: Stuttering video and opengl with KDE 4.2

Could you try to create temporary user (test or anything you like) and use it with a fresh KDE4 setting to try if the problem is on the general lever or you have something wrong with your settings.

It's a shame to say, but I've done like that sometime ago when my KDE4 start to crash too often. I just moved the mail and Konqueror's bookmarks to fresh home directory and since that I've no problems (even with using KDE 4.2.67 and Qt 4.5).

Marcin
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Old 03-23-09, 04:10 PM   #5
rocktale
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Default Re: Stuttering video and opengl with KDE 4.2

Thanks for the idea, but it's the same with a fresh user. It seems as if it is more on a general level. :-(
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Old 04-02-09, 04:23 PM   #6
rocktale
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Default Re: Stuttering video and opengl with KDE 4.2

Well I tried a fresh install of arch linux with 32bit as well as 64bit and in both cases, the problem remained. Now I'm really out of ideas. Maybe the attached bug report can shed some light on it.
Attached Files
File Type: bz2 nvidia-bug-report.tar.bz2 (29.6 KB, 83 views)
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Old 04-02-09, 06:00 PM   #7
qdlaty
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Default Re: Stuttering video and opengl with KDE 4.2

Could you try to run some light WM (Fluxbox or so) and check if the problem is KDE4 related?
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Old 04-02-09, 07:19 PM   #8
rocktale
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Default Re: Stuttering video and opengl with KDE 4.2

Sure... I installed Fluxbox and well... the outcome was a little odd.

On the one hand, the video issue remains (both with mplayer and kaffeine), however less severe (because I think there's much less redrawing going on with fluxbox). On the other hand, glxgears (and I know it is not a benchmark) almost doubled the frame rate and finally looked smooth again, but e.g. resizing the firefox window causes a little stuttering there as well.

Seems like it's not a KDE issue after all.
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