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What is my HTPC Bottleneck?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have the following components in an HTPC and I've noticed some hickups. I'm starting to wonder if I should go for a complete overhaul for about $140 to an trinity APU, mobo, and 4gb ram.

Phenom II x2 555 BE
Biostar Motherboard
4GB OCZ DDR2
AMD Radeon 4350

Most people say the video card is the weak point; if so then what should I replace it with? I'm streaming live TV with a cablecard tuner and using XBMC.
post #2 of 18
it's a HTPC....
if it plays videos fine, why fix it when it ain't broken?
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post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
It's starting to hickup, some long loading times between screens, switching applications, and loading live tv shows.
post #4 of 18
from the sounds of it, load time and switching between apps, I think a SSD upgrade would do you good (assuming it is running on a mechanical hard drive).
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post #5 of 18
XBMC.
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post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hick View Post

XBMC.

XBMC is my bottleneck huh?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xiphos View Post

from the sounds of it, load time and switching between apps, I think a SSD upgrade would do you good (assuming it is running on a mechanical hard drive).

Yeah I am running on a mech hdd but I was skeptical that it would impact my performance. If anyone has a similar rig please let me know!
post #7 of 18
i have xbmc on an ssd
i have another system running it on a 160gb 5400rpm laptop drive
both perform similarly (mainly because the library is on the media server.

as far as hickups, do you mean long loading times when going from home to a section in xbmc? if so, what skin are you using? are you using the animated backgrounds? custom backgrounds? etc? i run aeon nox on all my xbmc setups, animations off, only a few menu items have custom backgrounds on the main screen and only using 2 widgets.

if you're having issues going back and forth with apps in windows, then yeah, ssd time. my htpc's except the main one, are dedicated xbmc machines, so they are stripped and light.

your video card is definitely not a bottleneck though, you don't need much for xbmc and video.

but i would start with different xbmc settings before investing in hardware. my lowest system is running an AM2 5200, GT210 and 4GB DDR2 800, all pushing 1080p to a 46" tv, your specs are about that, you have a better video card.
 
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post #8 of 18
I agree with changing your settings. See if any other programs are running in the backgroud. Run a different skin and see if it does the same thing. If my zotac zbox ad 10 can play 15 gb mkv file then your htpc can do more. If you upgrade anything get an ssd. If if its sata II, you will tell a big difference!
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlitos714 View Post

I agree with changing your settings. See if any other programs are running in the backgroud. Run a different skin and see if it does the same thing. If my zotac zbox ad 10 can play 15 gb mkv file then your htpc can do more. If you upgrade anything get an ssd. If if its sata II, you will tell a big difference!

Thanks for the feedback. I'm going to try changing my XBMC settings around. The majority of the stuttering isn't on video, but on interface and switching menus/screens. And when I exit XBMC to launch WMC it takes about 10 seconds to load that, and loading the first channel takes about 3-4 seconds.
Quote:
Originally Posted by svtfmook View Post

i have xbmc on an ssd
i have another system running it on a 160gb 5400rpm laptop drive
both perform similarly (mainly because the library is on the media server.

as far as hickups, do you mean long loading times when going from home to a section in xbmc? if so, what skin are you using? are you using the animated backgrounds? custom backgrounds? etc? i run aeon nox on all my xbmc setups, animations off, only a few menu items have custom backgrounds on the main screen and only using 2 widgets.

if you're having issues going back and forth with apps in windows, then yeah, ssd time. my htpc's except the main one, are dedicated xbmc machines, so they are stripped and light.

your video card is definitely not a bottleneck though, you don't need much for xbmc and video.

but i would start with different xbmc settings before investing in hardware. my lowest system is running an AM2 5200, GT210 and 4GB DDR2 800, all pushing 1080p to a 46" tv, your specs are about that, you have a better video card.

Thanks for the feedback, like I said above I didn't realize my skin could be such a performance drainer; I will definitely mess with settings.
post #10 of 18
If you are having only UI problems, go back to the stock skin and see if the problem persists.

If you are ever having problems playing video:
Increase your buffer cache in the XBMC settings file. I think I have a 2GB Buffer cache. If you are using onboard GPU, add more dedicated RAM in bios.

Are you running XBMCBUNTU? or Windows with an xbmc applications?
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