View Full Version : More than 1 stream won't play back...

03-16-2003, 11:12 PM
NewTek, your VT FAQ in technical support seams to be down. :(
Searched the forums, but not much info on IDE raids after the forum upgrade.

I am unable to play back more than 1 stream at a time without stuttering on the toaster. Captures great, plays back one stream great, but as soon as I try and play back two DDR's at the same time, quite a nasty stutter on the video output.

I'm getting 74 MB/s on autoconfig for a 3 stripe software array, or 39 MB/s each drive, when I tested for a bad drive. Any suggestions on things to try for quenching my thirst for more streams ?
Only asking for a solid 2 streams...
Thanks in advance folks...

Technical info...

Latest Video Toaster 2 Build
Windows 2000 SP2
Asus 850 E motherboard
P4 2400
512MB 1066 RDRAM
3ware escalade 7400 IDE card, latest driver, firmware flashed
3x80 GB Seagate IDE drives, hooked up to the 3ware card each on their own master channel.

PS I'm using those round IDE cables, anyone had any problems with these ?

Keith Gandy
03-17-2003, 12:32 AM
Have you changed the settings under preferences? Make sure that the settungs for cpu under ted and ddr are roughly 80% of cpu speed.

03-17-2003, 05:49 AM
I does sound like a config thing, or a fragmented file.

03-17-2003, 09:06 AM
The drives are freshly formatted, so I don't think it's a fragmented file thing. My CPU setting for the VT is showing as 2 GHz, for a 2.4 Ghz machine. Pretty close to that 80 percent you mentioned.

The rest of my config is just being left at whatever autoconfig gives me. Wish I understood more of the settings. Even after reading the manual, can't admit I fully understand them enough to start messing with them alone.

03-19-2003, 10:15 AM
Is anyone else is running the toaster on an Asus 850E motherboard (Rambus), what slot do you have your toaster in, and what slot do you have your SCSI/IDE card in ?

Is the toaster better off closer to the AGP slot, or is the IDE card ?

03-20-2003, 02:16 PM
Do you get the same results when you try different files?

Also make sure that the streams both have originated from a camera and not animation. I have noticed a problem several times when tyring to playback an animation generated in Lightwave and saved as an AVI. Possibly a codec problem.

03-21-2003, 11:48 AM
"3ware escalade 7400 IDE card, latest driver, firmware flashed
3x80 GB Seagate IDE drives, hooked up to the 3ware card each on their own master channel. "

you really should have 4 scsi drives to get the proper bandwidth.
Have you considered Medea drives, the new ones are fast and expandable.

"PS I'm using those round IDE cables, anyone had any problems with these ?"

some of these are regular 40 pin at
some are 80 pin ata 133
make sure ya got the good ones.

the only other suggestion is try more ram.


Blaine Holm
03-25-2003, 02:13 PM
We have dozens of configuration of (4) WD IDE Drives out there without ANY problems at all.

The key here is Wester Digital drives, the SE models with the 8MB cache.

Seagate drives are not up to it, and if using the 3ware card, you definately need 4 of them.

Our new Serial ATA solutions allow you to use only 2 drives in a standard Pentium 4 box and still get two streams.

You will not get any better perfomance out of a Medea on a P4, and you'll spend a 'whole' lot more than even SCSI. I think he choose IDE to save money.

NewTek does not like to recomend IDE, and here's why:

They tested the IDE solutions using IBM drives. They could not have picked a worse drive, they stated that as they heat up, they start to have problems. That is a definate problem with IBM drives, not Western Digital.

One thing to do is try to disable the Acoustic Management of the Sagate drive. This is the AAARM program. If you don;t have it, email me at [email protected], and I'll send it to you.

Also, try checking your preferences, and make sure you have DDR set to HIGH RESOURCE USUAGE instead of LOW.

Blaine Holm
03-25-2003, 02:17 PM
what slots do you have things in?

One very nice thing about ASUS boards is their willingness to tell you what slots are shared.

What is your exact model number?

03-25-2003, 08:30 PM
I have an Asus P4T533 motherboard (850E Chipset)

Toaster is slot 2
Escalade board is in slot 6

Slot 4 and slot 6 state "used" opposed to "shared" in the Asus manual. but this gave me the slowest autoconfig score, jumped right down to 55 MB/s. I DID NOT test if it stuttered in multi-stream playback though.

Do both boards need to be on an unshared slot ?
How does this relate to windows 2000's auto IRQ assignments ?

Thanks for helping me out here Blaine...
And yes, I will be adding that fourth harddrive when I can.

Blaine Holm
03-27-2003, 02:52 PM
You won't get anymore than that with winrtme enabled, because it will limit the PCI usage and reserve 60MB's for itself. This should be enough for 2 streams, but as I said, the Seagate drives are pretty weak.

04-18-2003, 08:53 AM
IDE again...

Here is something to try.
In ALL of the machines I have configured the best combination I have found is to have the T2 next to the AGP slot card (if possible, in some systems you don't have enough space, and in this case the drive controller should go here instead if its profile allows for it) followed by the drive controller.
One client who chose to build their own systems for their T2 (only to page me that night in desperation for a solution for a show the next day) tried to place the T2 card and the adaptec controller card as far away from the main area of the board (AGP slot/processors/ram). Their board had 5 PCI slots with one being a 64/32bit slot next to the AGP slot. When I showed up I immediately repositioned the cards to be PCI Slot 1 = SCSI Adapter (64bit), PCI Slot 2 = T2, followed by a special card they had for streaming.
Rebooted, and all problems went away.

This was a SCSI system, so with IDE, you better believe how important peripherals locations are inside the box for performance. I would recommend something like this for your card positions.
If you are working with and SX-8 and need the space for the daughter card, drop it down a slot and see if that will get you by.
Generally the T2 should be as close to the top of the list for cards.

You shouldn't really have to worry about IRQ stuff in Win2K with the T2, but just to make sure, go into your device manager and find the T2 card and check to see if it has a little yeild icon next to it. If this is the case there is a trick for this to go away and might improve performance and force the Toaster into its proper location in the IRQ that windows is not currently letting it occupy properly (and thus mucking things up with other devices possibly).

Right click the device in the device manager, and find the driver details area. From here you want to install or reload/update the driver. Point the application back to the installed newtekrtme.sys driver located at c:\winnt\system32\ etc etc. You will see it pop up when you have found it.
Select this and hit okay. You will not have to reboot to get this to work properly, but you may have to kill the toaster first to get it to properly "take".

When you finish this, run autoconfig again and make your DDR and CPU adjustments and see if you get more then a single stream off the drives.

Hope that helps.

04-18-2003, 12:47 PM
Thanks for the advice...
I'll try placing the toaster in slot 1, and the Escalade board in slot 2. I get some popping still in my audio coming in/out of the video toaster though, and I read in some posts this is sometimes a cooling issue with the video toaster card itself. I presume being right under my Geforce 4 will heat up the card even more. Worth a try though...

04-21-2003, 12:22 AM
To begin, thanks to everyone that's given me a hand. I know I should be using SCSI, should be using huge Western Digital drives, but this is what I have at the moment, and I would LOVE to get just two steady streams out of this puppy.

I got a hold of a fourth seagate IDE HDD, all same make and model. The toaster board is in slot 1, the 3ware card is in slot 2.
Reformated system drive, re-installed windows 2000 just to be safe. Also, found the utility to disable all of the drives accoustic management setting.

Unfortunately I'm still dropping frames with two streams playing. The performance is MUCH better with the accoustic management off, and video playback much smoother. I can barely notice the stuttering. 72 MB/s in autoconfig. Tried DDR to unlimited resources, and unlimited bandwitdth.

Any other ideas folks ?
Your suggestions have been steadily increasing my array performance. I'm getting bloody close.

Will NewTek give me a hand with this, or since I'm using an IDE array, am I on my own ?

04-21-2003, 03:06 AM
You need to check your motherboard manual to be sure, but on my previous Toaster system, it was on an ASUS P4T, and on that model the AGP shared the hardware interrupt with PCI slot 2. So I ran my Toaster card in PCI slot 1 and that was the optimal place for it. I had my U160 SCSI card in PCI slot 3, since that was only shared with the "Serial Management bus" that I didn't use. So basically both my Toaster and my storage system were in unshared hardware interrupt situations.

Check your ASUS manual and see what the hardware interrupt situation is. NOTE: This is not actually the same as IRQs, these are real hardware interrupts.

As for the IRQs, Win2000 and WinXP will handle them fine on their own.