Powerbook G4 video playback very slow!

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by cliffcuts, May 19, 2010.

  1. macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2010
    Can anyone suggest the reason why my powerbook G4 can't playback video smoothly??
  2. macrumors regular


    Mar 25, 2010
    What sort of video? Is it online streaming video or offline video being played via Quicktime or iTunes?
  3. macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
  4. macrumors 68030

    Jan 20, 2010
    What's the resolution of the video? What are the specs on your PBG4 (proc speed, RAM, and video card)?

    Anything above 480p is going to have a tendency to stutter (1080p isn't going to happen generally, with very few exceptions). If it's H.264, that's not going to be pretty either.

    If you use NicePlayer and your video card supports hardware-accelerated CoreImage/Video, you can use it to accelerate video playback, resulting in smoother video.
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2010
    Here is the specs to my PB G4 laptop that can't playback video without major stutter

    Hardware Overview:

    Armed with this information can anyone venture to guess why I can't playback video of any kind. Can't playback quicktime or streaming. Is there a way to clean out your computer or find out what's slowing it down?

    Model Name: PowerBook G4 15"
    Model Identifier: PowerBook5,6
    Processor Name: PowerPC G4 (1.2)
    Processor Speed: 1.67 GHz
    Number Of CPUs: 1
    L2 Cache (per CPU): 512 KB
    Memory: 2 GB
    Bus Speed: 167 MHz
    Boot ROM Version: 4.9.1f3
    Serial Number (system): xxxxxxxxxxxx
    Hardware UUID: 00000000-0000-1000-8000-001124417492
    Sudden Motion Sensor:
    State: Enabled
    Version: 1.0
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2010
    Here's some more info on my graphics card

    ATI Mobility Radeon 9700:

    Chipset Model: ATY,RV360M11
    Type: Display
    Bus: AGP
    VRAM (Total): 64 MB
    Vendor: ATI (0x1002)
    Device ID: 0x4e50
    Revision ID: 0x0000
    ROM Revision: 113-xxxxx-160
    Color LCD:
    Resolution: 1280 x 854
    Depth: 32-Bit Color
    Core Image: Hardware Accelerated
    Main Display: Yes
    Mirror: Off
    Online: Yes
    Quartz Extreme: Supported
    Built-In: Yes
    Display Connector:
    Status: No Display Connected
  7. Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    What kind of video are you talking about? Is it HD or SD, which format has it (.mp4, .mov, .avi, .mkv) and what codec does it use (CMD+I while in QT)?
    Do you have examples or links?

    Have a look at Activity Monitor (Applications > Utilities) and select All Processes and sort by CPU to see what the culprit may be while playing the video.

    image below uses sorting by CPU as an example

    No need to double post, you can edit your posts via the [​IMG] button on the bottom right of your posts.

  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2010
    slow powerbook

    thanks. it's still slow but it's a little better now.:)
  9. macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2010
    Kalamazoo, MI
    The only video I really have problems with (other than HD of course) is online streaming video (Flash). The only way I can get moderately smooth playback with Flash is to set the video resolution really low, like 288p. Yeah, it doesn't look good at all, but at least it's somewhat watchable. I've never had problems with watching DVD's or .avi, .mkv... etc. Just streaming. If you haven't, try watching video in VLC, it seems to work well for me on my PB.
  10. macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2010
    This should do the trick...

    I had the EXACT same problem with my PowerBook G4... Everything else on the computer worked flawlessly except for streaming flash videos. I have the 12" model. 1.5 Ghz, 1.25 GB RAM.... People will tell you its the CPU and that the G4 is obsolete, it's the drivers, it's your internet connection, etc etc It's NONE of these. In my case, YES, the CPU usage goes up to almost 100%, but there is a reason for that! The wonderful folks at nVidia and their failure to properly support Flash playback on the nVidia Go 5200. The video hardware does not properly process the video so the CPU tries to compensate, resulting in slow playback and high CPU usage. If you hold down CTRL and click the video, go to "Settings", UNCHECK "enable hardware acceleration", you should notice a DRAMATIC improvement, whereas before the videos were unwatchable, and now they should play relatively smoothly, even in full screen! Hope this works for you as it did for me!
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2009
    North Carolina
    What browser are you using? I notice much better video performance on my G4 when I'm using Camino or Opera.
  12. macrumors 68030

    Jan 20, 2010
    Nice tip on unchecking hardware acceleration. Works on my PowerBook as well, which has an ATI card, not Nvidia.

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