How do I know if the GPU is insufficient?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Omnius, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Omnius macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I was watching a movie(streaming) and I noticed that at about an hour in, it was skipping frames pretty badly, while sound appeared to be fine. It was properly cached. It seems to me this happens when watching large streaming videos.

    Is this possibly a gpu issue? How do i really monitor if I'm saturating the gpu's ability? I couldn't find anything in activity monitor that appeared as straight forward as monitoring cpu use or ram use.

    Is a mac mini (3,1) simply insufficient for this task?
     
  2. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #2
    Save the video, if possible. Then open the video file with VLC or QuickTime X. If you see the same problems, it is certainly a GPU problem (unlikely).

    Note: Safari and YouTube HTML5 are probably not suitable. Try Firefox & the newest version of the Flash Player plugin.
     
  3. Omnius thread starter macrumors 6502a

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  4. Omnius thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Would Google chrome be an equivalent to Firefox for such purposes?

    I dont think I can just save a streamed video.
     
  5. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #5
    Yea, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, etc. The whole point is browser + flash plugin versus local file on desktop.
     
  6. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #6
    Firefox and Flash Player plugin together need less memory. Safari and all other WebKit-based browsers, such as Chrome need much more memory. This can cause many problems.
     
  7. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #7
    No.

    The Flash Player plugin supports realtime protocols and HTML5/Safari does not support these protocols. That is the reason why i recommend Firefox + the Flash Player plugin.
     
  8. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #8
    Safari's Flash plugin doesn't do this? Nor Chrome's built-in Flash player?

    Your initial post was comparing local file playback versus native Flash playback.
     
  9. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #9
    WebKit-based browsers (Safari, Chrome, ...) can do everything. That is not the problem. The problem is, that WebKit-based browsers and the Flash Plugin cause many problems (RAM usage, aggressive caching, et cetera) if you use both together.

    No, i did not compare anything. The OPs problems sound like network problems. But i found that it is usually a problem with Safari/HTML5 or Safari/Flash. The main reason is, that Safari copies a lot of data in internal caches, which requires more memory, and the OP has probably not much free memory. The HTML5 video support in Safari is also a joke, so the best option is Firefox+Flash plugin, if you want to avoid browser-related video problems.

    You can download the video files with JDownloader (if you use YouTube). I recommend the H.264 encoded MP4 format.
     
  10. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #10
    Nevermind, you have gone off on a huge tangent.
     
  11. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #11
    No.
     
  12. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #12
    How is it on your 5,2? If it's fine there, and they are using the same Internet connection, then yes I'd say there is a problem with the 3,1.
     
  13. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #13
    Just throwing this out there but how much RAM do you have?
     
  14. Omnius thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    That mini has 4GB of ram. When running the video, the only application that is open is chrome. The 4GB of ram is nowhere near maxed.

    ----------

    The 5,2 is hardly apples to apples with a mac mini 3,1. The 5,2 is running a better gpu, has double the ram, and is on a better overall chipset.
     
  15. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    #15
    Action was simply stating that if the 5,2 had no issues then mr retrofire's belief that it is your network is bunk. So now it's just a matter of figuring out what is wrong with your mini...
     
  16. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #16
    I wrote
    So i did NOT SAY, that something is my belief.

    No. It is also possible, that the software is the problem.
     
  17. Omnius thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    I'll try to be more accurate. The choppiness begins after a video has been playing for an extensive period of time. Videos that are longer seem to experience choppiness sooner (about 40 minutes on a video that is 3 hours long as opposed to about an hour in on videos that are an hour and 20 minutes long). The sound never skips a beat and functions fine. The cpu usage clocks in around 60-65% at that time. There appears to be a free gig of ram.

    I noticed an improvement in performance using firefox as opposed to chrome. I found on the activity monitor that I'm using right about 180-190 of the 256 for VRAM.

    I don't see why it would be the internet connection because I allow it to be fully buffered.

    ----------

    On a side note, I'm not sure I've spent more than 3 hours using youtube in my entire life combined.
     
  18. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

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    #18
    What OS are you running? How much RAM and hard drive space are you running on this Mac mini? How fast are your hard drives? How much do you have open while streaming? Does this happen repeatedly and/or does this happen on a different browser?

    In theory your Mac mini should be able to stream media for an hour just fine, the GeForce 9400M that it has, while not a discrete GPU, is still more than capable enough for those tasks. But answers to the questions I just asked will help pinpoint your ACTUAL problem.
     
  19. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604

    SnowLeopard2008

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    #19
    Your signature quotes Plato. That's about the most useful/helpful/accurate thing you have contributed so far.
     
  20. Omnius, Jan 29, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013

    Omnius thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    As we discussed in the thread, only chrome had been open. Later only firefox was open. It's running a 256gb solid state drive with about 90gb free on the mac osx partition. it's a fully updated copy of lion.

    I'm coming to the conclusion the problem is with certain flash movie players. I noticed no such issue running a test playing hulu (my thoughts are that certain flash movie players just suck).
     
  21. Yebubbleman macrumors 68030

    Yebubbleman

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    #21
    Lion also sucks, but not so much to cause the problems you are having. If you have 4GB of RAM in that sucker (which you should totally consider if you haven't), you should move to Mountain Lion. As for playback drops, I'd look in the Console logs to see if anything was up. Sometimes that can be GPU related, other times it can be drive related; though a 256GB SSD with 90GB free makes me think it isn't.
     

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