iMac bogging down during rips and handbrake

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by CultHero, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. CultHero macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2007
    never really had this issue in the past, generally handbrake or ripit would run in the background and slow down my network if I was saving to a remote drive etc. Recently my computer has become pretty much useless during either a rip using ripit or a conversion using handbrake. Rips are taking a good hour to hour and a half and conversions are upwards of three hours.

    Very frustrating

    I am using ripit 1.5.1 and handbrake 0.9.3. I am on a intel iMac with 4 gig of RAM running 10.6.4.

    Anyone got any idea of what could be going on?

  2. celticpride678

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Are you doing anything else in the background.

    These things are very processor intensive, so I'm not really surprised that they are making everything else so slow.
  3. CultHero thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2007
    well I am trying to work on Safari or listen to iTunes or something else but it is getting to be impossible. I don't remember it being this much of an issue in the past. I did just DL the latest version of handbrake, but ripit seems to be up to date.
  4. a2applegirl macrumors regular


    Jun 16, 2010
    Handbrake will max your cpu. DVDs take about 2 hours for me to encode.

    Ripit takes about 45 mins a movie for me on my new 2010 mac mini server.

    What processor are you running? Handbrake is very cpu intensive and if you have one of the old processors it could slow things down.
  5. SurfMacJpMtb macrumors member


    Nov 19, 2008
    Handbrake will take all the CPU cycles it can grab

    You might want to try the newer version of Handbrake 0.9.4. There is also a 64 bit version available.

    For your sanity, try to Handbrake when you are going to be away from your computer for a long period. You can load the queue with multiple jobs.
  6. CultHero thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2007
    running the 2.16 intel core 2 duo.

    I guess this is normal then. I have just dl'd the latest handbrake, will see if that helps.
  7. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    That's normal. Handbrake will clobber my 2.53GHz C2D, but I wouldn't use that machine for any serious encoding.
  8. a2applegirl macrumors regular


    Jun 16, 2010
    The 64bit version of handbrake will speed things up for you a bit. From the numbers you posted it sounds like you are running the 32bit version which encodes much more slowly.
  9. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    RipIt takes upwards of 30 minutes on my 27" i7 iMac.

    Handbrake (0.9.4) usually does about 80fps on a DVD rip, but it doesn't max out all eight threads, so my system remains pretty snappy.
  10. CultHero thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2007
    I think I have something else goin on, my computer is generally slow and beachballing waaaaay too often. Took about 5 min to open this browser. Don't know what is going on, but this sucks.
  11. name99 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2004
    Run Activity Monitor and look at what is going on to get a feel for the issue.

    The sorts of slow downs you describe should not occur for CPU based background work. OS X is not perfect at preventing background CPU intensive work from impacting foreground work (and it got a lot worse in 10.5/10.6), but even so it is usually acceptable.
    Your slow downs may indicate a LOT of background disk activity, or a LOT of swapping. Use Activity Monitor to check out who is using a lot of CPU, whether there is a lot of VM activity, whether there is a lot of disk activity, etc.

    You may also want to install iStat Menus, so you have a constant visual of your disk and swap activity in the menu bar.
  12. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    It won't. By its nature being wickedly multi-threaded HB will try to grab every cycle of cpu that is available (which is why it's so fast in comparison to say QuickTime). I use the same processor in an mbp for hb encodes. Having said that, given all is well you should be able to use other programs at the same time without beachballing. Might be slower but useable.
  13. CultHero thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2007
    well activity monitor didn't show me anything out of the ordinary. I actually had a decent amount of unused CPU. I do have the istat widget and that isn't showing anything out of the ordinary.

    I have run onyx as after doing permission repair and resetting the PRAM I didn't really notice anything different. Onyx has seemed to help but something isn't quite a snappy as it used to be.

    I have been using handbrake for about 2 years now and have noticed my foreground work being impeded by the background work more. Maybe that is a result of 10.5 or 10.6?

    Anything else I can try?
  14. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Sounds like problems with your DVD drive. If ripping the DVD with MacTheRipper or the like (without compressing anything) makes your computer unusable, and compressing with Handbrake from the hard drive (not the DVD) is fine, then the DVD drive has problems, or your DVDs are dirty or something like that. Another possible problem would be a faulty hard drive, where trying to read/write problematic bits can take time.

    Handbrake _will_ use all the CPU time available for compression, but it does so at lowest priority, and it doesn't need much memory, so your computer should be perfectly usable while Handbrake is running. I suggest you run Handbrake with Activity Monitor opened and observe Disk Activity for anything unusual. Free CPU would indicate problems with input/output unless you have four or eight cores. But Handbrake ran on my old 2006 MacBook using _all_ CPU with the MacBook perfectly usable. Not just perfectly usable, but no noticable difference.

    You might have problems if you read/write over a wireless network and saturate your network; in that case other apps using the network might slow down.
  15. SurfMacJpMtb macrumors member


    Nov 19, 2008
    Another question: How much free space do you have on your hard disk?
    A full disk will give limited space for temporary files used for virtual memory.

    Another suggestion: Run Disk Utility to verify your hard disk.
  16. CultHero thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2007
    both ripping and encoding seem slow, but I am adapting and just doing them at night etc. In terms of the overall slowing down, I have done a bunch of maintenance and that seems to have sped things up quite a bit.

    The whole computer seemed to be running sluggish, not sure if it was bad permissions etc, but I cleaned out cache's etc and that has helped.

    In terms of storage, I have a drobo connected wirelessly that all my files are kept on. I do have my iPhoto library on my iMac (and backed up to the Drobo) but iTunes and all my ripped discs reside on the Drobo. They only get copied over to the drobo after they have been encoded, so they get ripped and encoded to the iMac and then when they are imported into iTunes or the ripped folder, they move to the drobo.

    I guess I am just sensitive to the slowdown as I do seem to remember handbrake and ripit being able to run in the background, and not so much anymore.
  17. albusseverus macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2007
    The easiest way to get beachballs is to sleep hard drives. After 2 drive failures, I've weakened and set my hard drives to sleep when possible. This gives me beachballs all the time.

    iTunes seems to beachball any time you do anything to a connected device (iPhone, say). I think that's just clunky old code trying to do too much.

    Check your Energy Preference pane to see if you have hard disks set to sleep. It saves disk wear, but it can also lead to delays, so that's your trade off. If you're using the drives constantly, the Pref shouldn't just turn drives off when you're using them, but I can't say I'm happy with the algorithm it seems to be using.

    (The obvious) needs to be stated that you need at least 10 GB spare on your system disk or a Mac will just grind to a halt. You don't have 1GB spare on your system disk, do you?
  18. charlien macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2006
    Hate to say it but it sounds like your hard drive might be failing. It may not be a CPU issue. Writing to the hard drive may be what is slowing everything down. Maybe get your self an external drive, clone your current drive to it and try using it as your boot drive.

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