Too slow to playback DivX?

Bluesman

Registered
Just a question. I got a G3 now with 233Mhz and 96MB Ram. Installed Mac OSX 10.3.9 on it. When i try to play a DivX movie, it runs at 1 frame per 5 seconds or something. Simply unwatchable. I installed the DivX codec from the official website, but no luck. It plays fine on my PC, but that's a Pentium 4. So it's not the video.

MPEG goes a little better, it runs at 20-30 fps. So there is a little lag here and there in the video.

Is this computer really too slow to play these video files? It would suprise me cause i remember that my old PC with 200Mhz played files like that fine.
 

f_h_petrone

Mac User
I had the same machine for years and DivX files worked just fine (perhaps skipping one or two frames in some parts). Your problem isn't the CPU Speed.
 

Mikuro

Crotchety UI Nitpicker
What are the sizes of these movies? 640x480 Divx is too much for a 233MHz G3 to handle. My old 450MHz iMac DV+ could juuuust play them (with a small amount of skipping). I've never had problems with MPEGs, but I rarely find any MPEGs bigger than 480x360.

I think Divx lists 500MHz as the minimum system requirements for full-speed 640x480 playback. Maybe slightly more or less for PCs (I forget, and Divx's web site is so god-awful that I can't even find the system requirements).

That said, if you want to squeeze out every ounce of performance you can get, you need to boot into OS 9, and install 3ivx instead of Divx. You'll need to "doctor" your AVIs before viewing them, but 3ivx is definitely faster than Divx. If you can find an old copy of Divx 5.1 (the current version is 5.2), then you can install both 3ivx and Divx and get the best of both worlds.

Edit: Another thing to keep in mind is that newer Divx movies are harder to decode than older ones (in most cases), due to advancements in the codec. So even if a 233MHz processor could handle it three or four years ago, it couldn't handle modern content as well.

2nd edit: You might also want to try using MPlayer or VLC. They're NOT faster than the available QuickTime decoders, but they do handle frame-skipping a lot better than QuickTime, so the results will probably be more watchable.

3rd edit (because I just won't shut up!): OS X with 96 MB of RAM?!?!? Yikes. Apple lists 128MB as the minimum, and even that's pushing it. That could well be hurting your performance.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
Yep, it's really a bit like asking a 10 PS motorbike to drag a motorhome... You'll want at _least_ a 500 MHz G3 (a G4 is much better suited for decoding video) and you'll want 256 or more (rather more) MB of RAM. There really isn't much you can do to improve DivX performance on the machine you're talking about.
 

Bluesman

Registered
Damn. It's a DivX movie in standard DVD resolution with VBR at 1000~1500 kbps.

Thanks anyways for the great replies. I got to say that communities like these are hard to find.

I put OSX on it because i find it looks pretty and it's just cool. Only use the comp for word processing though. and when i run office it goes just fine. When i hooked it up into my network i realized that i could watch the movies i have on my PC in my room on the mac. Oh well, too bad. I aint gonna bother with decoding and stuff. It just takes too much time and work.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
f_h_petrone: Resolution, kbps? I think you can watch Divx that are 320*240 or something similar and maybe 15 frames/sec (like many cartoons and stuff) okay, but anything that has 800 kbps or more _is_ too hard for a bondi blue iMac 233 with 96 MB of RAM on OS X...
 

mdnky

[Bobs/Prog/Design:~] mod%
Staff member
Mod
They usually play alright on my beige desktop (300Mhz G3, 768MB RAM), but there's an occasional hiccup or two.

Even 256MB of RAM is way too low for a machine running OS X, IMO. I'd suggest nothing less than 512MB, especially on a beige box (might as well max it at 768MB IMO - $30 for 256MB PC-100 @ MacSales/OWC). You might be able to find a better deal on the RAM elsewhere. I've been running PC-133 (Kingston or PNY, can't remember) bought at Best Buy since 10.1 was released, no issues. The more you have, the less it has to hit the hard drive...which if original is a 5400RPM model. You could try throwing in a 7200RPM drive too...I did and I feel it made a difference on mine.
 

f_h_petrone

Mac User
I had Os 10.2.xx With Quicktime player and the codec that is installed by Toast. I don't knoow how many kbps but I'm pretty sure it was 30 FPS at 320*240. BBut I'll recheck now, as you are so certain, I'm beggining to be UNcertain myself... hehehehe

cheers!
 

Mikuro

Crotchety UI Nitpicker
320x240 shouldn't be too hard for 233MHz. In fact, I even played some at that resolution on my Power Mac 9600 years ago, back when Divx was nothing more than a hack of Microsoft's WMP codec.

640x480 takes tons more power, though.
 

Veljo

Mac Enthusiast
You need RAM.....desperately. Considering you're under what Apple recommends should be a minimum for running OS X, and your computer is very slow, good luck playing anything.
 

Bluesman

Registered
mdnky said:
They usually play alright on my beige desktop (300Mhz G3, 768MB RAM), but there's an occasional hiccup or two.

Even 256MB of RAM is way too low for a machine running OS X, IMO. I'd suggest nothing less than 512MB, especially on a beige box (might as well max it at 768MB IMO - $30 for 256MB PC-100 @ MacSales/OWC). You might be able to find a better deal on the RAM elsewhere. I've been running PC-133 (Kingston or PNY, can't remember) bought at Best Buy since 10.1 was released, no issues. The more you have, the less it has to hit the hard drive...which if original is a 5400RPM model. You could try throwing in a 7200RPM drive too...I did and I feel it made a difference on mine.
So you think it's a RAM issue, not processing power?
 

Mikuro

Crotchety UI Nitpicker
You'd definitely benefit from more RAM, but I'm not sure it's the bottleneck as far as your Divx playback goes. It's hard to say.

567x304 isn't TOO big. I would expect better performance that one frame per five seconds, anyway. Like I said before, QuickTime handles frame skipping very badly. If it can't keep up, it just chokes. It's possible it would be perfectly watchable if you played it in VLC or MPlayer.

And again, you'll always get better performance in OS 9 when playing Divx. Even if you just install Divx (as opposed to 3ivx), you'll be better off. When I used my 450MHz iMac, I routinely booted into 9 to watch a movie, and then booted back to X.
 

mdnky

[Bobs/Prog/Design:~] mod%
Staff member
Mod
Yea, you definitely need more RAM; regardless of the DIVX issue. That's just too low for OS X. As far as processing power...that could use an upgrade too, but the memory option should make the biggest difference for the least amount of money. OS X on a 1GHz G3 would still be crippled by that low amount of memory.

When I first got my iBook (G3 900) I was a bit ticked off. It came with a total of 256MB (128MB built-in, 128MB stick) and was barely faster (responsiveness wise) than the G3 300 desktop I have. Faster, but not enough to justify the $900 or whatever I spent, at least not to me. Removing the 128MB stick and putting in a 512MB one made a huge difference. Night and Day. There's no comparison now, the laptop is much faster on everything but accessing the disk (not as noticeable on the external FW one).

I personally haven't tried running anything above 10.2.x on a beige box...technically Panther/Tiger aren't supported on that hardware and I didn't want to mess with xPostFacto. I do know that under Jaguar on three different beige boxes RAM made an enormous difference. I bought two from eBay and the guy I used to work with bought two...mine wound up being 233s and he had 266s. All had 64MB of RAM. I used a spare 128MB chip that was originally in my 300MHz beige when installing to those three. It ran alright, but by no means usable IMO with 192MB of RAM. We upgraded one to 512MB of RAM and it was much "happier" and noticeably quicker. Good enough for the 8yr old and 10yr old cousins I bought my two for at least.


You could always try upgrading the RAM and processor. A G3 1GHz upgrade is around $210, a G4 700MHz is around $200. A G4 1GHz is around $350 and a G4 500MHz is around $160 (I'd grab a G3 before this one).

G3 1GHz upgrade ($209.99) + 3 x 256MB RAM (3 x 29.95 = $89.85) = $299.84 ((shipping not included))​

Of course, by the time you do that you can almost (2/3rds of the way to) buy a Mini. They have some refurbished 1.25GHz G4 Minis with 256MB RAM and 40GB drives for $399 (free shipping) at Apple's online store (look for red save tag).
 

symphonix

Scratch & Sniff Committee
I found my G3-500 would be too slow for around 10% of the DivX movies I tried with it. DivX Doctor II often helped in that case, even though it meant I had to completely extract and re-encode these movies, at least they became watchable.
 

Bluesman

Registered
mdnky said:
Yea, you definitely need more RAM; regardless of the DIVX issue. That's just too low for OS X. As far as processing power...that could use an upgrade too, but the memory option should make the biggest difference for the least amount of money. OS X on a 1GHz G3 would still be crippled by that low amount of memory.

When I first got my iBook (G3 900) I was a bit ticked off. It came with a total of 256MB (128MB built-in, 128MB stick) and was barely faster (responsiveness wise) than the G3 300 desktop I have. Faster, but not enough to justify the $900 or whatever I spent, at least not to me. Removing the 128MB stick and putting in a 512MB one made a huge difference. Night and Day. There's no comparison now, the laptop is much faster on everything but accessing the disk (not as noticeable on the external FW one).

I personally haven't tried running anything above 10.2.x on a beige box...technically Panther/Tiger aren't supported on that hardware and I didn't want to mess with xPostFacto. I do know that under Jaguar on three different beige boxes RAM made an enormous difference. I bought two from eBay and the guy I used to work with bought two...mine wound up being 233s and he had 266s. All had 64MB of RAM. I used a spare 128MB chip that was originally in my 300MHz beige when installing to those three. It ran alright, but by no means usable IMO with 192MB of RAM. We upgraded one to 512MB of RAM and it was much "happier" and noticeably quicker. Good enough for the 8yr old and 10yr old cousins I bought my two for at least.


You could always try upgrading the RAM and processor. A G3 1GHz upgrade is around $210, a G4 700MHz is around $200. A G4 1GHz is around $350 and a G4 500MHz is around $160 (I'd grab a G3 before this one).

G3 1GHz upgrade ($209.99) + 3 x 256MB RAM (3 x 29.95 = $89.85) = $299.84 ((shipping not included))​

Of course, by the time you do that you can almost (2/3rds of the way to) buy a Mini. They have some refurbished 1.25GHz G4 Minis with 256MB RAM and 40GB drives for $399 (free shipping) at Apple's online store (look for red save tag).
Right. The ram upgrade sounds like a good idea to me. Do i have to order it from that site or can i just throw in any pc100 ram?
 

mdnky

[Bobs/Prog/Design:~] mod%
Staff member
Mod
I bought mine from a Best Buy and haven't had an issue. The specs call for PC66, but anything that's backwards compatible should work just fine. I used PC133 because it was cheaper than similar PC100 (even from the same manufacturer). OWC/MacSales guarantees the RAM they sell will work, not to mention the price ($29 for a 256MB, lifetime warranty) is not bad at all. As long as you make sure the RAM you get meets Apple's specs you shouldn't have any issues.

I checked BestBuy's site and they only show a single Kingston 256MB chip for $130...Crucial doesn't show anything larger than a 128MB chip...Circuit City has the same Kingston 256MB chip for $49 after a sale price and a $20 rebate.
 

Bluesman

Registered
mdnky said:
I bought mine from a Best Buy and haven't had an issue. The specs call for PC66, but anything that's backwards compatible should work just fine. I used PC133 because it was cheaper than similar PC100 (even from the same manufacturer). OWC/MacSales guarantees the RAM they sell will work, not to mention the price ($29 for a 256MB, lifetime warranty) is not bad at all. As long as you make sure the RAM you get meets Apple's specs you shouldn't have any issues.

I checked BestBuy's site and they only show a single Kingston 256MB chip for $130...Crucial doesn't show anything larger than a 128MB chip...Circuit City has the same Kingston 256MB chip for $49 after a sale price and a $20 rebate.
Thanks for the tip man :)

SuperTyphoon, i don't need a fast machine. Mainly got it for the purpose of text processing. And maybe watching a video ;)
 
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