Old Pentium machine gets jitters playing MP3s

racketboy

Member
I have an old Compaq Deskpro w/ a P166/128MB/120GB running Win2K that I want to use as File Server/MP3 Player

It also has an ISA SB AWE64 card and I'm using Winamp 2 (also tried WMP).

I just did a fresh install of Win2K and only have Winamp installed on top of that.

The problem is that I'm getting some minor jitters when playing back MP3s. (I tested the same MP3 on a newer machine and had no problems)

I tried overclocking the CPU to 200Mhz and 233Mhz and it didn't seem to help. I have a 266Mhz Laptop and it seems to play them fine if I remember right.

I watched Task Manager while I played.

It never seems to reach 100% CPU usage, but whenever there is a jitter is jumps from approx 20% to 60%

I even tried putting Winamp's priority to High.

Are there any other opimizations I can make to resolve this problem?

BTW, I kinda need WA and not something else since I have a plugin to control it over my network through a nice Web interface
 

y2kzorak

New Member
This is what I would do, in no set order:

1. Get the lastest drivers for the sound card if you don't have them.

2. Possibly reinstall the sound drivers altogether.

2. Move the sound card to a different slot, if you can. IRQ conflicts are the pits.

3. If all else fails,
.

But you say you're having problems with both WMP and WinAmp, so it's likely there's a driver problem causing the headaches. I suppose getting the latest DirectX drivers wouldn't hurt either. Speed won't make a difference when drivers aren't right.

Of course, if you've done all this already, then please disregard everything I've just said.
 

ExCyber

Staff member
Also make sure your hard drive is using DMA (usually enabled by correct ATA drivers for your chipset). PIO transfers normally shouldn't incur a big penalty but on an older system if WinAMP/WMP/the Windows memory manager decides to swap a large enough chunk at once it might take away enough CPU time to cause jitter.
 

Curtis

Member
Yeah I'm having this problem with my old P2-233. In my case it is somehow related to what is happening on screen. Ie if there is lots of graphics activity (moving windows, even the scrolling track title and the little graphic display in winamp does it) then you get jitters. My current GC is an S3 Trio 32+ and I have an old ISA SB16.

It also does this if I use XMMS under linux.

Try reducing the player to winshade mode (you know, turns it into a little strip) and turn off all the other moving graphical features.

As an aside, my old P90 laptop used to play MP3s fine - even when I was using word.
 

Curtis

Member
Three possibilities occur to me:

You have a dodgy IDE cable that does not support DMA speeds (is there such a thing?)

Compaq in their infinte wisdom, decided that DMA was useless and picked a motherboard that did not support this. AKA, you're stuffed.

Windows 2K does not know how to use the IDE interface properly. You might be able to find an updated driver set for your motherboard on the Compaq website, or through some other third party driver sites.

You could also buy a PCI HD controller - that should fix the problems with DMA.
 

racketboy

Member
Well just to let you know, I'm using the cable that came with the new Segate Drive.

Would a new controller be worth the investment, even if it isn't the root of my MP3 problems?
 

Curtis

Member
Probably. If you are using it for a fileserver, you should notice some fairly major speed improvements with DMA enabled. Additionally, you'd be able to use the full ATA100 speed of your new drive with a PCI card, although the performance of PCI HD controllers isn't as good as onboard devices.
 

racketboy

Member
Well I fixed the jitters problem

I found AWEAmp -- a plugin for Winamp that does some low-level work with the AWE64 cards. I boosted up the buffer on its settings and now my music is as smooth as butter.

BTW, the buffer on Winamp's basic controls didn't make a difference.

On the note of the IDE controller, would it really make that much of a difference considering the speed might be limited by the speed of the network.

I could be terribly wrong though since I can't remember basic transfer speeds of different stuff
 

HimuraD

New Member
jesus, are me and rabbit the only ones with decent comps?

EDIT: ok, rabbit explained this was a dumpster pc. it makes a lil more sense, but shiz, you coulda taken an 80 and at least got a low end xp and and low end amd board for it.
 

racketboy

Member
Originally posted by Scared0o0Rabbit+Jul 21, 2003 @ 08:37 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Scared0o0Rabbit @ Jul 21, 2003 @ 08:37 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'> <!--QuoteBegin-HimuraD@Jul 21, 2003 @ 01:31 PM

jesus, are me and rabbit the only ones with decent comps?
OUCH
;

edit: besides, I'm sure Jesus has a better computer than me ^_~ [/b][/quote]

Just to let you know in about a month I'll probably have a better PC than all ya
 

racketboy

Member
Originally posted by Scared0o0Rabbit@Jul 21, 2003 @ 09:33 PM

my pc = rather fluid... I pretty much constantly upgrade pieces of my pc lol. Even if your pc is better, it probably won't be for long.
true


I'm just standing up for myself
 

HimuraD

New Member
Originally posted by racketboy+Jul 21, 2003 @ 04:45 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(racketboy @ Jul 21, 2003 @ 04:45 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'> <!--QuoteBegin-Scared0o0Rabbit@Jul 21, 2003 @ 09:33 PM

my pc = rather fluid... I pretty much constantly upgrade pieces of my pc lol. Even if your pc is better, it probably won't be for long.
true


I'm just standing up for myself
[/b][/quote]

i dunno man, once i get my duallie back up, i'm slapping in 2500+ bartons in and hard coding for a 19 multi and shooting for 150 fsb (mpx limit). that'll pretty much pwn your next two computers, at least =)
 
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