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-   -   Choppy video with new laptop (http://duc.avid.com/showthread.php?t=406315)

JacksonRR1 09-14-2019 08:58 PM

Choppy video with new laptop

I just got a new Dell G5 last week and have been having issues getting it to perform as well as I believe it should for PT.

I'm running 2019.6 and the laptop specs are as follows:

Windows 10 Home (release 1903)
256GB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive (Boot) + 1TB 5400 rpm 2.5" SATA Hard Drive (Storage)
16GB RAM, 2x8GB, DDR4, 2666MHz
NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1650 4GB GDDR5

I've followed all of Avid's Windows optimizations and I'm recording to an external 1TB 7200 RPM hard drive. Audio performance is fine, but everything video related (scrolling during playback, transport timer, meters, etc.) is extremely choppy during playback and recording. Viewing Task Manager during playback or recording doesn't indicate that any resources are being tapped out. At max, I'm hitting about 50% CPU, 45% RAM, 20% disk, and only 3-4% gpu. Surprisingly, it doesn't even seem that the dedicated graphics are being tapped for PT despite me configuring the PT exe to always use the dedicated GPU through the GeForce settings.

Any thoughts or advice?


Darryl Ramm 09-14-2019 10:16 PM

Re: Choppy video with new laptop
5400 rpm storage drive. What is that used for?

You would likely have been better maxing out the size of the NVMe SSD and putting *everything* on that super fast SSD instead of going for much slower HDD... even multiple of them will be a lot slower than that one drive. Old advice to use separate drives does not apply with these PCIe SSDs, you will make stuff *worse* by using multiple much slower HDD. Avid has not updated that crappy recommendations in many years. I've pleaded with them to fix it, just do not understand what is wrong Avid not fixing this misinformation. (Jeffro -- what do you need to help get this fixed???)

What video are you taking about? Inside Pro Tools? What resolution/format/codec?

Where are your video assets vs audio? They should be on a dedicated video drive.... since you are using slow old HDD. Again, start by tying to use one super fast NVMe SSD.

We need to know actual useful details, like exactly what make/model drive connected exactly how.... which is why you are expected to post a SiSoft Sandra report when posting here.

Start at “Help us Help You” up the top of every DUC web page and follow the instructions there on how to post a Sandra report, run the report with all drives attached and describe where audio and video files are on the partitions in the report. Search DUC fir other folks Sandra Reports to see what Sandra reports are supposed to look like do you post the correct stuff... ASCII text only, no screen shots.

Your seemingly weak disk setup is the first suspect here. You may still be low on RAM even if it does not seem so, what is your Pro Tools disk cache set to? How large is the audio in this session? What does the disk cache and memory meters show in **Pro Tools** as you startup a session and start doing stuff?

Once you have posted a Sandra report. Try working with a small session with the Audio and video both on the NVMe boot SSD and disk cache set to a few GB. How does that perform?

JacksonRR1 09-15-2019 05:15 PM

Re: Choppy video with new laptop

I am just referring to the graphics within Pro Tools (the counter, clip/level meters, etc). I'm only processing audio, not video files. The 1TB 5400 drive is just used for storage and backup of projects, not used at all for active projects. I'm at home with my laptop now. The 7200 RPM audio drive is at my drummer's place where we do most of our recording. At home when I record ideas, I use a 32GB flash drive as my audio drive, which has worked fine for me on my previous computer (2011 MacBook pro). I have the same choppy graphics if I record/playback from the internal 256GB SSD as well. Disk cache was set to "Normal". I tested setting it to 3GB and the graphics choppiness is unchanged.

Looking at the System Usage meters within Pro Tools, it shows between 50-54% of memory. Disk is at 0% when not playing, and goes up to 2-3% when playing back a session. CPU maxes at around 36%, with the most active core showing around 32%.

For some reason, the report is showing my internal SSD as a 5400RPM drive, but I assure you it is an SSD. I'm not sure why it shows up that way.

Here is the Sandra report:

SiSoftware Sandra

Host Name : PTLAPTOP
Workgroup : HOME

Model : Dell G5 5590 GSeries
Serial Number : 3Q4****
Chassis : Dell Notebook
Mainboard : Dell 0KW84T
Serial Number : /3Q40HX2/CNP************
BIOS : Dell 1.9.0 08/06/2019
TPM - Trusted Platform Module : INTC Intel 2.0 (PCR 24)
Intel vPro :
Total Memory : 15.88GB SO-DIMM DDR4

Processor : Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-9750H CPU @ 2.60GHz (6C 2.59GHz, 2.3GHz IMC/4.2GHz, 6x 256kB L2, 12MB L3)
Socket/Slot : FC BGA1356/1528

Memory Controller : Dell Core (CofeeLake-H 6C) Host Bridge/DRAM Registers 100MHz, 2x 8GB SO-DIMM DDR4 2.67GHz 128-bit, Integrated Graphics

Memory Module(s)
Memory Module : Hynix (Hyundai) HMA81GS6JJR8N-VK 8GB SO-DIMM DDR4 PC4-21300SO DDR4-2666 (19-19-19-44 4-63-21-7)
Memory Module : Hynix (Hyundai) HMA81GS6JJR8N-VK 8GB SO-DIMM DDR4 PC4-21300SO DDR4-2666 (19-19-19-44 4-63-21-7)

Video System
Monitor/Panel : ChiMei Generic PnP Monitor (1920x1080, M22W8€156HCA
, 15.5")
Video Adapter : Intel(R) UHD Graphics 630 (24CU 192SP SM6.4 1.15GHz, 768kB L2, 3.9GB DDR4 2.67GHz 128-bit, Integrated Graphics)

Graphics Processor
CUDA : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (1024SP 16C 1.4GHz/1.56GHz, 1MB L2, 4GB 8GHz 128-bit)
OpenCL : Intel(R) UHD Graphics 630 (192SP 24C 1.15GHz, 512kB L2, 6.4GB DDR4 2.67GHz 128-bit, Integrated Graphics)
OpenCL : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (1024SP 16C 1.4GHz/1.56GHz, 1MB L2, 4GB 8GHz 128-bit)
D3D 11 : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 (1024SP 16C 1.4GHz/1.56GHz, 1MB L2, 3.9GB 8GHz 128-bit)
D3D 11 : Intel(R) UHD Graphics 630 (192SP 24C 1.15GHz, 768kB L2, 128MB DDR4 2.67GHz 128-bit, Integrated Graphics)
OpenGL : GeForce GTX 1650/PCIe/SSE2 (4GB)

Storage Devices
TOSHIBA MQ04ABF100 (1TB, SATA600, 2.5", 5400rpm) : 932GB (D:)
TOSHIBA MQ04ABF100 (256GB, SATA600, 2.5", 5400rpm) : 238GB (C:)
SanDisk SSD U100 32GB (32GB, USB3/SATA300/600, 1.8", SSD) : 30GB (E:) (F:)

Logical Storage Devices
DATA (D:) (BitLocker/AES128+XTS) : 931GB (NTFS, 4kB) @ TOSHIBA MQ04ABF100 (1TB, SATA600, 2.5", 5400rpm)
OS (C:) (BitLocker/AES128+XTS) : 219GB (NTFS, 4kB) @ TOSHIBA MQ04ABF100 (256GB, SATA600, 2.5", 5400rpm)
WINRETOOLS : 990MB (NTFS, 4kB) @ TOSHIBA MQ04ABF100 (256GB, SATA600, 2.5", 5400rpm)
Image : 17GB (NTFS, 4kB) @ TOSHIBA MQ04ABF100 (256GB, SATA600, 2.5", 5400rpm)
DELLSUPPORT : 1GB (NTFS, 4kB) @ TOSHIBA MQ04ABF100 (256GB, SATA600, 2.5", 5400rpm)
SANDISK (E:) : 200MB (NTFS, 4kB) @ SanDisk SSD U100 32GB (32GB, USB3/SATA300/600, 1.8", SSD)
SANDISK (F:) : 30GB (exFAT, 32kB) @ SanDisk SSD U100 32GB (32GB, USB3/SATA300/600, 1.8", SSD)
ESP : 646MB (FAT32, 4kB) @ TOSHIBA MQ04ABF100 (256GB, SATA600, 2.5", 5400rpm)

LPC Hub Controller #1 : Dell Intel(R) 300 Series Chipset Family LPC Controller (HM370) - A30D
LPC Legacy Controller #1 : T1 FE-00
Audio Device : Dell Cannon Lake PCH cAVS
Audio Device : nVidia High Definition Audio Controller
Disk Controller : Dell Cannon Lake PCH Shared SRAM
Disk Controller : Dell Mobile SATA RAID Controller
USB Controller #1 : Dell Cannon Lake PCH USB 3.1 xHCI Host Controller
SMBus/i2c Controller #1 : Intel ICH SMBus

Printers and Faxes
Printer : Microsoft Software Printer Driver (300x300, Colour)
Printer : Microsoft XPS Document Writer v4 (600x600, Colour)
Printer : Microsoft Print To PDF (600x600, Colour)
Fax : Microsoft Shared Fax Driver (200x200)

Media Player : SanDisk Extreme (200MB)
Media Player : SanDisk Extreme (29.62GB)

Network Services
Network Adapter : Bluetooth Device (Personal Area Network) (Ethernet)
Network Adapter : Realtek PCIe GbE Family Controller (Ethernet)
Wireless Adapter : Intel(R) Wireless-AC 9560 (802.11ac (VHT), AES-CCMP, 866.7Mbps)

Power Management
Battery #1 : SMP DELL JJPFK87 60.01Wh/3.41Ah

Operating System
Windows System : Microsoft Windows 10 Personal 10.0.18362
Platform Compliance : x64

Darryl Ramm 09-15-2019 05:40 PM

Re: Choppy video with new laptop
Ugh, well folks who might have real suggestions here may not see this because of the mislabeling this thread “video” vs. “graphics”.

Unfortunately Pro Tools performance on Windows laptops is a frequent crap-shoot. I would try all this quickly with an eye to returning the laptop if you do not make progress.

Here is what I would try.

Make sure nothing else is running, no web browsers etc.

Work with a trivial test session.

Install/reinstall the latest NVIDIA drivers for your GPUs. Do the install manually (*not* using Microsoft update crapware), ideally use installers directly from NVIDIA not Dell.

Go over systems optimization again, do as much as you can, all the bios settings, disable networking etc. just try to get it working smoothly at all.

Trash prefs frequently as you test.

Make sure the laptop reports seeing/using the GPU. Play around looking at what NVIDIA driver settings are provided and maybe try different settings... I have no idea what is there. ... I am am suspicious your laptop is only running on Intel integrated graphics, at least while the Sandra report was made, that’s all that is listed under “video system”.... I am not sure what to expect there on this laptop, or what controls the system/drivers supply.


You probably should leave cache set to a few GB not normal, especially recording to a USB stick leave it set that way until you run out of memory. Recording to a USB flash stick may not be a good idea, well not for heavy sessions, some USB sticks have bad performance properties, like suddenly the performance collapsing at a certain load or amount of data written. The external USB SSD I would reach for that I trust most is a Samsung T5. But either way nothing there is related to your graphics glitches.

Any recording drive also needs to be formatted as NTFS, you cannot reliably record to exFAT, so be careful there as well with USB sticks.

I personally would not be using bit locker/file system encryption on a DAW computer.. on any filesystem.

JacksonRR1 09-16-2019 06:21 PM

Re: Choppy video with new laptop
Okay, I've downloaded the latest drivers from NVIDIA, trashed prefs, reinstalled PT, and everything else performs flawlessly, but Pro Tools struggles to generate smooth graphics. Even the integrated graphics should be enough to power the basic level of graphics that Pro Tools is generating, but I can't seem to get Pro Tools to use the dedicated GPU no matter what settings I use.

Even a session with a single audio track with no plugins struggles to cleanly scroll while playing back and even the timer in the transport window struggles to keep up as the seconds tick.

I'm thinking about sending the laptop back, as Pro Tools is the primary application I bought it for. Strange though that every other program runs perfectly.

Darryl Ramm 09-16-2019 07:11 PM

Re: Choppy video with new laptop
I would not be surprised if you got the GPU to work this problem might be fixed.

Have you tried forcing this? Like... https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/...0-db029e6d8a75

Pro Tools uses older rendering models and compatibility layers so it's unlike many other programs that do graphics.

If you are still stuck, since you have limited time to make a decision. You might try creating a new thread on DUC and title it something like "Poor Graphics Performance on Windows 10 Laptop". But please include a link in your post to this thread.

JacksonRR1 09-17-2019 01:36 PM

Re: Choppy video with new laptop
Update - it's working great now, although it is still using only the integrated graphics for PT.

I had tried most of what was listed in the link you just posted with no success. I was about ready to just send the laptop back, but since I was using the Dell image that came on the laptop, I figured I would try to just completely reinstall Windows from scratch. Once I did, all is well. Even though I had uninstalled all the Dell services and bloatware that comes on the system somehow their stock image was still causing some serious issues.

Thanks for the responses, and if anyone else gets a new Dell, make sure to just get rid of their garbage image and start fresh (as I should have done in the first place).

The Weed 09-17-2019 05:56 PM

Re: Choppy video with new laptop
Now get Macrium Reflect or similar and do regular OS and Audio Drive backups.

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