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Importance of Latency setting

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  • Importance of Latency setting

    I changed several days ago my HTPC setup, wich was based on a Matrox P750, a Elite K7S5A motherboard and an Athlon XP2400. This setup was really good on for home theater but I wanted more CPU power for FFDSHOW purpose.

    I put this P750 in a new system with an Athlon 64 3500+ socket 939 and a Abit AV8 motherboard. I had great hopes having smooth DVD and video playback, but in fact I was, at first, completely disapointed.

    I hade major jercky playback, even with Recklock 1.5, and after killing every not really necessary process. I was thinking switching back when I finaly found out what happened.

    In fact the new motherboard (ABIT AV8) is setting the latency of the Matrox P750 to 32. I increased this value, with powerstrip (there are also standalone tools to do this). And while increasing the latency, the stutterings were decreasing. I finaly choose a latency value of 128, which gave me a complete stutter free and smooth DVD playback.

    My own experience shows that having a complete smooth DVD playback experience is rather hard to reach, but necessary for the watching pleasure. If you experience stutterings even with Reclock and with a low CPU activity, you should play with latency settings.

    off topic : Athlon 64 are great CPUs for HTPC. The Cool'n Quiet technology changes the CPU multiplier when needed. I'm currently overclocking this processor from 2200MHZ to 2500MHZ. But this technology decreases the frequency down to 1000MHZ when no CPU power is needed. Then the CPU Fan is completely stopping and the PC is really quiet ! A great processor !
    A64 3500+ NewCastle @2550 (FSB 255, 10X)
    Abit AV8 v1.1 bios 1.7
    2X256 MB Crucial Ballistix PC4000 (1T Cas 2.0, 2-2-6) @DDR333/FSB255=212MHZ
    LC Power 550 W
    Geforce 6800 GT (Asus V9999GT-TD /128) @428/900 + nvSilencer 5 rev.2
    Thermalright XP-90 + Enermax 92mm fan
    NEC 3520A DVD-RW Firmware 3.04
    SB Audigy 2
    BELINEA 10-17-30
    XP Home SP2 - Via Hyperion Pro 5.00A
    Via IDE accelerator Driver 1.21 Beta
    Via RAID 4.30C driver Via velocity V23 Network driver
    3DMark05=5024 3DMark03=12508 3DMark01=24352 AquaMark03=70712