Bondi plays DVD - sortof

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Bondi plays DVD - sortof

I asked this on the lowendmac iMac mailist, but figgered I'd repeat myself here in hopes of a few more responses . . .

next post for details . . .

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re: Bondi plays DVD - sortof

I've got a 300MHz (OC'd 233 (rev A? B?)) Bondi iMac with newly installed DVD-ROM drive and while VLC can play DVDs the video is a bit herky-jerky. Audio plays smoothly BTW. (Bondi iMac 300, 288 ram, 6MB vram, 10.3.8, 12GB HD)

Hoping to be able to tweek the video playback, I perused VLC's options but I am clueless faced with the bewildering array of choices. I also tried Mplayer, which 'worked', but was unwatchable with both audio and video stuttering.

My questions for those who have already been there/done this:

- If I install a faster cpu might I ever see smooth DVD playback? What's the fastest original Apple CPU a Bondi can accept? How fast can they be overclocked? Anyone have one of these (whatever 'these' are) for sale?

- What other changes or upgrades should I consider? Would adding more ram help? How about a faster HD? Can the Bondi's system bus be overclocked? Any tips for tweeking VLC?

Keep in mind this iMac is my 5 1/2 yr. old daughter's machine. It's proved so far to be otherwise entirely adequate for her needs.

So while I appreciate the anticipated suggestions to just replace the whole thing with a slotload or better model, that just ain't gonna happen. If I can't get smooth DVD playback on this iMac, she'll just have to put up with watching herky-jerky DVDs. Blum 3

dan k

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Re: re: Bondi plays DVD - sortof

- If I install a faster cpu might I ever see smooth DVD playback? What's the fastest original Apple CPU a Bondi can accept? How fast can they be overclocked? Anyone have one of these (whatever 'these' are) for sale?

The fastest CPU card that will fit is one from a 333Mhz Trayloader. You can probably eBay one, although it might cost as much if not more as a whole 333Mhz with a dead monitor. Supposedly people have had *some* success upclocking those into the low 400s. The fastest *possible* upgrades are a 600Mhz Sonnet G3 or a 466Mhz G4 upgrade. Either is a gross waste of money with the base Mac Mini selling for less then twice the price.

Frankly, it's *probably* a losing game fooling with player options or CPU upgrades. I don't think the OS X drivers support any of the video playback accelleration features of the ATI Mach64 chips, so I *doubt* (I'm not positive, however) that playing DVD-size movie bitmaps at full framerate is possible on that hardware and OS combination. Sonnet for one is *very* careful in the advertising literature for their 600Mhz "Harmoni" upgrade to avoid saying you can play DVDs on your upgraded iMac, despite trying to imply that you can work with DV and iMovie.

Anyway, I'll just poing out this incredibly ill-tempered argument:

http://www.applefritter.com/node/5286

About playing DVDs on Rage IIc/Pro family chips. ;^> I still suspect it's *possible* on that hardware, given what I've seen PCs do, but not under any Mac OS. Good luck.

Just to note: a cute knockoff DVD player (that does MP3 disks and VCDs too) costs about $30, and a good 19" TV from the Goodwill's another $20. If you just want the kid to be able to watch her "Dora the Explorer" DVDs that's a legitimate option.

--Peace

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oh yeah...

I remember that thread, flying badgers and all.

So the heart of it all is that that the Rage II chipset *could* support DVD, but lacks the needed decoder, thus forcing all the work onto the CPU.

I am really not trying to dredge this all up again, but have wondered this same thing.

Let me ask you this ('cuz how you said it does not clearly answer it for me...) :
[*]Assuming I have either of the Sonnet upgrade cards you reffered to already on hand, and 512M RAM, *could* I run DVD movies on a Rev A iMac without too much/any frame skipping? (Assume this question for both 9.2.2 and for X.2.x)
[*]If so, what software would be needed for this?
[*]What is VLC?

Yeah, a cheap player and TV are good alternative, but in this case, the focus is on the possibilities of the hardware and software limits for the Rev A iMac vice the *easy* (aka less fun) way.

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Re: oh yeah...

Let me ask you this ('cuz how you said it does not clearly answer it for me...) :
[*]Assuming I have either of the Sonnet upgrade cards you reffered to already on hand, and 512M RAM, *could* I run DVD movies on a Rev A iMac without too much/any frame skipping? (Assume this question for both 9.2.2 and for X.2.x)

If you have one on hand, try it. That would anwser the question whether a CPU upgrade will do it or not. I was just noting that Sonnet really dances around the issue, which makes me suspect the anwer is a *qualified* no. None of the reviews of the product I've seen mention DVD playing as something they gained by upgrading.

Again, in my opinion you'd have to be a borderline idiot to buy one, but some people have different priorities then I.


[*]What is VLC?

VideoLan Client. If you put into Google it's the first hit.

Yeah, a cheap player and TV are good alternative, but in this case, the focus is on the possibilities of the hardware and software limits for the Rev A iMac vice the *easy* (aka less fun) way.

Fun in a "sticking dull needles into your corneas" way.

(I *tried* getting the hardware accellerated GATOS drivers working on Yellow Dog Linux. A day's worth of Xfree86 CVS downloading, makefile editing, and recompiling later I decided to move on with my life.)

--Peace

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Why is it that a 266mhz PII c

Why is it that a 266mhz PII can play DVD's fine with onboard non-accelerated graphics / decoders?

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Re: Why is it that a 266mhz PII c

Why is it that a 266mhz PII can play DVD's fine with onboard non-accelerated graphics / decoders?

There's no such thing as non-accellerated graphics. ;^>

(I'm serious. Presumably you're referring to doing so under Windows. Hardware manufacturers actually *care* about Windows, and write decent drivers for it.)

--Peace

Jon
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A 266MHz PII also has 512k ca

A 266MHz PII also has 512k cache running at 1/2 CPU speed on an independent bus. And probably PC-66 SDRAM and an Ultra33/66 IDE contoller. That much cache independent of good RAM can make a great deal of difference in performance. That, and of course the video accel. helps wonderously, and just because it's on-board/built-in video doesn't mean it sucks. Smile Having MMX doesn't hurt either.

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And I always thought the iMac

And I always thought the iMac 266 G3 was faster ;)...ya know...the "Mhz Myth"

Intel Extreme Vs Rage Pro Turbo. Which would win? (I'm talking about the type of onboard graphics that came with a 266PII back in those days)

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Bondi . . . or DVD player? Doh!

Eudi's suggestion to drop a cool $30 or so on another hardware DVD player makes the most sense, dunno why I didn't think of that in the first place. While I'd like to push the iMac as far as it can go, it really makes no sense in this instance.

Hmmm, with TCF approaching this weekend, I may end up dragging home any number of interesting iMac replacement candidates . . . Acute

I'm still interested in learning if the iMac's bus can be bumped up from 66MHz. Anyone?

thanks y'all for the comments,

dan k

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i posted instructions on the

i posted instructions on the last forum - though I never got to try it out Sad

Jon
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The Intel Extreme integrated

The Intel Extreme integrated video was usually a part of the i810 chipset. THat would succede the Rage Pro Turbo by a couple years. I've got a Gateway CeleryStick 500MHz on a 100MHz bus that runs the i810 chipset w/ IE video. Quite decent to it's time, ie 2000. The Rage Pro Turbo jumped in the iMac Rev. A/B in late 1998, and was killed in very early 1999.

Intel could tune everything on an i810 board because it was all Intel parts. And the second gen. Celerons had on-die L2 cache which made them basically as fast as the first gen. P-II. I've got an old 233MMX P-II HP system that I should try running a DVD-ROM in and seeing how it does. It's got integrated everything, and it's probably an early Trident 66MHz bus chipset, so it'd be closer to an early iMac than an i810 system.

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re: I posted intructions on the

Thanks martakz, that was this thread.

After I recover from my TCF buying frenzy (this weekend), I'll see what I feel like messing with. I'll probably have so many new toys it'll be autumn before I mess with this again. Acute

dan k

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found a 333MHz CPU

Today at TCF I bought a complete 333MHz lower section for $10. I'll try overclocking that CPU first, using my rev A (as I now see it is) MLB. Then once that's working, I'll pop the rev D MLB in there and see if its Rage Pro GPU makes any difference.

Hmm, I'm wondering if there's any way to display the playback frame rate in VLC, anyone know?

This is gonna be interesting . . . :coolmac:

dan k

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my further Bondi/DVD adventures

OK, so I picked up a 333MHz CPU along with its rev D MLB. First I popped in the 333 CPU and could see a very little improvement in the framerate over the 300. I then overclocked the 333 to 400 (seems nice and stable), and played the same movie again. Now there was a definite improvement, but the video still stuttered somewhat.

Next, I swapped in the rev D MLB along with the 400 cpu and tested again. It was worse! Playback was worse even than with the 300 on the rev A board. I'm wondering why this would be so, I would think the Rage Pro GPU should be able to deliver the screen bits faster. Wassup wi' dat?

dan k

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Could you get the bus speed t

Could you get the bus speed to increase?

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Re: Why is it that a 266mhz PII c

Why is it that a 266mhz PII can play DVD's fine with onboard non-accelerated graphics / decoders?

It can? I've never been able to play a DVD on a sub 500mhz machine without using a hardware MPEG decoder board....

Jon
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I can run DVD videos on my De

I can run DVD videos on my Dell Optiplex GX1 (P-II 400) quite well, and it's an integrated Rage Pro Turbo, IIRC. Of course a modern UDMA33 DVD drive and Win2k on 256MB SDRAM doesn't hurt at all.

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