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Windows 7: Resource hogging and window grabbing


08 Jan 2010   #1

W7 Ultimate (32 bit)
 
 
Resource hogging and window grabbing

When I play back recorded TV, WMC is very greedy and eats up all of my CPU time. I can look at menus, TV Guide, etc. without problem - it's just playback that is the hassle.

But the really big problem that I've got is that even when the window is not full-screen, WMC doesn't like to let go of the focus so that I can surf the web, edit documents, etc. Again, this is a problem during playback. If I want to change window focus, I have to pause playback, click the window I want then start playback again. The mouse is effectively disabled during playback - movement is irregular, and mouse clicks are lost.

This hasn't happened to me in XP or Vista. I know that I need the WMC to be in a window (not maximised to full-screen) to easily swap windows - I'm used to that. But in Windows 7 this goes to a whole new level of inconvenience.

There are two key difference: one I'm using Windows 7 now, the other is that my twin monitors are both running from the same graphics card. I used to have two different graphics cards, but had driver issues when I moved to Windows 7 so I'm using both the VGA and the DVI port on a single (new) graphics card now.

Anyone had a similar problem and found a work around?

Steve


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Jan 2010   #2

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by stevef View Post
When I play back recorded TV, WMC is very greedy and eats up all of my CPU time. I can look at menus, TV Guide, etc. without problem - it's just playback that is the hassle.

But the really big problem that I've got is that even when the window is not full-screen, WMC doesn't like to let go of the focus so that I can surf the web, edit documents, etc. Again, this is a problem during playback. If I want to change window focus, I have to pause playback, click the window I want then start playback again. The mouse is effectively disabled during playback - movement is irregular, and mouse clicks are lost.

This hasn't happened to me in XP or Vista. I know that I need the WMC to be in a window (not maximised to full-screen) to easily swap windows - I'm used to that. But in Windows 7 this goes to a whole new level of inconvenience.

There are two key difference: one I'm using Windows 7 now, the other is that my twin monitors are both running from the same graphics card. I used to have two different graphics cards, but had driver issues when I moved to Windows 7 so I'm using both the VGA and the DVI port on a single (new) graphics card now.

Anyone had a similar problem and found a work around?

Steve
Well an 8400GS with twin monitors and MCE to boot is pretty much self explanitory. I have an ATI 5850 on 1 24 inch screen and I can see when I use MCE that juice is well used. No slag mind you but like I said, the card speaks for itself. I think that youe issues will go away with a card upgrade.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2010   #3

W7 Ultimate (32 bit)
 
 

Thanks for the quick reply, Zardoc. It's kinda what I thought the answer might be -but not the one I wanted since I've only just bought the card! So what would you suggest: an upgrade (replacement) card, or a second card for the second monitor, so that the processing is shared? What sort of card would you recommend, given a very tight budget? Any particular brand/model? How much memory? I know, I know, the best you can afford... but anyone with more specific advice?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Jan 2010   #4

 

WMC is a pain in full screen as it traps and hides the cursor, so if you've got dual monitors it ain't much fun - there are some workarounds, but what I do is refrain from running it in full screen.

I've installed it on a slightly lower spec rig than yours and it's not hogging CPU cycles, so something smacks of being wrong there - however you could try opening task manager and right clicking the WMC process and setting the affinity to one CPU core only to free up resources.

Quite why it's being a resource hog isn't possible to state with certainty based on the information provided
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2010   #5

XP Pro/Vista Ultimate (64)/Windows 7 Ultimate Signature Edition(64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by stevef View Post
Thanks for the quick reply, Zardoc. It's kinda what I thought the answer might be -but not the one I wanted since I've only just bought the card! So what would you suggest: an upgrade (replacement) card, or a second card for the second monitor, so that the processing is shared? What sort of card would you recommend, given a very tight budget? Any particular brand/model? How much memory? I know, I know, the best you can afford... but anyone with more specific advice?
Being an NVidia card, you're limited to using SLI with a matched pair of the same cards! ie. you'd have to buy another 8400GS...
If you can live without Aero, I'd suggest turning it off, and stopping any unnecessary background processes/applications from starting at system startup. Turn them off by using either start - type msconfig in search - enter - startup tab - uncheck any uneccessary items - reboot... or, Install CCleaner (without yahoo toolbar) open - tools - startup
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Jan 2010   #6

 

To monitor CPU usage, Memory usage, Network usage, and Disk Activity in Windows 7 perform the following:

Type "resource" in the Start Menu search box and click on 'Resource Monitor'.
In the CPU category, check the process that you want to review.
This and the other categories will now show what resources are being used by that process (check the other cat's).

Also, nVidia can now and does support dual cards that are not identical. There are some limitations so visit their webiste for more information. With the latest set of drivers installed, your cards should work quiet well for WMC. Make sure all other drivers are up too date also, especially the chipset, at the manufacturer's support website.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2010   #7

W7 Ultimate (32 bit)
 
 

aha! Breakthrough! Thanks for the advice above - I didn't know about setting CPU affinity before, and have now done some tweaking. That improved things but didn't resolve the "dead" mouse - all clicks during WMC TV playback were lost. Then I realised that the same thing happened when I was playing some Flash games. Affiinity for that set too, and again some improvement with mouse movement, but the clicks were still being lost. Then I realised it wasn't the video performance that was causing the problem, but the sound! When I changed system units, I couldn't power my speakers, so plugged some USB speakers in. When I replaced them for speakers connected by mini-jack to the sound card - bingo! Problem disappeared! So the USB bus (sorry - is that tautologous?) must have been getting overloaded - the mouse is a USB connection as well.

I really appreciate the info and advice, though.

Steve

PS - twin monitors on the NVidia 8400GS are working fine for my purposes. I don't use lots of high-end video stuff normally, so for now I'll live with this setup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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