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RR Newb... need help/suggestions.

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  • RR Newb... need help/suggestions.

    Hi all,

    I'm happily no longer new to the CarPC world, but I am new to the RR world. I've been using Centrafuse and it in my opinion, it's not ready for primetime yet as far as what is supported. I installed RR yesterday and have been trying different scenarios for a total of about 6 hours trying to get some issues solved. I just now read through the whole RR FAQ to make sure my question hasn't already been answered.

    Let's start with my system:

    Lilliput Blaxtream CarPC (which includes the below 3 specs)
    VIA TC10000 with VIA Nehemiah C3 1 Ghz processor
    512MB RAM
    40GB HD
    Creative Xmod as USB soundcard (for OUTPUT)
    XMPCR with audio out going to the LINE IN of the ONBOARD SOUNDCARD

    The summary of my problem is choppy audio and high CPU load. (I read the FAQ about high CPU load... doesn't apply to me).
    I started with a simple play of a mp3 file. The audio was horribly choppy. Sometimes it got a little better, but it never played without issue. During this time, I'm getting 100% CPU load. I have been using Process Explorer to try and diagnose the problem: the two main CPU hogs are Winamp (21%... not a big deal) and a "System" child called "DPC" which stands for Deferred Procedure Calls, which is using 50-60%. From my research thus far, this has to do with hardware issues. That's about as much as I know on that end.

    In RRConfig, the Music settings are all default except for the music library folder. The Sat radio settings have XMPCR mode checked, and the Use Line In plugin checked (line in plugin is installed). Line to mute/unmute audio is Disabled. In Windows Sounds and Audio Devices, Default Playback device is the Xmod, and the default recording device is the onboard sound. I don't if know this is relevant. Winamp is the latest version... 5.33, using classic skin.

    The XMPCR plays audio through RR, and it's NOT choppy, but, all you ever hear is the preview channel and you can't change the channel. After a few seconds of the XM audio starting, the system hangs, but the audio continues.

    I know this is a lot of different random info. But I'm hoping an RR expert will know something that can help me. I'm lost on this DPC issue. I'd much rather continue using RR, but right now Centrafuse treats my audio a lot better. Problem is that CF does not support multiple soundcards, and since there in no line in on the Xmod, that renders my XM useless unless I want to manually switch the audio cable everytime I want to listen to XM.

    Any advice here would be ever so appreciated.

    A few questions that I have that also may help me:
    1. In RRConfig, is the setting called "Soundcard #" asking for the number of soundcards that you have? (In my case, two... Xmod and onboard)
    2. I have a Xenarc 7" touch monitor, and RR does not fill the whole screen. Do I need to input parameters in the resolution field in RRconfig to get fullscreen?
    3. Is the line-in plugin for Winamp a CPU hog?

    Thanks in advance!!
    My Grandma & Her Friends on Their Spring Vacation

  • #2
    1.) Not sure, never used it but I would assume so.

    2.) Yes. in the main ini change the show resolutions (x and y) to the resolution you want.

    3.) I use a M10k, and line-in and no problems.

    have you installed your video drivers? Even though the video may work, the video drivers (via 4-in1 and via C3 PowerSave video drivers) should be installed to make it efficient.

    Also what skin are you using? Does it have flash? Do you have flash 8 or 9?
    Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
    1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
    30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
    15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
    Buy now in the Store


    • #3
      Hi 2k,

      Thanks for the quick reply.

      I did install the latest drivers for my onboard video, and as far as I know, I have the latest drivers installed for all of my hardware (I used driveragent for this).

      I'm using the default bmv2 skin. To be honest, I don't recall ever installing Flash, but the logos do spin so I assume that means that I must have it. I'll have to check on the version.
      My Grandma & Her Friends on Their Spring Vacation


      • #4
        Have you tried playing your mp3 with Winamp only without running RR?
        What's your CPU utilization like? If it's still high then it's something wrong with your setup.


        • #5
          Originally posted by RS200Z View Post
          Have you tried playing your mp3 with Winamp only without running RR?
          Good suggestion. That would also make a flash issue a potential problem.

          Also what version f Winamp are you using? What winamp skin?
          Fusion Brain Version 6 Released!
          1.9in x 2.9in -- 47mm x 73mm
          30 Digital Outputs -- Directly drive a relay
          15 Analogue Inputs -- Read sensors like temperature, light, distance, acceleration, and more
          Buy now in the Store


          • #6
            greetings fellow new orleanian

            i would say its the DPC thing. as said, try playing music just in amp. close road runner and shut down anything running in the task tray. do you have an antivirus or firewall installed? also what operating system do you have?

            using onboard sound in conjunction with usb sound may be a bad idea. for testing purposes, disable the onboard sound in bios and see if stuttering and high cpu usage happens then.... or do the opposite: unplug the usb sound device and use the onboard for output to test.

            do you have any other cards in there at all?


            • #7
              @RS: As simple an idea that is, I didn't even try that! I will go do it now and let you all know what happens.

              @2k: Latest version of Winamp, 5.33, using the classic skin.

              @Megagoo: Do you live in New Orleans?? That's awesome if so. We should get together sometime and look at setups. I could certainly use suggestions! Anyway, I do have Antivirus installed, but I did disable it when I started the troubleshooting process. So I think I got that ruled out. So you think the dual soundcard thing is a bad idea... hmm, that sucks, because it seems to be the only solution I can figure out for my XMPCR since my Xmod USB sound card doesn't have an input. I love the Xmod because it's got the nice big volume knob on it which I plan to install in my center console area to have a volume knob at my disposal.

              No other cards. I do have a Belkin Bluetooth USB dongle. Not sure if this could cause any issues at all. I do have PhoneControl, but for troubleshooting purposes, I have it disabled in RR. I'm going to go try these suggestions now and report back.
              My Grandma & Her Friends on Their Spring Vacation


              • #8
                One more thing: Which file am I looking in to change the screen res? I looked in RR.ini which is just the resulting file of the RRConfig GUI. My only choices for screen are 4:3 and 16:9. Where do I enter my X Y coords?
                My Grandma & Her Friends on Their Spring Vacation


                • #9
                  Ok, here's the news. The long and the short of it is that the Xmod is the issue-causer. I ran a Microsoft tool called RATTV which is a little app that runs in the background and logs DPC's then reports on their functioning. The resulting report breaks down the processes by drivers to help you determine what hardware is causing the issue. My big problem was USBPORT.sys. Since I have a hub, that only told me that it was something plugged into the hub. I started plugging and unplugging things. Once the Xmod was unplugged, no more DPC's spiking my CPU. This is good news that I figured it out, but bad news because I loved that thing.

                  Interestingly enough, if you have the Xmod connected to the pc, but NOT selected as the soundcard (onboard is selected), you can still control the system volume with the knob on the Xmod. That's a big plus for Creative on that one. And on top of that, no DPC issues with it rigged that way.

                  So, one of the two reasons I loved the Xmod (hardware volume knob) is able to be maintained even while using onboard sound. The second reason, however, is something I'll need help finding an alternative for. The X-Fi Crystallizer setting on the Xmod was the whole reason I got the thing to begin with. It breathes so much life into my otherwise flat compressed MP3's. And all with the flick of a switch.

                  So, with that being said... what are you guys using for sound enhancement for your setups? Anybody just using the Winamp EQ and getting significantly better results than onboard sound alone? How about that DFX plugin for Winamp? Any good? (Also please advise if you guys think I need to use an older version of Winamp...)

                  Also, if someone could point me to the place for the XY coords for display as in my previous post, I'd be so grateful!

                  Thanks for all your help guys!
                  My Grandma & Her Friends on Their Spring Vacation


                  • #10
                    hey, yea im in metairie

                    USBPORT.sys looks like just the driver for your usb port. maybe if you update the usb driver it would work? also if you have room you could put in a pci usb card. i would still try and completely disable the onboard audio in the bios then try the usb thing you have.

                    oh and the xmod thing sounds interesting. i just use a soundblaster live 24-bit soundcard for my audio. maybe i'm missing out? i have stock speakers anyway so even if the mp3s were enhanced i dont know if i would hear it. but its good enough for me


                    • #11
                      Hey Megagoo, I'm in Metairie too. Of course I just say New Orleans because no one outside of LA knows what Metairie is.

                      Yeah I don't have a PCI slot in my pc. Trust me, I wish I did, it would solve all my problems. The Blaxtream is a PC all crammed in to a single DIN chassis so you can have the whole thing up front with you. It allows me to keep it in my glovebox. When the time and money comes to upgrade to a different system, I will definitely be going a different route so I have the ability to go PCI if I want to. How is the SB Live? I see it in CompUSA all the time, and I've always wondered how it sounds.

                      Ok, I'll try to disable the onboard sound just to see what happens... only thing is though that I'll totally lose XM if my onboard is disabled. Unless Winamp's Line-in plugin magically accepts the input signal through a soundcard that is disabled?? I've seen stranger things.
                      My Grandma & Her Friends on Their Spring Vacation


                      • #12
                        so the xmod doesnt have a line input?

                        if the onboard sound is disabled in bios, it will be like it doesn't exist so your line-in wont exist. but it will at least tell you if theres a conflict so you can take it from there

                        i have a via epia m10000. tiny little motherboard. i originally had it under the passenger seat but not its in my trunk under the floor next to my spare tire. but it has 1 pci slot and comes with a little card you stick into the pci slot that has another pci slot on it so you can side-load a card. so it takes up room horizontally instead of vertically. i upgraded the little card so it accepts two pci cards, so i have the sb-live in 1 slot and a wireless ethernet card in the other

                        the sblive is ok. ive never had a very picky ear though even though im a musician.

                        do you hear a difference in the car with your mp3s through the xmod vs the regular onboard sound?



                        • #13
                          Hey cool, you're a musician from Metairie.. so am I!

                          I'm also a recording engineer so I do have a picky ear (I wish I didnt'). To me the difference in MP3 sound quality of onboard vs. Xmod is pretty incredible.

                          So you play in a band around here?
                          My Grandma & Her Friends on Their Spring Vacation


                          • #14
                            Nola, a couple of comments and suggestions:

                            1. Use Winamp version 2.95 instead of the one you're using.

                            2. The line-in plugin is not a heavy user of resources.

                            3. To adjust the screen resolution of RR go to the general.ini file inthe folder of the skin you're using and change showwidth and showheight to the resolution you want.

                            4. Regarding sound quality, get this plugin: . This is a small DSP plugin that makes an amazing difference to mp3 sound quality as well as XM sound quality if you're using the line in plugin. This plugin is far better than other DSP plugins (read the reviews) and also far better than the Crystalizer on the X-Fi sound card. (I've got the X-Fi also and don't use the Crystalizer because the plugin makes it unnecessary.) Make sure you run the plugin in "Boost" mode.


                            • #15
                              yes i'm in a band.. pm sent

                              .... man i need to try this plugin. what bugs me about carpcs in general is that even though theres message boards dedicated to it, theres no ONE resource for a complete software setup. since i installed RR like 3 weeks ago, everytime i discover a new problem i have to search out answers and sometimes they're hard to find. can't there be one post that says in essence "set it up like this and if a problem occurs here, do this. to make it work better do this". oh well im just grateful that the community exists and theres software and help for this type of hobby