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Thread: Slow RoadRunner Performance

  1. #1
    Low Bitrate EagleTG's Avatar
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    Slow RoadRunner Performance

    Ok, so I'm an idiot... Apparently posted my thread in the wrong forum. I'm reposting/continuing over here in the RoadRunner forum. Still not sure how I posted in the wrong place, but I suspect it was my multi-tab Firefox browsing habits.

    Here's the original link to the post, but I'll summarize below.
    Slow RoadRunner Performance

    First off, I've searched. Alot. I did find a few threads about speed issues with RoadRunner. I'm having trouble when navigating between the screens, delays around 10 seconds between screens. The rest of the system appears to be performing normally.

    I'm not using any special skins, just the BVR2 one that comes with RR. I believe this one is JPG-based, so I'm unsure that it has anything to do with Flash. I also took some of the Flash elements out of the skin, to be even more sure. (Spinning logo is gone, etc.) I had found in the FAQ that Guino recommended downgrading flash to version 8. I am currently running the newest from Macromedia/Adobe's site. I tried the older version, and interestingly, Flash8.ocx caused the machine to hang when loading RoadRunner, so I switched back.

    It's also interesting that the performance manager/task viewer in Windows doesn't appear to be showing a major processor spike when the delay happens. If memory serves the processor was in the neighborhood of 10% at 'idle'... Then when I click (touch) something, it jumps very briefly to 50%, drops back to 30% or so (while RR is hanging)... Then eventually shows the next screen.

    For the record, this is an EPIA M10000 motherboard with 1 gig of RAM.

    Anyway, it still delays the first time I hit any particular button, but it's much better on subsequent hits of the same button. I tried the EnableClipping=False option, and it didn't help. This option was mentioned here:
    Roadrunner performance tweaking

    I noticed that adding:
    fastmode=1
    to your RR.INI, seemed to help quite a bit.

    For the record, one more thing that helped tremendously was dropping the desktop colors to 16-bit (it was on 32-bit). This cut loading times between screens in HALF, if not better!

    In the other thread, 'liquid_smoke' said I really shouldn't have to turn down the color depth. He claimed it would degrade picture quality, but honestly it hasn't seemed to do that at all (at least not that I'm noticing). It is only a 7" screen after all.

    'megagoo' recommended a RAM Test, which I'll do. The system doesn't have more than one slot for RAM, so I can't swap it out and test that way. I'll just run MemTest86 or similar.

    Does anyone over here have any comments/suggestions?
    Thanks!
    -Eagle

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  2. #2
    Maximum Bitrate wizz's Avatar
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    Check if you have any backgound programs running. I've noticed my AVG virus checker kicks in sometimes with a system scan without any indication at all, and that causes the problems you describe on my Epia too. So now I've switched the scan to manual.
    Car : Ford Focus Zetec S 1800cc
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  3. #3
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    Preload command

    EagleTG, sorry off topic, but I couldn't resist a comment...

    I LOVE your avatar!!!!!!

    I just hope you don't live in Boston!

    I know the Eppia boards are inherently slow with Road Runner, ESPECIALLY when it comes to flash, so turning that off was a good choice.

    There are 4 things you can do to significantly speed up Road Runner:

    1) You say when you go to a button the second time around it is faster. This is because RR "Caches" the images when it is first loaded. You can force that for the screens you use the most often.

    Open the rr.ini file in a text editor. Add lines like the following to the end of the rr.ini file:

    Code:
    preload=External_GPS.skin;Initializing Navigation System
    preload=audio_player.skin;Initializing Audio
    preload=audio_browser.skin;Initializing Music Library
    preload=Audio_Full_Player.skin;Initializing Music Player
    preload=Programs.skin;Initializing Applications
    You will have to change the skin names in the above text to what skins you are using ect. They are just to show an example of how it works. The text at the end of the line is what you will see on RR"s start up screen, like when you see "Loading Winamp". Doing this will "preload" those screens into Road Runner, so they will load almost instantly when the button is pressed to access that skin.

    You can do this for all the screens you use the most. DO NOT preload the Menu skin, or any skins that are using /DISCARDABLE in them.

    2) Reduce the time it takes for a skin to load is to by reducing the JPG image quality. You can reduce a 250k Jpeg down to around 80k and it will still look fine on a 7" screen. (I usually save my jpeg's out at 75% Quality for RR use) When a skin loads the 3 most common images loaded are the ON, Off, & Down images. Reducing the images in this manner, will now only have to load 240k for all 3 images, verses the 750k with the original image sizes, so in theory will now load in 1/3rd the time.

    3) Use "fastmode=1" in the RR.ini (You said you did this already, but for others reading this, it makes a lot of difference on its own to RR speed)

    4) Lastly, and something that CAN POSSIBLY cause stability problems (Never had a problem here myself with it, but just be aware) is to launch Road Runner, and open the task manager and Right Click on the RoadRuunner.exe process, and set its priority to HIGH. This will allow Road Runner to run as a priority to other programs. If this seems to help, you can make this permanent with a program called PRIO. This will allow Road Runner to load at the priority you set, every time it is loaded, and you will no longer need to go in and change the process every time you load Road Runner.

    Apply all 4 of the above, and I can guarantee that you will see a drastic improvement in how fast RR works.
    Front End of Choice: Ride Runner (Is there anything else??? ) & Powered by the DFX5.1 Skin Available in the Mobile App Mart

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  4. #4
    Constant Bitrate
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    Another tip is to set enableclipping=false in rr.ini
    This improves loading time.

  5. #5
    Low Bitrate EagleTG's Avatar
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    RS200Z: Already tried that... Thanks tho!

    Wizz: Only thing I'm running in the background is UltraVNC... (Which I did determine had one issue with my video playback being really blocky/pixelated, but I think that was a one-off where VNC crashed or something. Had me going crazy for about 30 minutes though.) Not running Virus Scanning on this one, it won't be exposed to the outside world once it's all set up.

    JohnWPB: You nailed it. Using your tips, it's absolutely flying now. I used IrfanView to batch convert all the JPGs to 70% Quality. They went from 16 MB to 3.6 MB. Not only that, but your preload option was EXACTLY what I was looking for. Hours of searching, and digging through the manual, I never noticed this option was even available. THANK YOU.

    I'll save the priority change until I see how these changes do. I don't see myself needing it any faster at this point. BUT, thank you for the PRIO tip. I've had a SnapStream BeyondTV DVR/HTPC going for a while, and the one service has had me (and a bunch of guys on the SnapStream forums) stumped. Now, I haven't tried the newest versions (I'm about 2 "dot" revisions behind.) BUT, there was a scheduling service that was giving us headaches, it would spike the processor once about every 10 seconds. Just enough to get you killed in a video game, or whatever. Turning down the priority of that service was the answer, but nobody could figure out a way to keep that setting permanent. Hopefully PRIO will be the answer (if the upgrade to the latest version of SnapStream BeyondTV doesn't fix it).

    You, sir, are the MAN. This one's for you ->

    About the Avatar: I really am a huge fan of ATHF, and of the Cartoon Network in general. This whole situation is really unfortunate (especially the two million dollars, and the chief of the company leaving). I'm bummed. I also really love LED's... So these little "bomb" guys appealed to me in about a million ways.

    Thanks again everyone, especially JohnWPB. BTW: the WPB wouldn't be a Williams Pinball reference would it? (I know, that's WPC, but I can't help but think there's a tie-in.)

    For the record, here's what I added to my RR.INI:
    Code:
    preload=External_GPS.skin;Initializing Navigation System
    preload=audio_player.skin;Initializing Audio
    preload=audio_browser.skin;Initializing Music Library
    preload=Audio_Full_Player.skin;Initializing Music Player
    preload=launch.skin;Initializing Applications
    preload=video_browser.skin;Initializing Video Browser
    preload=video_player.skin;Initializing Video Player
    preload=sirius.skin;Initializing Sirius
    preload=exit_menu.skin;Initializing Exit Menu
    -Eagle

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  6. #6
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    Glad that helped you out! It is just tips and such I have collected from here and there. It sure has sped RR up on my system!

    Great that that program was able to help in another situation as well

    The johnWPB is the initials for West Palm Beach, Florida. I have used that nick since dial up days and my first Internet Account
    Front End of Choice: Ride Runner (Is there anything else??? ) & Powered by the DFX5.1 Skin Available in the Mobile App Mart

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  7. #7
    Constant Bitrate peijffertje's Avatar
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    Thanks for the tip to reduce the Jpeg's size!
    And for the tip that it is possible to do this in a batch job as well!!

  8. #8
    Low Bitrate EagleTG's Avatar
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    peijffertje: Yeah, IRFanView rocks. It's a fabulous program, and it's free.
    -Eagle

    Hardware and Software [#####] DONE!
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    --=> My CarPC Project & Link to Worklog :: My Blog/Website/Photo Gallery <=--

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