Dell Mini 9 Hardware Issues / Problems Inform everyone on any issues or problems with your Dell Mini 9 hardware.

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  (#101) Old
nd4spdbh nd4spdbh is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Default 09-12-2009, 10:18 PM

you realize your seeing a placebo effect if your still watching youtube and hulu in the browser? as your still using adobe flash....
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  (#102) Old
safemode safemode is offline
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Default 09-15-2009, 04:06 PM

hdd's have nothing to do with it. Sites like hulu do not cache the flash video to the drive, though session saving done via firefox and the like have been known to cause periodic pauses so increasing the length between saves helps that. Worrying about other processes really doesn't do much either. Audio has been known to be an issue though, and if your driver is not up to date in windows land or if you're using a crappy sound daemon in linux land, this can effect the demuxing performance of the flash plugin, leading to skipped frames.

The codec within the flash video is not outside of the ability of the atom. We can play back 720p H264 + audio without losing frames full screen without an issue. Scaling small or large makes no cpu difference as this scaling is done in gpu. This is not the case with flash video, because flash sucks horribly and adobe is like satan's butt gremlin. This is a flash problem not using the gpu for gpu things like scaling and overlaying.

In addition to flash not using the hardware for scaling and overlaying and instead doing that all in cpu land, it also has horribly expensive DRM to slow it down.

Sites like youtube and such that still use older flash compatible video can have their content piped to plugins like mplayer/vlc and properly displayed via hardware acceleration. Hulu is still outside of reach for this method, as it uses flash 10 and uses extra drm encumbered flash video.

Now, for the mini 9 users, we're screwed if we have to use the adobe flash plugin. It doesn't support our video card for hardware overlay or scaling or anything. Even after forcing hardware acceleration (it by default has our card blacklisted ) I saw no noticeable difference at all in playback quality.

For the mini 10 users and other gma500 peoples out there, they have a video card that supports hardware acceleration of various useful codecs that are encapsulated in flash video and I believe adobe supports or will support hardware acceleration of that card soon for scaling and overlay. In either case, the gma500 people should be able to take advantage of much more cpu offloading features of their gpu and get smoother playback than the 950 guys.

No amount of gpu overclocking will help. No amount of reducing services and such will help. The _best_ 950 users can do if they're using the adobe flash plugin is get watchable quality (very few if any frames dropped) in non-scaled 360p flash video from sites like hulu (probably better from sites like youtube, esp if not using the flash plugin). The problem is in the plugin and it's basically the same plugin no matter what OS you're using and no matter what browser you're using. It'll all just be degrees of how crappy the flash plugin is making the video, until adobe fixes it (hahahaha)

Heat however is a real issue though that can be addressed and does effect performance as your cpu and gpu will throttle down transparently when it gets up in the 70C range (as reported by acpi). Fixing or upgrading the heat pads on your motherboard should be step 1 as many are misaligned or simply not on the core of the chips at all. Step 2 if that still doesn't help is improving the bond to the keyboard heat spreader via thermal grease there. Step 3 would be active cooling or more aggressive modding.

for everything else, you're simply chasing your tail. You can't make the flash plugin go any faster than it's going to go and the problem is most definitely rooted in the flash plugin. So unless you've found some trick or fix to the flash plugin directly or a way to play the content without the flash plugin, you're just wasting your time (as far as your pursuit to make flash video playback improve).

mini 9 : Debian Unstable : 2GB ram : Atheros wifi
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  (#103) Old
azadnalajala azadnalajala is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Default 09-16-2009, 12:39 PM

I had the same problem playing video on HULU with my mini even though I had 2GB RAM; I tried the easiest suggestion that I found in this forum and changed my power settings to portable/laptop , earlier it was Max Battery and now I can play HD video on HULU without any issues.
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