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MacBook Pro smokes Thinkpad T60p for video capture-why? *PIC

T60/T61 series specific matters only
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gpvillamil
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MacBook Pro smokes Thinkpad T60p for video capture-why? *PIC

#1 Post by gpvillamil » Thu Jul 03, 2008 9:47 am

I have an interesting problem:

I'm working with an immersive video capture system (the Ladybug 2 from Point Grey Research). This is a 6-sensor 360 degree video camera. It connects to a PC for capture via Firewire 800. The capture software only runs under Windows.

So I've got a Thinkpad T60p, with 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo and the ATI X1400 video card, and a separate 7200 RPM drive in the UltraBay for capture. I am using a LaCie FW800 PCMCIA card for the camera connection. (And have carried out the driver fixes recommended by Point Grey - FW800 really runs at 800mbps.)

With this configuration, I can capture reasonably well from the Ladybug, but the on-screen preview runs at about 5-6 fps. Playing back captured footage is also really slow, about 7fps.

A MacBook Pro 2.6Ghz Core 2 Duo, with the enhanced nVidia display card (512 MB RAM), Windows XP under Bootcamp, using the built-in FW800 port and recording to an external eSATA drive, manages on screen preview of at least 15fps, and playback is practically realtime, at 30fps.

I've connected the same eSATA drive to the Thinkpad, through the ExpressCard slot, and playback from that drive is still around 7fps.

Both computers are using the same drivers, and capture software.

I expected the MacBook Pro to be somewhat faster, but over 3x was unexpected!

I do not think it is a CPU issue - that would account for a 15% or so difference (2.6 / 2.4), not 300%.

It doesn't seem to be a hard drive issue, since playback from the eSATA drive and the internal Ultrabay SATA drive are about the same speed on the Thinkpad. (It is the exact same drive and interface card that I use on the MacBook Pro). Also, the live preview from the camera has a much lower fps, and that does not rely on the disk.

My guess is that the bottleneck may be the graphics card. I have made sure to disable PowerPlay in the ATI Control Center, but perhaps there are other things I should look at?

I would welcome any suggestions and ideas. For my project, I am OK to use the MacBook Pro, but was hoping to use the T60P for backup, and also because it is more compact (Ultrabay drive vs. external eSATA).

mod edit: please include a pic warning on the post per forum rules, and keep the pics < 50 kb for inline pics. You are very welcome to post links if sizes exceed 50 kb.

gp edit: sorry, replaced pics with links
Last edited by gpvillamil on Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#2 Post by Harryc » Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:58 am

Try the Omega drivers for the ATI chipset.

http://www.omegadrivers.net/

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#3 Post by gpvillamil » Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:53 am

Harryc wrote:Try the Omega drivers for the ATI chipset.

http://www.omegadrivers.net/
Thanks, that helped a little bit, and the driver software does seem better. However, the improvement was tiny - playback went from 7fps to 8fps.

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#4 Post by Troels » Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:45 pm

Others do not, but i'm havin issues with the PCMCIA performance on my T60p. The ExpressCard is fine, but the PCMCIA is slow as...
Perhaps you are suffering from the same issues.. Could be likely since your performance is three times lowes approx.

Well, see this thread concerning the T61/p PCMCIA performance:
http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.ph ... pcmcia+t61

I'm not sure what to do for the T60/p series, perhaps updating for the latest bios might do the trick, i haven't done that yet :).

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#5 Post by gpvillamil » Thu Jul 03, 2008 3:40 pm

That is a good tip - however the eSATA drive is connected through the Expresscard slot. Also, I was getting the slow speeds from the SATA drive in the UltraBay as well.

I'm going to try benchmarking the hard drive speeds, just to confirm that they're performing as expected...

If it's not that - then do some further digging around the display drivers.

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Disk benchmarks...

#6 Post by gpvillamil » Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:01 pm

Well, I used HDTune to test the external eSATA drive vs. the drive in the UltraBay.

First the Ultrabay drive, a 100GB 7200RPM Hitachi:

http://www.villamil.org/images/hdtune/H ... G9SA00.png

What is alarming here is the periodic drops in the speed, below the capture rate of the camera.

Now the eSATA drive, a G-Tech 500GB drive connected through a LaCie ExpressCard adapter.

http://www.villamil.org/images/hdtune/H ... GLA360.png

Even the minimum is close to the video capture rate.

However, both drives still only manage about 7 fps playback.
Last edited by gpvillamil on Thu Jul 03, 2008 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#7 Post by aaa » Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:59 pm

T60p 2.4ghz? Isn't the max 2.33?. If this really is a T60p, then you might be talking about T60p/2.33ghz/4MB-L2/667bus vs MBP/2.6ghz/6MB-L2/800bus/SSE4. The MBP has a totally different CPU in it that's faster not just in clockspeed.

Though it still probably isn't the only factor.

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#8 Post by gpvillamil » Thu Jul 03, 2008 7:23 pm

You are right! 2.33 ghz is it. Maybe the bus speed is significant too - given the amount of I/O that needs to happen with the Ladybug.

Still trying to figure out what's going on with the graphics card. It does give a very low score with the "furmark" benchmark.
aaa wrote:T60p 2.4ghz? Isn't the max 2.33?. If this really is a T60p, then you might be talking about T60p/2.33ghz/4MB-L2/667bus vs MBP/2.6ghz/6MB-L2/800bus/SSE4. The MBP has a totally different CPU in it that's faster not just in clockspeed.

Though it still probably isn't the only factor.

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#9 Post by RonS » Thu Jul 03, 2008 11:09 pm

The LaCie card you have is fantastic. Under XP, I get around 64MB/sec read speeds on my T60p.

Here are a few things to try:

1. Disable the ATI hotkey poller service (Control Panel -> Administrator Tools -> Services -> ATI Hotkey Poller). See if that helps.

2. Are you on battery? If so, have you tried it while plugged in?

3. I recently had a problem on a boat where my performance dropped to nill because my the Active Protection System was locking my hard drive because of motion. Could that be a problem (it's a long shot, I know).

4. Have you pulled up the performance monitor to see if you CPU is being stressed?

5. If you have any anti-virus running, try disabling it.

6. Have you seen this thread?
Apathy is on the rise, but nobody seems to care.

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Re: Disk benchmarks...

#10 Post by Pascal_TTH » Fri Jul 04, 2008 2:30 pm

gpvillamil wrote:Well, I used HDTune to test the external eSATA drive vs. the drive in the UltraBay.
Hitachi 7K100 SATA or PATA are out of date. They are never be great performer. You can have far better performances with a best driver like Momentus 7200.2 ou Hitachi 7K200.

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#11 Post by gpvillamil » Sat Jul 05, 2008 1:59 pm

RonS wrote:The LaCie card you have is fantastic. Under XP, I get around 64MB/sec read speeds on my T60p.

Here are a few things to try:

1. Disable the ATI hotkey poller service (Control Panel -> Administrator Tools -> Services -> ATI Hotkey Poller). See if that helps.
Will take a look at this. I'm using the Omega drivers, which I think disable the HotKey Poller.
2. Are you on battery? If so, have you tried it while plugged in?
On line current. I have tried on battery as well, with power settings set to "Maximum Performance", performance is same.
3. I recently had a problem on a boat where my performance dropped to nill because my the Active Protection System was locking my hard drive because of motion. Could that be a problem (it's a long shot, I know).
Laptop is stationary, but this could be a problem eventually. Note that I still have a very slow display even when reading from the external eSATA drive.
4. Have you pulled up the performance monitor to see if you CPU is being stressed?
60% CPU load across both cores.
5. If you have any anti-virus running, try disabling it.
Will try. This may account for the periodic drops in disk throughput. However, still think the main problem is the display.
6. Have you seen this thread?
Yes! Useful info. Disabling PowerPlay helped a bit. Would love to hear from other people with a T60p who have run the benchmark referenced in that post (FurMark).

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Re: MacBook Pro smokes Thinkpad T60p for video capture-why?

#12 Post by WPWoodJr » Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:45 pm

gpvillamil wrote: So I've got a Thinkpad T60p, with 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo and the ATI X1400 video card, and a separate 7200 RPM drive in the UltraBay for capture. ...
The T60p has an ATI Mobility FireGL V5250 graphics card. Do you actually have a T60p?
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#13 Post by Troels » Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:47 pm

Not sure if this is much help as it is on a T60p with Firegl v5200, and at 1600x1200. I can't run it in 1680x1050, so making a comparison could be a bit hard.

But my score is 209 o3marks in that Furmark benchmark.

Have you tried it on the MBP to see if it's different/worse/better than the 132?

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Re: MacBook Pro smokes Thinkpad T60p for video capture-why?

#14 Post by WPWoodJr » Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:52 pm

WPWoodJr wrote:
gpvillamil wrote: So I've got a Thinkpad T60p, with 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo and the ATI X1400 video card, and a separate 7200 RPM drive in the UltraBay for capture. ...
The T60p has an ATI Mobility FireGL V5250 graphics card. Do you actually have a T60p?
I get 10fps average on my T60p. Furmark running at 1024x768, fullscreen for 60 secs. What do you get?
T60p 2613-CTO, 2.33GHz, 3GB ram, Intel 80gb G2 SSD, H7K 200GB/7200rpm, LG Flexview IPS SXGA+ screen, ATI FireGL V5250
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#15 Post by WPWoodJr » Sat Jul 05, 2008 3:12 pm

At 1680 x1050 I get 327 o3marks, 5 fps avg
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#16 Post by gpvillamil » Sat Jul 05, 2008 9:16 pm

Interesting.

It's definitely a T60p, at least that is what it says on the bezel.

However, the Omega drivers report it as an x1400:

http://www.villamil.org/images/ati_info/ATI_info.jpg

I understand that the X1700 and the FireGL card are basically the same, identification depends on the driver? Note how the info display shows 512MB RAM, which is typical of the FireGL card...

Running at 1680 x 1050 I get 132 Furmarks, which seems rather slow.

Perhaps I have an X1400 instead of the X1700/FireGL 5250? In which case Lenovo owes me an explanation...

[Edit] I think I am beginning to understand what happened... this machine was sent back to Lenovo for repair, and the system board was replaced. I suspect that the FireGL card was replaced with an X1400...

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#17 Post by ajkula66 » Sat Jul 05, 2008 11:04 pm

What's the 7-character model number of your T60/p?
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#18 Post by gpvillamil » Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:28 am

ajkula66 wrote:What's the 7-character model number of your T60/p?
8743CTO

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#19 Post by ajkula66 » Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:53 am

That's not getting me very far...go to the warranty page, pull your machine and then "parts that originally shipped with your system" to see what motherboard was in there to begin with...
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#20 Post by gpvillamil » Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:01 am

ajkula66 wrote:That's not getting me very far...go to the warranty page, pull your machine and then "parts that originally shipped with your system" to see what motherboard was in there to begin with...
Here you go:

http://www.villamil.org/images/t60p-as-shipped.jpg

Claims to have shipped with a FireGL 5250 - yet performance and system information show an X1400. Like I said, this system was sent in for repairs and the system board replaced - I believe they may have made a mistake.

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#21 Post by ajkula66 » Mon Jul 07, 2008 7:04 am

You shouldn't have your serial out in the open...

Call Lenovo and get them to put the correct motherboard in your machine.

Good luck.
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