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Dr. Zhivago

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  1. Actually, the 2GB limit I made mention of was referring to how much memory the 32 Bit versions of Windows Operating Systems can allocate to the OS and to programs. It's 2GB of memory space for the OS, and this is a hard coded limit, and 2GB memory space PER program, regardless of how much memory is actually installed. You can set a /3GB switch in the boot.ini and/or the BCD file to allow programs to access up to 3GB of RAM, but then you're reducing the available memory space to 1GB for the OS. And, since 32 Windows can only address 4GB of memory space, you'll never have access to all 4GB of installed RAM since due to the way memory is allocated and the way drivers are loaded, they reduce the amount of physical RAM that is available to the OS and to programs. If you install a video card that has 2GB of VRAM, that 2GB is subtracted from the 4GB memory space that 32 Bit Windows can address. So, you're shooting yourself in the foot if you want to use high-end video cards and sticking with a 32 Bit version of Windows. Here's 2 articles that detail how this works: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3_GB_barrier http://www.dansdata.com/askdan00015.htm If you want access to ALL the RAM you have installed, you NEED to use a 64 Bit version of Windows. It doesn't hurt performance for 32 bit programs. They can run just fine under 64 bit Windows on modern processors. If you are using an Intel Itamium, you will see a performance reduction for 32 bit processes since that processor can't run 32 bit code natively and has to run it in emulation. But, those processors shouldn't be something that someone would use to build a Watchout system. I hope this clears things up. Dr. Z
  2. I'm monitoring the Display PC. I have local monitors attached to the Display PC's for testing.
  3. Hi Thomas, I just run AMD System Monitor, stretch it out to get a longer trace, then load up Watchout, run some videos, then minimize Watchuot and take a look at the System Monitor history. Since I know only Watchout was running, I can deduce how it was using the system resources. Hope this helps. Dr. Z PS Omar says hi.
  4. As I understand it, Watchout version 4.2 and above is using a MainConcept MPEG4 decoder which is supposed to use multi-threading to decode H.264 encoded videos. Using the AMD System Monitor, I can see that this is not the case in Watchout 5 on some systems I recently built. When playing back certain, large videos with a .mov extension and an H.264 codec, they do not play back smoothly. I can see in the AMD System Monitor, that only 1 Core of the 6 available was doing any real work. It also wasn't pegged at max usage for that core. The same videos rendered using H.264 with .mp4 do play back smoothly. Same frame rate, bit rate, frame size, etc. as the .mov file that does not play properly. Any ideas? System Specs: Gigabyte GA-990XA-UD3 Motherboard AMD Phenom II X6 1100T @3.3GHz - 6 Cores 3.7GHz Turbo Boost 8GB DDR3-1600 Dual Channel RAM AMD HD6870 1GB Video Card w/ 6 Output Capability 2x WD Caviar Black 500GB Lite-On DVDRW Cooler Master Sileo Case w/ 500W PSU Windows 7 64Bit w/ SP1 and all updates, Latest Drivers, etc. Watchout 5 Quicktime 7.7 These are stable boxes that don't have any issues otherwise. It's not a show stopper as there are versions of the videos which do play back properly, I just found it odd that the H.264 Decoder isn't using Multi-Threading. Thanks for reading.
  5. I'd say that any AMD card that is qualified to run up to 6 displays in an Eyefinity array is fine for a 4-6 Display Watchout 5 system. For instance, just about any AMD Radeon 6970 card that supports 6 displays. Just make sure to pair it with a beefy CPU like a 6 Core AMD or Intel processor or a Quad Core i7 Sandy Bridge.
  6. I tend to buy Sapphire cards since that's who makes the reference cards for AMD.
  7. If you want the Windows Operating System to access more than 2GB of RAM or for it have access to ALL 4GB of RAM that you have installed, you need a 64 Bit version of Windows, period. Under 32 Bit Windows, the OS only has access to 2GB of Memory Space regardless of how much memory is installed. 32 bit applications also only have access to 2GB of Memory Space unless set to use the /3GB switch. Even then, they need to be coded to access memory above 2GB. Running 64 bit Windows, each 32 bit application or process will have access to 2GB of Memory Space and that memory will be managed far better in a 64 Bit version of Windows than the 32 bit version. There IS a performance benefit to running 64 Bit Operating Systems even if you're only running 32 Bit applications. Memory is made available and is used much more effectively. At this point in time, over 8 years after the introduction of the first 32/64 Bit mainstream CPU's by AMD and 3 generations of 64 Bit Windows Operating Systems, there just isn't any reason to cling to 32 Bit Windows. If you're having difficulty coding your software to run properly on these platforms, maybe you ought to work on correcting those problems instead of posting stuff like this. Also, it's possible to write software that is fully UAC compliant. Don't get me wrong, I like Watchout. I think it makes really interesting presentations possible. I just feel this post of yours is a bit misleading and factually inaccurate. Peace. Dr. Z
  8. Hi. First post here. I was checking system specs for Version 5. I wanted to comment on the 4GB Memory limits in Microsoft 32 Bit Client Operating systems. Note that Most 32 Bit Server Operating Systems made by MS do not have these same limitations. Modern 32 Bit processors and those processors that use AMD64 extensions can access memory above 4GB through the Physical Address Extension (PAE). So, even though these processors can address this additional memory space and the OS can access it through the use of PAE, Microsoft intentionally limits 32Bit Client OS's to 4GB Maximum due to the inability of hardware manufacturers to write drivers that are stable when addressing memory above the 4GB barrier, among other reasons. What this means is that ALL memory consumed by drivers loading is taken from the upper memory area and that there will always be less than 4GB available to the OS. So, when you install more than 4GB, NONE of it will be used by the hardware or OS. This also means that when you install a video card with 2GB of VRAM, that 2GB is subtracted from the 4GB that is installed on the motherboard and it will also not be available to be used by the OS. Since other drivers also load into memory, this means even less memory is available to the OS. There are may articles about this. Here is one of the best: http://www.geoffchappell.com/viewer.htm?doc=notes/windows/license/memory.htm The article has been updated several times. So, the system in the OP of this thread won't have anywhere near that 6GB of RAM installed available to the OS, let alone 4GB. You can verify this by looking at System Properties. Peace. Dr. Z
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