Old 16th December 2003, 07:24   #1
quanta67
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Why Does AVS Suck so bad?

Hi I have always wondered why AVS seems to run so slowly in full screen mode? AVS looks very cool, but in full screen mode beyond anything more than about 640x480, things slow down to a not very pretty crawl.

I thought maybe one day I would have a computer that was fast enough to run AVS smoothly. But that was about 2 and a half years ago and I am now about 9 PCs on and am currently running an Athlon 3200, 512MB RAM, Radeon 9800XT Graphics card, 340GB HDD and AVS performance still sucks. I no longer believe that it is my system specs that are at fault.

AVS may not be a vital component, but it is a nice thing to have and it adds to the overall package, making Winamp that much more of an enjoyable experience. By comparison, Windows Media 9.0 Visulisations suffer no such lag.

How can I get AVS to run smoothly in full screen mode, or is this simply not possible?

Q
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Old 16th December 2003, 07:38   #2
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Use a low resolution (eg: 320). Also, turn on pixel doubling.

Quoted directly from the AVS FAQ...
Quote:
Question #7: AVS is incredibly slow on my computer! How can I speed it up?

The answer is simple: you can't. AVS only uses your CPU, so having a fast 3D graphics card won't help much. Here are some tips in speeding it up:

- Run in 32-bit mode. This might sound weird, but 32-bit color depth is a lot faster than 16-bit in AVS. This is because everything is calculated at 32-bit internally, so any other mode requires the image to be converted each frame.

- Run in a low resolution. If your video-card doesn't support resolutions like 320x240 or 400x300 at 32-bit, you can use pixel-doubling. This effectively halves the actual resolution (e.g. 640x480 pixel-doubled is the same as 320x240).

- Turn off any other programs or background processes that are running.

For more in-depth discussions on the hardware acceleration issue, check the following topics:

http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?threadid=87279
http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?threadid=70823
http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?threadid=77753
http://forums.winamp.com/showthread.php?threadid=66004
In addition...

Read through THIS THREAD for pointers on AVS usage. Also refer to the AVS FAQ (as I did for you above). Also read the Tips&Tricks in AVS and the Tips & Tricks 2 -- Beginners and Intermediate Only threads for more advice.
_________________________________________

Also, you incorrectly posted in the Winamp Tech Support forum. I will now move this thread to the proper AVS Troubleshooting forum.

Don't email or PM me concerning Winamp. Instead, either start a NEW TOPIC or post a REPLY in the appropriate thread in these forums. This will also benefit others who may have a similar question or problem. But before posting, please first Search the forums and read all FAQs and all Sticky threads.

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Old 16th December 2003, 07:44   #3
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Sorry dude, I didn't know it was the wrong forum. It sounded - still sounds like a technical issue to me...

The effective resolution of AVS is crazy, why wouldn't they use AGP acceleration? That makes no sense at all...

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Old 16th December 2003, 09:26   #4
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just use Milkdrop

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Old 16th December 2003, 09:43   #5
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Well I would I guess, except that it seems to freeze up my computer when I try. Is it any good?

Anyway I still think they should fix AVS, it's stoopid that its been 2 years and they still haven't changed it. I got the full version of Winamp 5, so I was rather hoping they had finally got it right.

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Old 16th December 2003, 10:31   #6
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Quote:
its been 2 years and they still haven't changed it.
What do you mean? the new AVS 2.8 is just a few days old!

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Old 16th December 2003, 10:40   #7
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They still haven't changed the fact that its performance sucks... Are you serious or joking with me here? Its about as plain as night and day that version numbers have changed extensively throughout that period. It was such an obvious thing I never thought it warrented a mention. Sigh... Well there's always one I guess.

Never mind mate... It's still early...

Q

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Old 16th December 2003, 10:43   #8
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It's moved from the tech-forum. These n00bs don't know about the newer AVS versions. And still:

AVS runs on the CPU only. Because of the great variety, it just can't run faster. Accept it, and stop whining.

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Old 16th December 2003, 11:09   #9
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Freaking hell man, just because I have never mentioned it before I'm a n00b. FYI I have been using Winamp from about the start, so if anything I'm an old timer.

I think its fair enough to ask after all this time if anything is likely to change.

Lol and then just because I do I'm suddenly whining. Well I expect you can guess what I think of that comment.

Sigh well if this is just going to degenerate into a 'the n00b knows nothing' thread, then I guess we all might as well forget it. The news is there is no news. Nothing has changed and nothing is likely to change. Yipee!

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Old 16th December 2003, 11:28   #10
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Calm down both.

I was serious.
AVS isn't gonna speed up to 300FPS, simply because there is nothing to improve because AVS isn't hardware-accellerated.
Sotware has just been updated with AVS2.8 and runs sometimes up to 4 times faster. This is quite much for software-only.

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Old 16th December 2003, 12:59   #11
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Variety Variety Variety.

Because AVS has to handle such diverse effects and the user can build so many different presets it really can't be hardware accelerated. Milkdrop can use the gfx card, but do we have to have another milkdrop vs avs discussion? I prefer not The power of AVS is Variety, the power of milkdrop is speed. Just choose one which you like and be happy with it

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Old 16th December 2003, 15:54   #12
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Just because you haven't mentioned it before doesn't mean you're a n00b. However, your complete lack of ANY sort of manners does. You don't walk into a room full of Mac users and start explaining why Mac technology is so inflexible and why they should move over to IBM-compatible machines. It just doesn't work that way.

On a slightly unrelated subject, I think there should be a ban on the next person who tries to incite another Milkdrop vs. AVS war (*cough*james*cough*)....

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Old 16th December 2003, 16:16   #13
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Sorry dude, I wasn't aware you didn't like my manners. I didn't see any point in tip toeing around the subject - after all we're not talking about your wife, we're talking about a piece of software. And if passing some negative but largely fair citicisms about that said piece of software is liable to offend anyones sensibilities, then maybe the offended party should take a good long hard look at their lives and think about making some fairly radical changes.

Call me crazy if you want, but I think you should be able to say that a piece of software sucks (even if it doesn't) without anyone getting upset.

I don't like these long rambling threads I'm afraid, where people try to make you enter into a state of existentialist angst simply for asking what was essentially a very simple question.

I still can't fathom why the AVS author made his software almost entirely software based? It seems a bizarre choice. I think you have to go back to the dark ages, or perhaps even the stone age to find people using computers that were not capable of some form of graphical hardware acceleration.

And if you find that a shocking thing to say, I'm afaraid you may be wasting your time if you are waitng for me to appologise.

Winamp still rocks - and avs still sucks (resources). Go figure. If it was any other application hogging that amound of CPU time, most folks, including most folks here, would no doubt kick up a sh*t storm over it.

But what the hey, its only a little bit of eye candy.

No big loss.

Q
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Old 16th December 2003, 16:53   #14
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You forgot another reason why AVS hasn't been getting much faster: people are making more complicated presets. If you play the same presets that came with good old AVS 2.5, I'm sure they'd run quite fast now.

As to why AVS is software-only: at its time of creation (and now still to a certain extent) 3D cards were dumb machines that could only rasterize triangles. AVS is built on the principle that every component can do what it wants with the image framebuffer.
Most of AVS' effects wouldn't have been possible on 3D hardware. It's also not a good idea to do some part in hardware and some in software, because copying over the image to and from the videocard would slow it down a lot.

Today, AVS could be rewritten to use pixelshaders for the more complicated effects, but this would be a ton of work, and would also shut off a huge part of its user base who don't have access to such hardware (like me).

AVS is a memory hog, and memory operations are still slow. A little math:
a preset with 5 trans effects, at 320x240, 32-bit per pixel at 30 frames per second:


320 * 240 * 4 * 30 * 5 = 46MB/s, which you need to multiply by 2 because the pixels go both to and from the cpu (92MB/s).

Resolution scales with area, so if you go to 640 * 480, this number is multiplied by 4 (total of 368MB/s). Now you're probably wondering why graphics cards don't suffer as much of a penalty when you turn up the resolution. The reason is that most of the work in a 3D card is not drawing pixels, but doing memory fetches. 3D cards can do certain operations (like bi/trilinear filtering) for free because the hardware can be designed specifically for that. A CPU on the other hard is a generic calculating machine that needs time for those operations.
On top of that, usually textures have a fixed size and don't change with resolution: the amount of memory fetches for texturing are the same then (due to caching of texels while drawing) when the resolution goes up.

If you think AVS sucks, you're welcome to try and make your own modular visualiser that offers the same amount of variation, abilities and easy-of-use. It's not an easy job. On top of that, unlike e.g. games or professional 3D apps, there is little or no money to be made by writing a visualiser, so there is no compensation for the huge amount of time that would be needed to complete such a project.

As for your question: "why are you so worked up about me saying AVS sucks": we are a community of AVS enthusiasts who enjoy spending our free time on it. Our responses are quite moderated.

Why don't you go in a popular gaming forum and proclaim in loud sentences that game X sucks? I hope you have your asbestor armor on for all the flaming you'll receive.

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Old 16th December 2003, 17:20   #15
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Also, keep in mind that the only thing in avs as it is now, that could be enhanced with a gpu is pixel shading itself. All of the complicated process that goes into producing each framebuffer would still take just as long.

Sure, its true that with a pixel shader you could handle larger resolutions with less slowdown, but that is all it would do. A code heavy preset with high n'ed superscopes etc would still be quite slow.

After all, AVS doesnt make AVS slow, people with AVS make AVS slow.
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Old 16th December 2003, 17:32   #16
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Actually you're wrong sidd... GPU's can indeed do certain things faster than CPU's, because certain operations (I mentioned bilinear filtering, other examples are blending operations) are pipelined in the hardware. On a CPU, this stuff has to be done using the generic integer operations of the CPU, with separate instructions. On a GPU, there is a circuit in hardware that performs such an operation in one 'go'.

Script code in AVS has almost no effect on preset speed, except for extreme examples (especially after the last update).

I think a completely accelerated version of AVS would indeed be faster (though not as much as to allow 1600x1200 AVS for example) but it would be much more complicated to design and write than the current AVS.

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Old 17th December 2003, 00:08   #17
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Look let me just clarify, AVS is very pretty to look at - otherwise clearly we wouldn't be having this discussion. But it does suck - and in particular it sucks CPU resources. I have seen many bug reports on many forums where users have complained that xyz application regularly hogs 90/100% of CPU resources. They considered it a bug, as did the developers, who in general always made promises to make improvements to the amount of resources their application consumed. (You see I have been around for a while - I know the script).

Now because I am on an 'enthusiasts forum' as you put it, it is no longer the application - or its performance that is at fault, it is in fact me.

I confess I am still not quite sure how that transformation came about.

Nonetheless just because I am on an enthusiasts forum - or indeed any other forum - it is unlikely to have any impact on my willingness or otherwise to speak my mind. As I said, if your sensibilities are offended by anything I have said, perhaps you should examine where your priorities lie.

I am not a software engineer - as you appear to be - so all I know is in the real world - as pretty as AVS certainly does look - it is not very practical for every day use.

I do know though that I like efficient applications that use available resources effectively. Tell me I'm crazy, ungrateful, rude or whatever for saying it, but I think you will find that if you ask, this is what most users want.

Kind regards,

Q
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Old 17th December 2003, 00:31   #18
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"this is what most users want. "

What users want is irrelevant if the project is not achievable within the means available, especially if it's for free.

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Old 17th December 2003, 00:44   #19
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Mmm... That is an attitude you tend to find amongst some of the more elitist Linux distributions too. Users are peasants while developers are Gods - and hey who cares what users want, so long as the developers are happy. I do believe that you will find that this is changing though - as WinAmp 5 is no longer strictly free. Customer's views do matter. We can now buy the right to bitch.

Kind regards,

Q

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Old 17th December 2003, 00:46   #20
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Anyway all this is too long and too involved. This debate isn't going anywhere right?

Why don't we all just leave it alone?. AVS is not so important to me that I need to get into long converstaions, or put up with insults over it. It simply isn't worth it.

Q

Last edited by quanta67; 17th December 2003 at 02:14.
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Old 17th December 2003, 03:17   #21
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And after you have just stated the fact that your whole arguement was USELESS, I will now applaude you...
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Old 17th December 2003, 03:28   #22
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"Users are peasants while developers are Gods - and hey who cares what users want, so long as the developers are happy"

I think I proved with enough words that hardware accelerated AVS would be out of the reach of the current project. I never said "users are irrelevant", I said "what users want is irrelevant if their wishes aren't realistic".

Maybe it's a far-fetched example but suppose you go to the company that made your vacuum-cleaner and said "I want a machine that can vacuum my entire house automatically". The technology is certainly available, and you wouldn't be the only person who would love such a device.
The only problem is feasability: a completely automated vacuum cleaner would cost a lot of money to develop, would require a team of specialists in robotics and artificial intelligence, and would cost several orders of magnitude more money than your current cleaner.

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Old 17th December 2003, 03:57   #23
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@UnConeD, at least to an exetent you have managed to remain semi-rational. Thanks for that. I understand your position. I was simply expressing my surprise that the original developers had adopted this path to begin with. I understand also through a lot of what you have said that they could have made things easier for themselves (and everyone else too) had they adopted a slightly different strategy.

What you are saying is that it is too late to change it now - and as such the developers are unlikely to do so. Fair enough, problem solved. I just won't use it. Indeed I can't use it as I run a small network of about 6 machines all of which give their spare CPU cycles to Folding@home. I think this is a far more effective usage of CPU cycles than any visualisation program ever could be. In any case, even though I have never encountered milkdrop before today, I can quite happly run it, Winamp and FAH together without any really noticable drain on resources.

And @UIUC85, oh come on... just take a break and shut up for a second why don't you? I only asked if it was possible to run AVS any faster than is currently the case. I never expected I would have a bunch of fanatics jump on my case and accuse me of disrespecting the developers and of being a rapist and a child molester because of it. I mean get a grip why not? Its only a software appliaction that draws pretty pictures - it's not exactly life and death now is it?

Anyway what I said was it was pointless to go on arguing and getting nowhere. Which it exactly where we are at at this time. If you want to continue on with getting nowhere, feel free.

Kind regards,

Q
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Old 17th December 2003, 09:46   #24
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I've seen a lot of offensive people go through this board - I myself being one of them - but you're quickly becoming the worst, quanta. Look at it this way: do you walk up to your boss, ask him why he's such a shitty manager, then expect to get a raise? If you've never tried it I suggest you do so and see what happens. Maybe that'll knock some fucking sense in you by the next time you decide to grace us with your (lack of) wisdom and intelligence.

And just in case your question hasn't been answered yet, I'd just like to ask, DO YOU THINK WE'RE IDIOTS? Do you think that we haven't already asked the developers (well developer, justin is the only one working on avs right now afaik - all the more reason you should stop whining) about something as blatantly obvious as hardware acceleration support? After all, as I believe you've pointed out, it's been years.
But OBVIOUSLY nobody's brought it up with him yet since it hasn't been fixed yet, right?

Bite me.

If it had been something small - like a bug that you just came across after a couple months of use - then it'd be understandable. This is not a small bug. This is a major issue with AVS and has been for quite some time, as a simple two minute forum search would have revealed.
What should also be fairly apparent - and for some reason is, obviously, not - is the complete and total lack of complaints about the matter in the last...help me out here, year or so? Excepting the occasional nub like yourselef, there are no threads on the subject. This tells the rest of us two things: 1) the community is perfectly happy with the lack of hardware support, and 2) the developer ALREADY KNOWS ABOUT IT. I don't thing that requires much further explanation.
Lastly, don't fucking expect hardware acceleration to appear before your eyes overnight. There's more important things on the list. Justin isn't going to change his mind about adding in array support and bettering what's currently there - e.g. the evallib - just because one extra person asked him to. Let alone just because one person came up, insulted his years of hard work, and then started to tell him how to rewrite it.


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Old 17th December 2003, 14:27   #25
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Look have you thought about the fact that there is a whole community here who is perfectly happy with avs how it is?

having a 1024*768 resoultion isnt at all necessary for an app like avs. Sure it would be nice, but its not vital.

How bout this: download some decent avs packs, such as this one, set your res to about 400*300 or so, put it on random,
go fullscreen, and sit back for a while at try to understand why we dont complain.
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Old 17th December 2003, 16:19   #26
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@Atero, man your a dumbass. Who ever insulted Justin or AVS? All I said was it seemed to run fairly slowly and asked if there was a way to get it to run any faster? Nor did I 'instruct' him to rewrite AVS. All I did is express my suprise that he had not used any hardware acceleration to begin with. Look I am not going to get into a long drawn out argument with you over a piece of software that draws pretty pictures. I have better things to do.

As for being rude, at least I have made some attempts to remain rational and civil - where you have decended into a frenzy of foul mouthed insults, lies and inventions about things I am supposed to have said. Please point out in my text where I have said ANY of the things you claim I have?

I asked three questions, why does AVS run so slow, why didn't Justin use any hardware acceleration when he made it - and are there any plans to make it run faster in the future...

I think you may seriouly be on some mind bending drugs if you think they are unreasonable or insulting questions to ask.

Given that (through a lot of shouting) you and most other guys here have said that AVS does suffer from exactly these technical limitations, I think they were very reasonable questions to ask.

So although it looks pretty - it doesn't run very fast and there are no plans to change that in the forseeable future. Ok fair enough - as I said I just won't use it. Problem solved. I can't for the life of me work out what you are getting so worked up about.

I'm sorry I didn't read all your post/rant I got into about the fourth line of insults and swearing and gave up. So if I missed any valid point you made I am sorry. (Although I doubt there probably were any). As I said I don't have time to argue over something so utterly trivial.

Anyhoo, I guess you will have some other stuff you want to shout about. You certainly seem like that sort of person. Again i'm sorry if I don't always read it all - but unfortunely as I said, I have a low BS threshhold. After a while, it all just washes over my head.

Q
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Old 17th December 2003, 17:37   #27
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Yeah, do you even understand the amount of complex math that goes into making these things?
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Old 17th December 2003, 17:42   #28
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look, if you havnt noticed, some of us have been more than rational. Even helpful, in fact.

However, the reason why you are being shafted so, is because you are asking a question that has been answered countless times before, and you are apparantly ignoring all the useful replies, and choosing to listen only to the people who attack you. You were very lucky to be granted a more than adequate responce from nunzio. And then from UnConeD.

More than that, you backhand everyone that attacks you, yet you have been giving more than your fair share of inciting remarks. Even to people like rattaplan and nunzio who make completly honest and apt responces to your questions.

I think when you have the whole world and two moderators against you, its high time you at least step down a bit.

Im pretty sure all your questions have been answered now, if not, please elaborate. And, next time, just save the arguements, and do a forum search first.

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Old 17th December 2003, 18:39   #29
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Lol dude, I will fight on if that is what it takes - and yes my question was answered a long time ago. But since there there has only been a torrent of abuse. There isn't much else I can do about that, other than give back as good as I get.

Anyway I think this is possibly the third or fouth time I have said this now. This problem is solved. AVS is slow because it is software based. The developer for reasons known only to him chose to employ no hardware accelearation at all - which although it may not have made a vast difference to the visual effect, could have at least eased some elements of it with regard to the resources it consumes. Moreover we cannot expect any changes, either now or in the forseeable future.

Erm... Yup, I got that. And as I said I just won't use it then. No more problem.

Like I said, it's just a piece of software that draws pretty pictures. It's not at all vital for me to use.

Q
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Old 17th December 2003, 18:48   #30
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hey dude, stop fightning loosing battle, just STOP posting here, you will NEVER have the last finishing word here

[edit]
Quote:
The developer for reasons known only to him chose to employ no hardware accelearation at all - which although it may not have made a vast difference to the visual effect, could have at least eased some elements of it with regard to the resources it consumes.
thats correct, AVS has only one (1) developer, why do you think that man, who basicly has made winamp, and has shit loads work to do with winamp5, really cares about avs (yes, im noting to Justin...)?
Adding hardware support is just way too much time consuming... even if the graphics card support doesnt give... huge speed improvement but only lowers resource consumance. Thats "kinda" pointless.
We would be happy if avs should be open sourced, thats how avs would have real changes, but that will probably never happen.
reading hole thread 2 time i can say that you dont even read the posts, and you dont even understand terms what are used if explaining 3d acceleration




and dont even start to bitching about my english... i allready know it sucks

Phi = (1+sqrt(5))/2

Last edited by Jaak; 17th December 2003 at 19:14.
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Old 17th December 2003, 19:03   #31
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The developer for reasons known only to him chose to employ no hardware accelearation at all
geez, did you actually read anyone's posts?
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Old 17th December 2003, 19:13   #32
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Well I confess I am reading less them less and less. I have a pretty robust BS filter. I don't get easily put off.

I don't care about the last word. The last word is I don't care. I realy, really just don't care. Got it?

Good stuff...

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Old 17th December 2003, 19:17   #33
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Thank god... now turn off avs, delete file called "avs.dll" and plz... dont show your face here anymore... it only makes ppl angry

peace

bah, im getting angry myself... dont notice that, your welcome here... just dont make this-kind-of-threads

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Old 17th December 2003, 19:34   #34
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Lol... I think it's funny, you peeps get mad at the craziest things. I mean half of Africa is infected with aids. Now that's something to get mad about. But you guys get angry because someone asks a technical question about a pretty, but essentially useless piece of software.

I mean common, you can't blame me for laughing at you.

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Old 17th December 2003, 19:49   #35
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But you guys get angry because someone asks a technical question about a pretty, but essentially useless piece of software.
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Why Does AVS Suck so bad?
Technical question my ass!

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Old 17th December 2003, 19:56   #36
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Suck resources. Read again.

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Old 17th December 2003, 20:08   #37
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and you have answer now, dont you?


postcount++

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Old 17th December 2003, 22:08   #38
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jaak
hey dude, stop fightning loosing battle, just STOP posting here, you will NEVER have the last finishing word here

[edit]

thats correct, AVS has only one (1) developer, why do you think that man, who basicly has made winamp, and has shit loads work to do with winamp5, really cares about avs (yes, im noting to Justin...)?
Adding hardware support is just way too much time consuming... even if the graphics card support doesnt give... huge speed improvement but only lowers resource consumance. Thats "kinda" pointless.
We would be happy if avs should be open sourced, thats how avs would have real changes, but that will probably never happen.
reading hole thread 2 time i can say that you dont even read the posts, and you dont even understand terms what are used if explaining 3d acceleration




and dont even start to bitching about my english... i allready know it sucks
Stop getting so upset over this.. I mean really, I think he is just trying to get his point to the people that don't belive it can be done that it can be done.

I agree that hardware acceleration for AVS can be done. I don't think it would be easy no but it would be worth the time.. it would certainly be more worthwhile to spend time on that then spend time adding in worthless features and optimizations to get AVS to run on a generalized peice of hardware. In most machines there is SOME kind of 3D accelerator on board (you can get a mobo for $65 that has an onboard ati radeon 9400 something) and people are more likely to have an 3d accelerator then a 3ghz cpu. I am sure justin is aware of this but does not feal like doing it.. maybe if he released AVS under the GPL somebody else could take on the task. I would take on the task myself if I had the time to spend on it.. but as a full time senior cs student and part time worker I hardly have time to even sleep.
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Old 17th December 2003, 23:10   #39
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LOL when AVS was first made all those years ago h/w acceleration was not common most if not all the visualizatiuons out there were CPU based so why was this any different.

In fact the first noticable visualization that utiluizated 3d technology (beyond DirectX3 'Geiss' that was not all taht muchg by todays standards) where Tripex (1,2,3) and and rabidhamster series (org, R2, R2/extreme, R4, etc)

Obviously you have no idea about the amount of bitching r2 got for example for having OPengL hardware accelerted stuff as a plugin.

'it runs at 1 fps' etc, etc. Why because 3 years ago people didn't have h/w acceleration by default.

In fact Microsoft were so against the general standard of Hardware Acceleration OpenGL that they did not use it in the OS and still do not for any decent version. (although there DirectX has become more pushed by them but that is another story)


Anyway dispite how faihful the AVS gang are most will agree that a better version of AVS who have to be written from the bottom up and would be 3d h/w acceerated, etc but at the same time it will be difficult/(impossible) to be backwards compatible.

Oh and slagging off AVS as a waste of time, etc type talk is really pointless here. Are you the type of eople to go to a fishing forums and say 'what is the pont of that what a waste of time'...........

"Rules are for the guidance of wisemen and the obedience of fools"

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Old 17th December 2003, 23:19   #40
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You missed the point there cybaix. Development costs time and money. NEITHER of which is available and even so the results of such a project would be minimal and not even worth the expenses. Yeah, it sounds like a great idea, but it just isn't gonna happen. Plain and simplie.
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