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Why Does AVS Suck so bad?

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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?


  • #2
    Use a low resolution (eg: 320). Also, turn on pixel doubling.

    Quoted directly from the AVS FAQ...
    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:

    A space to talk about everything related to Winamp Advanced Visualization Studio. Look at the pretty lights.... If you have any troubleshooting questions, bugs, or feature requests, submit them to the AVS SUB-Forums instead of this one!

    A space to talk about everything related to Winamp Advanced Visualization Studio. Look at the pretty lights.... If you have any troubleshooting questions, bugs, or feature requests, submit them to the AVS SUB-Forums instead of this one!

    Having trouble with AVS? Need someway to figure it out? Why not ask for some help!
    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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    • #3
      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...



      • #4
        just use Milkdrop
        He uses statistics like a drunk uses lamp-posts: for support, not illumination.


        • #5
          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.



          • #6
            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!
            Jesus loves you [yes, you] so much, he even died for you so that you will not need to die, but live forever


            • #7
              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...

              Last edited by quanta67; 16 December 2003, 10:12.


              • #8
                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.
                .:HyperNation @ winamp:. .:DeviantArt:.
                Thermal is now available for download at DeviantArt.


                • #9
                  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!



                  • #10
                    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.
                    Jesus loves you [yes, you] so much, he even died for you so that you will not need to die, but live forever


                    • #11
                      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
                      Texer Resources

                      Im retarded... err i mean retired!
                      Probably both...


                      • #12
                        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*)....
                        "guilt is the cause of more disauders
                        than history's most obscene marorders" --E. E. Cummings


                        • #13
                          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.



                          • #14
                            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.


                            • #15
                              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.