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Will a new CPU fix my issue or is this a fault, opinions welcome, logs, pics attached

cpu playback ffmpeg hardware

Best Answer CBers , 05 May 2015 - 03:35 AM

The ffmpeg process will use all available CPU usage to transcode as quick as possible, unless you have throttling enabled.

My Emby Server PC is a Quad-Core Q6600 2.4Ghz with 8Gb ram and I don't have any issues transcoding to my Now TV and Roku boxes. Slight issues with 1080p videos transcoding to Nexus Player and Amazon Fire TV. Go to the full post


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#1 bassistgak OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 03:01 AM

Hi,

Been having issues with playback stutter, testing below. I'm not sure if its time for an upgrade or if this is a fault that can be resolve, read on and you decide.

 

Test has been performed on a complete fresh install of Windows 7 64 bit SP1 with all updates and all drivers up to date. Emby server: Version 3.0.5597.1

 

Using Inerstellar 1080p MKV for test file.

 

When running the file through Emby classic (classic is located on the same PC as the Emby server), CPU resources are barely used and video runs great:

5548676d45d7c_runninginmediabrowserclass

 

when running through web browser on Emby sever, CPU usage spikes with ffmpeg.exe and video stutters.

554867fc9ef7e_inbrowser.png

Video is running at the highest framerate of 30mbs, but ihave tried various framerates and it has no affect.

 

Logs are attached in case this is a fault.

 

PC specs ( dont laugh, this PC has treated me well)

Intel core quad q9400 2.66

8 gig ddr2

Amd radeon hd6450

 

I guesss there are 2 questions here:

1. Since Emby classic runs fine, why does the Emby Browser browser not, or seem resource hungry when playing the video file?

2. Will upgrading my hardware resolve this?

 

Really want to know before i throw money at new hardware. Thanks for you time and opinions in advance.

Attached Files



#2 drashna OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 03:08 AM

The first is using direct access, and the web is not.

That's why the discrepancy.

 

 

And it's not the framerate it's listed, but the speed.

Try a lower setting (like 2-3 mbps) and see if that plays better



#3 bassistgak01 OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 03:17 AM

Thanks for the reply. in your opinion will upgrading my cpu stop the ffpeg engine maxing out resorces? Be intrested to know what kind of performance yourself and others are getting with their cpu's.

Regarding the framerate, are you indicating to change it in the playback/streamings settings in emby server? (Sorry for the noob question, but i'm not following where you want me to try change it).

#4 CBers OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 03:35 AM   Best Answer

The ffmpeg process will use all available CPU usage to transcode as quick as possible, unless you have throttling enabled.

My Emby Server PC is a Quad-Core Q6600 2.4Ghz with 8Gb ram and I don't have any issues transcoding to my Now TV and Roku boxes. Slight issues with 1080p videos transcoding to Nexus Player and Amazon Fire TV.
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#5 bassistgak01 OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 03:41 AM

Aha, thanks! i have throttling on, but i was wondering why it was using all the cpu up. Makes sense. I too have the nexus player, love it! I Can get it to play this file to it but runs full cpu and if i try to skip to far forward on the vid on the nexus it can stop playing some times. Thats why i wad wondering if a faster cpu might fix my issues.

#6 CBers OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 03:59 AM

Each time you FF/RW, the transcoding restarts, so the ffmpeg process will use more CPU.

If you have throttling enabled, then you should only see spikes in CPU usage, rather than longer CPU usage at the beginning.

With throttling disabled, FF/RW within the transcoded file will (should) be quicker,
as it's already been transcoded.

.

Edited by CBers, 05 May 2015 - 04:02 AM.

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#7 bassistgak OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 04:08 AM

Coolio on the FF/REW, that makes sense .

 

I had throttling enabled for the test, and as you see in the performance the CPU usage stays constant, not peaks and troughs. (maybe this is an issue for me?)

I did a test previously and ran it for 5 mins and the CPU usage stayed constant even with throttling on? whats your opinion on that?


Edited by bassistgak, 05 May 2015 - 04:09 AM.


#8 bassistgak OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 05:18 AM

Hey CBers,

 

Just ran another test and saw the peaks and troughs you were talking about! Took a few minutes of high CPU utilization of playback before the cpu usage started doing this but then started working as you stated.

Also saw the new FFMPEG process start and the old one terminate when i fast forwarded. Same thing again, high CPU utliization for the first couple of minutes and then peaks and troughs.

 

Thanks for helping me understand how this all works, and you have helped put my mind to rest regarding a hardware issue.

 

looks like I don't need a new CPU (kind of bitter sweet, as I was going to sell it to my better half that I needed a new PC for the HTPC) ;)


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#9 CBers OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 06:10 AM

No worries.

New faster hardware will always make the Emby experience better :D

#10 nagetech OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 10:48 AM

I am pretty much in the same boat as you! I have a 1U Server with a Quad Xeon and 16GB of Ram. What I decided to do was pickup a second CPU for the server and max the server out to 32GB of Ram. So I'm hoping having 2 x Quad CPU's will help out with the transcoding from the Web. I've noticed when I Get two remote users trying to play something at the same time there seems to be some stuttering and of course that undesirable start/stop affect.



#11 bassistgak OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 03:43 PM

Thanks Nagetech. Can you let me know what kind of performance increase you see.

#12 lulzyatlas OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 10:08 PM

A little bitrate adjusting should get your CPU Usage under control. FFMpeg transcoding is an intensive, yet efficient process, usually able to make due with whatever constraints you give it.

 

For reference, after my Poweredge 1800 blew out on me (a socket plug on the Mobo literally blew a corner of itself clean off, scorching a few circuits in the process (always check your house's wiring after moving)), I've moved my entire setup to an old Compaq running off of an AMD Sempron LE-1300, Single Core, 2.3ghz, 2GB of RAM. Serving 6 clients, 3 wirelessly through a repeater bridge from my Wireless G 54mbps network to their Wireless N (getting Emby and Windows to allow local network communication across different subnets without name resolution was a learning experience), with a large chunk of my media residing on a failing 500gb drive (my BIOS gives me a not so friendly SMART warning on every boot).

 

I've now disallowed transcoding to leave CPU available for other backgrounds, but with all these bottlenecks I was able to sustain 2 transcoding streams at a 3mbps limit (never tried higher, only time I bothered with transcoding was when I couldn't get the Android app to direct stream and 3mbps is crystal clear in the palm of your hand) when I did bother with it. With direct play & direct stream properly working for just about all apps (which reminds me, I need to go open a bug report thread), I've moved over to that and can deliver 1080p DDS without a hiccup.

 

Emby can be a massive resource drain, but a lot of it falls on configuration and library size, other than that it's just a pretty content server at heart and can operate decently in a variety of settings.

 

Although it can seem CPU intensive, from what I've observed one of the biggest bogs Emby faces is file access and packet delivery, tuning your network for the lowest latency possible, and investing in a small SSD drive for all metadata and transcoding temporary files would speed access and browsing up far more than jumping from a mid/high-end CPU to high/higher-end CPU, (as an alternative to this, I've directed all these functions to a Raid 0 of 2 70GB drives (you can't imagine what kind of issues attempting to read 100s of metadata files from a failing 500gb with the occasional 5s+ response time caused (timeouts, timeouts, more timeouts)).

 

So if you guys are seeing poor transcoding with quad cores and 16gb+ ram, something I never saw with 4gb and a 3ghz Xeon (a dinosaur in terms of quad core processing technology), I would look first to bitrate settings (full bitrate 1080p transcoding is going to be a task regardless in most conditions) and after that, network conditions causing buffering chokes, and file access (speed of drives, partition health).


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#13 saitoh183 OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 10:28 PM

Question,

 

I have lots of people that stream off my server at any given time especially the weekends...friends and family. I get some telling e its laggy and sometime ajusting bitrate helps but often i notice that it is the transcoding and 100% CPU that will be causing the issue. Most if not all the users are using Emby connect via web client. So would a SSD(got a spare 64GB Crucial) help get the transcoding done faster? I have throttling enabled and im running a i5-760.

 

Like @lulzyatlas i was going to disable transcoding but i figure that since the access is outside my network. It would be needed. 


Edited by saitoh183, 05 May 2015 - 10:51 PM.

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#14 nagetech OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 10:49 PM

A little bitrate adjusting should get your CPU Usage under control. FFMpeg transcoding is an intensive, yet efficient process, usually able to make due with whatever constraints you give it.

 

For reference, after my Poweredge 1800 blew out on me (a socket plug on the Mobo literally blew a corner of itself clean off, scorching a few circuits in the process (always check your house's wiring after moving)), I've moved my entire setup to an old Compaq running off of an AMD Sempron LE-1300, Single Core, 2.3ghz, 2GB of RAM. Serving 6 clients, 3 wirelessly through a repeater bridge from my Wireless G 54mbps network to their Wireless N (getting Emby and Windows to allow local network communication across different subnets without name resolution was a learning experience), with a large chunk of my media residing on a failing 500gb drive (my BIOS gives me a not so friendly SMART warning on every boot).

 

I've now disallowed transcoding to leave CPU available for other backgrounds, but with all these bottlenecks I was able to sustain 2 transcoding streams at a 3mbps limit (never tried higher, only time I bothered with transcoding was when I couldn't get the Android app to direct stream and 3mbps is crystal clear in the palm of your hand) when I did bother with it. With direct play & direct stream properly working for just about all apps (which reminds me, I need to go open a bug report thread), I've moved over to that and can deliver 1080p DDS without a hiccup.

 

Emby can be a massive resource drain, but a lot of it falls on configuration and library size, other than that it's just a pretty content server at heart and can operate decently in a variety of settings.

 

Although it can seem CPU intensive, from what I've observed one of the biggest bogs Emby faces is file access and packet delivery, tuning your network for the lowest latency possible, and investing in a small SSD drive for all metadata and transcoding temporary files would speed access and browsing up far more than jumping from a mid/high-end CPU to high/higher-end CPU, (as an alternative to this, I've directed all these functions to a Raid 0 of 2 70GB drives (you can't imagine what kind of issues attempting to read 100s of metadata files from a failing 500gb with the occasional 5s+ response time caused (timeouts, timeouts, more timeouts)).

 

So if you guys are seeing poor transcoding with quad cores and 16gb+ ram, something I never saw with 4gb and a 3ghz Xeon (a dinosaur in terms of quad core processing technology), I would look first to bitrate settings (full bitrate 1080p transcoding is going to be a task regardless in most conditions) and after that, network conditions causing buffering chokes, and file access (speed of drives, partition health).

 

Thank you very much for that informative post. In my particular case, my Server 2008 Drive is a SSD Drive and yes Media Browser resides there. All the Metadata is stored within the movie / TV Show folders and is auto managed by Emby itself. Storage wise, I am running 32 Drives on 2 external SAS Expanders controlled via a LSI Mega Raid 888ELP Controller. I have fine tuned all the drives, controller (latest driver and firmware) as well as all pertinent Windows Settings/optimizations (including network).

 

Transcoding is a necessity for me as I have some family members that browse externally. What I have noticed is 2 users are ok, but when that 3rd one shows up, the CPU just pegs out at 100%. I hvae my transcoding settings at Auto and Throttling enabled. The 3rd user has to pause the movie and give it time to buffer. It's definitely not my internet speeds. I have seen the transcoding bar in the dashboard for that final user move very slowly. That is why I feel a second quad xeon to compliment my frist quad xeon will help, and possibly help the original poster. 32GB of Ram I feel is more than enough, but my memory usage never really spikes up to be honest.

 

Emby is an excellent piece of software, and I'm sure as the writers push out more releases it will only get better, faster and more efficient. Frankly I couldn't find any other program like this and that is why I'm proud to be a supporter of this program and a member of this community. Keep up the good work guys! You have resparked my love of my media and playing around with server technology.


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#15 lulzyatlas OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 10:53 PM

@saitoh183, in your case it could go either way depending on what your bottleneck is, based on your description of serving both users inside and outside your network you should note that for users on the outside your ISP's upstream bandwidth, and your router, wiring, and modem's ability to capitalize on it could play a big part.

 

One thing for everyone to note is ffmpeg using 100% CPU without throttling enabled is normal. With throttling enabled, it can still eat up 100% CPU when transcoding to multiple users at once, or transcoding a very high quality file, to a very high quality output. This is almost regardless of CPU speed as even with throttling it attempts to work at a limit proportional to how fast your CPU is itself.

 

An SSD holding the transcoding files could alleviate these issues if the bottleneck ISN'T your CPU or Upstream bandwidth by allowing significantly faster write speeds, which would theoretically allow the server to write out, and simultaneously read the transcoding of files far faster than standard drives.

 

The caveat here is, the bottle neck could be none of the above but also the reading of multiple files by multiple users choking the read speeds of the drive the media is located on (bad partition/aging drive causing slower response times, sheer throughput limits, etc).

 

With you needing transcoding for outside network play, it's safe to assume full direct stream of these files through the native apps is also out of the question for your case so disabling it likely wouldn't help.

 

My most immediate suggestion would be trying a lower bitrate across the board, this is faster for the processor and easier on your upload bandwidth. Before looking towards the SSD to fix transcoding issues, take a look at drive utilization during those moments of heavy playback, if your drive isn't at 100% and peaking it's read/write speeds, the SSD likely won't help much.

 

I'm hesitant to fault the CPU as the i5 is no slack (even though certain Pentiums have been known to outclass it), but depending on how many users you're serving at once, it could possibly be your weak leg.



#16 bassistgak OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 11:06 PM

Thanks Llulzyatlas, Appreciate your input,

 

I am now moving towards getting file syncing setup in Ebmy Server so a MP4 H264 version is available as a direct stream, instead of transcoding.

 

Before looking at my CPU, i did and an entire network check, All Wired in my house is Gigabit and Wireless is AC. Ran internal LAN speed tests and results showed no issue.

Next up i did a fresh install of everything and cleaned all media harddrives, Though Resource monitor has never shown any real issues with Hard drives for me. So at the moment my CPU is so clean you could eat of it. :)

 

Agreed that 3mbps is fine for handhelds, but i'm a looking to run this through to a Nexus player to a 50 inch and the tinkerer in me wants to have unlimited power. ;).

When i was running through the web client direct on my server(no other clients running), I tried various Mbps and still had stuttering issues, though this is not really a biggie for me as i don't use the web client.

 

When I run 40mbps to either my Samsung phone Android App or my Nexus Player as a transcode, the movie runs fine and I can play transcode to both players. The issue that concerns me though is that if i try to fast forward on either of these devices, this can cause the video not to resume and i then usually need to restart the applciation to get it runnung again. Not a biggie for now though as i setup interstellar for a test as a file sync in a MP4 h264 format and could direct play to my Android device, with no CPU usage and FF/rew working a treat. (this would not work direct play to my Nexus player though, which reminds me I need to get some logs and start a new thread for that, as i could chromecast my android  phone playing the MP4 to the nexus and that did it as a direct stream).

cheers


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#17 lulzyatlas OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 11:06 PM

Thank you very much for that informative post. In my particular case, my Server 2008 Drive is a SSD Drive and yes Media Browser resides there. All the Metadata is stored within the movie / TV Show folders and is auto managed by Emby itself. Storage wise, I am running 32 Drives on 2 external SAS Expanders controlled via a LSI Mega Raid 888ELP Controller. I have fine tuned all the drives, controller (latest driver and firmware) as well as all pertinent Windows Settings/optimizations (including network).

 

Transcoding is a necessity for me as I have some family members that browse externally. What I have noticed is 2 users are ok, but when that 3rd one shows up, the CPU just pegs out at 100%. I hvae my transcoding settings at Auto and Throttling enabled. The 3rd user has to pause the movie and give it time to buffer. It's definitely not my internet speeds. I have seen the transcoding bar in the dashboard for that final user move very slowly. That is why I feel a second quad xeon to compliment my frist quad xeon will help, and possibly help the original poster. 32GB of Ram I feel is more than enough, but my memory usage never really spikes up to be honest.

 

Emby is an excellent piece of software, and I'm sure as the writers push out more releases it will only get better, faster and more efficient. Frankly I couldn't find any other program like this and that is why I'm proud to be a supporter of this program and a member of this community. Keep up the good work guys! You have resparked my love of my media and playing around with server technology.

 

No problem, with programs and communities like these, healthy intrauser support is a large part of pushing us forward as a whole, and bringing in others to help us grow. Your setup sounds like a hulking beast. I can't even say I'd move metadata over to the SSD as with 32 different drives, the overall throughput probably matches up if not works out better.

 

With you ruling out disk I/O and network I/O, and 2 users experiencing no issue but that 3rd user having to buffer, another processor should do great for solving your troubles. Though with those kinds of speeds, you should investigate their bitrate settings, 1080p with 5.1 should still remain almost loss-less 15mbps+, and a few number changes could save you the cost of a second processor.

 

If you do go that route, I'd be interested in seeing a stress test of your setup and what it can do before noticeable performance degradation, just for nerdy curiosity because again, those specs sound like a hulk.



#18 saitoh183 OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 11:07 PM

@saitoh183, in your case it could go either way depending on what your bottleneck is, based on your description of serving both users inside and outside your network you should note that for users on the outside your ISP's upstream bandwidth, and your router, wiring, and modem's ability to capitalize on it could play a big part.

 

One thing for everyone to note is ffmpeg using 100% CPU without throttling enabled is normal. With throttling enabled, it can still eat up 100% CPU when transcoding to multiple users at once, or transcoding a very high quality file, to a very high quality output. This is almost regardless of CPU speed as even with throttling it attempts to work at a limit proportional to how fast your CPU is itself.

 

An SSD holding the transcoding files could alleviate these issues if the bottleneck ISN'T your CPU or Upstream bandwidth by allowing significantly faster write speeds, which would theoretically allow the server to write out, and simultaneously read the transcoding of files far faster than standard drives.

 

The caveat here is, the bottle neck could be none of the above but also the reading of multiple files by multiple users choking the read speeds of the drive the media is located on (bad partition/aging drive causing slower response times, sheer throughput limits, etc).

 

With you needing transcoding for outside network play, it's safe to assume full direct stream of these files through the native apps is also out of the question for your case so disabling it likely wouldn't help.

 

My most immediate suggestion would be trying a lower bitrate across the board, this is faster for the processor and easier on your upload bandwidth. Before looking towards the SSD to fix transcoding issues, take a look at drive utilization during those moments of heavy playback, if your drive isn't at 100% and peaking it's read/write speeds, the SSD likely won't help much.

 

I'm hesitant to fault the CPU as the i5 is no slack (even though certain Pentiums have been known to outclass it), but depending on how many users you're serving at once, it could possibly be your weak leg.

 

@lulzyatlas

 

Thanks,

 

I know bandwidth could be the issue but i some time have 3 to 4 streams going(outside network) plus me locally and got no one complaining. Now sometimes within the 3 to 4 streams 1 or 2 are getting direct stream while others are transcoding. I use Drivepool and Scanner from StableBit and i checked the the drive usage and there is very little to none.(right now i have one person streaming and the drive usage is none). All i really notice when people say someting is up, is the ffpmeg (multiple) running the CPU to 100%.. As for my upload, i have a 10Mbit pipe but i dont see it getting maxed out cuz people usually keep there stream to 1/1.5Mbps



#19 nagetech OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 11:12 PM

No problem, with programs and communities like these, healthy intrauser support is a large part of pushing us forward as a whole, and bringing in others to help us grow. Your setup sounds like a hulking beast. I can't even say I'd move metadata over to the SSD as with 32 different drives, the overall throughput probably matches up if not works out better.

 

With you ruling out disk I/O and network I/O, and 2 users experiencing no issue but that 3rd user having to buffer, another processor should do great for solving your troubles. Though with those kinds of speeds, you should investigate their bitrate settings, 1080p with 5.1 should still remain almost loss-less 15mbps+, and a few number changes could save you the cost of a second processor.

 

If you do go that route, I'd be interested in seeing a stress test of your setup and what it can do before noticeable performance degradation, just for nerdy curiosity because again, those specs sound like a hulk.

The Server is acutally pretty affordable and avalible on Ebay. Look up a seller called mrrackables. The SGI half depth server plus 1 expander is about 300$ It's really awesome. The CPU upgade was only 12$.Sure the server is a couple of years old, but she's reliable and fast. ESPECIALLY with the SSD Upgrade I did to it WOW.

 

Forgot to metnion, I am using Drive Bender to manage the hard drives. It is like the WHS Pool feature in Windows Home Server, but made for any other Windows Platform. I've dealt with RAID enough times in my life and the headaches that go with it, I felt that software solution was perfect for me.

 

Maybe we should start a forum where we showcase pictures of our network setups and show pics of our racks / server setups! Just a geeky idea.


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#20 lulzyatlas OFFLINE  

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 11:27 PM

Thanks Llulzyatlas, Appreciate your input,

 

I am now moving towards getting file syncing setup in Ebmy Server so a MP4 H264 version is available as a direct stream, instead of transcoding.

 

Before looking at my CPU, i did and an entire network check, All Wired in my house is Gigabit and Wireless is AC. Ran internal LAN speed tests and results showed no issue.

Next up i did a fresh install of everything and cleaned all media harddrives, Though Resource monitor has never shown any real issues with Hard drives for me. So at the moment my CPU is so clean you could eat of it. :)

 

Agreed that 3mbps is fine for handhelds, but i'm a looking to run this through to a Nexus player to a 50 inch and the tinkerer in me wants to have unlimited power. ;).

When i was running through the web client direct on my server(no other clients running), I tried various Mbps and still had stuttering issues, though this is not really a biggie for me as i don't use the web client.

 

When I run 40mbps to either my Samsung phone Android App or my Nexus Player as a transcode, the movie runs fine and I can play transcode to both players. The issue that concerns me though is that if i try to fast forward on either of these devices, this can cause the video not to resume and i then usually need to restart the applciation to get it runnung again. Not a biggie for now though as i setup interstellar for a test as a file sync in a MP4 h264 format and could direct play to my Android device, with no CPU usage and FF/rew working a treat. (this would not work direct play to my Nexus player though, which reminds me I need to get some logs and start a new thread for that, as i could chromecast my android  phone playing the MP4 to the nexus and that did it as a direct stream).

cheers

No problem, hope it's helpful. I can't speak much on how the Nexus Player handles codecs with the jumble of specs Android has become, but based on it's nature it should be able to direct play almost anything so the 40mbps transcode may just be a needless hurdle. Have you tried playing the file off of USB on the native player to see if the Nexus itself supports it out the box? If it does, your need to transcode may be an issue with the App.

 

Another method to achieving direct playback on both devices would be using an external player (I'd recommend MXPlayer, handles just about anything you throw at it, I'd call it the VLC of mobile).

 

I'm leaning towards direct playback here because what you're describing with FF/RW issues with transcoding is from what I remember, a rather old problem with transcoding itself. What usually happens here is once you leap through the video, if nothing is transcoded for where you're jumping, ffmpeg has to attempt to pickup from where you've landed, build your buffer back up, and carry on the stream from here. With videos coming in so many codecs of so many varieties it can sometimes simply get lost in the file and throw the entire stream off, and thus never resume.

 

Something that might help you work around it for now would be using the skip forward or manually jumping to the time you want to leap to, as small intermittent jumps seem to make it easier for ffmpeg to pick back up and continue. Whereas fastforward would attempt to pull frames in the stream it may not have encoded yet, and rewind would ask it to work in reverse, and transcoding itself is a delicate thing, difficult enough to control going forward at normal speeds. If you were to take a standard definition file and force transcoding on it, then simply leap back and forth through it, you could likely crash the stream without much issue, just by confusing ffmpeg.







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