Mozilla, stop fucking up hardware acceleration in Firefox

Ok, now I have enough of this god damn bullshit with Firefox.

If you are one of those people who has a certain laptop and it isn’t particularly fast, but it was fast enough for browsing, watching videos and using Youtube, but then, all of a sudden, videos in Youtube became unplayable at basically any resolution, making your device pretty much useless for entertainment on the Youtube front.

And we can thank Mozilla for that. Yeah, you fuckers at Mozilla intentionally block hardware hardware acceleration in Firefox on certain graphic cards (GPU) for “safety”. Well, I never had any god damn problem with Firefox or Youtube on my AMD E-450 APU until you fucks started interfering. It always worked perfectly smoothly without a single crash, lockup or anything. But then you fuckers decided to just nonchalantly block my GPU acceleration without any god damn fucking way of disabling fucking retarded GPU blocklist, making laptop pretty much useless for Youtube since it’s all lagging like shit.

But behold, if I play any 1080p video in Windows media players or if I open Microsoft Edge, surf to Youtube and play same videos, they run absolutely perfectly smooth on same god damn motherfucking GPU. No crashes or lockups, just absolutely smooth 1080p video. Even at 60fps! Where in Firefox, it’s fucking lagging and stalling like garbage even on 480p videos. Go fuck yourself Mozilla.

I actually wouldn’t even care if there was at least an easy switch to bypass GPU blocklist thing via about:config. Nooooooooooo, Mozilla had to fucking hardcode this shit into the browser so you can’t do ANYTHING about it. There is some spoofing shit via BAT file, but I just can’t be bothered fiddling with that nonsense…

What the fuck would it cost you Mozilla to allow users to easily disable this GPU blocklist shit eh? If I disable it on my own and there are problems, I’ll fucking know it was because of this, I’m not gonna trash Firefox online for crashing (but I am now for fucking up with my HW acceleration). I’ll know it was that what caused the problems. But you don’t even give me the chance to fucking try it. Maybe it would fucking work fine like it did before. But you just blocked it and never gave any fucks about it afterwards because “reasons”.

It’s stupid, it’s retarded and you all know it. Stop fucking around with my browser and give me back my god damn hardware acceleration. I’ll then decide whether it has problems or not, because I am the one who has the GPU in question in front of me, I very much doubt Mozilla actually tests every god damn GPU out there for this retarded blocklist. They just hear “it has problems” from someone and then they run like little fuckers to block it quickly to protect poor users. Well, I don’t need fucking “protection”, I need hardware acceleration that I had and you took it away from me.

You can have the GPU blocklist enabled by default for all the normies who don’t know any better, but for us advanced users, just give us easy setting in about:config advanced settings to disable this GPU blocklist bullshit and I’ll be happy. And trust me, I wouldn’t be the only one…

Watch Youtube/Twitch smoothly on very low end systems

So, I’ve been dealing with this issue for a while as Youtube performance has dramatically deteriorated over the years on my old AMD E-450 APU based laptop.

The thing is, only place where video acceleration doesn’t work well at all is in 3rd party browsers. Firefox, Chrome or Opera, they all run Youtube really badly, but if I fire up high bit rate 1080p video in MPC HC, it plays absolutely smoothly. I couldn’t get it to play smoothly for like 2-3 years now inside browsers. Luckily, there are few solutions I figured out recently and I’ll talk about them here so you guys can watch Youtube smoothly again even on your otherwise already obsolete systems. Why waste money on new devices when few simple tricks can give them back the power to serve you 🙂

Windows 8.1 and 10 Apps for Youtube/Twitch

While I generally don’t like the UWP (Universal Windows Platform) system as anything useful or positive globally (especially how it borks up games), but it has few useful specific apps. Specifically in this case, apps for Youtube which seem to run Youtube HD videos beautifully smooth on really crappy old hardware.

Youtube Windows 8.1 and 10 apps on Windows Store that I’ve tested and really like:

  • Hyper for Youtube
  • ProTube
  • PerfectTube

They all work a bit differently with different interface and functionality experience so try them out and see which one you like the most.

Twitch Windows 8.1 and 10 app on Windows Store that I’ve tested and really like:

  • MyTwitch

This one I also really like. Plays Twitch streams smoothly on same low end notebook and it’s actually so convenient I prefer it over browser for Twitch streams even on my desktop PC which has enough grunt to run several 4K streams at once without taking a sweat. It’s just so fast and straight to the point.

Play Youtube videos in external media player

Other way to achieve smooth Youtube playback without sacrificing convenience of viewing it easily via browser is by using certain browser add-ons and 3rd party programs. This method especially applies to Windows 7 or even Vista systems since you don’t have any Windows 8.1/10 apps to use.

What we need for this?

Install PotPlayer,use default install location so add-on will auto detect its path, making things easier. Then install Firefox or Chrome browser and also install the PotPlayer Youtube Shortcut add-on/extension in your browser.

Go to Youtube, right click on any video thumbnail and select “Open link in PotPlayer”. PotPlayer should open, playing selected Youtube video…

PotPlayer_Youtube.jpg

There are two more things to do…

Hardware Acceleration

Click on that S/W button marked with number 1. It should switch to H/W and you should see the “Use built-in DXVA Video Decoder: On” appearing on top for a short time. Like so…

PotPlayer_HW.jpg

This ensures video is played by a dedicated video acceleration, offloading most of the video decoding on GPU (graphics card processor), freeing up CPU (processor). This means your low end netbook or old laptop will be more responsive during video playback, video itself will play a lot smoother and you’ll experience less generated heat (quieter laptop fan) and longer laptop battery life.

Be aware that H/W (DXVA) mode may not be supported by all devices. If it switches back to S/W by itself, it means your device doesn’t support hardware acceleration of a given resolution or video codec. This may happen with very old Intel integrated graphics or when using resolutions or codecs not accelerated by your GPU.

Video Resolution and Codec

Now that we have fired up H/W acceleration, you may want to click on the menu marked with number 2. Doing so will bring you option to select video quality.

PotPlayer_YTResolution.png

You can experiment how high your GPU may support acceleration.

While testing, my GeForce GTX 980 was able to H/W accelerate 4K video using MP4 AVC codec. Using WebM VP9 switched the mode back to S/W automatically. AMD E-450 APU with integrated graphics in my old laptop on the other hand could only H/W accelerate up to 1080p MP4 AVC, but I was surprised that it was able to smoothly play it at 60 fps (1080p60). Using anything higher and audio started skipping and video stalling since it was running in S/W mode, forcing all the processing on CPU which is too weak for such demanding task.

Preferred resolution and codec should be up to 1920×1080 using MP4 AVC. This should ensure perfectly smooth playback with excellent image quality on most low end devices.

Conclusion

I really don’t understand how it came to this point that hardware acceleration of Youtube in browsers other than Internet Explorer/Edge is total poop these days. I mean, same laptop that played 1080p60 video above with absolute perfection struggles with 480p videos in a browser. Don’t tell me that’s not an absolute joke.

But again, the laptop is around 4-5 years old and it was low end when I bough it. This workaround extended its life for few more years, costing me exactly nothing (other than few minutes to set it all up and figure it out). Yes, it won’t track how much of the video you’ve watched and you’ll kinda break Youtube’s statistics, but really, that’s a small trade off for actually being able to view the content comfortably and without being in constant rage mode because stupid Youtube videos are lagging and stuttering.

New BIOS v3505 released for ASUS Sabertooth X99!

Another BIOS release for Sabertooth X99 motherboard. Wanted to post it two days ago, but I was so invested into overclocking my RAM with new BIOS I totally forgot lol 😀 The changelog is quite hefty this time around 🙂

Changelog:

  • Improve System Performance.
  • Improved DRAM compatibility
  • Fixed TPM issue
  • Add in turn-off function of LED under S3/S4/S5 status.
  • Fixed Samsung device (SM961, printer) issues.

DOWNLOAD

AMD Ryzen post-release thoughts and explanations

amd_ryzen_logo

Ok, I’ve talked about few things regarding AMD Ryzen processors in my last article, I’m going to expand it a bit further with this one, explaining few things that people are concerned over or are raging about, be it justly or unjustly…

Games performance

I kinda forgot about this since Intel was dominating the market for so long, but Youtuber and hardware geek JayZTwoCents reminded me of this. It’s the processor specific optimization of games and why current games perform worse on AMD Ryzen processors even though it clearly has identical IPC (Instructions Per Clock) capability. Partially it’s clock fault because Intel’s quad cores simply come clocked way higher which is favored in games, but mostly, it’s processor specific optimization. Intel pretty much dominated gaming segment for 5 years. That’s eternity in PC segment. And with that, all game studios kinda focused on optimizing games for Intel processors only. Now that AMD is back in the game, things will change again. I don’t expect AMD to dominate the field, but you can be assured they’ll at least get on the same fair level as Intel with upcoming games. Some studios might even optimize current games to better support Ryzen.

Memory (RAM) issues

People complaining about memory issues a lot and complaining how AMD dares to release new platform with such issues, not realizing it’s not AMD’s fault. At least not entirely. Sure, they need to work with motherboard makers to ensure everything is in check with their memory controller inside CPU, but from there on, it’s up to motherboard makers to add RAM profiles, enhance compatibility and deliver all that in form of BIOS updates. Considering AMD Ryzen is an all new architecture with all new memory controller, expecting such monumental release to be problem free is really silly thing to do. When Intel released triple and quad channel boards after years of having dual channels around, they were problematic as well. And they still are today and I know that from first hand experience as I owned both, triple (X58) and now quad channel (X99) setup. With BIOS updates, AMD and motherboard makers will solve compatibility issues when it comes to memory. Also, be aware that if you want absolute compatibility, you have to strictly follow QVL lists provided by board makers. They can only assure rock solid performance and stability with memory modules listed there.

Limited AMD Ryzen overclock capability

I’ve seen quite a lot of people whining how bad AMD overclocks. But all these people are leaving out one super important difference. They are taking overclocking capability of freaking QUAD cores and applying it to EIGHT core processors. That’s not how things work and they never will.

If we look at Intel Core i7 6900k, same core configuration as AMD Ryzen R7 1800X, it also peaks at around 4GHz. Anything over that and you need huge amounts of extra voltage and you’ll also get huge thermal footprint from it because of that. You have to understand it has 4 more physical cores and 8 more threads. This essentially means it’ll require twice as much power and output twice as much heat. It’s not that simple and linear, but for better understanding, that’s what it is. So, you can’t compare a overclocking capability of a freaking quad core to an actual octa core. It would just make no sense.

We can however judge AMD when they release hexa and quad cores. But there is also one more factor. AMD Ryzen was designed on manufacturing process that is called LPP. And LPP stands for Low Power Process. CPU’s designed in such way are bound to be very power efficient, but very stubborn when it comes to high clocks. And that’s the way AMD designed Ryzen. Things may change in the future as they will refine and adapt the manufacturing processes.

Power consumption

I’ve heard about complaints on Amazon about AMD Ryzen power consumption and how it’s clearly not just 95W…

Well, we have to first establish two things. How is TDP (Thermal Design Power) measured and more importantly, where (or more precisely, at which processor clock).

Intel for example measures TDP at processor base clock (which for 6900k is at 3.2GHz). And they measure it as average value and not maximum value. It is yet uncertain how AMD measures it for new Ryzen processors. At least I wasn’t able to find any info on that where Intel clearly states how they measure it on their ARC page.

AMD_Ryzen_Power_Chart.jpg

Now, lets take a look at this chart. I’ll focus on two processors to make an example, measured wattages are at wall socket, so understand that (this is not just CPU; this is power draw for whole system). One is Intel Core i7 6700k, a quad core processor with 8 threads (4c/8t configuration) and the other one is AMD Ryzen R7 1800X. The power draw is almost the same, but R7 1800X features twice as many cores and threads. And it’s not just games where it might depend based on actual cores utilization where games usually use just 4. It’s the same in AIDA64 and Handbrake, which both use 100% of all cores. AMD Ryzen has basically done twice as much work on twice as many cores and still delivered same power consumption at the wall socket. This means, regardless of TDP numbers, it’s a pretty damn efficient CPU. It even draws significantly less power than very similarly configured Core i7 6900k. For the number of cores and threads, Ryzen are pretty damn power efficient processors.

The AMD Ryzen paradox

AMD_Ryzen_Logo.png

Yesterday, me and my cousin were looking at the new AMD Ryzen offerings to see what were the options for his PC build. And what I realized about Ryzen is a bit “shocking”. Well, not quite. There is no denying AMD did great with AMD Ryzen. They really pushed IPC (Instructions Per Clock) capability on par with Intel offerings. A lot of people were skeptical about it, but AMD has in fact delivered. And at what price point! Giving users the compute power of most expensive Intel CPU, the Core i7 6900k at a half the price is an offer that’s very hard to refuse. But if you’re a gamer, things change quite a bit…

The gamer factor

There is just one issue with it and that’s the “gamer” factor. If you’re building a gaming system that will 95% of the time run games and the rest of 5% will be browsing and watching movies, there is an issue with AMD Ryzen offerings. At least as things stand now with only R7 1700 and R7 1800 models being available. And that issue is the raw core clock.

AMD Ryzen, all of the currently available don’t clock above 4GHz. Getting it to 4.1GHz 100% stable overclock is a very good achievement, meaning these CPU’s will never be as good as any higher clocked Intel CPU’s, regardless of core count (unless we venture into Core i3 with 2 cores and 4 threads territory).

If you look at the tests, in every single one of them, 6700k and 7700k have an edge in gaming. A quite significant one. They only have 4 cores and 8 threads, but they come at 4.2GHz and 4.5GHz out of the box when boosting. And most of them overclock to at least 4.5GHz base clock easily. At a current cost of 380€ for the 7700k. R7 1700X goes at only around 4GHz and a price tag of 460€. 80€ difference is quite significant and you’re not even having the most optimal gaming setup if you buy R7 1700X.

The aging X99 becomes an alternative

If you look it it differently, the old Core i7 5820k goes for 450€ and 6800k at 470€ respectively). But you can almost be assured it’ll clock up to 4.5GHz rather easily. Yes, X99 motherboards are a bit more expensive at around 200€ if you look at a bit better ones, but you’ll get a 6 core, 12 threads CPU that also clocks high, meaning you’ll not only beat R7 1700X in gaming, but you’ll also beat 7700k when it comes to compute power because you’ll just have more cores and threads. Meaning you’ll kinda get the best of both worlds, but for the price of R7 1700X.

Buyer recommendation

  • Workstation/compute intensive workloads

If you’re aiming at a capable workstation or a PC meant for everything but gaming, AMD Ryzen CPU’s are a formidable competition. At 460€, R7 1700X will beat everything Intel can offer at the moment unless it’s a highly clock dependent single threaded workload. And with R7 1800X, it beats Intel even in the highest end territory with basically half the cost and same performance. If workstation or compute “cluster” is your target system, AMD Ryzen will shine.

  • Blend of intense gaming and regular high compute intensive workloads

If you’re one of those people who love to play games, but they also do some serious work regularly in terms of video encoding, file compression, software 3D rendering, it might be worth checking old Intel LGA2011v3 parts, 5820k and slightly newer 6800k in particular. With capability to overclock relatively high and offer 6 physical cores and 12 threads, they offer a nice blend of gaming and compute capability for a price of R7 1700X. You kinda get best of both worlds with few tiny compromises.

  • Gaming

As things stand at the moment without the R5 and R3 offerings, if you’re 100% dedicated gamer, going with Core i7 7700k seems to be the only logical decision at the moment. As much as I absolutely love what AMD achieved with AMD Ryzen compared to how bland Bulldozer CPU’s were, it’s just no match for raw core clock offered by 7700k. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll still be very much able to play all games using maximum settings without issues, but you just won’t be getting 100% optimal gaming performance from it. The future of heavily multi-threaded games is still very uncertain so it’s hard to predict how Ryzen R7 CPU’s will fare in the future.

  • Gaming on a budged

If you’re a pure gamer at heart, but you’re wallet doesn’t allow you to go bananas on high performance  PC components, I think waiting for AMD Ryzen R5 and R3 is a good plan. You can read below why I think so.

The future

AMD_Ryzen_Processors_List.png

Now, if we look at the AMD Ryzen list of CPU’s that are still not released, but are planned, the most interesting gamer CPU will in fact not be R7 1700X as initially anticipated, but rather R5 1600X, R5 1400X and to my surprise, even R3 1200X. They are all clocked relatively high, they all come with 4+ physical cores as standard (opposed to Intel Core i3 with only 2 cores) and if there aren’t other limiting factors within the core design, they should be capable of overclocking higher. You’ll be less limited thermally and fewer core CPU’s have always overclocked higher in general. And at those price points, even if I include USD to EUR conversion and VAT, I think they’ll be pretty darn competitive.

In fact, the best looking gaming AMD Ryzen CPU seems to be R5 1400X. Out of all lower end models, it’s clocked the highest, meaning it’ll perform the best in current games and it still comes with 4 cores and 8 threads. It’ll be an affordable pocket rocket.

Verdict

What AMD did with their latest Ryzen CPU is nothing short of amazing. Great CPU for hard to beat price. But there are quite few very significant factors that you have to consider before buying/assembling new system at the moment. At first I also thought we’ll just throw R7 1700X into system for my cousin and call it a day, but in the end, it turned out things aren’t that simple. His configuration will fall into the “Gaming” category above and it’s actually really hard to decide. Should I use R7 1700X and risk high performance decline over time if games don’t go heavy multi-threaded in the near future or should I go with 7700k and risk heavy performance decline if games in fact do go heavy multi-threaded. I actually still don’t have a clear cut answer for this, but think we’re either leaning towards 7700k or waiting for R5 1400X. Which sorts of backs up my findings and explanations above.

 

Computer freezing with black screen on game exit

I’ve first experienced this with game LIMBO and couldn’t figure it out until today when it happened in Tower Wars game again. And the symptoms were too peculiar to be a coincidence.

Symptoms:

When you exit the game, screen remains black. No mouse or keyboard input seems to do anything as no amount of Ctrl+Esc, Alt+Tab, Alt+F4 did anything. If you had music player playing in the background via music player, music will continue playing (meaning system didn’t actually freeze).

Affected devices and games:

  • NVIDIA GeForce graphic card (GTX 980 in my case)
  • LIMBO (tested game)
  • Tower Wars (tested game)

Offending component/setting(s):

FreezingGamesOnExit.png

Solution:

Change the “Preferred refresh rate” from “Highest available” to “Application-controlled” in NVIDIA Control Panel.

The reason I’ve always changed this to “Highest available” was because I have a 144Hz monitor and I want everything to run at such high refresh. Apparently, with games that enforce own refresh rate (which isn’t 144Hz, but 60Hz instead), this somehow conflicts and causes this lockup with black screen.

Twitter, stop the censoring madness!

Twitter is slowly but consistently spiraling down into a dumpster fire it’s apparently meant to be. Their new addition is this garbage…

TwitterCensoringReplies.png

This Tweet was suppose to have 3 replies. Of which I can see NONE. And whole Twitter is riddled with this nonsense now. Yesterday, some guy was asking about one function of a Swiss Army knife and what it is meant for, he apparently got the answer from one of 12 replies of which I could only see his reply. In the end it looked like he was talking to himself… It’s fucking monumentally retarded. Twitter, get your shit together and STOP censoring shit on my behalf. I don’t want some dumb retarded automated system removing tweets/replies because it thinks I’m not suppose to see them for god knows what reason. Stop fucking up the platform, like it’s not bad enough as it is, you have to keep on adding this bullshit and when it breaks everything, they just call it a “glitch”. Fuck off.

Make a god damn per-user censoring system so anyone who wants this nonsense can have it, but leave the rest of us the fuck alone. There is literally nothing that can offend me on Twitter so much that it needs to be entirely removed from my timeline or replies. NOTHING! If I see something I don’t like, I’ll just fucking scroll past it. It’s not a fucking hard concept you know!