[AG-TECH] ddvic

Allan Spale aspale at evl.uic.edu
Sat Mar 23 11:09:41 CST 2002

Here are my answers...

On Fri, 22 Mar 2002, S.Booth wrote:

> I like a number of others have been having trouble with vic windows being
> difficult to move when large numbers of windows are available.

Originally EVL had a Matrox Millennium G100 four video-out card (sorry for
the name mangling...but 1 card supported four monitors).  It worked fine
under Windows NT 4.x, but after upgrading to Windows 2000, it started to
become sluggish.  We updated drivers but that did not seem to resolve the

We then bought 2 Matrox Millennium G450 (400-something, I think) cards
(one AGP, one PCI) and it worked great.  It supported more video windows. 
 The G450 card seems to be the recommended AG video card as far as I know
(please correct me if I am wrong).

> Today I tried to see what I could do about this and came up with some
> interesting results.
> First I installed ddvic-2001-1012.zip into \ag\agapps\bin\vic.exe
> (I think that was the right thing to do)
> Things seemed better but with about 10 medium sized windows things started
> to become sluggish again.
> First odd thing: If I do ctl-alt-del to start the task manager vic stops
> responding and the video streams go blank (the window borders are still
> there but the video has gone. Its ok if you have the task manager running
> before vic starts (I'm using the bridge if that makes any difference)

That happens to me too.  Also, one really nasty thing, if you do not set
the color depth correctly on all monitors, you may have video fine on one
display, but then you may move the video window to the other display and
the window becomes blank.  So, please remember that all displays must have
the same color depth.

The easiest thing to do is restart VIC.  Since it is the display machine,
this is not a big deal (outside of the fact that you have to rearrange
your video windows again) unless of course you have a room full of people.
> Looking at the cpu load the problem occurs with load of about 53% (we have
> a dual cpu display node). If I use task
> manager to set the cpu affinity to
> one of the 2 cpus then things seem to improve !! 
> If I put the affinity back to both cpus the windows become sluggish again.
> This might be a W2k feature, it looks like the OS keeps trying to bounce
> the vic process between the 2 cpus.

The other node operator at EVL, Vikas Chowdhry, told me that muting
unneded video sources on the display machine actually improved how many
video windows you could have visible at one time.  So, if you are really
pressed for performance, mute the unneeded video streams.  There might be
a setting in vic to "mute new sources" or something like that.

> 10 medium sized windows does not seem to be very many so I probably don't
> have the best graphics card drivers installed (can anyone give a
> definative answer on which drivers to use.

I would just get the most recent driver from the video card manufacturer's
web site unless there have been specific complaints against using it.

Best of luck with AG'ing,


> 			Stephen
> ======================================================================
> |epcc| Dr Stephen P Booth             Project Manager           |epcc|
> |epcc| s.booth at epcc.ed.ac.uk          Phone 0131 650 5746       |epcc|
> ======================================================================

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