5 Replies Latest reply: Apr 8, 2008 3:31 PM by drsailer
Carolyn Dunlea Level 1 (5 points)
First off, I have 1.25 G of memory. I only have about 2 G of hard drive space left, would this be related? I can't see why...

Whenever I want to watch a video file on my computer, I often have to close all other applications (as I usually have many open). But, even when I do that, the video lags OFTEN and/or occasionally freezes for a half a second (which ruins the viewing of the movie). I usually watch on VLC (and I'm pretty sure it's my computer that has a problem, not the software) as Quicktime NEVER works correctly on my computer (don't know why, it's the latest version).
I would think that this would be a memory problem, but everything else is closed!

This is what my activity monitor says right now, while only Firefox and Activity Manager is open:
Free: 47.30 MB
Wired: 128,06 MB
Active: 385.02 MB
Inactive: 717.93 MB
Used: 1.20 GB

I am not sure what this means, what does the "used" mean??? Does this mean I have only .05 GB left to do things?
If someone could help me with this, I would be most appreciative.

Also, I am not sure if this is the correct forum to place this, so if there is a better one, please let me know.

iBook G4 (bought in May 2005), Mac OS X (10.5.2)
  • drsailer Level 4 (1,505 points)

    That does appear to be the problem, having too many items open at once. When your Ram begins to disappear, your computer will start to use the HD for virtual memory. This can really slow performance, especially when doing processor and HD intensive tasks, such as watching a video. Have you tried a fresh reboot before viewing the video? If so, what happens with a clean start?
  • Carolyn Dunlea Level 1 (5 points)
    That is one way I try to improve the videos, however, it is no guarantee. Sometimes when everything else is closed and I have just restarted it, it still is choppy/lags/temporarily freezes. It is a pain, as I would like to have something else open (aka my mail) and I don't think that those two together should take up all my memory... so I am thinking something else is involved too.

    Also, could you explain my chart of RAM to me if possible?
    (Also, I saw that I have 32 MB VRAM, I don't know if that makes a difference for anything)
  • drsailer Level 4 (1,505 points)
    I'll post a link to the memory definitions from my home computer this evening. Your last post made me curious about the videos being played. Do you know what resolution and frame rate they were encoded with? Certain HD videos and higher resolution videos are too much for any iBook to handle.
  • Carolyn Dunlea Level 1 (5 points)

    The size of the videos being played vary. Most of the files of full length movies are around 700 MB. The strange thing is that sometimes they work fine, and other times there is nothing I can do to make them work correctly. I have one that is HD(720p) and it seems to work just as well/bad as the others. But, I would think that if I shrunk the size of the video screen, then the quality of the file at that moment would decrease too, no?
  • drsailer Level 4 (1,505 points)
    Here is the link that I promised in the earlier post:


    Actually, shrinking the video doesn't change the quality. The quality is set, and it might even make playback worse to shrink it, as the computer now has to calculate what to eliminate at the lower resolution. As a guide to the HD video playback, here is a link with the recommended configurations for proper playback:


    I had issues on my iBook playing large format video files. Anything around 640 x 480 or smaller worked well, but any with higher resolutions tended to bog down the machine, especially if other processes were running.