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iTunes + game performance loss...

By tizerist ยท 31 replies
Jan 14, 2007
  1. hi everyone.

    does anyone know how to get round a performance loss on my my racing game while also listening to my iTunes library?

    perhaps to give the game 90% of the computer power, and iTunes 10%? (or something)

    i've tried minimising iTunes to system tray, and even tried putting the iTunes onto my 10 gb harddrive and the game on my 70 gb harddrive (not sure if i did that correctly though, i stopped short of uninstalling itunes for fear of losing my music) and neither worked.

    any sneaky techniques you guys use?
  2. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Posts: 937

    Dont use itunes to listen to music. Get winamp or a lighter software program and listen to your songs through that.
  3. tizerist

    tizerist TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    you're saying iTunes is too memory intensive compared to other music players?

    how much difference will i be looking at?
  4. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Posts: 937

    Correct. Itunes uses about 256 mb of ram. Win amp only uses about 64 mbs. Also, what other programs are you running? Are you running any virus/firewall programs such as Norton? How much ram do you have
  5. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    We have seen a lot of problems here on TechSpot from people using iTunes.
    Getting rid of it as twite suggests is your best idea.
  6. tizerist

    tizerist TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    i just right-clicked "my computer" > general

    and it says 1gb ram which means itunes is using over 25%?
    (also 666 mhz, which aint good too)

    hmmm, could also turn norton off while i'm playing too i suppose.

    what about downloading an EARLY version of winamp to make it even smoother?
    so whad'ya reckon?
  7. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Posts: 937

    Ok..we found your problem. Get rid of norton, and turn off itunes. Norton is trash and takes up 256 mb. MINIMUM at any given time. Itunes takes up 256 mb. Windows xp takes up 128-256 mbs. And all the other little apps take up around 256 MB. That leaves you with NO memory to utilize when playing games.
  8. tizerist

    tizerist TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    thanks alot.
    i have just disabled norton, but its still in the system tray. (with an 'x')
    i'm not sure if that means its REALLY off or not.
    i'll grab winamp, and be back soon.

    come back please!
  9. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    Before you attempt to either disable or remove Norton you should really follow these instructions.

    Download either the free AVG or Avast antivirus programmes and either the free Zonealarm or Kerio firewall programmes from within this link - https://www.techspot.com/vb/topic58138.html

    Then, disconnect from the net and completely uninstall Symantec/Norton. If you have any problems in uninstalling the programme, take a look at this thread - https://www.techspot.com/vb/topic57112.html

    Once you`ve completely uninstalled Symantec/Norton, reboot your system and install whichever firewall programme you chose, followed by whichever antivirus programme you chose. Reboot your system the required number of times and reconnect to the net. Run the antivirus updates.
  10. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    iTunes shouldn't be using 256 Megs of RAM, shouldn't even be close. But I still wouldn't recommend gaming with it on, especially if you have that slow of a processor.

    You could right click on iTunes in task manager and set its Priority to Below Normal and that may help some.

    For Winamp, I would not recommend installing it with the new interface, I'd install it with the 2.x or old style or whatever its called, but thats personal preference and won't increase gaming performance much if any.
  11. twite

    twite TechSpot Paladin Posts: 937

    Minimum requirements for Itunes is 256 Mbs. Your right, it probably won't take up all 256 Mbs, but it will be close. Also, i said that before i knew he had norton, his main problem.
  12. tizerist

    tizerist TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    okay thanks.

    rik: i will replace norton with those 2 programmes tomorrow then. they're just as good, right?

    SNGX725: couldn't find that function under task manager, if you could tell me how you found the "below normal" priority i will check it out.

    nice one you lot. bed time now.
  13. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    Nope, they are infinately better than that Norton crap!!
  14. Surkitz

    Surkitz TS Rookie Posts: 145

    at no point should you have to not use itunes, memory intensive or not. Its the norton that will slow you down the most. try that first.
  15. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Its the 2nd tab, I don't have a Windows box powered up right now (power outages left and right because of ice storm) but its the 2nd tab in task manager I believe. The one that lists every process running on your computer and what percentage of the CPU they are using. If you right click on a particular program you can set the priority, provided you have administrative rights.
  16. klaw24

    klaw24 TS Rookie Posts: 23

    As everyone else has suggested, get rid of Norton and load some other AV such as Avast or AVG.
    And if u really want to listen to songs while gaming, I wud recommend that u use Winamp instead of iTunes. Also, switch to the classic Winamp skin to further reduce RAM usage.

    Setting the priority to 'Below Normal' will cause the songs to skip and stutter and the sound output will be of a poor quality...
  17. tizerist

    tizerist TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    okay i've replaced norton with AVG and zonealarm.
    also yeah, i was gonna say what klaw24 just said, the songs jump too much in low priority.

    searching for an early winamp now
  18. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,729   +409

    Perhaps, but perhaps not, he'll have to try. And it will do nothing to the playback sound quality itself, you aren't changing the actual file in any way. If it skips it skips, but it doesn't skip AND reduce quality. He can also set the game to above normal. He'll just have to play with things.
  19. tizerist

    tizerist TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    okay i've decided to go with a combination of winamp/AVG/zonealarm.
    it works much better. thanks everyone, you're very knowledgable.

    two things though:
    A) the more mp3's i add to winamp, does it get "heavier"?
    or is it just the player itself?
    B) is there any way to 'lock' high priority/ low priority, because it keeps defaulting when i reload the programme again
  20. klaw24

    klaw24 TS Rookie Posts: 23

    I meant to say that the output might contain crackles, that's all...
  21. shipcreak

    shipcreak TS Rookie

    Ok, there's a lot of inaccuracies in the advice in this thread, so let's clear it up.

    You need to look at where the conflict is. The most likely bottlenecks are as follows:

    - Hard drive speed
    - Memory and pagefile usage
    - Processor usage
    - Competing applications

    iTunes has to stream data from the HDD into memory, and decode it/decompress it before it can be relayed to the audio drivers. This is very processor intensive, and iTunes 7 specifically is known for performance issues in the area of processor usage.

    Your first mistake, in all honesty, is trying to play a highly processor intensive game at the same time as iTunes is doing all the above. Winamp may be lighter than iTunes, but it still has to do the same work essentially.

    And twite, you need to check your facts. iTunes does not use 256MB of memory - that's ridiculous! Have you actually ever fired up iTunes and checked the process tab of your task manager? I guess not, or you would have seen that it uses at most 40MB. This is nowhere near enough to cripple a system. I have a production SQL server database with several millions of rows, 500+ tables and high throughput, and that just about runs to 256MB when stressed out.

    The recommended requirements for iTunes says 256MB in the PC, not just for iTunes. To assume, as twite did, that "it probably won't take up all 256 Mbs, but it will be close" is ludicrous.

    So it's unlikely to be memory, but you're onto something with Norton. Norton will scan any file accessed on your pc. This will include mp3 files. So, if you add "scanning for viruses" to the list of things your pc is doing when you play an mp3, you'll see that Norton can have a big effect on HDD speed and processor usage.

    With that said, virus checking will only be an issue only when the file is accessed. And this will only manifest itself as a delay in starting the track, along with a decrease in the performance of your game. But you'll get this with any virus scanner, and although Norton is quite heavy, it's quite good at finding viruses, so what's your priority?

    One solution could be to play your music, from CD, on a hi-fi system, and let your PC get on with maintaining a hi frame-rate in your game, instead. At least play the music on a lightweight audio app from a second CD drive in your PC (assuming the game needs a disk inserted).

    I hope this clears things up. It's a shame that people make assumptions and don't check their figures before they post "advice" on these forums. They only make themselves look foolish, as to people who do know what they're talking about can spot them a mile away...
  22. tizerist

    tizerist TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    yeah thanks mate.
    i nearly didnt check this thread again.

    i did manage to improve matters quite a bit, but i'm always intersted in ways to get that extra 5% performance.

    i considered a seperate hi-fi, but its a bit drastic to run down to Dixons purely for this issue.

    not too sure what to do regarding pagefile, i will have a butchers.

    any more suggestions welcome.
  23. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    I'm sorry but i have to disagree with that!!

    I have been helping out with malware removal here on TS and find norton to be literally a waste of space and resources!!

    It's crap at finding anything! I have also had it on some pc's that i have personally sorted out, every single one of them, norton said it was clean. I used etrust antivirus, etrust pest patrol, and avg anti-spyware to clean them up and all programs reported over 100 problems on all the pc's.

    My conclusion, after working on 15+ pc's with norton on them and also seeing 200+ hjt logs showing norton that it is absolutely useless at doing anything but slowing a pc down.

    The evidence is damning and overwhelming!!
  24. matt2971

    matt2971 TS Rookie Posts: 28

  25. shipcreak

    shipcreak TS Rookie

    OK fair enough, you got me. I've not actually used Norton myself. I've heard of people with reliability issues, and others who swear by it. I use a combination of Avg, Zonealarm and Spybot myself. If you're categorically stating that Norton is rubbish, then I'll take your word on it. My point was that any virus scanner adds load to your pc in terms of disk, memory and processor usage. If Norton is particularly bad, then try something else, but they're all going to have an impact.

    At the end of the day, if you have a fat useless plumber or a "normal" weight expert plumber in the back of your car, they're both going to affect the handling, but one might do a better job of your new bathroom.
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