DVD Shrink rips slower on my new Vista laptop! HALP!
April 16, 2009 8:23 PM   Subscribe

Speeding up DVD Shrink ripping on my laptop?

I bought a new MSI laptop, which is otherwise powerful (Core 2 Duo 2.26 GHz, 4 GB RAM, etc.). But ripping DVDs in DVD Shrink is about 3x as slow as on my old Dell!

How could it change so dramatically? Is this Vista related? I went from XP to Vista.

I tried turning on the "overleaving" or whatever feature in DVD Shrink; didn't help.
posted by wastelands to Computers & Internet (19 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Laptop drives are often slow, and a lot of manufacturers further include a firmware that limits drive ripping speed. You can check and see if an alternate (read: unsupported, possibly buggy, but probably faster and in all likelihood OK) firmware for your drive is available at www.rpc1.org. If DVD Shrink is noticeably slower on some discs/PGCs than others, then it's possibly choking on structural protections it can't remove.

Are you using DVD Shrink's recompression feature or not?
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:26 PM on April 16, 2009

Response by poster: Inspector.Gadget, thanks. I don't think it's a copy protection issue, because I've observed it across multiple discs now, plus these are older DVDs, not likely to have the new-fangled protections.

I will poke around that website.
posted by wastelands at 8:28 PM on April 16, 2009

Response by poster: Oops. No, I am not recompressing anything. I am ripping straight to uncompressed .ISO.

Also I tried turning off the "run in low priority mode". No luck.
posted by wastelands at 8:30 PM on April 16, 2009

Response by poster: It is an Optiarc drive, whatever that means. Probably a cheap offbrand? www.rpc1.org has Sony drivers for it.
posted by wastelands at 8:34 PM on April 16, 2009

Response by poster: Nope, that didn't work. The .exe I got off of RPC1.org ran, but wouldn't apply the new firmware.
posted by wastelands at 8:49 PM on April 16, 2009

It's common for laptops to share RAM between the CPUs and the display chip, with the display chip having priority. So compute performance can suffer quite badly because the CPUs spend a lot of time tossing wait states while the display uses the RAM.

Unless your laptop specifically says that it contains dedicated display RAM, it's doing this, and it means that your 2.26G processors aren't really running full speed.

If your old Dell had dedicated display RAM, then even if its processor was slower it might well have been able to process faster.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:55 PM on April 16, 2009

Best answer: Yeah, RPC1 firmware flashing will require some research on your part, as it's a very mixed bag. Here's what I would try, to narrow down possible issues:

1) You've turned off recompression, so that's not killing your speed.

2) Try some of the same DVDs with DVDFab Decrypter (now integrated into DVDFab; it's trialware, but the decryption feature remains free) or Slysoft AnyDVD (payware, should be last resort). If they're faster than DVD Shrink, it's probably a structural protection (blank cells) issue.

3) Grab Nero's DriveInfo tool and find out what the maximum read speed for DVDs is on your drive. If it's roughly in line with what you're seeing, then it's a hardware thing.

4) If indeed it is a hardware limitation, consider buying a cheapo fast drive off Newegg or somewhere and use that OR, if you don't need ISO format, consider using DVD Decrypter (NOT DVDFab Decrypter) to rip only the program chains you need; this should save you some time.

I'm only able to rip DVDs at about 3X on a laptop Blu-ray drive (which has a much faster read rate by necessity) because of rip-locked firmware, and with newer drives there may not be patched firmware yet available.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 9:01 PM on April 16, 2009

Right-click "my computer" and click properties. Scroll down about half way and click "Windows Experience Rating".

That'll give you a rough benchmark on your system performance. I've got a laptop from ASUS with dual 2.4G Core 2 Duo, an NVidia display chip, and 256M of dedicated display RAM. My numbers:

Processor 5.3
RAM 4.8
Graphics 5.9
gaming graphics 5.5
Disk 5.3

By the way, I'm running Vista, and I don't have any trouble doing DVD rips at all. I don't think Vista is your problem.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:04 PM on April 16, 2009

Silly question, but when you are converting, you are turning off the preview video, right?

My thought is, try ripping a CD using WMP and see if that is slower too. And, like Inspector.Gadget says, try other software like DVDFab. If it's still slow, could be you just need to replace your DVD drive.
posted by jabberjaw at 9:36 PM on April 16, 2009

Response by poster: Chocolate Pickle, I have a 9600m GT w/512 MB of dedicated DDR3 RAM. :-)

Proc: 5.2
RAM: 5.9
Graphics: 5.9
Gaming: 5.6
Disk: 5.8
posted by wastelands at 9:40 PM on April 16, 2009

Response by poster: Inspector.Gadget, thanks for the additional tips. I am grabbing the Nero tool now.

jabberjaw, preview off vs. on makes no difference for me. (And never did on my Dell.)
posted by wastelands at 9:42 PM on April 16, 2009

Best answer: Okay, I think I (well, Inspector.Gadget, actually) figured it out: DVD-ROM read speed is only 4x, whereas I believe my old drives were 16x. I had something along the lines of this, which has 16x: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118019

Sooo, I am SOL. Unless I want to mess with firmware and maybe it can unlock to higher speeds.

Hmm, I wonder if investing in an external DVD drive and plugging it in via USB or Firewire is worthwhile?
posted by wastelands at 9:50 PM on April 16, 2009

I wonder if investing in an external DVD drive and plugging it in via USB or Firewire is worthwhile?

Most definitely. Firewire is great for this, at least on OS-X. Replacing an optical drive is generally a PITA with a laptop so I use an external DVD-R for all my ripping and burning.
posted by mrt at 10:00 PM on April 16, 2009

^ (to save wear and tear)
posted by mrt at 10:01 PM on April 16, 2009

Response by poster: mrt, I notice that external DVD drives are anywhere from $65 to $99 on NewEgg. Not as cheap as I'd like. Meh, I might just live with the slow rips. I don't know if I want another drive and another cable or two on my desk.
posted by wastelands at 10:28 PM on April 16, 2009

Do you have DMA enabled on the drive? If it's running in PIO mode, it's (if I recall correctly) relying on your CPU, while DMA relies on the memory. DMA is much faster.
posted by Solomon at 11:23 PM on April 16, 2009

You can buy an external DVD burner for around $20 and an USB enclosure for around that much.
posted by wongcorgi at 11:48 PM on April 16, 2009

Response by poster: Solomon, I looked at properties for my SATA controller and the DVD drive, but there's no way to enable DMA that I can see.
posted by wastelands at 7:22 AM on April 17, 2009

DVDShrink didn't like working on Vista-64 for me, so I switched to DVDDecrypter + Handbrake (both free).
posted by coolguymichael at 12:26 PM on April 17, 2009

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