25 cams on i5 3.3Ghz 15GB RAM - system at absolute limit. How do I get more capacity out of it without replacing it with new?

agurkas

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I have BI (5) running on Dell OptiPlex 3020 i5-4590 (3.3 GHz) with 16GB of RAM and my recording drive is SSD and archive drive is on NAS. It has built-in Intel 4600 graphics
25 cams, most are 2MP Starlights, most are running 15FPS, most are on 3 second pre-trigger and only on motion recording. All cams setup to run with Sentry Smart Alerts.

The moment I go to view the cams, maximize the window and un-pause live view, I go from ~54% CPU, all the way to 87% or so. Now if couple cams get triggered in the meantime or I have to watch a recording, I can easily lock up the system, since CPU jumps to complete utilization.

So question is, would installing new video card work to offload CPU and drop all that on GPU? Trying to not spend $600 on a new system and trying to see if there is cheaper way to squeeze out more life out of this system and possibly have room for 3-5 more cams.
 

TonyR

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If your "recording drive is SSD" (and meaning that the video clips are stored on the SSD) one of the best things you can do is to do a fresh install of Windows 10 on the SSD and have nothing but Win 10, the Blue Iris program and Blue Iris' db folder on the SSD, all video clips on a surveillance-rated HDD (like WD Purple) or NAS.

Also, insure you have done this Optimizing Blue Iris' CPU Usage
 

agurkas

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System drive is on SSD. It was one of the 1st things I did. And yes, I have gone through that guide bunch of times. Likely squeezed out a lot out of that system. 25 cams is a lot, especially when 6 of them face somewhat busy street
 

agurkas

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System resides on the same SSD as where the new videos are being recorded to (which are moved to NAS after 5 days).
Cams range from 600kb (older ones not Starlight) to 1200 for starlight ones. If I say 1000 averaged across all cams, since some are running at 5FPS (view only) and some at 10FPS (interior record). Exterior ones are all 15FPS.
 

agurkas

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That one is not hard solution. I can just record it on drive encolsure I have connected to the system (via USB3), that has stack of SSDs in it. So maybe that will net me couple %. But moment I add 5 more cams, how will that work?
 

agurkas

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Looks like right now (found the window with info) system is handling 15000 kB/s and 730 MP/s
 

SouthernYankee

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1) are you continuous record/ direct to disk or on motion only ?
2) are you running h.264 or h.265 ?
3) what are your combine and cut video values.
4) is limit decoding checked ?
5) How many cameras are using motion recording ?

Provide a screen shot of the window task manager process tab, include the GPU and GPU columns, sorted by memory usage, most at top.
Provide a screen shot of the BI status clip storage tab
Provide a screen shot of the BI status cameras tab
 
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Unless you've missed an optimization, simplest fix would be to buy & install a used/working i7-4770k or i7-4790 in your existing computer. Check your motherboard list support for it it, but they should be pin for pin replacement for your existing CPU. All other things remaining equal, it should give you some additional CPU overhead which seems like it might be the current bottleneck and cheaper than a new computer or a decent graphics card. You could probably get one for under $100, but you are paying for 5+ year old technology to delay an upgrade. Please recognize you are only delaying an upgrade.

In some of the previous tests, a very nice graphics card drastically increases power draw for modest improvement in performance. The reason I think that would be a bad approach is 1) dramatic increase in power consumption adds up in your utility cost, and 2) a very nice graphics card is going to be $400-$800.
 

Mayhym

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Upgrading very old prebuilt PCs tends to become sunk cost fallacy.

Make sure you download the newest bios updates before upgrading your processor.

You could just buy another Dell OptiPlex 3020 i5-4590 ($130) for the same price of a used i7-4790 ($115) and another version of BI puts you at $200. Buying a modern video card that would be useful 2 years from now costs at minimum of $230 (GTX 1660 super is the best price to performance) and will probably provide some headroom. Before buying a video card check the systems power supply output, probably around 220w-300w and make sure to buy a video card that isn't too power hungry. Most GPU's will pull 120w minimum and the max load of the current system is probably around 55w. Power supplies lose efficiency at about 80% of their rating, so a GPU that requires alot of power can work your power supply to death. A 2019 AMD system with onboard graphics (3400g) can be built for just under $600.

 
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agurkas

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1) are you continuous record/ direct to disk or on motion only ?
2) are you running h.264 or h.265 ?
3) what are your combine and cut video values.
4) is limit decoding checked ?
5) How many cameras are using motion recording ?

Provide a screen shot of the window task manager process tab, include the GPU and GPU columns, sorted by memory usage, most at top.
Provide a screen shot of the BI status clip storage tab
Provide a screen shot of the BI status cameras tab
1. Direct to disk on motion only native BI codec
2. H264, since no hardware acceleration support for H265
3. I do not use combine or cut. Each video of an event is separate.
4. Limit decoding is only checked on cams that cover areas where it takes object 5+ seconds to cross field of view, hence more time to detect. Cams with a lot more motion do not have limit decoding enabled.
5. 19 are using motion recording

I have tweaked down some of the quality settings in the cams themselves to get the kB/s down.
Screenshot of taskmanager/resources is of "resting state" - no triggers, nothing recording, just window open and live view limited to 5FPS

TBH, now that I found my invoice for what I paid to Dell refurb for this in '16, I should be happy with my ROI. $315 shipped what I paid for it.
 

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SouthernYankee

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Put all cameras at 15 FPS or less. Your are running a surveillance system, not a Hollywood movie. More that 15 FPS in not needed in a motion only system.
There is no need to cover your local IP address in a screen shot, it is not a security problem.
I would use the combine or cut, you are creating additional work for BI cleaning up all the small files, You are creating additional work for windows creating the files. I would use a combine or 1 Hour and 1gb.
The camera screen shot is not complete, you cut off the totals at the bottom of the frame.


Provide a screen shot of the window task manager process tab, include the GPU and GPU engine columns, sorted by memory usage, most at top.
Provide a screen shot of the BI status clip storage tab
Provide a screen shot of the BI status cameras tab
 
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New should go straight *to a local spinning disk* imho.
you mention the moment you VIEW the cams the CPU goes nuts, are you viewing via VNC?, because I believe it is a known issue that VNC is CPU intensive.
 
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agurkas

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New should go straight *to a local spinning disk* imho.
you mention the moment you VIEW the cams the CPU goes nuts, are you viewing via VNC?, because I believe it is a known issue that VNC is CPU intensive.
I use Remote Desktop only
 

bp2008

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@agurkas

Since you are already using Intel hardware acceleration on all your cams and you are nowhere near 100% Intel Video Decode usage, there is no reason to buy an Nvidia GPU capable of hardware acceleration.

My advice:

1) Enable Limit Decoding on more cams.
2) Reduce frame rates further (not necessary on cams with limit decoding enabled). Also keep in mind the 4K cam is about equivalent to four 2MP cams in terms of its CPU usage.
3) If you want to reduce CPU usage caused by the Blue Iris GUI:
* Run it at a lower resolution
* Limit the live preview frame rate more strictly
* Plug the display into a discrete GPU. This will offload some of the GUI rendering work. If you need to buy one, I suggest an Nvidia GT 710 as they are cheap, low-power, and most of them are fanless, and they still work with modern drivers.
4) As the others are saying, don't have Blue Iris move clips from one drive to another. This causes needless resource usage.
 
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I run much older hardware than you, and I have "Video during Remote Desktop" set to "5-sec" as well as "Limit live preview rate" set to "5 fps". Even running as a service if I jack up both I can bury my CPU (usage via RDP jumps from 18% to over 40% with 6 cameras). So you could tinker with those settings like @bp2008 encouraged.

Also can you check your Disk throughput & "Disk Queue Length" in Task Manager --> Resource Monitor? That would give an indication of whether you are saturating the disk interface, which would be a long-shot but might happen on very old hardware running very old (or cheap) SSD carrying the burden of everything in the system. All SSDs have a write-speed that they max out at when under sustained read/write loads (this is different than burst related speeds), the most economical ones will be the lowest. I'd also check the SMART statistics on that SSD, because constant recording to it over an extended period is a fast way to kill that drive (SSDs would normally last a lifetime nowadays, but not with constant write-cycling usage they won't).
 
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