Can Macbook handle H.264 1080p video?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Zinthar, Jul 18, 2006.

  1. Zinthar macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    #1
    Just bought a Macbook 1.83 last week and upped it to 2 gigs of OCZ RAM and a 120 gig 5400rpm HDD. Spectacular deal and I absolutely love the machine. I was hoping that it would be able to handle H.264-encoded 1080p video, but it drops frames, even though the machine never seems to exceed 80% usage from either core and both stay under 80 degrees the whole time (from viewing CoreDuoTemp while watching a 1080p video).

    Most 1080p H.264 vids seem to get about 15-24 fps. A quick check of Apple's quicktime site shows that 720p H.264 requires a 1.83 Ghz Core Duo, while the 1080p requires 2.0 Ghz Core Duo. Does the .17 Ghz jump really make that big of a difference towards decoding video, or does this have more to do with the quicktime H.264 decoder still being fairly early and poorly optimized for Intel dual core macs??

    I'm starting to rethink the $200 I saved by downgrading to the entry level Macbook. I thought I had gotten a great deal by going for the lower one and buying an external dual layer DVD burner for $70, but that was assuming the processor difference to be negligible. For those of you with 2.0 Macbooks, do your machines ever drop below 24 frames in the 1080p H.264 vids on Apple's website? FYI, I was viewing the Warren Miller Higher Ground & BBC Motion Gallery trailers.

    Intuitively, I had guessed that a 10% difference in clock speed (which from most benchmarks seem to result in a 4-8% bump in real speed under load) would not be the difference in decoding 1080p videos since 1080p vids are only 50% bigger in file size yet 3x larger in pixel count than 720p.

    On a semi-related note, can 1.66 Core Duos in the Mac Minis handle 720p H.264?
     
  2. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816

    Felldownthewell

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    Portland
    #2
    My MBP 2.0 with a gig of ram and the 256mb video card can handle 1080p with no dropped frames, granted I wouldn't really want to do it because the file is huge and my screen in only 1400x900.

    I think you may be facing more of a videocard related problem than a processor problem. Maybe someone with GMA gfx can tell us...
     
  3. Zinthar thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2006
    #3
    That was my first thought, but I've done a lot of reading that suggests that H.264 decoding is almost entirely CPU-driven at this point.

    I'm very interested in seeing if any MB 2.0 users are faring better. I'm trying to assess how much that .17 Ghz is related.
     
  4. poppe macrumors 68020

    poppe

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Woodland Hills
    #4
    Is the MBP' and MB's screen High definition? Or just trying to get great quality on a standard definition screen? (I dont know anything about LCD screens)
     
  5. punkmac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    #5
    H.264 on Mini

    I was very happy when I heard the new mini could play 1080p. I have done this many times, It was actually a major factor before the purchase. I never really checked the FPS but it was totally watchable and awesome. Right now, I am downloading a 1080p trailer and I'll report the FPS.
     
  6. punkmac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    #6
    I just downloaded "Who Killed the Electric Car?" in 1080p FPS mostly around 24. They only dipped down about 3 times to 18. The thing is you didn't even notice it. Still very happy! Funny thing is FPS didn't really change in windowed mode or Actual size. Is your expereince really that bad on your 1.8 Macbook?
     
  7. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #7
    Apparently it does make a pretty sizable difference between the 1.8 and the 2.0 GHz CPUs when it comes to 1080p h.264 playback. I see mostly consistent 24fps when playing 1080p videos. It's awesome, seeing the difference between my MacBook and my previous 1.42 GHz G4 Mac mini. Rule of thumb: Always get the fastest processor you can :)
     
  8. Felldownthewell macrumors 65816

    Felldownthewell

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    Portland
    #8

    Great quality on a SD screen...when I open a 1080p trailer I see maybe 2/3 of the video; the rest is off-screen. I have to resize it to get it to fit. Looks amazing though!

    Apparently the .17 ghz is major...unless someone with a 1.83 comes forward and says otherwise; then it might be a problem with your computer. This is a long shot but if you ever downloaded a tool to turn off one of the cores, you might want to check and see that it is still not running. I realize that there is a one-in-a-million chance you did that, but it can't hurt to bring it up. :)
     
  9. SheriffParker macrumors 6502a

    SheriffParker

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    The land of love
    #9
    My 1.67 Ghz mac mini core duo plays 1080p just fine. It looked flawless to me, though maybe some frames got dropped unnoticably. I was excited I can watch HD video now with my little mini media station. :)

    Surely the macbooks can compete with my little mini.
     

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