1080p H.256 playback on 2013 models?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Caesar_091, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. Caesar_091, Dec 30, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2014

    Caesar_091 macrumors regular

    Caesar_091

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Italy
    #1
    Hello,

    does anybody knows if the latest MB Air models support the playback of 1080p (H.265 encoded) files? Are they powerful enough?
    I would like to get a 13" MB Air with an i7@1,7GHz (Turbo Boost @ 3,3GHz) with 8GB of RAM and 512GB PCIe. Is this CPU quad or dual core?

    My Late 2008 MB (Core 2 Duo @ 2,4GHz) is not powerful enough to playback a 1080p MKV file (BR rip) encoded in H265 using VLC (last ver or any nightly ver).

    Any idea? Should I consider a 13" MB Pro instead?
     
  2. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #2
    No idea but I would be startled if it didn't work.

    There isn't a huge difference in processing power between the Air and the 13" Pro, so no reason to consider the 13" Pro.

    The base model Air will turbo boost up to 2.7GHz which is really almost as fast as any Intel processor ever, since they max out at 4GHz.

    So if the Air can't play your videos, I don't know what would be able to. A brand new monster desktop computer?

    The difference in performance between a modern Haswell and your 2008 Core 2 will make you poop yourself.
     
  3. asoksevil macrumors 6502

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    Jun 7, 2010
    Location:
    Taipei, Taiwan
    #3
    A reply from the other thread:

     
  4. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #4
    Notice that the reply says that VLC running on a 2010 MBA can't handle this file. A 2014 MBA will be about 3 times faster than a 2010 MBA. Again, I would be startled if the 2014 MBA couldn't play any video you throw at it.
     
  5. motrek macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    #5
    I downloaded that sample video and have been playing it on a loop with VLC on my base model 2014 11.6" MBA.

    CPU utilization for VLC: ~120%
    Clock speed: ~2.1GHz
    CPU power consumption: ~10W
    CPU temperature (Intel Power Gadget): ~85C
    CPU temperature (smcFanControl): ~68C
    System power usage (Battery Health): ~14W
    Battery life (Apple): 3 hours

    Fan speed is minimum (1200 RPM) and the bottom of the laptop is warmish to the touch but definitely not hot.

    The CPU utilization (over 100%) tells me that the decoder is multithreaded. I don't think there's any good way to tell how much headroom there is. The fact that the clock speed is lower than maximum tells me the CPU isn't particularly stressed though.

    I don't know how to get VLC to tell me how many frames its dropping but the video seems to play perfectly smooth to me.
     
  6. asoksevil macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
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    Taipei, Taiwan
    #6
    On my 2010 13" MacBook Air it just doesn't play smoothly, there's frame drops everywhere (pixelated grey screen) and CPU usage is over 140-150%. Fans kick on and stick to 5k RPM. Temperarture in celsius is almost 80 degrees. However, Movist latest paid version does seem to handle it correctly with a much lower usage (I bet it's the DVXA or hardware acceleration).

    I guess that using Movist, no matter what MBA you have you should be able to play it.
     
  7. cbautis2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    #7
    Any device with Intel HD 3000 graphics or higher should be able to play 1080p H.265 / H.264 ; 10-bit with only 1 core being used on a moderate frequency (i.e. between minimum and maximum non-turbo frequency) with hardware acceleration. My mid 2011 Air (i5-2557M @ 1.7 GHz) can play these without stuttering. I can even play YouTube 4K UHD (2160p setting) without stuttering on my 2160p TV at max resolution (2560x1600) via bootcamp.
     
  8. dyt1983, Jan 3, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015

    dyt1983 macrumors 65816

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    #8
    edit: To remove personally identifying info not relevant to the conversation.
     
  9. cbautis2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    #9
    My point to OP is that any 2012 or later macbooks (air or pro) can run these demands and even 4K UHD output without slowing down the system if they are using hardware acceleration (dxva etc.) Heck even those el cheapo sub 300 laptops can do these tasks flawlessly. Of course video editing is CPU bound so that's where the macbook pros come in.
     
  10. BrettApple macrumors 65816

    BrettApple

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    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    Heart of the midwest
    #10
    It should be fine.

    I just tested it on my work Mac Mini. It's a 2012 model, 2.3GHz Quad i7, 16GB RAM, stock HDD, and the HD4000. The bottleneck on this Mac is the HD4000 (power wise, the HDD is dog slow), and it had no issue on my 1080P Dell monitor playing full screen from the sample video.

    I'd test it on my 13" rMBP (Intel Iris + i5), but I wouldn't expect it to be any different. It plays 4K video off my phone perfectly fine, at the 2k screen of my MacBook of course. No 4k monitor yet. Perhaps in the future.

    For what it's worth though, my Late 2008 and Early 2009 MacBooks (both have the 9400m and C2D) can play MKV Blu-ray rips at 1080p H.264 just fine at native resolution with VLC. H.265 though, perhaps not. Haven't tried. I know 4K is out of the question, haha. But it can't display that in the first place.

    I'd agree that any 2012 or later Mac should have no problem with it.
     
  11. dyt1983, Jan 3, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015

    dyt1983 macrumors 65816

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    #11
    edit: To remove personally identifying info not relevant to the conversation.
     

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