11.6" 1.4ghz vs. 1.6ghz video playback

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dmelgar, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    I'm debating between the 1.4 and 1.6ghz 11.6" macbook air.
    For most activities I do, I'm thinking the faster disk access is more important than the CPU speed. I currently have a 2009 13.3" Macbook Pro, 2.26ghz.

    The only thing I've noticed that I really need a fast CPU for is watching video, 720p or 1080p especially flash video.

    Can the 1.4ghz display smooth 720p video from VLC or Youtube (flash)?
    If not, can the 1.6ghz? or does it also have trouble?

  2. acron1 macrumors regular


    Dec 7, 2008
    The 1.4Ghz should be able to handle 720p video... however for the extra $100 I would go for 1.6Ghz...
  3. Dammit Cubs macrumors 68000

    Dammit Cubs

    Jul 31, 2007
    720p via VLC shouldn't be a problem. When you get to 1080p. then you will see the problem on the 1.4-1.6. Even the 1.6 causes issues. It's because the VLC codec for OSX doesn't use hardware acceleration.

    if you use plex you will be fine.
  4. FAsnakes macrumors regular

    Jul 26, 2007
    haven't experienced any issues on the 1.6 however i would take Dammit Cubs advice - seems like he's serious about his video.. .
  5. potentpotable macrumors regular


    Oct 22, 2010
    1080p YouTube is flawless with zero lag on the 1.6GHz, with 4GB of RAM.
  6. potentpotable macrumors regular


    Oct 22, 2010
    1080p YouTube is flawless with zero lag on the 1.6GHz, with 4GB of RAM.
  7. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2005
    I have the 1.6GHz/4GB and 1080p YouTube flash video looks perfect to me (though I can't really see the difference between that and the 720p version on this size screen -- obviously hooking up to external monitor would be a different matter). CPU usage seems to be around 85%. I don't know any clever way to monitor it live with fullscreen video playing or how to see fps playing.

    I normally use ClickToFlash extension and youtube.com/html5 to avoid most Flash CPU hogging problems.
  8. jdavtz macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2005
    The same video using ClickToFlash to view the 1080p h.264 version in QuickTime Plugin only uses about 25% CPU.

    I don't understand why that video doesn't show up in the YouTube HTML5 player by default.
  9. nidserz, Nov 2, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010

    nidserz macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2008
    Dubai x Toronto
    My regular movies are having issues with VLC on a 1.6 only when I switch to fullscreen. Other than that even HD movies play smoothly... Just switching to fullscreen its pixelated (I made a thread with a video).

    I'm going to try and get to codec for Quicktime and try it with that.

    Edit: Just downloaded Perian and all my files work perfect with Quicktime. Don't know why VLC is giving me that problem.
  10. Bluemeanie1976 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 1, 2009
    Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria
    I've just tried a 1080p pixar film on VLC, and quicktime (with perian), and had no issues at all. No jittering or shuddering, shaking or spluttering... :)

    11.6, 1.4, 4gb, 128
  11. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Jul 22, 2002
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    It worked fine in the apple store too with the base model containing 2 gb RAM from my experience. Still, I upgraded the RAM and CPU anyway.
  12. dmelgar thread starter macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    Based on everyones comment, I went out and bought in the store the 1.6 ghz 11.6" macbook air.

    Awesome little machine. However, i have noticed stuttering videos even with the faster CPU.

    Running low def, looks fine.
    Running high def, it stalls on fast motion scenes. This plays mostly fine on my 2.24 ghz MacBook pro.

    Bluray: ripped some blu Ray discs to mkv files. Plays very poorly on the macbook air. Plays mostly fine on my MacBook pro but sometimes stutters during fast motion scenes.

    YouTube using chrome: I don't understand why the differences, but YouTube on chrome stutters sometimes. Seems more related to the screen size than resolution. Displayed on my 1080p monitor, it stutters regardless of the resolution even down to 360. Same videos display fine on my MacBook pro all the way up to 1080.
    YouTube on safari: why is it different from chrome? Anyway, using safari, it looks fine on the big screen up to 720. I haven't tried 1080 yet.

    Vlc: some videos look fine even at 1080, others stutter slightly even at 720. Presumably it depends on the codec used to encode them and specific parameters used during the encoding.

    Overall very impressed with the machine, especially disk drive access. In my tests I'm often getting 2-5x the disk throughout compared to my macbook pro. Overall, other than video stuttering, the fast drive makes practically anything i normally do, faster on the MacBook air.

    Still, now that i have it, the 11.6" screen is mighty cramped sometimes. I'm debating keeping it, or swapping for a 13.3" for the same price or stay with my macbook pro.
  13. Domcorleone21 macrumors newbie

    Nov 7, 2010
    Hey guys, newbie here...

    Im planning on getting my girl a 11.6 macbook air for xmas, she wants a new comp since she has a 6 year old dell comp. She mainly uses the comp to surf the net, download music, listen to music, upload pics, edit them and thats about it. Will a 1.4ghz and 4gb ram cut it for her? Im going wit the air cuz I know she loves things that are cute and small but she also needs a main comp. can this be enough for her based on what I told you? Thanks in advance guys.
  14. Hands Sandon macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2008
    Most likely, yes.
  15. Corax, Nov 8, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2010

    Corax macrumors 6502


    Apr 27, 2009
    Willemstad - Curaçao
    Download and try the 64-bit VLC, but even better: try MplayerX it runs great HD content, better than VLC and it's also 64-bit and looks more integrated with Mac OS X SL:
    MplayerX Download-page
    For Youtube try this Safari Extension, I think it's genius and makes my new 2010 13" MBA 1,86GHz 2GB run 1080p trailers flawless (+ no more commercials):
    Safari Youtube5 Extension

    On every Mac I own I use MenuMeters, and it monitors system recourses, like CPU, RAM etc... and on every website were is flash I always notice the CPU getting very busy.
    So, also advisable is to use the AdBlock extension for Safari, for less unnecessary flash system drainage, it helps big time!:
    Safari AdBlock
  16. halleleah macrumors newbie

    Nov 3, 2007
    Thanks Corax! :)

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