2011 Macbook Air Stutters when playing HD Video

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by sft109, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. sft109 macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2009
    My 2011 Macbook Air has trouble playing HD (1080p and higher) recorded video from my GoPro camera. It is not able to play back videos smoothly and stutters, skips frames, etc.

    I believe I had to install a codec for quicktime to be able to play them back and they open no problem but then result in this issue. I also have MPlayerx installed from the App Store and that results in slower playback than normal.

    I have the base 2011 13-inch Macbook Air with 4GB RAM and the 128GB SSD. Any suggestions on how I can fix this? I have trouble believing that a Macbook Air from 2011 is incapable of playing back HD video smoothly so I think something must be wrong?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Do you have a way to see how much memory is being used at the time of playing? iStat Menus is a great tool to watch memory usage. Do you have Safari open while playing? I find Safari to be a total resource hog from time to time. iStat will also tell you whether or not your GPU is being tasked heavily.

    One other thing to check is SSD disk space. Are you almost at max capacity?
  3. sft109 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2009
    Thanks for response. I will check when I get back home from work tonight and report. I will also try converting the videos with the GoPro app to another format as opposed to using the files straight from the camera.

    Safari was open I believe and I have about 45GB's of free space on the drive as I keep most of my photos and music on an external HDD. These are playing back from the internal storage of the Air though.
  4. Dekard macrumors 6502


    Sep 7, 2011
    Dallas, Texas
    Also try viewing them in VLC. It's great for viewing almost any type of movie filetype.
  5. sft109 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 27, 2009
    So I can play 1080p when Safari is turned off (obviously it resizes to fit the Macbook Air's 1440x wide screen) and it plays fine. With Safari running it stutters.

    Of course I figured with Mavericks just coming out I would test it after the upgrade. And the result is that with Safari running with a webpage open, mail app running and notes running I was able to play the same video that would stutter without any problems in quicktime.


    I haven't tried higher resolutions yet, my GoPro can shoot up to 4K (though only at 15fps) but I doubt it will be able to handle that. Will try it out later.

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