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Apple M1 VP9/AV1 decoding?

rafsimons

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 23, 2020
14
6
Can anyone confirm if the Apple M1 chip has hardware decoding for the VP9 and AV1 format?
What's the CPU load when playing back 4k and 8k video?
I haven't been able to find anything on the internet from a reliable source, so I'm curious if anyone with the new macs have tried it out.
 

Gnattu

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2020
490
504
For VP9: Starting iOS 14, I've tested VP9 is available in A12X and A13(CPU Load on A13 is lower), so M1 will be very likely to support it.
For AV1 some non-reliable source claimed M1 does, but I cannot verify it.
 
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onfire23

macrumors member
Oct 20, 2020
37
26
For anyone curious: from testing I'm fairly confident the M1 chip supports AV1 decoding as it's able to playback 8k AV1 with no problems.
Can you check the Cpu and GPU utlitization during 8k and 4k av1 playback. The tigerlake i7 1165g7 uses <5% Cpu during 4k 10bit AV1 playback for reference.
 
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Pressure

macrumors 601
May 30, 2006
4,268
489
Denmark
Can you check the Cpu and GPU utlitization during 8k and 4k av1 playback. The tigerlake i7 1165g7 uses <5% Cpu during 4k 10bit AV1 playback for reference.
Tiger Lake has hardware-accelerated AV1 decoding, so not surprising it rarely uses the processor.
 
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ArPe

macrumors 6502a
May 31, 2020
626
1,492
VP9 4K is perfect. VP9 8K is also possible but takes ages to cache. Use New York in 8K to test.
 
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rafsimons

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 23, 2020
14
6
Can you check the Cpu and GPU utlitization during 8k and 4k av1 playback. The tigerlake i7 1165g7 uses <5% Cpu during 4k 10bit AV1 playback for reference.
Tiger Lake has hardware-accelerated AV1 decoding, so not surprising it rarely uses the processor.
The CPU usage is surprisingly high, but I'm fairly certain that there is hardware decoding for AV1. Keep in mind that the following is the systems total CPU usage.
Japan in 8K 60fps (youtube)
4k30: ~14.5% CPU usage
8k30: ~45% CPU usage

Am I right in thinking that there is no way that it would be able to play 8k30 without hardware decoding?
 
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Gnattu

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2020
490
504
The CPU usage is surprisingly high, but I'm fairly certain that there is hardware decoding for AV1. Keep in mind that the following is the systems total CPU usage.
Japan in 8K 60fps (youtube)
4k30: ~14.5% CPU usage
8k30: ~45% CPU usage

Am I right in thinking that there is no way that it would be able to play 8k30 without hardware decoding?

If you decode AV1 without hardware-acceleration, you will need a 12-core 3900x to decode 8K and using almost all of your cpus. So M1 is using hardware-acceleration for sure.

And in-browser streaming is more cpu-intensive than use a standalone player, so I'm keep getting frame-drops on YouTube with my 3900x playing 8K Japan. But I can barely play the downloaded version at 60fps(with almost all CPU loaded, all 12 cores.)
 
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onfire23

macrumors member
Oct 20, 2020
37
26
no way that it would be able to play 8k30 without hardware decoding?

The CPU usage is surprisingly high, but I'm fairly certain that there is hardware decoding for AV1. Keep in mind that the following is the systems total CPU usage.
Japan in 8K 60fps (youtube)
4k30: ~14.5% CPU usage
8k30: ~45% CPU usage

Am I right in thinking that there is no way that it would be able to play 8k30 without hardware decoding?
Maybe it has partial support depending on the resolution.
 
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CNiles38006

macrumors member
Jul 14, 2015
62
50
Can anyone confirm if the Apple M1 chip has hardware decoding for the VP9 and AV1 format?
What's the CPU load when playing back 4k and 8k video?
I haven't been able to find anything on the internet from a reliable source, so I'm curious if anyone with the new macs have tried it out.
I've been wondering the same too about the M1 chip. Can anyone please confirm what the Youtube playback is like for exactly "8K 60fps" in Safari. I have an i7 Mac Mini, 32GB memory and a Vega 56 eGPU. I can play 8K 30fps videos smoothly in all browsers, but 8K 60fps skips in every browser except for Safari where it actually plays fine even though the YouTube stats is showing dropped frames, it still plays the video and audio without any noticed skips or stutters, my CPU usage is at about 14%, GPU shows the internal UHD Graphics 630 is at 38% use and the Vega 56 is at 10%. For me with the intel Mac Mini specs mentioned above, the Safari browser is the only browser that can play 8K 60fps smoothly on Youtube. Chrome, Firefox, Vivaldi, Brave, etc all skip and stutter at 8K 60fps.

I did see someone posted on the Apple forum that Youtube 8K 60fps on the Macbook Air which has the M1 chip is unplayable for them - https://discussions.apple.com/thread/252061769

"Device: MacBook Air with M1 chip, 8gb ram 256gb ssd

in safari, for any video that is 8k 60fps, it's not playable, the video freezes constantly, other resolution works perfectly, including regular 8k which is not 60 fps, is this a bug or the hardware just not capable to play 8k 60fps video?"
 
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Botts85

macrumors regular
Feb 9, 2007
136
59
Just tried it on my M1 MacBook Pro.

Using the latest beta of Chrome, it doesn't appear to be using the M1 for hardware decode for 4K VP9, or AV1. I imagine Chrome calls VideoToolbox, so it should be architecture independent.

Although, YouTube on iOS with an A14 does smoothly decode 4K VP9, so I'm assuming it's Chrome related.

Safari does use hardware decoding for 4K VP9 though.
 

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Nozuka

macrumors 68030
Jul 3, 2012
2,732
3,746
What‘s using AV1? TV+? Netflix?

Youtube and Netflix have started using it. But not on every device and likely not all content yet.. but it is definitely going to be the most popular one soon, since all the major players are part of the standard group. (including apple)
 
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Gnattu

macrumors 6502
Sep 18, 2020
490
504
Can you guys still playback AV1 on YouTube? It seems like now we can now only choose the 4K VP9 option.
 
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rafsimons

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 23, 2020
14
6
Can you guys still playback AV1 on YouTube? It seems like now we can now only choose the 4K VP9 option.
What browser are you using?
It works in chrome if you pick the option to always prefer AV1 in settings.
 
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benyben123

macrumors regular
Sep 22, 2013
146
23
any updates on this thread?

does the M1 support VP9 and AV1 hardware decoding?

Curious.

Thx.
 
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FlyingTexan

macrumors 6502
Jul 13, 2015
341
178
Youtube and Netflix have started using it. But not on every device and likely not all content yet.. but it is definitely going to be the most popular one soon, since all the major players are part of the standard group. (including apple)
Doubt it. There’s zero benefit to it for the end user. 4K already pushed past that barrier the only benefit to 8k+ is for production where software editing opens up so much more possibilities without have to reshoot. Saves a ton on costs. 8k TVs and this whole 8k gaming is complete nonsense. The only benefit there is multiple 4K streams for for VR.
 
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HornOfAbraxas

macrumors newbie
Dec 10, 2020
2
1
Chrome on M1 has been updated to support VP9 decode/encode. 4k Stadia option is also now available.
Can you be more specific; I have tried the public m1 Chrome build, the beta m1 chrome build, the canary m1 chrome build, and the public x86 Chrome build. None appear to support hardware vp9 decode as shown in chrome://gpu.

Created an account just to ask you this.

EDIT: I found it, I am in the Chrome Canary M1 build (may be available in older builds as well) -

Go to chrome://flags
Search for VP9 and set VideoToolbox VP9 Decoding to Enabled
Restart the browser
Check chrome://gpu, Video Acceleration Information, verify 2x VP9 entries exist
 
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matrix07

macrumors 603
Jun 24, 2010
6,061
2,732
Can you be more specific; I have tried the public m1 Chrome build, the beta m1 chrome build, the canary m1 chrome build, and the public x86 Chrome build. None appear to support hardware vp9 decode as shown in chrome://gpu.

Created an account just to ask you this.

EDIT: I found it, I am in the Chrome Canary M1 build (may be available in older builds as well) -

Go to chrome://flags
Search for VP9 and set VideoToolbox VP9 Decoding to Enabled
Restart the browser
Check chrome://gpu, Video Acceleration Information, verify 2x VP9 entries exist
Thanks. What's about Safari?
 
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HornOfAbraxas

macrumors newbie
Dec 10, 2020
2
1
Thanks. What's about Safari?
I use Safari Tech Preview and it decodes vp9 by default; not sure about regular Safari. There is also an experimental feature in Safari under the Developer menu to enable vp9 decoding on battery I believe. Problem is, for Stadia specifically, they don't allow Safari. Works for Youtube, though.
 
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matrix07

macrumors 603
Jun 24, 2010
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I use Safari Tech Preview and it decodes vp9 by default; not sure about regular Safari. There is also an experimental feature in Safari under the Developer menu to enable vp9 decoding on battery I believe. Problem is, for Stadia specifically, they don't allow Safari. Works for Youtube, though.
Thanks. I found it. Yes, it is enabled.
 
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mingistech

macrumors newbie
Apr 6, 2016
15
94
Ann Arbor, MI
I use Safari Tech Preview and it decodes vp9 by default; not sure about regular Safari. There is also an experimental feature in Safari under the Developer menu to enable vp9 decoding on battery I believe. Problem is, for Stadia specifically, they don't allow Safari. Works for Youtube, though.
You can use Stadia in Safari 14 if you manually set your browser agent. I'm not suggesting anyone do this, but it's still interesting to see it works nonetheless.

First, enable the dev menu if you haven't.
Safari > Preferences > Advanced > Show Develop Menu

Then set the user agent.
Develop->User Agent->Other

For Catalina enter:
Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_15_5) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/85.0.4183.83 Safari/537.36

For BigSur enter:
Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 11_1) AppleWebKit/605.1.15 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/85.0.4183.83 Safari/605.1.15

Finally, enable audio:
Develop > Experimental Features > Modern WebAudio API

I tested this with Cyberpunk 2077 earlier, works well.
 
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