Can't believe my MacBook Pro isn't powerful enough to play iTunes 1080p videos

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by the.orange.tuba, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. the.orange.tuba macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    #1
    According to Apple, my MBP Core 2 Duo 2.26GHz isn't powerful enough to play 1080p videos from iTunes, and they are right, as I tried it and it stuttered! :eek: It requires 2.4GHz or higher.

    Apple iTunes 1080p video system requirements, the link: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3209

    Why in the world does it require so much CPU power to play 1080p vids? I am shocked that I have to upgrade what I thought was a powerful computer just to play 1080p vids! :mad:

    Bring on the comments!
     
  2. lannisters4life macrumors 6502

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  3. Puevlo macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Apple uses ultra-compressed video which needs to be decompressed on the fly. They could use uncompressed video formats but it would require 10 GB per minute of video.
     
  4. simonpickard macrumors regular

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    Mar 1, 2009
    #4
    Which could, and should, be handled by the GPU.
    It's just Lazy Ass coding by Apple. Not reason at all why any Macbook Pro, or Air for that matter, shouldn't be able to decode 1080p. This is 2012, not 2006.
     
  5. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    #5
    Get an ATV3, else for 13" sit back more than 8" and SD will look fine.

    Actually newer chipsets (not C2D) handle H.264 encoding and decoding in hardware, as do iOS devices (decoding). So it's no strain on the CPU.
     
  6. Jnava420 macrumors regular

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    Lincoln, NE
    #6
    Kinda disappointed

    So I saw this and immediately thought no way my new rmbp would fall in to this category but sure enough I got the base model and the 2.3 GHz doesn't cut it. Its not a huge lost, not big enough to make me regret not getting the higher end model. On the go the iPad will suffice with movies even the iPhone isn't to bad if need to be extra portable, and at home thats why i got a tv duh, I can't see the mac ever being my primary device for video content.
     
  7. NZed macrumors 65816

    NZed

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    Canada, Eh?
    #7
    So the new ipad with a mobile CPU chipset can play 1080p videos, but not laptop CPUs. Help me understand this please.
     
  8. Moriarty macrumors 6502

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    Feb 3, 2008
    #8
    The rMBP is easily fast enough to play 1080p content. It should be fast enough to play 4K content.

    My old 2.2 GHz Core 2 Duo Macbook (X3100 graphics) plays 1080p easily in VLC. It used to struggle, but I think that was before VLC became multi-threaded. Now it's fine. I cannot speak for iTunes, perhaps their playback is not as efficient - maybe it only uses 1 core.

    Would VLC play back iTunes-purchased movies? If so, then just go that route and play the file in VLC. It'll be fine there provided VLC can play the copy protected files.
     
  9. Ricky Smith macrumors regular

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    Boston, MA
    #9
    Uhh the core2duo is from 2006/2007
     
  10. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    #10
    This is something the cheap & cheerful ATV3 can do with flying colors.

    You'll be extra disappointed to learn only the newer Sandy Bridge chipsets or later can do live mirroring from Mountain Lion. (yes I'm in the same boat with my 2010 MBP)

    It's a feature of the chipset, hardware H.264 decoding. It's in your iOS device and 3000/4000HD chipsets, wasn't a priority back in C2D days.
     
  11. boomboom2 macrumors regular

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    Apr 12, 2012
    #11
    I can't believe a $2200 computer couldn't play 1080p video! I'd be really annoyed if I were you!
     
  12. tbl macrumors member

    tbl

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    Jul 14, 2010
    #12
    Please note... the support article writes "2.4 Ghz Intel Core 2 Duo or faster processor.” I don’t think Apple would be crazy enough to suggest that a 2.3ghz i7 isn’t faster than than any Core 2 Duo chip.
     
  13. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    #13
    The rMBP has H.264 encoding and decoding in hardware and should be able to chew through 1080p with ease, it should just be a matter of time till the Quicktime supports it (maybe it already does).

    The sad truth is OS's are slow to implement the full hardware available to them. An NVidia 320M GPU has hundreds of little parallel processors (CUDA) that could be used for all sorts of things to help along the CPU. Aside from games they go virtually unused.
     
  14. midtownhd macrumors member

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    Jun 25, 2012
    #14
    guys, the article is referring to a 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo.
    new macbook pros have Core i7, so the frequency is not the only factor.
    It's like comparing a 3.4GHz pentium 4 (remember those?) to a 1.8GHz Core i5.
     
  15. iRobby macrumors 6502a

    iRobby

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    #15
    I remember those very well. I'm upgrading to a MacBook Pro Retina from a a Dell E510 Desktop with a 3.0GHz Pentium (R) 4. And that doesn't play the 720dpi or 1080dpi YouTube videos. The best I get is 420dpi.

    I WANT my MacBook Pro Retina now!!!
     
  16. Jnava420 macrumors regular

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    #16
    THANK YOU wow i feel much better can believe I didn't think about that at all i feel like an idiot but at the same time happy.

    I guess now i can be happy with my purchase cause secretely I really was a lil mad.
     
  17. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #17
    I take it you missed the fact that his computer is not one from 2012. In fact, it's very old. Compression and decompression of video is easily the most intensive thing that a general user will do on his computer.
     
  18. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

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    #18
    I take it you missed the part where he said it's lazy coding from Apple. He's suggesting codec/format should be improved, not the hardware. At least that's what I gathered.
     
  19. theSeb, Jun 26, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2012

    theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #19
    Lazy coding? Some of you guys should be comedians.

    If you have a donkey, it does not matter if you feed it oats designed for racing horses. It still won't perform like a racing horse. The particular C2D CPU does not have a hardware dedicated to compression and decompression of video. Perhaps Apple should also spend money on getting a 2004 Power PC to run the latest FCP X?

    :confused:

    I am sure your post sounded great in your head, but on paper... not so much.
     
  20. gokart mozart macrumors 6502

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    Jun 20, 2011
    #20
    Exactly what I was thinking as I read the OP.

    I also wondered what model year MBP he has. As in, what screen size, GPU, RAM, etc.

    Until my rMBP arrives, I'm still on a 2007 black MB with 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo, and I def can't get 1080p or 720p video to run smoothly. And big surprise: flash videos (both HD and SD) on Netflix, HBOGo, Southparkstudios, espn, etc. stutter all the freaking time.
     
  21. Morien macrumors member

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    Oct 25, 2010
    #21
    I'm currently using a Lenovo X301 which has a 1.4ghz ULV Core 2 Duo and Intel X3000 gfx (or some such). 720p for the most part runs fine with software decoding, and 99% of everything I have (including 1080p bluray and 1080p x264 rips) play perfectly using hardware acceleration.
    Check if your graphics card supports hardware acceleration, and if the software has it enabled.
    Not sure about the MacOSX options, but maybe DXVA under Windows will work.
     
  22. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

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    #22
    You do realise compression technique plays a role in how much processing power is required to decompress a file, right? There's a reason some are better than others.
     
  23. simonpickard macrumors regular

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    Mar 1, 2009
    #23
    Sorry, but it IS lazy coding.
    Load up Plex on that system and it would handle 1080p without missing a heartbeat.

    iTunes, and Quicktime in general has always been a total dog when it comes to playback. You can quote cpus, gfx cards, all you want. The issue isn't hardware. It's software.
     
  24. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

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    #24
    The differences would hardly be noticeable no matter how optimised it is without using hardware acceleration. I think you've seen benchmarks when hardware acceleration is utilised and those are the differences that you're referring to.

    Codecs change and get refined. Making sure that the latest iTunes 1080p format plays on Core2 Duo CPUs is not Apple's priority. Why would they spend development time and try to optimise it for what is effectively ancient technology in the computing world? Apple is using hardware acceleration for h264 playback now, but they cannot add hardware features to old CPUs, which didn't have them in the first place.

    ----------

    I have not used Plex, so I can't comment on it, but I have used XBMC on a similar system to the OP's and it's pretty terrible, even with minor compression.

    Have you personally played back an iTunes 1080p (not any 1080p file that you compressed yourself) file from the iTunes store on a machine similar to the OP's using Plex to verify your claim?
     
  25. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    Manchester, UK
    #25
    If it's a C2D 2.26 then it's likely an early MBP that would have shipped with an ATI X1600, which does not support H.264 accelerated decode.

    It's not lazy coding. My original 2006 MBP could not play 1080p MKVs via VLC. The 2.4GHz uMB that replaced it (with H.264 accelerated decode via the nVidia 9400) quite happily played 1080p at under 10% CPU usage.
     

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