Does the 2011 MBP Support Flash and h.264 Acceleration?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mr. Wonderful, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. Mr. Wonderful macrumors 6502a

    Feb 19, 2009
    Has anyone noticed whether or not the Intel or AMD cards in the 2011 MBPs support hardware acceleration of h.264 or Flash video? Hardware acceleration greatly improved the battery life of my old MacBook with a 9400M, and I would hope now that Apple is putting AMD cards in 2/3s of their portable lineup that they're expanding hardware acceleration support to AMD models as well.
  2. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    H.264 i would say yes. Flash...not so much...still an Nvidia exclusive.
  3. thermodynamic Suspended


    May 3, 2009
    I wish I saw this post earlier, as I started one of my own earlier today. :eek:

    But it's a great question.

    And, yeah, I agree that h.264 will likely be given some priority - but it's a shame Apple hadn't lined up its ducks in a row as marketing a standard and not fully implementing it in their own platform (OS X) is mind-boggling.

    I don't often watch .flv or h.264 videos so, for me, it's a minor issue, but many do. (And what I use Flash for now has more to do with helping make iPad games, thanks to the Apple/Adobe agreement and the updated features in Flash CS5.5...)
  4. tonyunreal macrumors regular


    Feb 25, 2010
    Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but this is the newest I've found on MR using google search, i decided it's better to post in an similar topic rather than starting my own.

    Out of curiosity, I did some simple benchmark myself today, using a piece of Handbrake ripped Blu-ray movie, it's H.264 encoded, Quicktime format contained, Low Complexity profile, with video in ~1500kbps 1129x480.

    I played the same scene in the movie, while using Activity Monitor to calculate how much CPU time was used by the player(iTunes), this was done on my Macbook Pro 17-inch '2011 and iMac 27-inch '2009, you can check out the detailed specs in my signature.

    First test was between iTunes:

    iMac '09 (iTunes): ~33% cpu usage
    MBP '11 (iTunes): ~10% cpu usage

    The result did puzzle me for awhile, even though Sandy Bridge processors are real beasts and I've been an active supporter for them, it's hard to believe an higher clocked desktop Core 2 processor would lose so much to a laptop processor, so I did a second test to confirm this was indeed a result of iTunes utilizing the hardware acceleration ability of the mobile GPU.

    The second test was between iTunes and Quicktime Player X(and I think most of us do know that QTX uses hw acceleration by now):

    iMac '09 (iTunes): ~30% cpu usage
    iMac '09 (Quicktime Player X): ~20% cpu usage
    MBP '11 (iTunes): ~10% cpu usage
    MBP '11 (Quicktime Player X): ~10% cpu usage


    Clearly iTunes was hardware accelerated all along on the MBP since it yielded no different result between iTunes and Quicktime Player X.

    Oh and by the way, the laptop was on battery and integrated graphics, the CPU temperature showed up in iStat Pro was 42°C/107°F while playing.

    I know a lot people have been complaining about the 2011 models being hotter than older models, but I found mine to be the most amazing laptop I've ever used, it's fast, it runs cool and I last hours on battery, I couldn't have been happier with it.

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