RMB + Media = Choppy

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by TheMountainLife, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. TheMountainLife macrumors member

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    May 24, 2015
    #1
    Hi all,

    Just wanted to share my experience.

    I picked up my 1.2 Macbook about 5 days ago. I really want to enjoy it but it doesn't seem to handle online media well at all.

    I like to watch Twitch.tv live as well as video on demand. I cannot watch any of the streams on source quality. Causes severe lag and dropped frames. Medium quality works best but looks horrible. As far as I know twitch uses a html 5 player.

    It was surprising to have a similar experience with Airplay. Choppy, jerky and 2 fps when watching youtube videos that are above 240p. This occurs whether I'm Airplaying over ethernet/wifi. Safari or Chrome.

    Hulu/Netflix videos are smooth when in full screen but drops frames when in split screen or playing in the background. You can forget trying to use Airplay.

    I have 2 other Macs and a Asus ROG laptop. I wasn't expecting a powerhouse but I at least expected the ability to watch videos at a reasonable resolution. If I can't watch a 1080p videos online now how will this MB perform 1 or 2 years from now as we shift into higher quality content and bit rates?

    Are the playback issues I'm experiencing unusual? I feel like this beautiful piece of work is nothing but a expensive music/email machine.
     
  2. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #2
    didn't try but it seems strange enough it can't handle 1080P videos....
     
  3. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #3
    Flash methinks is the culprit here, rMB can playback 1080P with ease, add Flash to the mix then it all changes as described in the OP`s post.

    Q-6
     
  4. j.quintana macrumors member

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    #4
  5. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #5
    It`s not the hardware, or they would all be the same, it`s likely to be related to software and or network performance.

    Q-6
     
  6. TheMountainLife thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    I agree with software or GPU performance. I could do all of the above with the 2009 MBP I migrated from although the fan would be screaming.

    If I could find a way to optimize flash/GPU performance it's a keeper.

    I find it funny it cannot play videos smoothly but I can play counter strike or the binding of Isaac rebirth smoothly.
     
  7. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #7
    that's the reason Im not going to install Flash on my MBP
     
  8. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #8
    It`s Adobe`s Flash, it runs the CPU too hard, pushes up the temp, so CPU/GPU have no alternative other than to throttle down hence performance is reduced. If you absolutely require Flash you really need an actively cooled Mac, like MBP or MBA.

    You could possibly try a Flash blocking Safari extension, equally if you need to use it the temperature will rise significantly. What will also help is to raise the rear of the MacBook to help with the passive cooling, or use a small cooling pad.

    Q-6
     
  9. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #9
    Best not to, Flash can bring the fastest of Mac`s to slowdown due too needlessly running the CPU. Hopefully it will be killed off soon.

    Q-6
     
  10. Jobsian macrumors 6502a

    Jobsian

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    #10
    Thanks. This is the kind of thread we needed when these came out because a lot of folk here suspected exactly these issues but were ridiculed for daring to suggest the mighty 6W processors weren't up to the task of smooth media playback.

    Bring on Skylake.
     
  11. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #11
    it's already dying....
     
  12. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #12
    Likely be the same, it`s not the performance of the CPU/iGPU it`s the heat generated from running Flash that results in throttling. Same applies to all OS X based computers, the difference is they have an active cooling system as opposed to the rMB`s passive. My own 1.2 rMB plays HD content without issue, equally I don't have Flash installed, nor on any of my other significantly more powerful Mac`s.

    Q-6
     
  13. j.quintana macrumors member

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    Oct 2, 2015
    #13
    But how can it throttle the CPU when it does not even fully utilize it? I never exceed 50% CPU usage when streaming from Youtube.

    Plus if throttling is the issue, shouldn't it run smoothly for at least a minute until the CPU gets too hot?

    I can't help but think that there is another problem going on.
     
  14. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #14
    Your case is different as normally it`s abundantly obvious 1. Flash is installed and 2. the system is physically hot. As you can play HD content locally and from the NAS, therefore it must be related to software and or network issues. Logically if the issue was widespread there would be significant comment online.

    I would add more details to your original post as it will help; what your attempting to play back, with what application on what version of OS X. I do see at times when playing back some Youtube content that OS X converts is on the fly, and this can and does generate higher internal temperatures.

    btw. I would consider Movist, it`s far more efficient than VLC, by a large margin.

    Q-6
     
  15. Jobsian macrumors 6502a

    Jobsian

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    #15
    I understand, but the reality is that Flash is still used by many and is on many websites and the MB's CPU doesn't have enough grunt given its thermal envelope to crunch its inefficiencies.
     
  16. chrisrosemusic1, Oct 16, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2015

    chrisrosemusic1 macrumors 6502a

    chrisrosemusic1

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    #16
    I have the 1.1Ghz Macbook and can happily watch and AirPlay any 1080p video at 60fps with zero stutter or playback issues so I can't understand that your issue is down to the performance. I'm actually surprised at just how good this little beauty performs.

    And I've just tested AirPlay from it live streaming 'High' and 'Source' quality Twitch broadcasts with zero lag.
     
  17. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #17
    I agree, which why you need to be a little more careful when considering the rMB. If Flash is a component of your usage then it`s best to look at the rMBP or MBA lines. If you cooled the rMB with an external cooler it would probably run Flash ok, equally that rather kills the portability argument :)

    Q-6
     
  18. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #18
    Problem is everyones setup is unique, which is why it`s often difficult to offer any meaningful advise. Agree the rMB does perform very well, equally it has it`s limitations.

    Q-6
     
  19. chrisrosemusic1 macrumors 6502a

    chrisrosemusic1

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    #19
    Of course, but I even use it for editing WAVE and large music projects and I haven't hit more than 50% on the CPU threshold in Ableton Live so it does a lot better than you would expect for it's size. Couldn't be happier with it as a portable machine
     
  20. Queen6 macrumors 603

    Queen6

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    #20
    I own 1.2 myself and am very pleased with it, especially the performance, given the specifications. I can certainly see the rMB going from strength to strength, especially with Intel`s focus on the low powered CPU/iGPU`s

    Q-6
     
  21. soulreaver99 macrumors 68020

    soulreaver99

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    #21
    I have the same choppiness when I'm on Crunchy Roll and this mainly happens on Chrome. Performance is better running in Safari but yes, coming from a 2013 Macbook Air, it's really annoying.
     
  22. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Either the MB works for you or it doesn't, but blaming anything on a computer because of Flash is ridiculous... Flash will occasionally bring ANY computer to its knees. There's a reason the computer industry has been trying to kill it off for the last decade.

    More likely to have performance slowdowns with a thermally constrained MB? Yes. Does that mean there is anything wrong with the design of the MB? No.

    A lot of folks here tend to live in the echo-chamber of MacRumors, but if the MB was such a POS that so many try to make it out to be, it would be front page news on every tech site on the web. Instead, 9 out of 10 times it's just a few isolated incidents of users having issues with their specific computer. When it's not, it's usually a wider spread issue with OS X - and Apple deserves full blame there when that's the case.
     
  23. xmichaelp macrumors 68000

    xmichaelp

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    Jul 10, 2012
    #23
    Thank you. You can edit video or make music on the rMB yet a flash video will give it issues. The problem here is flash. It's garbage.

    It's the same as complaints with the 5k iMac. You can play high end games on it yet some people had lag with mission control. The issue wasn't the machine it was the software. El Capitan fixed that.
     
  24. j.quintana, Oct 17, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2015

    j.quintana macrumors member

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    Oct 2, 2015
    #24
    OK, I will try to give some details to my situation. Please keep in mind that I got my rMB 4 days ago and I have absolutely no OS X experience prior to that. So far I really like it, but that streamed video chopiness is strange.

    My issue is quite pronounced in this video, which is actually the first in the list, when you search for '1080p':
    I can clearly see the video not running smoothly in the scenes with the icebergs, which is still within the first minute. I can see it in other scenes, too, but it is most pronounced with the icebergs.
    It does not matter if I use Safari or Firefox and I also upgraded from OS X Yosemite to El Capitan which didn't make a difference (I didn't upgrade for that reason of course).

    My internet speed is 25 Mbit and the video playback almost never uses more than 5 Mbit.

    Thanks for the tip. Since I used Windows for 20 years I just stuck with what I knew what was working well for me in the last couple of years and that was VLC. I will give Movist a try.

    If you need any further information just let me know.

    Edit: By the way, on my last Windows machine with a top of the line i7 CPU from 2013 and a discrete graphics card the videos also run a little choppy, but it is less pronounced and I might just see it because the 24 fps framerate is relatively low. Plus the judder on this machine is very regular, like a micro judder going on numerous times per second. With the rMB it's more like 2-3 distinct judders per second.

    I hope I expressed myself well enough, English is not my native language ;)
     
  25. BarcelonaPaul Suspended

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    Jul 1, 2015
    #25
    Hi j.quintana,
    I've got to admit, that video does look choppy on both my Apple TV and my old MacBook which usually behaves itself.
    For me, it's usually movies bought on iTunes that look choppy when panning. I just blamed that on American NTSC but i'm no expert :) It is bizarre though when you think 30 years ago video tapes had none of these problems :) :) :) (Something I used the other night as my Apple Home Sharing is so hit and miss. Some nights it works, others never).


     

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