Snow Leopard H.264 Hardware Acceleration and OpenCL Requirements

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Apr 12, 2001
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Apple's Mac OS X Snow Leopard specs page also reveals a number of other details about hardware support for both H.264 acceleration and OpenCL.

MacRumors had previously reported that the latest MacBook Pros offered hardware acceleration for H.264 video playback. While Apple has previously included graphics cards that have contained hardware support for H.264 decoding, the company has only recently taken advantage of this hardware acceleration. Mac OS X Snow Leopard's specs officially acknowledge this support but it appears to be limted to the NVIDIA 9400M graphics processors found in recent Apple laptops and desktops. Unfortunately, it does not appear that this support will extend to older video cards. Hardware decoding of H.264 video improves the performance of video playback while leaving your computer's CPU free for other tasks.

Meanwhile, Apple also details which GPUs will be supported for their upcoming OpenCL API. OpenCL will allow developers to easily offload additional processing tasks to the computer's GPU. Some tasks may find greater benefit from this than others, but could potentially offer substantial performance boosts. The list of supported GPUs include:

- NVIDIA Geforce 8600M GT, GeForce 8800 GT, GeForce 8800 GTS, Geforce 9400M, GeForce 9600M GT, GeForce GT 120, GeForce GT 130.
- ATI Radeon 4850, Radeon 4870

In one specific example, one company found a 5-fold increase in video encoding when using OpenCL-like technology on the PC.

Article Link: Snow Leopard H.264 Hardware Acceleration and OpenCL Requirements
 

superted666

Guest
Oct 17, 2005
422
0
Hmm does this mean my recent purchase of a iMac 2.8ghz core 2 extreme does not support the new CL API?

Bit gutted :(
 

Merkuryy

macrumors regular
Jun 10, 2007
175
0
Shanghai, China
Glad I bought a Santa Rosa MBP with dedicated GPU:rolleyes:. The integrated GPU just proved to be trash over the time and with the huge revolution to get graphics better
 

iDarbert

macrumors regular
Feb 12, 2008
100
0
Aww, looks like my 7600 is not supported...

Glad I bought a Santa Rosa MBP with dedicated GPU:rolleyes:. The integrated GPU just proved to be trash over the time and with the huge revolution to get graphics better
The GeForce 9400M is integrated, too.
 

big_malk

macrumors 6502a
Aug 7, 2005
557
1
Scotland
Glad to see my GeForce 8800 is supported :)
I wonder if we'll see a folding@home client for graphics cards now, like they've had on windows for a while.
 

oingoboingo

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2003
988
0
Sydney, Australia
I'm afraid :eek:

What about the GeForce 9400M of the 2009 iMac and uMacbook 2008 ? :confused:
From the summary on the front page:

The list of supported GPUs include:

- NVIDIA Geforce 8600M GT, GeForce 8800 GT, GeForce 8800 GTS, Geforce 9400M, GeForce 9600M GT, GeForce GT 120, GeForce GT 130.
- ATI Radeon 4850, Radeon 4870
 

risenphoenixkai

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2008
121
95
Too bad the 8600M GT isn't getting h.264 acceleration, but honestly, my MBP has never had any stuttering issues with playback anyway. I could see it being useful if you're running multiple simultaneous window instances of HD video, but I've never done it.

I'm thrilled that it's supporting OpenCL though. I just hope that using the GPU more often for computational tasks doesn't mean the supposedly fail-happy 8600M GT will fry itself all the faster.
 

edesignuk

Moderator emeritus
Mar 25, 2002
19,233
2
London, England
Oh splendid. The video card in my ~£2k Mac Pro from just over a year ago isn't supported.

I know things have to move forward, but it's still irritating.
 

Otaviano

macrumors 6502a
Nov 22, 2007
601
237
A shame my iMac (ATI Radeon HD 2600 Pro) would be able to enjoy these added benefits.
 

windywoo

macrumors 6502a
May 24, 2009
536
0
Whats this? Apple using new software features to make users upgrade their hardware? Sounds like something Microsoft would do :p
 

MrZebra

macrumors regular
Sep 7, 2008
229
2
Too bad the 8600M GT isn't getting h.264 acceleration, but honestly, my MBP has never had any stuttering issues with playback anyway. I could see it being useful if you're running multiple simultaneous window instances of HD video, but I've never done it.

I'm thrilled that it's supporting OpenCL though. I just hope that using the GPU more often for computational tasks doesn't mean the supposedly fail-happy 8600M GT will fry itself all the faster.
word.
 

TheNorthWaves

macrumors 6502
Oct 13, 2007
329
18
USA
what does this mean for average joe user such as myself? Should I upgrade before the masses find out that my white macbook with the intel X3100 graphics doesn't cut it? Or is this really not a big deal :confused:
edit: I use my macbook for the stuff that 90% of people out there use a computer for. I'm not a video editor/etc.
 

jcwacky

macrumors newbie
Oct 23, 2008
25
3
The list mentions the GeForce 8800 GT and the GeForce 8800 GTS but no sign of the GeForce 8800 GS in my 1 year old iMac!?

That can't be right!
 
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