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  1. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2008
    Location: Japan
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    Greetings,

    Would there be some kinds of encoded videos that are easier on a laptop's battery life than others? I'm curious about this as I get ready to go on a flight and I'm not sure if I'll be able to recharge my laptop.


    I would imagine that anything that is using hardware decoding would be better than software decoding...is there some kind of tool like CPU-Z that can tell you what formats your computer can natively hardware decode?


    Thanks for any help.


    Matt
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  2. Member yoda313's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2004
    Location: The Animus
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    Do you have time to buy an extra battery?

    Other than that a rule of thumb would be 720p videos would be a lighter load than 1080p as would standard def videos.

    Standard def would be your best bet for longevity I imagine.

    Also if you have any wacky encoded files with high reference frames or hi10 videos that would probably be more taxing on the computer, especially if you CAN'T decode h264 natively on the graphics device itself.

    But your surest bet would be to buy an extra battery to swap over should it quit on you.

    I know they make those rechargeable extra battery units for cellphones that will act as an extra battery. Do they make those for laptops?

    Essentially a portable ups would be what I'm thinking of.

    Of course in the long run it might be simplest to simply take dvds/blurays along so that its hardware decoded for sure (I mean either physically pressed or properly authored home made ones).

    Though space is a concern with actual physical discs so you could rip a bunch and play off your harddrive if you have enough space on your drive.
    Donatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Nov 2008
    Location: Japan
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    Thanks. I didn't even think of SD vs HD. What I was really wondering is do certains cpu/gpu combinations use less energy for 264 vs mpeg2 vs divx vs etc? Maybe certain CPU/GPUs can decode some of those natively, and in that case it would use less energy? And if so, is there some kind of program like CPU-Z that detects which formats your CPU/GPU can do natively?
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  4. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2006
    Location: United States
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    Originally Posted by schwarznavy View Post
    Thanks. I didn't even think of SD vs HD. What I was really wondering is do certains cpu/gpu combinations use less energy for 264 vs mpeg2 vs divx vs etc? Maybe certain CPU/GPUs can decode some of those natively, and in that case it would use less energy? And if so, is there some kind of program like CPU-Z that detects which formats your CPU/GPU can do natively?
    The manufacturer's product page for the GPU should list the video formats it can decode on its own. At least that is what I have seen for various GPUs from AMD/ATI.
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  5. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2011
    Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
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    H.264 video will use more horsepower if CABAC is enabled, which it generally is except for low profiles.
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  6. Member PuzZLeR's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2006
    Location: Toronto Canada
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    Originally Posted by schwarznavy View Post
    Thanks. I didn't even think of SD vs HD. What I was really wondering is do certains cpu/gpu combinations use less energy for 264 vs mpeg2 vs divx vs etc? Maybe certain CPU/GPUs can decode some of those natively, and in that case it would use less energy? And if so, is there some kind of program like CPU-Z that detects which formats your CPU/GPU can do natively?
    In the "old days", a few years ago, it used to be fact that, all things being equal, MPEG-1 needed less resources to decode/play than MPEG-2, which in turned needed less horsepower than MPEG-4 ASP formats (DivX, Xvid).

    H.264/AVC was "the hog" then, and more rarely used, which was ever more CPU intensive.

    All these resources used in turn did translate to more battery life used for laptops.

    Today speeds have increased for video tremendously, and H.264 is much more in the norm than ever, including better software for it, and even phones have been designed to run it for longer periods, etc, all unheard of mere years ago, so maybe things have changed.

    Too many factors to decide, and much depends on your laptop's design and "era".
    Last edited by PuzZLeR; 21st Dec 2013 at 23:54. Reason: Grammar only.
    Been away for a while and busy with work the last few months so I had no time for forums. My apologies for any emails I couldn't get to in time - missed you all! :-)
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  7. Generally, MPEG2 takes less power to decode. But with GPU decoding the difference is probably very small. Turning down the backlight is a more effective way of extending battery life.
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