Performance - Full HD & Ultra HD Video Acceleration
Accelerating & Enhancing Video on Skylake processors
CPU with integrated GPU based platforms are a lot about additional features and performance on top of regular processing. So another key feature is of course the embedded GPU with video processor. The combo of the video processor and some additional shader processors inside that chipset allows for high-definition 1080P content playback, acceleration, and though limited, enhancement of overall picture quality. For those that use other content like the immensely popular MKV / x.264 container formats, please download Media Player Classic Home Cinema. This free open source software will DXVA accelerate and enhance your MKV content at 1080P or even higher. We have written an article on Media Player Classic Home Cinema and how to set up that software to make this happen, please read that here.
Above an example of 1080P, a concert from Muse in MKV x.264 format - there is no dedicated graphics card installed, so this is the Intel iGPU at work here and quite frankly it does the job extremely smooth. You'll notice a CPU load of up-to 2% here, power consumption at this stage was roughly ~65 Watts for the entire PC. We have some extra shaders enabled like complex Image Sharpening. Perfect playback. But let's disable DXVA and try Ultra HD playback.
Ultra HD content playback. In the 4K resolution Elysium trailer we have an MP4 H.264 file and the CPU load is ~35%. Unlike many APUs we recently tested, Ultra HD video-playback did not result into stuttering, and that is a good thing. Here as well we have additional shaders enabled like image sharpening and darkened black levels. These shaders run over the iGPU.
Normally the reason why we notice stuttering is that the trailer is not DXVA encoded, or DXVA at 4K does not yet work. So then the processor cores will kick in and only IF they can handle the content fast enough this will be a successful mission. Even a Core i5 6600K is plenty fast for this job, as expected.