Originally Posted by Ein
Not all Apple HD trailers are 2.35:1. The true 1920X1080 16:9 movies will bring some CPUs to their knees.
Sure. I didn't mean to assume that all Apple trailers were 2.35:1. I'll test a few 16:9 out.
Thanks for the pointer to the test clip. One of the points that I mentioned above in the cpu studies is that you need to find challenging material to test cpu ability. And then realize that in the future there will be more challenging material.
Interesting that Apple states the following in the system requirements on the download page:
QuickTime 7 for Mac OS X:
* Dual 2.0 GHz PowerMac G5 or faster Macintosh computer; 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo or faster
* At least 512MB of RAM
* 128MB or greater video card
Especially the video card spec, as it doesn't seem to include the Mini or MB, which only have 64MB RAM, which is shared out of the main system RAM pool, leaving the OS with only 448MB RAM in the barebones setup. My MB has 1GB.
So even many early and bottom line Core Duo machines, like my MB, don't meet the requirements. My 1.83 Core Duo dropped down to 17fps (noticeable) during some motion sequences, and cpu was in the 50-80% range, constantly. So this clip did tax it beyond what I would like. And I don't think that this clip was anywhere near a worst case, as it had very little motion (comparatively) and the data rate was limited to under 10mbits/sec.
I compared that to Eragon's 1080p trailer
which is 1920x816 at a data rate of 10.83mbits/s. It has a lot of motion, compared to the Pan's Labyrinth trailer. But it played a rock solid 24fps and cpu was 40-70%--about 10% lower than Pan. So there is definitely something going on here other than data rate. The frame size of the 1920x1080 most likely is eating up more cpu/gpu, even at a lower data rate, though the lower data rate(higher compression) can suggest more cpu procesing is needed to decompress it.
I think that Apple's recommendation is a good starting point for Mac OS requirements. The Windows Core requirements were a C2D at 2.4Ghz with a dedicated gpu (not a GMA950 like the Mini and MB), minimum. Can the Mac OS X be that much more efficient at HD playback? I'd still like to see a new Mini upgrade to at least a 2.0 C2D with 128MB video RAM before i'd consider buying one. Maybe even a bit higher.