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4K60 FPS VP9 decoding performance

Carfax83

Diamond Member
Nov 1, 2010
6,051
850
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4K60 FPS on YouTube uses the VP9 codec, and is CPU intensive because unless you're one of the lucky few to have a Pascal GPU, it's decoded in software by the CPU.

I'm curious to see how various CPUs (especially quad cores with and without SMT, and dual cores with SMT) handle this test video of BF1 @ 4k60 in browser. (note that the actual resolution isn't 4K, but it shouldn't matter)

Check your CPU usage, and look for stuttering or lag. On my 5930K @ 4.4ghz I'm getting mid 20s to low 30s as far as CPU usage goes, and very smooth playback.

It doesn't default to 4k60 so you'll have to manually set it. Also, to get 4K you'll need either Chrome, Firefox or the latest Windows 10 insider's build of Edge.
 
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imported_bman

Senior member
Jul 29, 2007
262
54
101
My Core M3 6Y30 cannot play that video at 4K@60 or 1440P@60 without dropping lots of frames and stuttering. 1080p@60 is playable, though my CPU starts to hit +90% usage and still drops the odd frame. GPU utilization does not pass 35% during playback at 4K@60 so I am guessing Intel's partial VP9 decode is not very efficient.
 

escrow4

Diamond Member
Feb 4, 2013
3,333
113
106
5930K with MCE enabled, around 35% with a GT 730. This is why I don't recommend dual cores anymore. Look at the Internet in 2008 with a Core 2 E8400 and the internet in 2016 with a similar chip - it will not last as the Internet gets fatter and fatter. This is also hilarious for those who bought one of those pansy Core M macbooks from Apple, in a year or two they will start to bog down.

Again, for a desktop an i5 6500 minimum, and for a laptop the most recent CPU gen i5 as an absolute minimum (yes I know they are dual core but most laptops suck balls anyway) if not an HQ i7.
 

The Stilt

Golden Member
Dec 5, 2015
1,709
3,057
106
There is a huge performance difference between the decoders. No idea what decoder or how old version of it do the most common browsers use, however with the most recent Libav decoder even a 4.0GHz quad core Piledriver can decode 20Mbps 4K VP9 video at 65fps.
 

Carfax83

Diamond Member
Nov 1, 2010
6,051
850
126
5930K with MCE enabled, around 35% with a GT 730. This is why I don't recommend dual cores anymore. Look at the Internet in 2008 with a Core 2 E8400 and the internet in 2016 with a similar chip - it will not last as the Internet gets fatter and fatter. This is also hilarious for those who bought one of those pansy Core M macbooks from Apple, in a year or two they will start to bog down.

Again, for a desktop an i5 6500 minimum, and for a laptop the most recent CPU gen i5 as an absolute minimum (yes I know they are dual core but most laptops suck balls anyway) if not an HQ i7.
This pretty much. The internet is getting more and more bloated, and whilst HEVC is great, it comes with the cost of processing power.

I've read instances where people with low end CPUs couldn't even do a smooth playback of a 480p stream with Chrome VP9, because it's so processor intensive.

Oh well, it's an incentive to upgrade! :thumbsup:

It uses 80% of my i7 4790 with integrated graphics and drops frames like crazy.
Wow, I'm surprised that a 4790 is having difficulty with that stream :eek:

What browser are you using? I don't think Firefox's VP9 decoder is as good as Chrome's, which uses libvpx and even Chrome's isn't that good to be honest. There are better alternatives, like ffvp9 which uses multithreading much more effectively..
 

Carfax83

Diamond Member
Nov 1, 2010
6,051
850
126
There is a huge performance difference between the decoders. No idea what decoder or how old version of it do the most common browsers use, however with the most recent Libav decoder even a 4.0GHz quad core Piledriver can decode 20Mbps 4K VP9 video at 65fps.
Chrome uses the libVPX decoder. The fastest VP9 decoder from what I've read, is the ffVP9.

I don't know what decoder Firefox uses.
 

Soulkeeper

Diamond Member
Nov 23, 2001
6,589
83
91
Chrome uses the libVPX decoder. The fastest VP9 decoder from what I've read, is the ffVP9.

I don't know what decoder Firefox uses.
firefox uses libvpx too
ffVP9 sounds like part of ffmpeg which is likely using libvpx
 
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MiRai

Member
Dec 3, 2010
159
1
91
I'd like to add that you also need a fast enough internet connection to be able to watch the video without constant buffering, which some people may report as dropped frames. 1440p60 video requires ~15Mbps downstream, whereas 2160p60 requires ~25Mbps downstream, and that's to the YouTube server, not to the pole outside of your house or the nearest node that SpeedTest gives you.

Anyone can check their connection to YouTube on any particular video by right-clicking anywhere on the video itself, and then choosing "Stats for nerds" to see what their connection speed is to the server which is serving them the video.
 

Carfax83

Diamond Member
Nov 1, 2010
6,051
850
126
firefox uses libvpx too
ffVP9 sounds like part of ffmpeg which is likely using libvpx
No ffVP9 is a separate decoder. Here's one of the developers of ffVP9's blog.

He does some tests comparing libVPX to ffVP9. Now granted this was in 2014, so the performance metrics have definitely changed since then. How much, I don't know, but Google has certainly done a lot of performance improvements for libVPX during that time.

Anyone can check their connection to YouTube on any particular video by right-clicking anywhere on the video itself, and then choosing "Stats for nerds" to see what their connection speed is to the server which is serving them the video.
My connection speed was anywhere from 75 to 55Mbps according to Google, but I still had a few dropped frames. And by few, I'm talking about single digits.

Is that normal? I never saw any perceivable stuttering, pauses or lag though, which makes me wonder how accurate the dropped frames counter is..
 
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SlowSpyder

Lifer
Jan 12, 2005
17,305
998
126
On my FX8320e @ 3.2GHz it would use up to ~89% of the CPU according to task manager in Chrome / Win10 64 and every five seconds or so there would be a pause. Bumped it up to 4.2GHz, still used up to ~85% CPU (but spent a lot more time in the mid 70's% range) but the playback was perfectly smooth at that clock, not a single drop that I saw in the minute or two I watched.
 

mnewsham

Lifer
Oct 2, 2010
14,387
356
136
Here is an 8k video if anyone wants to give that a shot.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLprVF6d7Ug

My 5820k hits around 60-75% usage at some parts of that video, it was stutter free except for a few transitional scenes where it dropped a frame or two.

I have a GTX 960 but it doesn't look like chrome is using it, sitting at 12% usage.
 

fastamdman

Golden Member
Nov 18, 2011
1,327
68
91
The first video the op posted plays perfectly fine for me. The 8k video I will give a shot now. Yup, that played perfectly fine as well. I am running a 4790k with a gtx 1080 with a 150mbps internet connection. I didn't have any issues.
 

escrow4

Diamond Member
Feb 4, 2013
3,333
113
106
Here is an 8k video if anyone wants to give that a shot.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLprVF6d7Ug

My 5820k hits around 60-75% usage at some parts of that video, it was stutter free except for a few transitional scenes where it dropped a frame or two.

I have a GTX 960 but it doesn't look like chrome is using it, sitting at 12% usage.
Had to wait for it to buffer but around 50%. I wonder what those with poky dual cores are experiencing - VirtualLarry? Still if isn't a quad in a desktop, pass.
 

mnewsham

Lifer
Oct 2, 2010
14,387
356
136
The first video the op posted plays perfectly fine for me. The 8k video I will give a shot now. Yup, that played perfectly fine as well. I am running a 4790k with a gtx 1080 with a 150mbps internet connection. I didn't have any issues.
Check CPU usage during, i wonder if it's using that GTX 1080.

For some reason my GTX 960 seems to be unused when I use chrome for youtube, I might try it in a few different browsers and see if it's just chrome or maybe youtube itself, as the GTX 960 SHOULD be perfectly capable of decoding VP9 at 4k/8k.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,736
6,249
126
4K60 FPS on YouTube uses the VP9 codec, and is CPU intensive because unless you're one of the lucky few to have a Pascal GPU, it's decoded in software by the CPU.

I'm curious to see how various CPUs (especially quad cores with and without SMT, and dual cores with SMT) handle this test video of BF1 @ 4k60 in browser. (note that the actual resolution isn't 4K, but it shouldn't matter)

Check your CPU usage, and look for stuttering or lag. On my 5930K @ 4.4ghz I'm getting mid 20s to low 30s as far as CPU usage goes, and very smooth playback.

It doesn't default to 4k60 so you'll have to manually set it. Also, to get 4K you'll need either Chrome, Firefox or the latest Windows 10 insider's build of Edge.
Had to wait for it to buffer but around 50%. I wonder what those with poky dual cores are experiencing - VirtualLarry? Still if isn't a quad in a desktop, pass.
I only had 2 dropped frames, which probably had to do with the transition to 4K60. Plays really smoothly on my G4400 @ 4.455Ghz, and a 7950 3GB card, on a 1080P HDMI HDTV/monitor. It was showing my connection needed 29.5Mbit/sec down, it was really maxing my connection. (I have 25/25 internet, which works out to 30/30.)

CPU usage on my dual-core was pretty maxed out though, like 95+% usage. Waterfox 47.0 64-bit on Win7 64-bit SP1.

Edit: No lag or stutters, that I could see.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,736
6,249
126
Here is an 8k video if anyone wants to give that a shot.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLprVF6d7Ug

My 5820k hits around 60-75% usage at some parts of that video, it was stutter free except for a few transitional scenes where it dropped a frame or two.

I have a GTX 960 but it doesn't look like chrome is using it, sitting at 12% usage.
That's laggy and pretty unwatchable for me. I think it's my connection limitation, really.

Edit: Ok, so I went and doubled my internet speed, to 50/50 (really, 58/63, apparently).

Trying this video again, showed my connection rate to be 55Mbit/sec (holy 8K video, batman), but the video was still laggy and dropping frames. Oh well. Wonder if my AMD 7950 3GB can accelerate VP9 at 8K at all? I'm pretty sure my G4400 @ 4.455Ghz was completely maxed out, and still laggy.
 
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Zodiark1593

Platinum Member
Oct 21, 2012
2,232
4
81
Works beautifully in FF on my i5-4590 (forced to max turbo) and GTX 960, the latter most likely pulling the weight here. The only stickler is waiting for buffering on my poky 10 mbps internet, but once buffered, plays perfectly.

Might be short lived as a AAA gaming card, but it could live a second life in an htpc.

Edit: Nvmd. CPU was at 50% during the 4K60P video, but at 100% at the 8K one. In GPU-Z, the video card is doing jack squat.

Edit 2: Edge does seem to hit my GPU's video engine for 12% when running 4K60P video, while the cpu clocks down to 0.96 MHz. 8K video doesn't work though as a black screen results.
 
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MiRai

Member
Dec 3, 2010
159
1
91
My connection speed was anywhere from 75 to 55Mbps according to Google, but I still had a few dropped frames. And by few, I'm talking about single digits.

Is that normal? I never saw any perceivable stuttering, pauses or lag though, which makes me wonder how accurate the dropped frames counter is..
I'm not sure what is 100% normal since I don't have the downstream to watch 2160p60 videos on YouTube, although I upload in that format to my channel. :)

I'm pretty sure I've watched plenty of 1440p60 videos without any dropped frames, but I can't be for certain, and while I'd test again right now, I'm in the middle of uploading a few large videos to YouTube so my connection is limited. I imagine a dropped frame here or there could just be a small glitch that happens from time to time (e.g. while switching the quality of the video), and if there's no noticeable stuttering I probably wouldn't think anything of it.
 

2is

Diamond Member
Apr 8, 2012
4,294
129
106
I'm only seeing a 1080p option

Just read the entire first post. Tried again in Chrome. I had a small skip at the very beginning and it played smoothly throughout on a 2600k @ 4.2GHz and a 7970. CPU was pegged at 100% much of the time and GPU was at 20-25%
 
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SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
4,984
347
126
unless they changed it you need Chrome to play VP9, if you use another browser it will play using h264 and not display all the resolution options,

anyway, when I tested last year my sandy bridge i5 couldn't handle 4k60 (downscalling to my lower res monitor), it would run like 2 seconds smoothly and freeze and kept doing that, with CPU usage almost at 100%

sandy bridge i7 OC running it smoothly sounds right, the stock i5 felt like it was almost there.

apparently even a PII x6 @4GHz can't handle it
http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=45820
 

2is

Diamond Member
Apr 8, 2012
4,294
129
106
Tried it again on my sig machine. Perfectly smooth there as well. CPU usage was averaging around 75-80. It would spike as high as the low 90's and drop to mid 60's at times. GPU usage was 40-45%
 

mnewsham

Lifer
Oct 2, 2010
14,387
356
136
Works beautifully in FF on my i5-4590 (forced to max turbo) and GTX 960, the latter most likely pulling the weight here. The only stickler is waiting for buffering on my poky 10 mbps internet, but once buffered, plays perfectly.

Might be short lived as a AAA gaming card, but it could live a second life in an htpc.

Edit: Nvmd. CPU was at 50% during the 4K60P video, but at 100% at the 8K one. In GPU-Z, the video card is doing jack squat.

Edit 2: Edge does seem to hit my GPU's video engine for 12% when running 4K60P video, while the cpu clocks down to 0.96 MHz. 8K video doesn't work though as a black screen results.
Okay so in Edge I can get 4k playing with basically no CPU usage and my GPU doing all the work, but in chrome it's the other way around, 30-40% CPU usage. However in Chrome I can watch 8k (50-75% CPU usage), but in the edge browser it's just a black screen.
 

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