The new MacBooks may have a feature which all other MacBooks currently lack. The feature is the ability to decode H.264 video directly off the GPU instead of using the CPU to do all the work. This would enable the MacBooks to perform multiple tasks more seamlessly while encoding and greatly improve performance of the encoding times as well.
MacRumors is reporting that users in their forums have noticed that when watching 1080P Quicktime trailers, the CPU on the old MacBook Pro is running at 100% while the new MacBook is only using a 5th of CPU’s power at 19%. This should make many of us happy if it proves to be true and just unspoken of by Apple. If any of you encode in H.264 you know it is great once it’s done, but the time it takes to encode and decode the video is much more lengthy than that of a traditional mpeg encoding job. The speed of the encoding is greatly sped up by the GPU which can handle the task much more seamlessly and at much higher rate of speed then by using the CPU cycles.
Lets hope we hear something from Apple on this, but if not, we are sure to hear more when Snow Leopard releases, as this is a suppose to be a feature of Quicktime X. Until then, let us know if you have noticed any differences when watching or encoding H.264.