Real World System Performance – Media Playback
Blu-Ray Playback: Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs is encoded in High Definition 1080p format using MPEG4 AVC compression and comes on a dual layer (50GB) disc. The aspect ratio of 2.35:1 is used with letterbox bars at the top and bottom of the 16:9 image. This portion of the movie has an average video bitrate of around 30MBPS and regularly peaks above this making it one of the most demanding Blu-Rays on the market. For comparison, a movie such as Casino Royale has a bitrate of 24MBPS.
Blu-Ray playback is a relatively simple affair on recent hardware, just install the latest drivers then tweak the display settings to the preferred level and run PowerDVD 11 which also features support for Blu-Ray 3D. If we want to pass some of the video processing to our GPU (including on-board support) we can do so by going into the software options and ticking the hardware acceleration box.
With GPU acceleration in place the CPU usage statistic for Blu-Ray playback never rises above 10%, leaving plenty of resources free for other tasks.
In our second playback test we look at 1080p video on YouTube and it is clear that viewing content at this resolution is a task which the Inspiron is more than capable of perfoming, making it an ideal device to stream content to our HDTV from.