Windows 8 provides improved multimedia performance and uses less power

2475 CPU Utilization thumb 2A3BFFD4 Windows 8 provides improved multimedia performance and uses less power

The much anticipated release of Windows 8 may have a lot to do with its new user interface, and optimization for touchscreen devices, but the Windows 8 team also claim that the new OS will come with improved multimedia performance while utilizing less system resources.

The much anticipated release of Windows 8 may have a lot to do with its new user interface, and optimization for touchscreen devices, but the Windows 8 team also claim that the new OS will come with improved multimedia performance while utilizing less system resources. 

2475 CPU Utilization thumb 2A3BFFD4 Windows 8 provides improved multimedia performance and uses less power

In today’s blog post on msdn.com, the Windows 8 team revealed some remarkable data of how their revamped Windows 8 multimedia platform managed to decrease CPU utilization by over 50% across various environments.  For example, WMV decoding required 32% CPU utilization in Windows 7, but in Windows 8 it was cut to just 14%. 

The team credits some of their feat to their partnership with the “silicon chip industry,” because the significant drop in CPU utilization is due to the addition of dedicated hardware which takes over most of the multimedia decoding /encoding process. 

“With Windows 8 running on a Windows 8 certified PC, video decoding for common media formats will be offloaded to a dedicated hardware subsystem for media. This allows us to significantly lower CPU usage, resulting in smoother video playback and a longer battery life, as the dedicated media hardware is much more efficient than the CPU at media decoding.”

7271 Glass to glass video latency 497EA6A7 Windows 8 provides improved multimedia performance and uses less power

Another improvement that the team touched upon in Windows 8 was communication via chat clients that require sending and receiving video and audio.  They claimed that Windows 8 will have an automatic switch which recognizes when the system is using its encoding/decoding hardware for communication or playback.  When the PC is used for communication (i.e. Skype) the hardware will switch to low latency mode, which provides for less delay between video/audio transmissions. 

“In playback mode, the average latency of the pipeline is about 575ms. This delay is necessary for a smooth playback experience when consuming video, but unacceptable for real-time video communication. In low latency mode, on the other hand, the measured latency is well under the target goal at each of the measured video resolutions,” says Steven Sinofsky, the team’s blog poster. 

These benchmarks may be impressive, but real world consumer experiences may differ.   The Windows 8 team's claims will be put up to the test soon as Windows 8 is rumored to drop around October this year.  

Source: msdn.com

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