Minimum specs for being able to playback HQ 4K MKV

MKV playback, recompression, remuxing, codec packs, players, howtos, etc.
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Stonelesscutter
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Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:27 pm

Minimum specs for being able to playback HQ 4K MKV

Post by Stonelesscutter » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:14 am

Hello!

I've found myself running in circles on the internet, trying to get one question answered. I hadn't thought it would be so difficult to find an answer to it, but apparently it is. Actually, I don't think I've ever had this much trouble trying to find something online. Anyway, I'm starting to get kinda desperate, and since it's a question about MKV files, I thought coming to a place which is dedicated to creating MKV files might lead to the knowledge I am seeking. I hope at least someone here will be able to help me out with their expertise. So, without further delay, here's the question.

What is the minimum Intel/AMD processor required to be able to easily play a high quality (65 GB or so) 4K MKV file without the benefit of an additional graphics card?

Currently I have a mini PC with a Intel Core i3 5005U processor on board and it's supposed to be capable of handling 4K, but if I feed it anything more than about a 3.5 to 4 GB MKV file it chokes. I use VLC Player by the way. So I'm looking for an answer to the above question to know what kind of hardware I should expect to save up for. Online, I find people mentioning using an Android box or another to play 4K, but that's not really what I'm looking for. This, because they system I intend to build would also serve other purposes, such as storage, media server and possibly some gaming.

Any help or clues which can guide me on my quest would be most appreciated and welcome. Thanks in advance.

Woodstock
Posts: 7174
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:21 pm

Re: Minimum specs for being able to playback HQ 4K MKV

Post by Woodstock » Mon Feb 17, 2020 2:17 pm

The key is in decoding the h.265 content.

You need either a fast CPU, or hardware support in your video card. Intel CPUs have QSV for accelerated decoding, but most AMD and nVidia cards have decode, too.
How to aid in finding the answer to your problem: https://www.makemkv.com/faq/item/8

Stonelesscutter
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:27 pm

Re: Minimum specs for being able to playback HQ 4K MKV

Post by Stonelesscutter » Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:45 pm

Thanks for you reply @Woodstock.

I know that QuickSync is supposed to help, but it's far from everything. The i3 5005U features QuickSync, but my mini PC constantly chokes on MKV files. I've even experienced the choking with 1080p files on occasion with a previous (and even less powerful) mini PC. Similarly sized MP4 files have however never given me issues. I don't know why this is. Maybe I'm just doing something wrong. All I do is open a file in VLC and let it play though.

So how fast would a CPU need to be in order to decode the 65 GB h.265 encoded MKV files? Is there a ballpark figure for a minimum PassMark score I should look for, for example?

Woodstock
Posts: 7174
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:21 pm

Re: Minimum specs for being able to playback HQ 4K MKV

Post by Woodstock » Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:22 pm

Does it choke on it when it's "local content", or when you're playing across the network?

I have a minipc that can "do" 4K, but its network connection isn't fast enough to play content from the network server. I haven't tried putting the content on a local device, because it only has 32GB on board.
How to aid in finding the answer to your problem: https://www.makemkv.com/faq/item/8

Stonelesscutter
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:27 pm

Re: Minimum specs for being able to playback HQ 4K MKV

Post by Stonelesscutter » Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:55 pm

Woodstock wrote:
Mon Feb 17, 2020 7:22 pm
Does it choke on it when it's "local content", or when you're playing across the network?

I have a minipc that can "do" 4K, but its network connection isn't fast enough to play content from the network server. I haven't tried putting the content on a local device, because it only has 32GB on board.
I've tried playing the content from a portable hard drive connected directly to the mini PC (USB 3.0) and I've also tried putting the file on the mini PC's internal SSD. It made no difference. There is no network bottleneck involved. I've also just checked the settings in VLC Player and the hardware acceleration is not disabled. The mini PC has 8 GB of RAM by the way. It seems to me to be an issue of processing power.

spl147
Posts: 244
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:59 pm

Re: Minimum specs for being able to playback HQ 4K MKV

Post by spl147 » Sun Feb 23, 2020 1:29 am

Windows has way to much overhead, just use a $99 dedicated media player that runs linux. OSMC Vero4K+

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