AWOW AK41 - Web Browsers

AWOW AK41 Mini Desktop PC – Web Browsing – Week 6

Last Updated on March 24, 2022

Watching Video

I looked at video playback in web browsers in Week 2 of my blog. I concluded that watching 4K videos in Chrome/Firefox with a web browser isn’t viable on the AK41, yet watching the same 4K videos in Kodi or VLC is excellent. Videos encoded with lower resolutions (like 1080p) play fine in a web browser. {By the way, a desktop machine with an i5 processor and dedicated NVIDIA graphics card can play 8K videos smoothly in Chrome/Firefox].

The AK41 provides the Intel UHD Graphics 605. I have dug a little deeper by monitoring GPU usage on the AK41 with the aid of the intel-gpu-tools package. Intel developed this tool for debugging the Intel graphics drivers, but it can also be used for monitoring purposes.

In Manjaro, install the package with the command:

$ sudo pacman -S intel-gpu-tools

The package provides intel-gpu-top and a bunch of other utilities. intel-gpu-top offers a top like summary of Intel GPU usage using perf performance counters. It shows usage of the Render/3D/0, Blitter, Video, and VideoEnhance engines.

  • 3D Render¬†– uses regular 3D operations. This is known as rcs0;
  • Blitter – hardware acceleration of 2D operations This is known as bcs;
  • Video – this is known as vcs0;
  • VideoEnhance – this is known as vecs0.

The image below shows the output of intel-gpu-top when watching a 1080p video in Kodi.

AWOW AK41 - Kodi

I took a screenshot of the same 1080p video at the same point using Google Chrome.

AWOW AK41 - Google Chrome

Even though the GPU is running at a higher clock speed in Chrome, the Video engine of the GPU is not used in Chrome.  Whereas Kodi (and VLC, mpv) use that engine.

Next page: Page 3 – Benchmarks

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Memory Usage / General Web Browsing / Email
Page 2 – Video
Page 3 – Benchmarks
Page 4 – Summary

Complete list of articles in this series:

Week 11Video consoles: SNES emulation
Week 10Running TeamViewer with AWOW AK41 as the host
Week 9Astronomy on the AK41 including Celestia, Stellarium, Skychart, and more
Week 8Recording video with OBS Studio
Week 7Home computer emulators: FS-UAE, ZEsaurUX, Hatari, Clock Signal
Week 6Web browsing with Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Vivaldi
Week 5Gaming: SuperTuxKart, AwesomeNauts, Retrocycles, Robocraft, DOTA 2, and more
Week 4Run multiple operating systems on the AK41
Week 3Video and audio playback looking at hardware acceleration
Week 2Benchmarking the AK41 with 3 other low power machines
Week 1Introduction to the series including wiping Windows and installing Manjaro

This blog is written on the AWOW AK41 Mini PC.

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