I want to encode many little 10s-videos in 720p. As I want to play them in a big matrix (6 by 6 videos) in chrome, I am wondering what codec / encoding to use so that the stress on my cpu/gpu is as low as possible when playing them back. I want playback to be as smooth as possible. I don't care for the specific format, audio or filesize.

4 by 4 plays back fine but at 6 by 6 it becomes a bit stuttering.

  • Are you positive that it isn't getting the file that is bottlenecking?
    – flolilo
    Feb 18, 2018 at 22:47
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    Do you mean that my harddisk-drive isnt fast enough? I preplay them to make sure they are all in memory. My usages all seem fine, just my cpu is getting high
    – Dude
    Feb 18, 2018 at 22:51
  • Okay, that should mean that it comes down to the CPU. An answer wil be hard to get, though: We know nothing about your exact setup (is this project only for you or should everyone have access to it later on [meaning we cannot tell what hardware they will use]? What CPU, what GPU, what drives are you using? What codec and which settings are you using at the moment? Is downsizing an option, as 6*1280x6*720 is quite large?)
    – flolilo
    Feb 18, 2018 at 22:55
  • Thanks for your feedback! It's just for my machine. I've got an i5-6500 and Radeon R9 380. I tried VP9/webm and h264/mp4. Downsizing might be an option: what I am doing is, is that I'm playing more and more videos over time. So I have 1 by 1, then 2 by 2 and so on. So some videos are getting more or less fullscreened, but yeah. The others can be much smaller as they are downscaled anyway to fit on screen.
    – Dude
    Feb 18, 2018 at 23:05
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    6x720p is very large - why not encode smaller?
    – Elliott B
    May 23, 2018 at 7:01

1 Answer 1


I'd say your encoding settings are going to be more crucial, given you're limited to the codecs that Chrome can play. Unless I'm wrong you can only use MP4 / h.264 and WebM / VP8 unless you install plugins.

Try lowering the profile of your mp4, e.g. encode using baseline profile. That will mean less compression–so larger files for the same quality or lower quality at the same size–but it reduces the processing power needed to display it.

It is worth noting that there are more hardware decoders commonly available for h.264 encoded video than there are for vp8, meaning that it's more likely to be handled at the hardware level than vp8.

  • One problem, though: If OP has to save the files to a hard drive (not solid state drive), then they will be limited to around 100 MiB/s = ~ 800 Mb/s tops. With 36*720p files that are not compressed too well, things could get choppy fast.
    – flolilo
    May 25, 2018 at 10:33
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    true. You'd really have to experiment to find the sweet spot between processor bottlenecks and hard drive bottlenecks
    – stib
    May 25, 2018 at 14:39

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