Improve YouTube Video Playback on Low Power Intel mini PCs by Disabling VP9 Support in Chrome or Firefox

I’ve been reviewing several Intel Bay Trail, Cherry Trail, and Braswell mini PCs in the last year or so, and I always end up recommending Microsoft Edge browser over Firefox or Chrome for people wanting to watch YouTube videos, as the last two browsers always drop many frames with the video stuttering regularly. However I noticed that while Edge is playing  MP4/AVC (H.264) video, the other two browser would normally stream WebM/VP9 videos, and it could be the cause of the problem as H.264 can be hardware accelerated, but VP9 not, and the low power processor might not quite powerful enough to handle 1080p VP9 video decoding smoothly. So I investigated the issues with Vorke V1 mini PC powered by an Intel Celeron J3160 processor (6W TDP) with the three browsers by first checking enabled codecs in YouTube HTML5 page. Microsoft Edge has both VP8 and VP9 disabled When I tested  Firefox 47 in other mini PCs VP9 was enabled, …

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Axiomtek Braswell pico-ITX Board Fearures Pentium N3710 or Celeron N3060 Processor

Axiomtek has just announced PICO300 pico-ITX board, an update of their PICO842 board replacing Bay Trail processors by Braswell ones. The board supports either Intel Pentium N3710 or Celeron N3060 processors with up to 8 GB memory via a SO-DIMM socket, and includes HDMI or VGA, SATA and Gigabit Ethernet interfaces among others. Axiomtek PICO300 pico-ITX motherboard specifications: SoC Intel Celeron N3060 dual core processor @  1.6 / 2.48 GHz with 12 EU Intel HD Graphics 400 @ up to 600 MHz (6W TDP) OR Intel Pentium N3710 quad core processor @  1.6 / 2.56 GHz with 16 EU Intel HD Graphics 405 @ up to 700 MHz (6W TDP) System Memory – 1x 204-pin SO-DIMM DDR3L-1600 up to 8GB Storage – 1x SATA-600, 1x mSATA (shared with PCIe mini card) Video Output – 1x LVDS, and 1x HDMI or 1x VGA Audio – MIC-in/Line-out; Realtek ACL662 audio codec Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet with Wake-on-LAN, PXE Boot support (Intel i211AT) …

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ECS previews Intel Apollo Lake based Liva-Z mini PC at Computex 2016

If anything is clear from having walked around this year’s Computex, then it is that the mini PC is here to stay. Beyond plenty of socketed boards using Intel’s new STX form factor from just about every vendor, there are also plenty of other mini PC’s on display. One that caught our eye at the show was ECS’ new Liva, tentatively named the Z. The following specifications were revealed by ECS: SoC – Intel Apollo Lake System Memory –  2x DDR3L SO-DIMM’s Storage – 32GB/64GB eMMC flash + 1x M.2 2280 for SSD (unclear if it supports PCIe drives) Video Output – Mini DisplayPort, HDMI (no revisions mentioned) Audio – DisplayPort, HDMI and 3.5mm headphone jack Connectivity – 2x Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 USB – 1x USB 3.0 Type-C, 3x USB 3.0 ports Power Supply – 19V/2.1A It’s so far the only Intel Apollo Lake system we’ve spotted at the show and it looks like we’ll get …

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HP Chromebook 13 G1 Features Skylake Pentium or Core M Processor, 4 to 16GB RAM, and a 3200×1800 Display for $499 and Up

HP Chromebook 13 G1 is the middle ground between Google’s $1000 Chromebook Pixel and the cheap Rockchip RK3288 chromebooks, thanks to a choice of low power Skylake Core M processor,  plenty of memory, and for people who loathe 1366×768, or even 1920×1080 displays, a 13.3″ display with 3200×1800 resolution. HP Chromebook 13 G1 specifications: SoC (four options) Intel Pentium 4405Y dual core / quad thread processor @ 1.5 GHz with Intel HD Graphics 515 GPU @ 300/800 MHz (TDP: 6W) Intel Core m3-6Y30 dual core / quad thread processor @ 900 / 2.2 GHz with Intel HD Graphics 515 GPU @ 300/850 MHz (TDP: 4.5W) Intel Core m5-6Y57  dual core / quad thread processor @ 1.1 / 2.8 GHz with Intel HD Graphics 515 GPU @ 300/900 MHz (TDP: 4.5W) Intel Core m7-6Y75 dual core / quad thread processor @ 1.2 / 3.1 GHz with Intel HD Graphics 515 GPU @ 300MHz/ 1 GHz (TDP: 4.5W) System Memory – 4 GB …

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Mini PCs and Cloudbooks Powered by Intel Apollo Lake Pentium and Celeron Processors, Successors of Braswell SoCs, are Expected in H2 2016

Intel released a presentation entitled “Design Considerations and Reference Designs for Entry, Value and Mainstream PCs” at IDF 2016 Shenzhen, explaining the company vision about low power laptops and mini PCs. At the core of those devices will be “Apollo Lake” Pentium and Celeron Processors with 6 to 10W TDP replacing Braswell processors with better CPU and graphics performance, lower power consumption, and low overall BoM cost. Beside mini PCs, the processors will also find their way into what Intel calls Cloudbooks, some sort of laptops with 2 to 4GB RAM, 32 to 64GB storage, no hard drive, and displays whose size ranges from 11.6″ to 14″. So it looks like Cloudbooks may be the new Netbooks, with better performance and larger displays. Cost savings on the mainboard are achieved thanks to the integration of many features (Signal Processor, SD Card bridge chip, Spead Spectrum Clock…), low power consumption leading to smaller batteries, the ability to load the BIOS/UEFI to …

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SolidRun Introduces Intel Braswell MicroSoMs, and SolidPC Q4 Carrier Board

SolidRun has been making ARM based MicroSoMs –  tiny system-on-module – for a while, and integrated them in many of their boards such as HummindBoard Edge or ClearFog Pro, and now the company has packed Intel Braswell processors into 52.8 x 40mm MicroSoMs that can be plugged into SolidPC Q4 carrier board. Two Braswell MicroSoM module have been designed so far: SoM IB8000 and SoM IB3710, which beside having different SoCs, and memory options share most of the same specifications: SoC SoM IB8000 – Intel Atom x5-E8000 quad core processor @ 1.04 / 2.0 GHz with 12EU Intel HD graphics @ 320/600 MHz (5W TDP) SoM IB3710 – Intel Pentium N3710 quad core processor @ 1.6 / 2.56 GHz with 16EU Intel HD graphics 405 @ 400/700 MHz (6W TDP) System Memory SoM IB8000 – 1GB (single channel), 2GB, 4GB or 8GB (dual channel) SoM IB3710 – Up to 8GB (default size) Storage – 64Mbit SPI flash for BIOS/UEFI externally programmable via …

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Remix OS 2.0 for PC Will Run on Most Intel and AMD Computers

Remix OS is a fork of Android developed by Jide and optimized for desktop use, in a similar way to what Rockchip is doing with Light Biz OS, except the developers do not limit themselves to one specific SoC vendor with the operating system found in Remix Mini (Allwinner A64), and Remix Ultra-tablet (Nvidia Tegra 4), as well as several firmware images for popular Android devices such as Nexus 9 & 10. Now the company is planning to release Remix OS 2.0 for Intel and AMD based computer including PCs and Macs. How do they achieved that? Technically same way as Console OS by forking Android-x86 project, except they did it with less contention, and instead Jide partnered with Android-x86 developers. Remix OS for PCs alpha is a version of Remix OS 2.0 based on Android 5.0 with the taskbar, multiple windows, better memory management (it will try not to kill your Word file open in the background…), etc. The …

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Is Console OS just a Scam Based on a Fork of Android-x86 with Little Modifications?

Console OS is supposed to be a version of Android Lollipop running on various Intel platforms, and optimized for desktop use with new features like DVR support for digital TV tuners, a desktop friendly file manager, and so on. The project launched on Kickstarter and was successful enough to raise $78,497 from 5,695 backers. But according to Chih-Wei Huang, Android-x86 project leader, and Console OS users, the Console OS developer simply forked Console OS, with some minor modifications like changing the project name, and under-delivering on the promised features. The first part is fine, as that’s the beauty of open source code, you can fork somebody else work, and add your own improvement, and long as you keep the license and credits, that’s what open source is all about. Now the project raised funds specifically for development, and as promised the source code is available on github. Here what has been allegedly changed against Android-x86: Android-x86 renamed to ConsoleOS Some Makefile …

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