RedShark News’ Tommy Byrds explains computing term FLOPS and how it relates to video compression for post-production professionals.
He writes, “FLOPS stands for Floating Point Operations Per Second and is a term used to measure a computer’s ability to do math; specifically its ability to do complicated math using numbers with lots of decimal places…Historically you didn’t need a dedicated GPU just to play back video. As long as you made sure your disks could feed the data fast enough, the video would display on the screen — there’s no real complex math going on there. As we started getting higher definition video, our disks couldn’t keep up with the amount of data we were feeding it and keeping all that uncompressed video on our hard drives was simply out of the question. Enter compression. This works great to keep the quality of video high while keeping data rates and file sizes low, but now your computer has to perform some floating-point operations on that compressed data to display it properly. The CPU can mostly keep up with this, but remember that your CPU still has to do all kinds of other things to keep the computer running and since it’s not great at FLOPS, anything else it has to do will make video playback suffer.”
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