I know that macOS supports h.264 and h.265 hardware decode/encode (videotoolbox). Does it also support VP8/VP9/AV1 hardware decoding? Currently, playing a 4K video on YouTube is a bit slow.

I'm using macOS High Sierra on 13-inch 2017 MacBook Pro with 3.1 GHz Intel Core i5 and Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650 1536 MB.

1 Answer 1


For AV1, no. The only dedicated hardware decoding for AV1 is in NVIDIA's latest GPUs, the 3000 series, Intel's 11th gen chips, and AMD's RDNA2 GPUs.

According to this discussion, VP9 hardware decoding is available. On Chrome, check chrome://flags/ to see if "VideoToolbox VP9 Decoding" is enabled.

  • What about for FFplay, IINA, and VLC? Do they have support for videotoolbox vp9? What configuration options can I use to enable hardware acceleration?
    – Joy Jin
    Commented Jun 24, 2021 at 2:27
  • Seems like this will not work on my macbook. According to a later thread in that discussion, only 2018+ macbooks support VP9 hardware decoding.
    – Joy Jin
    Commented Jun 24, 2021 at 2:30

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