While I wouldn’t use Zoom for private video conferencing, I do use it for public conferences (on a burner notebook…) and noticed that their Linux client program is very resource optimized. Even when showing a dozen videos and piping the local video camera stream into the cloud, CPU processor load on my Thinkpad X230 notebook from 2013 is around 30-40% over all cores with Ubuntu 18.04. Compare to that to the 100% load across all CPUs when using Jitsi or BBB in Chromium when 8 videos are shown and one video stream sent to the centralized server. This made me wonder a bit if the load on newer notebooks is lower.
I get the same 100% CPU load from BBB and Jitsi in Chrome on my Thinkpad X250 notebook from 2015 that has a 5th generation Intel “i5-5300U CPU @ 2.30GHz” and I use it with Ubuntu 16.04 and the built-in GPU for video conferencing. Perhaps this has something to do with the higher screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels compared to the X230.
On my Dell Latitude 5580 I also run Ubuntu 16.04 and the screen resolution is also 1920 x 1080 pixel. It is a bit newer and has a 7th generation Intel “i5-7300U CPU @ 2.6 GHz” inside and also uses the Intel GPU for graphics. On this machine, the CPU load with 8 videos is 65-70% on all cores. This means there is still enough headroom to run other applications quickly. How interesting.
So far, I had the impression that there there were only small performance increases across processor generations. I can’t really say if the better performance stems from the newer CPU, from the better GPU or from better Linux drivers for the newer CPUs/GPUs cores. But whatever it is, it makes a significant difference!