A. Video playback performance is very CPU intensive. As a result, if you run other applications while attempting to view video on your laptop, you might significantly degrade the playback performance. Although this issue isn't specific to laptops, other components, such as power management, also affect laptop video playback performance. For example, some power-management technologies, such as Intel's SpeedStep technology and AMD's PowerNow! Technology, can affect the processor speed.

For Windows 2000, use the applet or configuration utility that the system vendor provided to select a setting that doesn't permit the processor speed to change during video playback. Likewise, if running the laptop CPU at a low speed compromises video playback performance, select a higher CPU speed.

For Windows XP, ensure that you've set the power scheme to "Always On" by performing the following steps:

  1. Start the Control Panel Power Options applet (go to Start, Settings, Control Panel, and click Power Options).
  2. Select the Power Schemes tab.
  3. Select Always On from the drop-down list.
  4. Click OK.
After you finish viewing your video, I suggest that you adjust the power mode or processor mode to a lower setting to preserve battery life.