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An efficient intra-prediction mode decision mechanism for H.264/AVC is presented in this research. A projection-based approach, which employs the reconstructed surrounding pixels and block content to compute the predicted block residuals (PBR), can effectively eliminate less probable modes from the computation of Rate Distortion Optimization. Both the projected vectors and corresponding predictors can be formed by shifting/adding the related data so the proposed scheme is suitable for hardware implementation. According to the PBR and coding information acquired during the encoding process, some prediction modes can also be skipped to further accelerate the intra coding. The experimental results show that the proposed scheme can effectively reduce the encoding time with slight video quality degradation and bit-rate increment.