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Old 20th February 2010, 14:22   #1  |  Link
xandercage
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Good PC for x264 encoding

I need pc for x264 encoding from full Blu-ray Discs to x264 mkvs.

How many cores, memory, threads are a good solution?

6core cpu or some dualsocket mobo with xenons?

Something what I can overclock?

How many threads x264 support. In newest megui I can see only 16 but some encodes have 24 in settisgs???
So can someone explain how it works?

Dont care about prize ) but yes 5000 Euros should be max.

Thanks

Last edited by Guest; 20th February 2010 at 15:30. Reason: rule 12
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Old 20th February 2010, 14:29   #2  |  Link
mp3dom
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I think your "best" highly depends by the settings/quality/speed you want. With an i7 920, 6 GB Ram DDR3 and 12 threads [(8*3)/2] and x264 settings maxed out (subme=10, me=tesa, profile 'placebo') I have about 0.8fps on a 1080p24 source. If I reduce subme=9, me=umh and profile "veryslow" the fps jumps to nearly 1.6fps (in every case the speed depends by the complexity of each scene). If you want 'realtime' with huge settings, probably even the highest rank pc isn't enough.
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Old 20th February 2010, 14:57   #3  |  Link
xandercage
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I prefer quality about speed. Acceptable time for encode is about 3-5 days. If I can use better settings no problem ), if encode is done durring 5 days. average encode has about 180000 frames.
All my encodes are 1080p.
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Old 20th February 2010, 15:07   #4  |  Link
Firebird
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Dual i7 Xeons are the best choice, I suppose.
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Old 20th February 2010, 15:48   #5  |  Link
mariush
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You can go crazy with a quad socket 1207 board (300-500$) , 4 x quad 2.8 ghz amd 8xxx series ( ~ 1600$ each) , 4 x 4 GB DDR2 ECC Registered (116$ each), a suitable case (200$), 1 or 2 750-1000 power supplies (500$), 4 hard drives in raid 5 (about 300$).... and you have a sweet machine for about 8000 dollars which is pretty close to your 5000 euro.

or you ca go the intel dual cpu route for about 2000$

Last edited by mariush; 20th February 2010 at 15:53.
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Old 20th February 2010, 16:10   #6  |  Link
a4840639
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Have anyone tested how much is the improvement of Hyper-Threading for encoding?(For example turn off it in BIOS and encode the same clip)
I have a i5 and I really want to know it.
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Old 20th February 2010, 16:24   #7  |  Link
stax76
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You don't prefer quality otherwise you would buy 4 hard drives instead of 4 CPU...
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Old 20th February 2010, 18:24   #8  |  Link
poisondeathray
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a4840639 View Post
Have anyone tested how much is the improvement of Hyper-Threading for encoding?(For example turn off it in BIOS and encode the same clip)
I have a i5 and I really want to know it.

Impossible to say definitively, because there are so many factors: it depends on the source (e.g. dimensions), decoder speed/source filters, encoding settings. Anything can become the bottleneck potentially , eg. --b-adapt 2 which isn't fully multithreaded

In general, on HD sources, I've noticed in the absence of bottlenecks / filters etc.. (ie. a straight encode), HT tends to lower 1st pass performance by anywhere from 10-20% , but increase 2nd pass (or crf) performance by anywhere from 10-40%. Overall it's definitely faster. I think the lower 1st pass performance is from the lower quality settings by default. If you did --slow-firstpass it would be the same improvement as the actual encode run

Last edited by poisondeathray; 20th February 2010 at 18:28.
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Old 20th February 2010, 18:44   #9  |  Link
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You say acceptable encoding time is 3-5 days.
You also say average encode has 180000 frames.

180000 frames in 3-5 days = 0.4-0.7 fps (<- this is your "requirement").

Your first answer said an i7 920 with maxed settings (placebo) on 1080p does 0.8 fps. This not enough?
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Old 20th February 2010, 18:47   #10  |  Link
poisondeathray
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You don't prefer quality otherwise you would buy 4 hard drives instead of 4 CPU...
I agree 100%. HDD are way more affordable these days.
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Old 20th February 2010, 19:19   #11  |  Link
xandercage
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Originally Posted by ajp_anton View Post
You say acceptable encoding time is 3-5 days.
You also say average encode has 180000 frames.

180000 frames in 3-5 days = 0.4-0.7 fps (<- this is your "requirement").

Your first answer said an i7 920 with maxed settings (placebo) on 1080p does 0.8 fps. This not enough?
No no. Becose 3-5 days is limit. If I can use this high settings and can do it faster, so it is better.

I guess with 5000 euro PC I can do it in 1 or 2 days with this high settins?

So the question is what kind of pc can do it?
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Old 20th February 2010, 20:05   #12  |  Link
mariush
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You know, you could actually split the source in two - three parts and use two - three systems to encode the stream and in the end you can combine the separate streams into one.

You can build systems that costs 5000 euro, but that doesn't mean its performance would be twice the performance of a 2500$ system.

So you have three options...
You can build a system that uses the latest i7 processor (for example i7 975 Extreme at 3.33 Ghz for 969$), use water cooling and overclock it so that you have for example at 4 Ghz and the system would probably cost you 2000$
Or, you could build a system that has a two socket motherboard (which costs a bit more than usual) and two quad core processors (for example Xeon W3550 Bloomfield 3.066GHz at 599$ each) and you'll need to buy a bit more expensive memory (for servers, registered memory with error correction) and you'll need a bit more special computer case for it - let's say in the end you pay 3000$ for it.

So you have 4 cores + 4 virtual cores @ (maybe)4 Ghz for 2000$ or you have 2 x 4 cores + 2 x 4 virtual cores @ 3.33 Ghz for 3000$ and my guess is that the second system would be 15-30% faster than the i7, maybe a bit more. I don't think hyperthreading (the virtual cores) would help much. Is it worth it to you to pay 1000$ more for 15-30% more performance...

But the third solution would be to get three off the shelf systems with a socket 1156 cpu (for example the i7 860 quad core with hyperthreading at 280$) and these systems would cost about 700$ each if you build them yourself. So for 2100$ you'd get 3 computers that in total would give better performance than the previous systems (and less headaches, less worries about overclocking, less energy wasted, less picking parts to be compatible) , only if you can split your encoding in three segments or if you can do three encodings in parallel.
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Old 20th February 2010, 20:27   #13  |  Link
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Try dual sockel xeon mainboard with 2 nice xeon quads (i7)
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Old 20th February 2010, 22:27   #14  |  Link
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A single socket i7 is the best "bang for your buck" out there. There's absolutely no reason to buy anything other than the i7 920, since it overclocks so disgustingly well, and is incredibly cheap ($200 at Microcenter for me)! Pair this with a decent X58 motherboard, 6GB of RAM, Windows 7 x64, and a lot of HDD capacity, and you're totally good to go.

Otherwise, a dual socket i7 Xeon workstation / server is the fastest affordable (under $2k), and reasonable solution. Going beyond this gets very expensive The Xeon 5520 is the cheapest Nehalem Xeon that offers 4 cores + HT, so I suggest going this route.

Of course you can always do what my company does, and buy 50 of the latter But then you have to hire 3-4 people to manage them...

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Old 21st February 2010, 03:35   #15  |  Link
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Or you could wait till the first quantum computers

In all seriousness, AMD just released their 12-core server CPUs. If money is not an object those should do nicely too.
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Old 21st February 2010, 13:04   #16  |  Link
xandercage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mariush View Post
You know, you could actually split the source in two - three parts and use two - three systems to encode the stream and in the end you can combine the separate streams into one.

You can build systems that costs 5000 euro, but that doesn't mean its performance would be twice the performance of a 2500$ system.

So you have three options...
You can build a system that uses the latest i7 processor (for example i7 975 Extreme at 3.33 Ghz for 969$), use water cooling and overclock it so that you have for example at 4 Ghz and the system would probably cost you 2000$
Or, you could build a system that has a two socket motherboard (which costs a bit more than usual) and two quad core processors (for example Xeon W3550 Bloomfield 3.066GHz at 599$ each) and you'll need to buy a bit more expensive memory (for servers, registered memory with error correction) and you'll need a bit more special computer case for it - let's say in the end you pay 3000$ for it.

So you have 4 cores + 4 virtual cores @ (maybe)4 Ghz for 2000$ or you have 2 x 4 cores + 2 x 4 virtual cores @ 3.33 Ghz for 3000$ and my guess is that the second system would be 15-30% faster than the i7, maybe a bit more. I don't think hyperthreading (the virtual cores) would help much. Is it worth it to you to pay 1000$ more for 15-30% more performance...

But the third solution would be to get three off the shelf systems with a socket 1156 cpu (for example the i7 860 quad core with hyperthreading at 280$) and these systems would cost about 700$ each if you build them yourself. So for 2100$ you'd get 3 computers that in total would give better performance than the previous systems (and less headaches, less worries about overclocking, less energy wasted, less picking parts to be compatible) , only if you can split your encoding in three segments or if you can do three encodings in parallel.
Idea with two or three encods in the same time is not bad.
I m now realy thinking about two dualsocet PCs.
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Old 21st February 2010, 19:16   #17  |  Link
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Originally Posted by xandercage View Post
No no. Becose 3-5 days is limit. If I can use this high settings and can do it faster, so it is better.

I guess with 5000 euro PC I can do it in 1 or 2 days with this high settins?
Why would you want to use insane encoding settings? x264's "placebo" preset gives perhaps 5-10% better quality/bitrate than "slower" while taking 300% more CPU time. Is a <10 % difference in file sizes really that significant for you?

If I had EUR 5k to waste on a personal encoding project, I'd put 1/5 of the money on a cheap Core i7 system and invest the rest to more productive purposes, like paying some developer to make x264 5% faster or keeping the beer flowing.

Last edited by nm; 21st February 2010 at 19:24.
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Old 22nd February 2010, 17:43   #18  |  Link
Esurnir
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Why would you want to use insane encoding settings? x264's "placebo" preset gives perhaps 5-10% better quality/bitrate than "slower" while taking 300% more CPU time. Is a <10 % difference in file sizes really that significant for you?

If I had EUR 5k to waste on a personal encoding project, I'd put 1/5 of the money on a cheap Core i7 system and invest the rest to more productive purposes, like paying some developer to make x264 5% faster or keeping the beer flowing.
Actually placebo give a bit less than a percentage point improvement over veryslow according to Dark Shikari
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Old 22nd February 2010, 18:11   #19  |  Link
Blue_MiSfit
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Yes. Placebo is a placebo

Still, in situations where you have extra CPU cycles because you're bottlenecked by AviSynth or your decoder, and only want to run one encode at once, why not use it? Not that I honestly suggest that as a real workflow. If you are bottlenecked in this way, you need to either improve the decode / filtering stage, or just run 2 encodes at once !

12 core server CPUs and other exotic hardware are not really worth discussing. As we've all said, a single i7 desktop, or a dual socket i7 workstation / server is definitely the ideal "bang for your buck" IMO.

~MiSfit
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Old 23rd February 2010, 10:30   #20  |  Link
xandercage
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Yes. Placebo is a placebo

Still, in situations where you have extra CPU cycles because you're bottlenecked by AviSynth or your decoder, and only want to run one encode at once, why not use it? Not that I honestly suggest that as a real workflow. If you are bottlenecked in this way, you need to either improve the decode / filtering stage, or just run 2 encodes at once !

12 core server CPUs and other exotic hardware are not really worth discussing. As we've all said, a single i7 desktop, or a dual socket i7 workstation / server is definitely the ideal "bang for your buck" IMO.

~MiSfit
What do you think about this dualsocet mobo
http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/mainboa...g_Systems.html
with two i7 980x
http://www.fudzilla.com/content/view/16828/35/

12GB memory DDR3 1066

I guess this system is about 3000$, so mabey I can get two for 5000 euro

It looks like I can use with this combination 36 threads for encoding, but how many threads support build x264???

Last edited by xandercage; 23rd February 2010 at 10:35.
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