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Old 09-06-2019, 02:11 AM   #1
Liverpool TV
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Default HQX to H.265 encoder speed test using Quick Sync & NVENC in Handbrake

Hi.

This video may be interesting to those who encode externally for H.265 from their Edius masters, in this case HQX. Below the video is some boring details from the YouTube description.

I'll be posting some videos soon about building the best sub $1000/1000 computer for Edius, more so Edius 9.

Cheers,
Dave.

https://youtu.be/1PqOInmAlIo




Handbrake 4K H.265 video encoder speed test - NVENC v Quick Sync QSV - Intel i9 9900K vs RTX 2080 TI

So what is faster at encoding 4K MP4 H.265 HEVC video files in Handbrake, Intel Quick Sync via the i9 9900K CPU or NVENC via the Nvidia RTX 2080 TI GPU graphics card?

While both NVENC and Quick Sync Video QSV are both faster than software only, one of them is definitely faster than the other.

This test can also been seen as Intel versus NVIDIA, or more precisely, Intel's Quick Sync video encoding technology versus NVIDIA's NVENC video encoding technology. Although both Quick Sync and NVENC are usually just referred to as video encoders. They are both capable of lending themselves to other video post applications.

In the broader scheme of things they can both be used for rendering, decoding, filters and basically fairly much whatever video post processing acceleration and assistance duties that software writers account for within their video post production software and products. But in this instance I'm just concentrating on the task of video encoding within Handbrake.

Just like H.264 before it, H.265, or HEVC, is very taxing on your CPU and/or your GPU for both decoding and encoding. This is mostly due to the complexity of an inter-frame codec, which both H.264 and H.265 are. Despite the similarities, H.265 creates even more drain on your system's resources compared to the already difficult to decode/encode/process H.264. Which basically means that H.265 requires more in the way of raw CPU and/or GPU processing power.

To make matters worse for both codecs, 4K also has to be factored into the equation and quite often up to frame rates of 60FPS and beyond. With the addition of 4K and high frame rates in the equation, it really does compound the technical difficulties and system processing requirements that are needed for encoding and generally any type of work where H.265 is part of the production workflow.

Another thing to bear in mind here is that there are also pure software encoding option for H.264 and H.265. What I mean by pure software, or software only, is a codec, or a specific encoder's codec, that will do all the encoding just with the CPU and not utilise any CPU iGPU like Quick Sync QSV or the AMD equivelent or a dedicated GPU such as those by Nvidia or AMD. There are a number of software encoders available, some of which that are extremely good at encoding very high quality H.265 or H.264 video files. It'd probably be very fair to say that these software encoder solutions can create better encodes compared to QSV or NVENC, especially at the lower bit rates, with the very best probably being the X264 & X265 video encoding engines. But despite the fact that X264 & X265 are probably the best for pure technical video quality, this is only usually noticeable at the lower bit rates or in complex scene structures, such as fast movements within the frame and fast wide changes in chroma and luma content. With increased bit rates the results are usually very similar with regard video picture quality outputs comparing software only such as X264 & X265 and iGPU/GPU assisted ones.

Another thing to bear in mind with software only encodings, even in their fastest modes, they take a long time to complete and can be seriously long if you use higher quality, thorough analysis settings. The one thing that I hope is clear so far is that H.265 can be a serious drain on your resources and that is regardless of the type of encoder used.

Despite the differences in encode times between the NVENC encoder and the Quick Sync encoder. They both offer a very clear and substantial benefit when it comes to encoding times. These benefits will also be seen in any video post production software, and video encoders, that utilise them.

So the last thing to mention are the basic technical details of the files used and generated during the test. The source file was a 4K/UHD 3840x2160 25FPS HQX video file. HQX is a professional intra-frame video production codec that's used by Grass Valley in their excellent Edius NLE, none linear editing software. Although the HQX master intermediate was 10 Bit, the source files that it was rendered from were only 8 Bit. In this instance the last two bits are padded. Both the H.265 files that were encoded by Quick Sync and NVENC were 8 Bit outputs with the the same resolution and frame rate attributes of the HQX master.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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If you don't know the difference between Azimuth and Asimov, then either your tapes sound bad and your Robot is very dangerous. Kill all humans...... Or your tape deck won't harm a human, and your Robot's tracking and stereo imagining is spot on.

Is your Robot three laws safe?
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Old 09-06-2019, 05:35 PM   #2
Jerry
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David,

Thanks for the comparisons.

The one thing to mention is that NVENC is a perfect option for users with older machines that either do not have QS at all or users with just H.264 QS output.

I don't have native QS H.265 capabilities. However, I do have a 1080ti. With this card, I have very good NVENC H.265/H.264 export speeds.

HEVC encoding has been around for quite a while. So, a lot of older cards can encode H.265 with a capable NVENC program.

If a user has a fairly recent graphics card, they can do hardware H.265 and H.264 supported exports. This can keep an older machine running just a bit longer.

I tested from a 27 second Prores master that was 3840x2160 50p HLG HDR 10bit 422

I used 2 encoding programs. Handbrake and TMPGE MW7.

Encoding time using a 1080ti with Handbrake was 33 seconds.
Encoding time using a 980ti on a 980 system with Handbrake was 46 seconds.
Encoding time using a 1080ti with MW7 was 37 seconds
I don't have MW7 on the older machine, but you get the idea.
Remember, the original was 27 seconds.

When looking at the MediaInfo screen shots of the Handbrake and MW7 exports, you will see one difference, Handbrake produced an 8bit file with 4:2:0 chroma and HDR, MW7 produced a 10bit file with 4:2:0 chroma also with HDR. I did see this on the Handbrake forum: the internal work path is only 8-bit, even on the nightly builds with 10- and 12-bit output support. It looks as if this also applies to NVENC encodes from Handbrake.
HANDBRAKE AND MW7 MEDIA INFO PANELS.png

The big plus here is Handbrake is free. If you already have the GPU, getting Handbrake will give you hardware supported H.265 capabilities for free.

MW7 is a paid program.The price varies depending on whether or not you have the previous software or any of their software.

Where Handbrake is just an encoder, MW7 can actually create the file if need be. Plus, the encoder section has a multitude of settings, including settings for an HDR workflow.
I tend to lean towards a program with a complete package of settings when creating masters.

If you have native H.265 capabilities, this will be the fastest overall output.
Especially, since you don't have to create an intermediary.
This is followed by Handbrake and then MW7.

If H.265 is becoming part of your export requirements or for just TV playback of UHD or UHD HDR video and you have a 900 series Nvidia card or above,
try Handbrake NVENC export as an experiment.

In essence, machines that do not have Quicksync capabilities will benefit in exporting H.264 and H.265 using 900 series and above NVENC GPU's.
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Last edited by Jerry; 09-06-2019 at 05:47 PM.
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Old 09-06-2019, 05:57 PM   #3
Ron Evans
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Good information Dave. I have gone through similar testing to Jerry. I have just updated to MW7 too. I have encoded from Resolve Studio with NVENC, Handbreak and MW7. Resolve is fastest but has little control over parameters and audio is limited to max of 192 AAC . My times are like Jerry's. Advantage for me of MW7 is it is easy to set many parameters. For MPEG2 encodes for DVD MW7 also seems to be much faster and uses CPU cores better.

I will move to recording UHD HLG 30P HEVC on the GH5 this recording season as it will give me a good archive of the full stage for my theatre shoots. Unlike the encodes of Handbreak or MW7 it is 4:2:2 10bit so good source for editiing. In my case I will use in a 60P timeline with optical flow . Having tested in both EDIUS 8.53 and Resolve Studio this works quite well in a 1920x1080 timeline.
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ASUS PB328 monitor, BenQ BL2711U 4K preview monitor, EDIUS 9.5 WG, Vegas 17, Resolve Studio 16


Cameras: GH5S, GH5, FDR-AX100, FDR-AX53, DJI OSMO Pocket, Atomos Ninja V
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:29 PM   #4
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Very nice Dave. took some time.
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Old 09-06-2019, 09:54 PM   #5
Liverpool TV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry View Post
David,

Thanks for the comparisons.

The one thing to mention is that NVENC is a perfect option for users with older machines that either do not have QS at all or users with just H.264 QS output.

I don't have native QS H.265 capabilities. However, I do have a 1080ti. With this card, I have very good NVENC H.265/H.264 export speeds.

HEVC encoding has been around for quite a while. So, a lot of older cards can encode H.265 with a capable NVENC program.

If a user has a fairly recent graphics card, they can do hardware H.265 and H.264 supported exports. This can keep an older machine running just a bit longer.

I tested from a 27 second Prores master that was 3840x2160 50p HLG HDR 10bit 422

I used 2 encoding programs. Handbrake and TMPGE MW7.

Encoding time using a 1080ti with Handbrake was 33 seconds.
Encoding time using a 980ti on a 980 system with Handbrake was 46 seconds.
Encoding time using a 1080ti with MW7 was 37 seconds
I don't have MW7 on the older machine, but you get the idea.
Remember, the original was 27 seconds.

When looking at the MediaInfo screen shots of the Handbrake and MW7 exports, you will see one difference, Handbrake produced an 8bit file with 4:2:0 chroma and HDR, MW7 produced a 10bit file with 4:2:0 chroma also with HDR. I did see this on the Handbrake forum: the internal work path is only 8-bit, even on the nightly builds with 10- and 12-bit output support. It looks as if this also applies to NVENC encodes from Handbrake.
Attachment 20689

The big plus here is Handbrake is free. If you already have the GPU, getting Handbrake will give you hardware supported H.265 capabilities for free.

MW7 is a paid program.The price varies depending on whether or not you have the previous software or any of their software.

Where Handbrake is just an encoder, MW7 can actually create the file if need be. Plus, the encoder section has a multitude of settings, including settings for an HDR workflow.
I tend to lean towards a program with a complete package of settings when creating masters.

If you have native H.265 capabilities, this will be the fastest overall output.
Especially, since you don't have to create an intermediary.
This is followed by Handbrake and then MW7.

If H.265 is becoming part of your export requirements or for just TV playback of UHD or UHD HDR video and you have a 900 series Nvidia card or above,
try Handbrake NVENC export as an experiment.

In essence, machines that do not have Quicksync capabilities will benefit in exporting H.264 and H.265 using 900 series and above NVENC GPU's.
Hi Jerry.

I totally agree with what you've said about using an older machine.

My NFR has run out for Edius 9 and I've become very used to the 60FPS workflow with E9 that allows me to export H.264 and H.265 direct from the timeline. It's a real time saver.

As I can't afford to buy it at the moment I'm in the process of putting together a separate H.265/H.264 encoding PC. This will all be done with old and cheap second hand parts. The most costly item will be tracking down the most appropriate Nvida GPU. I'd recently sold a number of things to put toward my main system up date and got shut of my GTX 1060 as it was being replaced with a newer card, I wish I'd have sold something else now and not that.

The idea is to export HQX from my main machine running E8, as I can export 60FPS from E8 with HQX but not H.264 and it doesn't do H.265 anyway. I'll then access the HQX file across my network with the cheap encoder machine and do the encode that way. Basically what I've done in this video but across the network.

Although the E9 H.265 workflow is super convenient, it's actually quicker to encode to HQX and then have NVENC encode that to H.265, or H.264.

So yes, your advice for a cheap NVENC card is great.

There are other issues with differences between the H.264 encodes between QSV and NVENC that I couldn't go into with that video. These issues didn't favour QSV.

Thanks for those statistics, they are very interesting and also support your advice for an NVENC encoder. I'll shop about and see about a second hand 980. Based on your encodes, the difference between the 980 and 1080 are absolutely liveable with and the 980 will be way cheaper and still a lot faster than QSV.

The only advantage with modern Nvidia cards and Turing, is the newer encoder. Although so far I've only come across OBS that states NVENC 2 as an option. Even then, I doubt you'd see any difference in PQ between Pascal, Turing, Maxwell etc. at the high bitrates and encode speeds will be super fast anyway regardless of the core tec.

I'll cut it short there and resist the temptation to address the issue of that huge Elephant jumping up and down in the middle of the room waving its arms :)

Cheers,
dave.
__________________
"There's only one thing more powerful than knowledge. The free sharing of it"

If you don't know the difference between Azimuth and Asimov, then either your tapes sound bad and your Robot is very dangerous. Kill all humans...... Or your tape deck won't harm a human, and your Robot's tracking and stereo imagining is spot on.

Is your Robot three laws safe?
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Old 09-06-2019, 10:20 PM   #6
Liverpool TV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrassValley_PS View Post
Very nice Dave. took some time.
Thanks Pat.

Took some time? You wouldn't believe :)

My OBS encodes for the screen capture kept on failing on the NVENC test in Handbrake. I think you'll have guessed what's coming next :)

Seriously, it took me about three hours to realise that I was using NVENC as the encoder in OBS while I was also trying to use NVENC with Handbrake to do the test encode.

I'd usually use Edius with a BM card running in the background on the same machine to capture a HDMI loop through of the screen when the GPU is being taxed. This is what I do for high end game capture using HQX. Basically what gamers would typically do with the likes of an Elgato card but doing it my way, I get to use the best codec ever.

The problem was that I didn't have my pre-amp setup for plugging the mic into the analogue inputs of the BM card for the V/O.

I then switched to QSV for OBS while Handbrake was using NVENC, and to then reverse the use of the encoders for the other way round. But for some reason Edius didn't see the OBS QSV H.264 files. And yes, you've already guessed what's coming next :)

After trying to fault find that issue, I'd then realised that I'd been using the NFR of E9 for the last couple of months which also comes with benefit of not having to load QuickTime. So the E8 issue was once again another rookie error by me for not realising that QuickTime wasn't available. Which is made all the more worse as I'd done an Edius how to on that exact same thing :) Honestly you couldn't write this stuff even if you tried :)

In the end, I just used X264 as the encoder in OBS as I really didn't want to install QT.

So the short answer. Yes, it took some time :)

I was going to use the phrase 'live and learn' but I think in my case it's 'live and remember' :)


Cheers,
Dave.
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"There's only one thing more powerful than knowledge. The free sharing of it"

If you don't know the difference between Azimuth and Asimov, then either your tapes sound bad and your Robot is very dangerous. Kill all humans...... Or your tape deck won't harm a human, and your Robot's tracking and stereo imagining is spot on.

Is your Robot three laws safe?
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Old 09-06-2019, 10:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
Good information Dave. I have gone through similar testing to Jerry. I have just updated to MW7 too. I have encoded from Resolve Studio with NVENC, Handbreak and MW7. Resolve is fastest but has little control over parameters and audio is limited to max of 192 AAC . My times are like Jerry's. Advantage for me of MW7 is it is easy to set many parameters. For MPEG2 encodes for DVD MW7 also seems to be much faster and uses CPU cores better.

I will move to recording UHD HLG 30P HEVC on the GH5 this recording season as it will give me a good archive of the full stage for my theatre shoots. Unlike the encodes of Handbreak or MW7 it is 4:2:2 10bit so good source for editiing. In my case I will use in a 60P timeline with optical flow . Having tested in both EDIUS 8.53 and Resolve Studio this works quite well in a 1920x1080 timeline.
Hi Ron.

Yes, the use of NVENC for such things is a massive time saver. As you've pointed out, there are oddities between different applications, which is a bit of trial and error to get what suits your particular preference but the core principle is sound.

As I mentioned in the reply to Jerry, I'm gonna try and build the cheapest NVENC encoding system that I can put together. As NVENC will be doing all the heavy work, the system should only need a fairly low powered and cheap CPU.

It's likely that this system will also have some sort of HDMI input for OBS use but the HDMI input aside, it should be very cost effective.

Once I'm happy with it I'll post some specs and examples.

Cheers,
Dave.
__________________
"There's only one thing more powerful than knowledge. The free sharing of it"

If you don't know the difference between Azimuth and Asimov, then either your tapes sound bad and your Robot is very dangerous. Kill all humans...... Or your tape deck won't harm a human, and your Robot's tracking and stereo imagining is spot on.

Is your Robot three laws safe?
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Old 09-07-2019, 03:07 AM   #8
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Hi Dave, Several comments on the BlackMagic forum note that GPU card needs greater than 3.5GB to encode, at least for Resolve, so you may want to get a card with the largest amount of VRAM you can get within your budget. Clearly low cost gaming cards with 3GB do not work in Resolve as several have found out. Not sure how this may apply to other encoders use of the NVIDIA encoder.
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Threadripper 1920 stock clock 3.7, Gigabyte Designare X399 MB, 32G G.Skill 3200CL14, 500G M.2 SATA OS, 500G EVO 850 temp. 1T EVO 850 render, 6T Source, 2 x 1T NVME, MSI 1080Ti 11G , EVGA 850 G2, LG BLuray Burner, BM IP4K, WIN10 Pro

ASUS PB328 monitor, BenQ BL2711U 4K preview monitor, EDIUS 9.5 WG, Vegas 17, Resolve Studio 16


Cameras: GH5S, GH5, FDR-AX100, FDR-AX53, DJI OSMO Pocket, Atomos Ninja V
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Old 09-07-2019, 03:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
Hi Dave, Several comments on the BlackMagic forum note that GPU card needs greater than 3.5GB to encode, at least for Resolve, so you may want to get a card with the largest amount of VRAM you can get within your budget. Clearly low cost gaming cards with 3GB do not work in Resolve as several have found out. Not sure how this may apply to other encoders use of the NVIDIA encoder.
Hi Ron.

Yes, memory is a big consideration, especially depending on the software being used but you're not gonna believe this :)

I just notice this comment as I was a doing a test. I've got a GT 710, which is about as basic a card as you can get. It only has 2GB of RAM and costs about 30, I've got it for system testing with stuff that doesn't have an iGPU.

I'm doing the same test again with this card, 9 minute UHD/25 HQX, although only to H.264 as I don't think it can do H.265. It actually works :) So far it's encoding faster, just about, than the i9 QSV was for H.265.

This particular card was always supposed to be none NVENC, I think it was disabled in the driver. There used to be a workaround to enable NVENC but this one just worked without altering the registry.

It may be the case that a system can be built with a very modest card.

Cheers, Dave.
__________________
"There's only one thing more powerful than knowledge. The free sharing of it"

If you don't know the difference between Azimuth and Asimov, then either your tapes sound bad and your Robot is very dangerous. Kill all humans...... Or your tape deck won't harm a human, and your Robot's tracking and stereo imagining is spot on.

Is your Robot three laws safe?
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Old 09-07-2019, 03:32 AM   #10
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Yes I think most of the older cards could do h264 and the comments I think were directed at h265 UHD encode from Resolve Studio ( free version will not use NVIDIA for h265 encode ) of course so not sure how much memory was to feed the encoder or for the encoder. I think you will need at least a 10xx card to do h265 encode.
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Threadripper 1920 stock clock 3.7, Gigabyte Designare X399 MB, 32G G.Skill 3200CL14, 500G M.2 SATA OS, 500G EVO 850 temp. 1T EVO 850 render, 6T Source, 2 x 1T NVME, MSI 1080Ti 11G , EVGA 850 G2, LG BLuray Burner, BM IP4K, WIN10 Pro

ASUS PB328 monitor, BenQ BL2711U 4K preview monitor, EDIUS 9.5 WG, Vegas 17, Resolve Studio 16


Cameras: GH5S, GH5, FDR-AX100, FDR-AX53, DJI OSMO Pocket, Atomos Ninja V
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