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GPU Transcoding Nvidia or ATI

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 4, 2008 8:08:50 AM

I have been doing alot of reading on Nvidia's cuda based program badaboom media converter. I was pretty much sold on buying an Nvidia card for this purpose as well as some light gaming. A few days ago I read that ATI has been working with Cyberlink to be able to do the same thing as Nvidia and badaboom. The latest version of Cyberlink Powerdirector 7 ultra has support for an ATI hd4850 and accelerated video encoding/transcoding. My question is what would be a better buy a 9600gt for $160aud or a 8800gs oc version for $119aud for Nvidia or getting a hd4850 for $235aud? My current system is: Q6600 running at 3.2, 4 gigs of ram, gigabyte x38 ds5, ati hd2600xt 512mb. I do alot of video editing and encoding and ocassionaly some gaming. I have a 22" lcd screen and like to play at native resolution and 1400x900 at the worst. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
July 4, 2008 8:21:32 AM

Because of the gaming / monitor I'd suggest get the 4850 and wait for ATI/Cyberlink.
July 4, 2008 9:08:30 AM

thats the what I have been thinking, but its hard to look past the 8800gs for $119 its the Asus 8800gs top version. I do like to play games, but its not at the top of my priority list. I think if I were buying for a bit of future proofness the 4850 is def. the go.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
July 4, 2008 9:39:56 AM


Well there was a report under Toms news section that Nvidia will be supporting DX10.1 so it seems that they have been unsuccessful in trying to ignore it and have been forced to adopt it. This means that games will now almost certainly adopt it sooner rather than later. This can only be good for people with DX10.1 capable cards from ATI.
Mactronix
July 4, 2008 9:49:56 AM

The only thing that worries me about the 4850 is the temps. Is that gonna be a big issue?
July 4, 2008 10:29:09 AM

Doubtful. They are designed to operate at those temps so...
July 4, 2008 10:36:36 AM

ati has released a software 2 convert media files using GPU and i hear they are faster. hd4850 is a beta choice as it it beta for games. ig u increase the fan speed of ur ati card either by editing catalyst profile or by ati tools.....temp should be fine.....i hear 60% fan speed get the temp down to less den 50 in ideal and not more than 65 on load
July 4, 2008 10:42:52 AM

what software besides the cyberlink solution has ATI released? I am very keen on the GPU encoding thing.
July 11, 2008 12:01:44 AM

I read that the ATI software, I think it was called Avivo, didn't actually use the GPU at all and that someone had cracked it and used it on Nvidia hardware as well. Does anyone know for sure if the cyberlink software is using that same thing or if its new?
July 11, 2008 10:23:17 PM

yes you can do it with Avivo right back to the 1800xt
July 11, 2008 10:51:59 PM

How much difference do those things make? Does it even make a dent on overall time considering encoding is cpu based? :p 
July 12, 2008 12:59:18 AM

well yes encoding has been cpu intensive in the past, but now both nvidia and ati have developed ways to use the gpu inline with the cpu to drastically speed up encoding times. this technology is newer than avivo it will only work with the 4800 series due to uvd2(universal video decoder2).
July 12, 2008 1:08:00 AM

mestizo73 said:
well yes encoding has been cpu intensive in the past, but now both nvidia and ati have developed ways to use the gpu inline with the cpu to drastically speed up encoding times. this technology is newer than avivo it will only work with the 4800 series due to uvd2(universal video decoder2).

But how much of a dent does it make? Most modern encoders scale almost linerally, which means quad core is basically twice as fast as dual. And with Nehalem on the way, whose performance model use 8 cores with ht for 16 threads, will gpu even matter?
July 12, 2008 1:15:50 AM

If u read up on nvidia's cuda technology and ati's technology they are claiming up to 18x faster than the fastest quad. just do a search on accelerated video transcoding or GPGPU and u will find out more. Tom's and many other websites have had storys on this.
July 12, 2008 1:51:38 AM

a normal movie takes about 8min from divx to dvd with avivo
a c 130 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
July 12, 2008 6:55:31 PM


Sorry am I missing something here ? whats Advanced Video in Video Out (AVIVO) got to do with encoding ?

Mactronix
July 12, 2008 8:27:14 PM

mactronix said:
Sorry am I missing something here ? whats Advanced Video in Video Out (AVIVO) got to do with encoding ?

Mactronix


I thought it was decoder!?
a c 130 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
July 12, 2008 10:09:37 PM


It seems we are both correct :)  .
Just been looking at the ATI web site and it seems they are giving the AVIVO name to their decoder now as well as there image processing software ? Seems Nvidia don't have exclusive rights to confusing naming policies. :) 

Mactronix
July 13, 2008 8:09:15 AM

both nvidia and ati are saying sometime in Q3 the badaboom and cyberlink support for GPGPU encoding will arrive, but who knows really. I think I will be going with the HD4850 because I have a crossfire mobo.
August 27, 2008 6:11:14 PM

The missing line that connects all the dots here is a beefy home video media server that transcodes & streams to all your uPnP / mobile-wireless devices, such as the PS3, Wii, XBox360, PSP, iPhone, wifi enabled phones, wifi Archos, laptops, etc.

ATI/AMD has dropped the ball. They tossed their home entertainment chip (Xileon - All-In-Wonder) group, so it doesn't appear they want in this space. They aborted the whole transcode deal after X1000. Is Hollywood (and possibly Cable co's) putting on the pressure?

Now if transcoding multiple streams by a media server with Nvidia cards make it easy to feed a whole house load of people / devices wirelessly (draft-n 2.0 with dual-band), imagine the next reaction for big media would be to squash it. They don't want people having huge collections of movies, be it in h.264, XVID, or WMV format on some multi-terabyte home server (there are some nice single purpose living-room jukebox multi-media players like TOMACRO or TVIX that can access wireless file-servers as well, or stand-alone DIVX DVD players with USB connectivity - to a external USB HDD e.g. cheap 500GB+ storage) which can pump video on demand out. It can then inch out into the SlingBox territory where you can serve out to the net; which TVersity, Orb, etc. others can do, but security and lock-down is for the more technically inclined.

The better the transcoder, the better the bit-rate per stream, and then if that target is reached, the transcoder PC can crunch out even more streams. Most media servers are so-so at the 480p level, much less acceptable quality at 720p or dare tread on 1080p content with decent frame rates; and wireless-n would strain to get even one 720p stream going on a home network. The bandwidth is just not there. But what's to stop some indie service to blast Hulu and YouTube like sites with VOD services? Is NetFlix or ComCast or TimeWarner going to be able to put such powerful transcoder cards to task so they can bring real VOD library to the masses? The state of the art today for the consumer is rather toy-like, and I bet Hollywood would rather it stay that way.

Will this bring cable TV to a true a-la-carte vision were VOD servers rule the day where time schedules will end (TV Guides will be revamped to a library style navigation) and can serve up to any wireless device in your house through the STB / (future) hub? Send a upstream request for a PSP client to get a movie, and the cable company downstreams the best specific format; or a SD-TV in the bedroom via an XBox360 for junior, or the HD-TV in the livingroom, all crunched out by the big iron video servers behind the scenes at the cable co. home base using Nvidia cards (or maybe a few 9500Ms in SLI mode and optimized for CUDA to perform local transcode on the STB?) This second scenario is more likely, where control is under Hollywood's management.

If you were able to download raw TS off a DVR to a PC, the genie would be out of the bottle. Take the raw file, crunch to an acceptable compressed codec, then transcode as needed. Why showcase all your DVD boxes on a shelf? Just have a 2 TB+ SAN with a media server and a wireless-g/n gigabit router to serve all your wireless devices (and quite affordable if you know what you're doing but poor quality). The next step is to have complete transcodes done for your device to take with you on the go and out of wired/wireless range without a middleman approach of using a PC to manage the file drop to a media card. Just pick what you want to store locally on the PVP device instead of stream for later. Imagine that done 10x faster. Imagine 10x the amount of devices you can serve in the house. Your bedroom media hub, the living room media hub, the kids XBox360/PS3/Wii, the kids PSP, your Archos for the transmit commute, your iPhone (for those bathroom breaks - you wouldn't drive and watch your iPhone would you?), a laptop or two, an eeePC in the kitchen for streaming the Food Network, etc. Devices are getting smaller, mobile, and multi-function, yet there needs to be that mainstay PC to be the workhorse video transcoder.
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