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Encoding and multiple cores

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October 20, 2009 2:31:13 PM

It seems pretty clear from benchmark results and my own experience that video encoding tends to benefit from multiple cores but audio encoding does not. Why is this? Is it simply that Lame and iTunes are not multi-threaded while the main video codecs tend to be? Or is it something inherent in the encoding algorithms that makes video easier to parallelize? If the former, are there multi-threaded audio encoding apps out there?
a c 203 à CPUs
October 20, 2009 2:37:32 PM

econ_guy said:
Is it simply that Lame and iTunes are not multi-threaded while the main video codecs tend to be?
Lame is definitely single-threaded.
Codecs are not a factor; its the main program's ability to multi-thread that make the difference.

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October 20, 2009 2:58:36 PM

> Codecs are not a factor; its the main program's ability to multi-thread that make the difference.

Is that right? Consider benchmarks here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/multi-core-cpu,2280...

The TMPGEnc benchmarks show a noticeable multi-core improvement when encoding DivX but not Xvid. And in the (Tom's) reviews it's not uncommon to find sentences like: "...the DivX codec results show a notable nod to threading, while the Xvid codec does not."

It's evidence like this that makes me think there's more to it than just the main program's ability to multi-thread.

Also, if it's just a matter of the app being multi-threaded, are there audio encoders out there that benefit from multiple cores?
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a c 203 à CPUs
October 20, 2009 3:07:25 PM

TMPGEnc is multi-threaded. It doesn't depend on a codec for that ability.
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October 20, 2009 8:43:00 PM

That's true. But if it's only about whether the application is multi-threaded or not, how do you explain that the same multi-threaded application (TMPGEnc) scales across multiple cores well with one codec (DivX) but not with the other (Xvid)?
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a c 203 à CPUs
October 20, 2009 9:07:00 PM

Xvid works better doing MPEG2 to MEPG4 with TMPGEnc than Divx.
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