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Fast video encoding system

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November 19, 2012 11:20:22 PM

Hi, I am planning to revamp my old HP m8100n (micro ATX). Main purpose: fast video encoding/compression. I am planning on overclocking, and on using just the cpu -- I have seen poor compression results with quicksync. I assume I don't need a graphic card to view the videos on my monitor -- I am not planning to do any serious gaming. Here is the configuration I have in mind:
* CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I53570K ($219.99)
* Motherboard: ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0
* PSU: CORSAIR Builder Series CX600 600W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE
* RAM TBD: 8GB DDR3/1600 or DDR3/1866
* Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bits
* SSD: Corsair Force Series GT CSSD-F120GBGT-BK 2.5" 120GB SATA III
(or OCZ Vertex 3 VTX3-25SAT3-120G, or OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-120G ?)
* Cooler COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2
* HDD Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 (2 TB, 7200 rpm, SATA 6 Gbit/s) at $109.99 (or Seagate Barracuda XT ST32000641AS 2TB 7200 RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" for greater reliability at $199.99?)

Questions:
1. Does the configuration look right?
2. Would I see a difference in encoding speed, primarily using ffmpeg libx264, if I pick a slightly more powerful CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K ($100 more expensive). Some tests say not really, others show an improvement.
3. I like the Seagate Barracuda. Is the XT version (also $100 more expensive) worth the claimed (but not guaranteed afaik) better reliability?

Many thanks for any comment/suggestion.
November 20, 2012 12:18:05 AM

if you are not encoding on quicksync, the i5 isnt that great

id just get the regular barracuda

the atx extreme4 is cheaper

get a xfx 550w from us.ncix.com much better power supply

get a samsung 830 128gb. the force gt and the vertex 3 are inferior

newegg has some patriot viper 3 for 24.99 after MIR

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November 20, 2012 12:46:49 AM

Thanks for the suggestions.
TheBigTroll said:
if you are not encoding on quicksync, the i5 isnt that great

I was wondering about that. According to techradar, the i7-3770 is much better for x264 (38% better!), but they don't say if they use quicksinc. . And according to bit-tech.net, video encoding performance of the i7-3770K with handbrake is about the same with overclocking and only 9% better without overclocking, which doesn't encourage me to put $100 more in a processor!

TheBigTroll said:
id just get the regular barracuda
I would agree with that.

TheBigTroll said:
the atx extreme4 is cheaper
Right, but I have a micro ATX tower.

TheBigTroll said:
get a xfx 550w from us.ncix.com much better power supply

get a samsung 830 128gb. the force gt and the vertex 3 are inferior

newegg has some patriot viper 3 for 24.99 after MIR

Duly noted.
Thanks again for the comments.
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November 20, 2012 2:24:49 AM

Now, I am tempted by the i7. If I understand correctly, without Quick Sync, the more powerful i7 can deliver measurably better performance than the i5 (e.g. performance tests from anandtech and techradar.) Is that correct?
On the other hand, I see that Quick Sync can deliver, with a GPU, a tremendous increase in speed, apparently with a lower quality result. But does that mean that there is a sweet spot where some of the speed can be sacrificed to increase the quality some?
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November 20, 2012 2:46:24 AM

You might also look at the AMD FX 8350. It's right between the i5 and i7 for x.264 encoding, but it is priced the same as the i5. It's also unlocked and overclocks well.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6396/the-vishera-review-a...


Actually if you add up both passes from that bench, they both end up with identical performance. A 120 minute movie would take just under 4 hours on both with those results, so I guess FX-8350 gives i7 performance for 2/3 the price.
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November 20, 2012 2:56:36 AM

yes. but you then have to figure out how to handle the heat of fx and its power draw.

id get the xeon but if you want to overclock, i guess you could get a fx. just that anything but highly threaded tasks will suck on fx
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November 20, 2012 3:06:38 AM

I think that is quite an exaggeration. The 8350 performs like a lower end i5 for lightly threaded tasks and like an i7 for heavily threaded tasks. We aren't talking about bulldozer here.

If the system will be encoding all night every night, then you may have a point on power. Running 24x7, you'd probably make the $100 back on power bills over 2 years. And heat's honestly a bigger issue on Ivy Bridge. Those run very hot.

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November 20, 2012 3:17:16 AM

thats a lie. im running my ivy bridge at 4.5ghz with 1.18v and its like 65c after 12 hours of folding with a d14 cooler. hmm seems legit

also, ivy bridge runs very cool at stock clocks. decked out at 45c for me.

note that xeons are to run even cooler and use less power
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November 20, 2012 3:42:43 AM

What's a lie, that ivy bridge runs hot?

Seems hot to me:



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November 20, 2012 9:42:44 AM

thats a lot of volts bro. im running mine at like 1.18v smoothly. now how do you upload a photo? ill give you a screen shot
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November 20, 2012 9:43:54 AM

and you do know that you are never to go above 1.35v with ivy bridge right? you dont overclock ivy like you do with sandy
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November 20, 2012 2:01:40 PM

I believe you, but the heat problems are widely reporting all over the web. It doesn't really matter in terms of this discussion anyway, because with a good heatsink you can get safe temps with both AMD and Intel.
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November 20, 2012 5:20:23 PM

Great exchange. At this point, I am still trying to make a CPU choice. I am leaning towards Intel because of the lower power consumption, and the possibility of Quicksync acceleration. I was initially turned off by Quicksync after seeing some poor quality encoding with Cyberlink Mediaespresso in this review of techreport. In addition, I want to use open source software.

Now, I found out that Quicksync doesn't always create bad quality video, and in addition, Intel is developing an open source ffdshow Quicksync decoder that could possibly be a solution for me. If that solution works correctly, I would probably be happy with the i5-3570K, as quality and performance would be defined by the HD 4000 graphics core. My assumption is that, this being an ffdshow decoder, I should be able incorporate quicksync in my ffmpeg commands. I hope I am right.

I need to find out who has investigated this Quicksync decoder. I am going thru the doom9 forum. Any other place to look?
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November 20, 2012 11:07:31 PM

quicksync apparantly lowers the quality a tad compared to just CPU based encoding
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November 21, 2012 6:37:11 PM

Quote:
quicksync apparantly lowers the quality a tad compared to just CPU based encoding
Right, but it seems that Ivy Bridge quicksync has better quality, maybe through the various setting options provided by Media Espresso. And there are cases when getting the job done several times faster when quality is not the primary concern is a good tradeoff.

I haven't found a step by step guide about how to use the open source ffdshow Intel Quicksync decoder, but it seems that some people are playing with it. In addition, Mediacoder is claiming support for quicksync.

I think I am going to take the plunge and order the i7-3770K ... more expensive, but it seems I will have something faster in some cases.
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November 22, 2012 5:36:24 PM

Order sent a minute ago. Nice Black Friday savings!
Thanks everyone for the input.
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!