If I Were to Build a Machine Specifically for Handbrake...

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rfkrocktk
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If I Were to Build a Machine Specifically for Handbrake...

Post by rfkrocktk »

What should I put in it?

Basically, the movies I am planning on encoding exist in ISO images on my machine. This is what I currently have in mind for my machine:

3.0 GHZ 6-core AMD processor
8 GB of RAM
2 30GB SSDs in RAID-0 (for redonkulous speed)
2 2TB HDDs in RAID-1 (to keep things safe)
2 NVIDIA or ATI high performance video cards (with at least 512MB of RAM each)

What do you think? Will this be a lean, mean, encoding machine?

Also, what goes into the encoding? Can I have encoding spread nicely across multiple cores? Does encoding utilize GPUs as well as my CPUs? What are the big bottlenecks in encoding and what should I look out for? I figured I would basically store my original ISO on the SSD as well as encode to it, so we don't have any real filesystem bottlnecks, but are there other things to look out for?

And, just as a teaser, does anyone have any specs for the highest encoding framerate they've seen on their machine?
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JohnAStebbins
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Re: If I Were to Build a Machine Specifically for Handbrake.

Post by JohnAStebbins »

The x264 encoder is multithreaded and will make good use of all your cores.
Large amounts of ram are not needed. If you are compromising between faster ram vs. more ram, go faster.
HDD speed is irrelevant. Any disk will do.
GFX card is irrelevant. No good encoder uses the GPU.

If you want to be an encoding god, spend the extra bucks on kick ass water cooling and overclock as far as it will go.
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Rodeo
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Re: If I Were to Build a Machine Specifically for Handbrake.

Post by Rodeo »

JohnAStebbins wrote:The x264 encoder is multithreaded and will make good use of all your cores.
Up to a point. 6-8 cores is good, but right now x264 won't scale well past that. Some options (like a very large number of bframes) can prevent x264 from using all cores.

Some filters (detelecine, deblock) aren't threaded at all and could be a bottle neck (note that, despite not being threaded, I haven't found detelecine to be much of a bottleneck on my quad-core - but then it's a "meager" 2.8 GHz i5).
rfkrocktk wrote:3.0 GHZ 6-core AMD processor
x264 tends to be faster on Intel processors:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/CPU/27
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/CPU/28
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/CPU/53
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/CPU/54

(CRF performance should be close to the second pass)
tlindgren
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Re: If I Were to Build a Machine Specifically for Handbrake.

Post by tlindgren »

Rodeo wrote:
rfkrocktk wrote:3.0 GHZ 6-core AMD processor
x264 tends to be faster on Intel processors:

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/CPU/28
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/CPU/54

(CRF performance should be close to the second pass)
To be fair AMD has tried to compensate with lower prices, the $200 2.8 GHz 6-core 1055T seems to be fairly good value for encoding, you'd need a $280 Intel cpu to match or beat it though it does sacrifice single-threaded speed which may cause problems later on depending on filters (or if you want to use it for anything other than video encoding).

There's no AMD 6-core 3.0 GHz, the other AMD 6-core is the 3.2 GHz 1090T Black Edition. At $280 it's a harder sell, for a very small amount extra you get a Intel quad-core with hyper-threading (Core i7 9xx) that's likely to be both faster and handle single-threaded loads better! The AMD Black Edition is probably easier to overclock though (BE's are unlocked) and the motherboard likely cheaper if we want to be positive so it's not a total loss.

But beyond that point there's several faster Intel quad-core's and then there's the Intel 6-cores that play in a different league for video encoding. The Intel 6-cores cost a lot more though since there's no price pressure on them from AMD, but considering the original HW specification it would certainly be a far superior place to put the money into if the goal is purely maximum encoding performance as stated above. That 980X score of 70% faster than the 1090T and 95% faster than a 1055T is very impressive.

Personally "close" performance from AMD isn't enough for me, been burnt way too many times by motherboards for AMD cpus, with chipsets fro AMD, Nvidia and SIS while Intel's chipset just works (under both Linux and Windows).
magao
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Re: If I Were to Build a Machine Specifically for Handbrake.

Post by magao »

A 6-core AMD 1055T is very close to my 4-core i7 860 with hyperthreading (8 threads) for video encoding according to Anandtech, and will be considerably cheaper (esp. when you take motherboard costs into account).

http://www.anandtech.com/show/3674/amds ... reviewed/6

Faster RAM is at most 1-2% difference - the main advantage of faster RAM is if you overclock. Personally, I went for 8GB (make sure you're using a 64-bit OS, although Handbrake won't yet take advantage of it).

A 60GB SSD is already twice as fast as a 30GB SSD - they make the 30GB SSDs with half the number of channels, effectively halving the performance. If you need 60GB of SSD space, just grab a 60GB SSD. OTOH, if you just want it as a boot drive, a 30GB SSD will give you all the advantages you want from it - mainly improved responsiveness of the machine.

Doing RAID-1 of 2TB drives is probably not worth it, unless you have an extraordinary amount of data that you want to protect. You'd probably be better off getting an e-SATA dock and using one of the drives to back up the other periodically and storing it "somewhere safe" when not doing the actual backup (preferably off-site). Remember that you can always re-rip and re-encode so long as you have the original source.

An alternative would be to use part of each 2TB drive as a RAID-1 volume, and the rest as RAID-0 or JBOD (easier expandability). You can do this in Windows using dynamic disks, and in Linux using LVM or ZFS (though I've never done either myself). The RAID-0 or JBOD portions are at risk, but the RAID-1 portion keeps redundancy.
mduell
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Re: If I Were to Build a Machine Specifically for Handbrake.

Post by mduell »

magao wrote:Faster RAM is at most 1-2% difference - the main advantage of faster RAM is if you overclock. Personally, I went for 8GB (make sure you're using a 64-bit OS, although Handbrake won't yet take advantage of it).
Even when doing HD encoding HB rarely can make use of more than about 1GB.
magao
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Re: If I Were to Build a Machine Specifically for Handbrake.

Post by magao »

I meant in general - if you're building a fast machine, make sure it's got plenty of RAM for the foreseeable future. Note that I said "personally, I went for 8GB", meaning "it's what I did". It wasn't a recommendation per se.

Of course, I might be a special case - I regularly run virtual machines and other high-memory-usage applications. However, I anticipate that within the next year HB will be able to use considerably more memory if you choose the "right" options. As it is, I usually see HB sitting around the 1.5GB mark (1080p with a reasonable number of b-frames and reference frames, psy-rd, etc).
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Rodeo
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Re: If I Were to Build a Machine Specifically for Handbrake.

Post by Rodeo »

magao wrote:However, I anticipate that within the next year HB will be able to use considerably more memory if you choose the "right" options.
To what end?
magao
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Re: If I Were to Build a Machine Specifically for Handbrake.

Post by magao »

1. For those who are willing to make insane quality/size vs encoding time tradeoffs.

2. If you use a 64-bit version (which IIRC is planned) it's going to use more memory simply by the fact that it's 64-bit (larger addresses). However, hopefully it will also be faster.

3. It's already possible to exceed the 2GB maximum memory under 32-bit (resulting in HBCLI crashing) if you use the most memory-intensive options. You just know someone has tried rc-lookahead=250 ...
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