Dream hardware configuration

General questions or discussion about HandBrake, Video and/or audio transcoding, trends etc.
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aff14
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:12 pm

Dream hardware configuration

Post by aff14 »

Hi all,

I am upgrading my old workhorse PC and wanted to ask the experts here a hypothetical question:

If money was no consideration, what would be your ideal desktop hardware configuration for the primary purpose of video compression with Handbrake?

I'm looking to put together a list of things to consider: number of cores/threads, CPU vs GPU processing power, RAM type and speed, HDD vs SSD, what features could be compromised on vs what should be prioritized, etc.

I've scoured the forums, but couldn't find a definitive summary. For reference, my current machine is a Win 8.1 i7-4770K @ 3.50GHz with 32GB of RAM. Handbrake performance has been pretty uninspiring (frequent crashes and hours to moderately compress 1GB of raw video). I accept the performance could be impacted by any number of issues other than the hardware specs, but am wondering how much of a performance bump a new powerful machine would bring.

(To clarify: money is definitely a consideration for me; I'm sure the ideal dream machine would be out of reach. But I thought I would start from "first-best" and gradually downgrade the various components to a level that's more affordable. Also, it's fun to dream!)

Many thanks for all advice and suggestions
rollin_eng
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Re: Dream hardware configuration

Post by rollin_eng »

CPU is where you will get most speed gains from.

Multiple Xeons with highest speed would probably get you fastest speeds but will be ludicrously expensive. The current sweet spot for speed/price seems to be medium to high end Threadripper.

More memory is always good, 16 GB and as fast as possible is a good starting point.

SSD is faster than traditional HDD so you probably want a seperate source and destination drive to avoid bottlenecks.

GPU will only come into play when you specifically use them for encoding and it’s not the actual GPU that does the encoding so make sure what you get is actually capable.
mduell
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Re: Dream hardware configuration

Post by mduell »

Just a single high-boosting Xeon (W-2295 W-3275 8267W 8380H 8368Q etc) with enough RAM to populate all the memory channels (like 4-8x8GB) and a couple good NVMe SSDs. Integrated graphics is fine.

For a more practical upgrade, the i9-10900K should roughly triple your performance. Even the i7-10700K or or -11700K would be close and a little cheaper. RAM capacity doesn't really matter as long as you populate both channels. A hard drive is fine for disk performance; you'll only notice a difference with an SSD maybe during the initial scan (which is quick anyway).
rollin_eng wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 4:05 pmSSD is faster than traditional HDD so you probably want a seperate source and destination drive to avoid bottlenecks.
With a 1GB source file and any reasonable encoding speed, there's no disk bottleneck at all.
rollin_eng
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Re: Dream hardware configuration

Post by rollin_eng »

What I personally do is go as big as possible on CPU as it’s much easier to replace/upgrade RAM/SSD/GPU at a future date.
aff14
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:12 pm

Re: Dream hardware configuration

Post by aff14 »

Thanks everyone for your thoughts!
AJSG1969
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 6:59 pm

Re: Dream hardware configuration

Post by AJSG1969 »

Just a note to say that I get very odd behaviour in terms of CPU usage. Running a downmix preset the CPU usage will run at above 80%, whilst when running AC3 Passthru I can only get 40-50%.
rollin_eng
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Re: Dream hardware configuration

Post by rollin_eng »

AJSG1969 wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 4:31 pm Just a note to say that I get very odd behaviour in terms of CPU usage. Running a downmix preset the CPU usage will run at above 80%, whilst when running AC3 Passthru I can only get 40-50%.
You should probably start your own thread with this issue.
AJSG1969
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 6:59 pm

Re: Dream hardware configuration

Post by AJSG1969 »

rollin_eng wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 5:01 pm You should probably start your own thread with this issue.
Makes sense, done.

Thanks,

Andrew.
AJSG1969
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Re: Dream hardware configuration

Post by AJSG1969 »

aff14 wrote: Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:38 pm I'm looking to put together a list of things to consider: number of cores/threads
You may be interested in these results, hardware is:

Dell T5610 2x Xeon E5-2630 v2 @ 2.60GHz

Typical time to run 4GB DVD TS Rip to 1.5GB m4v 20min using one CMD at a time

Typical time to run 4GB DVD TS Rip to 1.5GB m4v 23min using two CMD at a time

Due to the fact that HandbrakeCLI cannot use more than one CPU at a time, using two £30 CPUs halves the time effectively when running multiple conversions.
rollin_eng
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Re: Dream hardware configuration

Post by rollin_eng »

AJSG1969 wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 7:21 pm Due to the fact that HandbrakeCLI cannot use more than one CPU at a time, using two £30 CPUs halves the time effectively when running multiple conversions.
HB can use more than one CPU at a time, depends on many factors.
AJSG1969
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Joined: Mon Jul 19, 2021 6:59 pm

Re: Dream hardware configuration

Post by AJSG1969 »

rollin_eng wrote: Wed Jul 21, 2021 7:39 pm HB can use more than one CPU at a time, depends on many factors.
Indeed, which is why before the OP goes and buys a 5GHz i9 they may be better served by understanding how much HB will make use of said CPU for their own Preset.

My Preset is a modified HQ 576p25 Surround setting with fixed framerate.

Things that made no difference to conversion time:

Memory, ran on a 16GB, 32GB and 96GB rig and no change
Hard Disk, ran from NAS and from SSD, first pass much quicker but reduction in time was about 1min out of the 20min total
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