View Full Version : Encoding Video with a PPC G5

Apr 1, 2012, 10:38 PM

I'm running a Dual 2 GHz PPC G5 with 2 GB of RAM and 10.4.11 and trying to re-encode a number of video files from .avi and .vob to mp4/H.264.

On average, it's taking Handbrake about 14 hours to encode a single two hour video file. iSquint is significantly faster at about 6 hours for a comparable file. But these processing times are completely insane and non-workable; I have about 500 movies to encode or re-encode not counting the ripping.

Are these normal times for what I'm trying to do on this set-up? Is there something I could do, short of buying a new machine, to speed things up a bit?

Any suggestions?



Apr 1, 2012, 10:54 PM
I've used handbrake on my MDD Dual G4 1.42 Ghz and it just takes forever. Short of using a Quad G5, you'd be better off using a Mac Intel (my Core 2 Duo @ 2.4Ghz does the compression in real time usually, even with high quality settings and no loss of resolution).

Apr 1, 2012, 10:58 PM
You in Venice, Abbot Kinney Dude? I'm in WeHo.

Real Time sounds amazing...is this going to be the project that forces me to upgrade? Did you try any other software with quicker but quality comparable results?

Apr 1, 2012, 11:09 PM
Hi Kumquat ! Yes, I'm very much in Venice.

On PPC, I've only used handbrake and, even with top gear, it took almost 24 hours to compress an episode from Star Trek TNG (high quallty settings for sure).

On Intel (with a late 2008 machine / Intel Core 2 Duo with Penryn chipset), a 2 hour movie (PAL/576 or NTSC/480) will *almost* get compressed in real time (again - super high quality settings).

Last time I used Handbrake was 2 years ago so I must imagine the newer version must even be faster than this actually.

Apr 2, 2012, 12:50 AM
ppc depends a lot on the codec your compressing to. I used to use ffmpeg a lot as that was nice and quick on the PPC. any of the later h codecs will take forever on ppc.

Apr 2, 2012, 01:14 AM
Sounds like a new machine may be the only realistic option. Thanks for the input, sorta neighbor.

I tried encoding with MPEG Streamclip and finally forced quit after 2.5 days with no end in sight.

Apr 2, 2012, 01:19 AM
mpeg slipstream? dunno, haven't heard of that one, i only used handbrake for my compressions.. and as i said only used ffmpeg, at super high quality..
funnily enough i am not even sure that the current versions of HB even still offer ffmpeg, as on my MP, i have turned to the H-codecs.

I know the old versions (ppc) had ffmpeg (under the avi container).

Apr 2, 2012, 02:07 PM
Ha ha, not slipstream, but Slipstream is a pretty weird movie written by Anthony Hopkins. MPEG Streamclip is just another front end for ffmpeg.

I wish there would be some news from Apple about release dates for new minis and pros so I could make up my mind about what to do more easily.

Apr 3, 2012, 12:15 AM
I wish there would be some news from Apple about release dates for new minis and pros so I could make up my mind about what to do more easily.

If you've got 500+ things to encode I'd get a used Pro whenever the new ones come out, set up a nice long queue, and let it sit for a while.
Bite the bullet and get a Pro, it'll have a far longer life than your G5 with the plethora of upgrades available for it. When things start getting slow just drop a newer CPU in it.

My old 500 Sawtooth could rip a feature length DVD in handbrake in 2 days while my 2008 Blackbook could do the same in close to real time. Imagine what a first gen upgraded 8 core Pro could do!