Why doesn't Handbrake use more resources?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by sunfast, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. sunfast macrumors 68020

    sunfast

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
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    London
    #1
    I was ripping a DVD last night on my MacBook with Handbrake. It was going reasonably fast (~65fps).

    When I pulled up iStat pro it showed the CPU nowhere near maximum load (well below 50% in fact). I always thought that this was a CPU intenive task and not really dependent on other things. So why doesn't it use more CPU and go faster?
     
  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    Jul 24, 2002
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    London
    #2
    You MacBook (being a laptop) has a, relatively speaking, slow DVD drive. It's more than likely that it cannot supply the data any faster.

    65fps is pretty quick for a DVD drive to be moving data off the DVD.
     
  3. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

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    #3
    Maybe the program isn't multithreaded and therefore can only use one core of the processor?
     
  4. dmw007 macrumors G4

    dmw007

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    #4

    True, 65fps is rather fast for ripping a DVD. Was this on higher or lower quality setting? :)
     
  5. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #5
    1. Have you set your MacBook to Better Performance in System Preferences -> Energy Saver? If that is on Better Energy Savings (or generally if you use it on Battery power) you should get poorer CPU performance.

    2. Which codec are you using? When I tried Handbrake a while back (with my MacBook 2.0) I got about that same frame rate, just over 60 fps, when ripping to MPEG-4, and the CPU didn't even get hot. When I switched to H.264 the frame rate dropped to 25-30 and the CPUs both went over 90% and the temperatures soared.

    3. Might there be a problem with iStat pro? I use MenuMeters to monitor CPU usage.
     
  6. sunfast thread starter macrumors 68020

    sunfast

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    Oct 14, 2005
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    London
    #6
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    I hadn't thought about the DVD drive - a good point. Settings were average bitrate 1400kbps, mp4 video/AAC audio, 48000 Hz audio sample rate, 160kbps audio bitrate.

    Still I shouldn't complain. If it can do that without taxing the processor much it's great. My G4 iMac did about 15fps (at best) for the same settings.
     
  7. gnasher729 macrumors Pentium

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #7
    65 fps means you are encoding at more than twice the speed that a DVD would normally be playing. DVD = 8 times faster than CD, so you are processing data at about 18x CD speed.

    MP4 is quite easy to compress. Try H.264; you can go down quite a lot in the bit rate at same quality, and your CPU usage will go up to 100% :)
     
  8. simonthewolf macrumors member

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    May 24, 2006
    Location:
    Milton Keynes, UK
    #8
    Handbrake is a fantastic program - fast, frugal and free. And unlike Apple's Compressor, it doesn't make your G5 Tower sound like a Turbine Farm :eek:
     
  9. sunfast thread starter macrumors 68020

    sunfast

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    Oct 14, 2005
    Location:
    London
    #9
    That's interesting about H264. I've never really understood much about it, except it's supposed to be a more efficient codec? But is still and mp4 file?

    Could anybody recommend setting for H264 that would have similar quality to the MPEG-4 encoding described above?

    Cheers! :)
     
  10. Greebazoid macrumors regular

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    Mar 20, 2006
    Location:
    Cape Town
    #10
    I tested 1Mb, 2Mb, 4Mb and 8Mb to see where the sweet spot of visible artifacts was - 2Mb is what I'm now converting my DVD library to.

    Annoyed that I cant find a way to actually embed or use (not sure where it gets lost, in the encoding or the playback) the 5.1 audio.
     
  11. brbubba macrumors 6502

    brbubba

    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    #11
    You can do it on a PC, but IMO getting the video encode settings right to match what handbrake does in two clicks isn't worth all that extra effort.

    I assume you mean for the bitrate? So your movies are about how big, 1.6Gigs each?
     
  12. spriter macrumors 65816

    spriter

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    May 13, 2004
    #12
    I'm H.264ing at 1500kbps video and 192kbps audio via Handbrake (around 1700 total). Quality is better than other codecs. As for file sizes, Google as a bitrate calculator works for me. I end up with movies around 1.4gig each.
     
  13. projectle macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    #13
    perhaps try using MacTheRipper first to copy the data from the DVD to a folder on your hard disk.

    I usually find that it makes transcoding much faster as it does not have to wait for the DVD drive to seek the correct locations.

    When I do that, it is pretty common to see Handbrake using 85-95% of my CPU depending on whatever else is running at the time.
     
  14. wilk0076 macrumors member

    wilk0076

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    Jun 21, 2006
    #14

    I use those same settings and am very happy with the video, both in quality and file size.

    I've not noticed a difference in encoding speed whether I use Handbrake ripping from the DVD directly or from a ripped image via MacTheRipper.
     
  15. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000

    FleurDuMal

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    May 31, 2006
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    London Town
    #15
    Think yourself lucky. On my Macbook 2.0Ghz w/ 2GB RAM I'm lucky to get an average of 23fps when encoding into h.264 at 1250kbs and 160kbs AAC :rolleyes:
     
  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #16
    50% means that one CPU core is used at 100%. So 50% is the highest number you would see if all you were running was Handbrack. Reads from the DVD and writes to the disk take some time so I doubt you would ever see 50% on the dual core machine
     
  17. spriter macrumors 65816

    spriter

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    May 13, 2004
    #17
    It's preferable (for me at least) to rip the DVD via Mac The Ripper or otherwise first, if only to prevent the optical drive's laser from being in constant use whilst encoding, which at H.264 2-pass is 3-4 hours.
     
  18. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    #18
    I know it's not free, but try Popcorn 2. It is WAY faster than handbrake, and when I checked my activity monitor, it was using both cores nearly 100%
     
  19. wilk0076 macrumors member

    wilk0076

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2006
    #19
    Very true. with my settings (h.264 / 1500 / 192) I get around 21fps encoding.

    With 2 pass encoding, that means a 45 minute episode of TV takes almost an hour and a half to encode!

    I usually rip the DVDs to an Ext. HD with mactheripper (fast) and then queue them up in handbrake to run overnight. In the morning I've usually got a couple DVDs encoded...
     
  20. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000

    FleurDuMal

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    May 31, 2006
    Location:
    London Town
    #20
    I get my speeds ripping directly from the DVD. None of my DVDs appear to like MacTheRipper as Handbrake never recognises anything I rip with it, so I haven't been able to see whether I just have a slow DVD drive. Nor do I have an external hard drive yet, so I can't see if its a slow HD.
     

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