Encoding... Power users - Best setup?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by lali, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. lali macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2007
    Hi everyone,

    I was wondering what hardware people were using to encode large batches of media? I see people converting blu-ray rips, and on older machines it must take ages to encode. So here are a few questions:

    1.) Who has a very good encoding setup that works well for them?
    2.) Are so of you using windows PCs to encode for your apple TV?
    3.) Are some of you encoding via the gpu using windows software (intel quick sync + media espresso)? I understand there is a quality trade-off versus handbrake+cpu.
    4.) Would you have 'best practices' to share? For example, having a second machine dedicated for encoding only, to leave the main machine unencumbered? If so, how is the moving of files to and from the computers working in your workflow?
    5.) Are there things not working well with your choice of equipment? For example I understand Macbook Pro's can get noisy (fans) while encoding with Handbrake. If a person encodes a great deal it can become an issue.
    6.) Any exotic setups ? (dual xeon, etc...)

    While I wait for the iMac refresh my encoding workflow is really starting to struggle (iMac 24/2007) and I find myself unable to make a move while waiting for product refresh. I may just add a windows PC to my network and dedicate it to encoding.


  2. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    As far as HB goes .... its all cpu as you probably know... it scales well to threading to up to 8 physical cores but 6 seems to be the sweet spot.

    GPU need not apply ;)
  3. GoSUV macrumors member

    Nov 5, 2008
    Hong Kong
    There is nothing complicated about this: the more CPU power you have, the faster your encodes.

    For me, I use my work PC to do my encodes and I usually start it just before I leave the office, and let it run overnight so the next day when I return, it is finished. It doesn't occupy my home Mac nor my otherwise productive times at work.

    The only problem with this is, I can only do 720p movies for my iPad2 as the file sizes have to be smaller than 4GB. For 1080p movies, where the file sizes often exceed 4GB, I can't use USB sticks (due to the FAT32 limitation) to copy them from PC to Mac. Please enlighten me if there are file systems out there that supports files larger than 4GB, yet is R/W capable on the PC platform and at least Readable on Mac OS.
  4. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011

  5. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Sep 24, 2008
    Boon Docks USA
    I use my windows pc. Makemkv to rip my blurays and handbrake for dvds. Get a windows pc with the highest ghz and most cores you can afford. Cheaper than an apple machine.
  6. The DRis macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2010
    Oceanside, CA
    Anybody care to share their encode times for both 720p and 1080p encodes using the new AppleTV3 preset? It would be interesting just to see the average FPS or total encode time for those running the new i7's in an iMac or rMBP.

    A 720p typically takes me 1hr 50 mins - 2hr 30 mins at an average of 24fps.

    My first 1080p (HD-DVD) took me 15 some hours. Started it around 12:30AM and when I left home the next morning at 11AM it said it still had 4 hrs left.

    I'm running a mid-2010 13"MBP with a 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo.
  7. ohio.emt macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2008
    The last 1080p encode I used my PC and I've been using High Profile took about 1.5 - 2 hours.
  8. Detrias macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2011
    Ntfs is readable on a mac

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