Handbrake encode times in iMac 2017 i7?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mikebt, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. mikebt macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2018
    Hello people of MacRumors.

    I currently have a 2011 15" MacBook Pro. It was a top of the line i7 model that has served me well over the years. It still runs great, but I'm thinking about upgrading to a 2017 iMac, the 27" version, just so I can upgrade the memory and hard drive over the years to come.

    The most processor intensive thing I do with my Macs are HEVC Handbrake encodes for my iTunes library. Currently they take forever (average of about 7 hours per movie, with standard Apple TV 3 as the preset). Can anyone give me an idea of how much quicker these encodes would be on a new iMac?

  2. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    If you get an internal SSD of decent size, then in the future you can upgrade storage externally as needed. Both Thunderbolt and USB 3 are fine. There will be no need to crack the case to update the internal storage.

    And if software video encoding is your thing, definitely wait for the hex-core models, likely coming in a few months. The hex-core i5 chips are are fast as the quad-core i7-7700K but use less power, and the i7-8700K is way, way faster.
  3. jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015
    what sort of movies are these? What's the resolution? Length?
  4. mikebt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2018
    Yeah, that's true about the storage. I was actually looking into setting up a NAS anyway, so good call on that one.

    Do the 2017 iMacs support hardware accelerated encoding for Handbrake?
    --- Post Merged, Jun 14, 2018 ---
    1080p blu-rays that are probably about 2 hours long on average. I have a pretty big 200+ blu-ray collection that I decided to digitize a few years back and encoding 2-3 per day has been a slow burn haha.
  5. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    The 2017+ iMacs themselves have support for up to hardware 10-bit 4K HEVC encode. (You'd only need 1080p 8-bit though for your sources.)

    However, I'm not sure what the status is for hardware HEVC encoding in Handbrake using Intel QuickSync, and I'm also not sure what the quality would be like even if it is supported. I've only ever done software encoding in Handbrake.
  6. mikebt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2018
    Yeah, I can't seem to find much in terms of hardware support for Handbrake. What kind of encode times do you get on your 2017? For a 30gb or so MKV or so.
  7. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    Anything I tell you will be meaningless.

    1) I don't do much of it these days, and most of it was h.264 so I don't have a good grasp of the range of times, esp. for h.265.
    2) It really depends on the source material and the exact Handbrake settings.

    FWIW, my GUESS is that a 2017 i7-7700K or hypothetical i5-8600 iMac would be roughly 80% faster than your 2011 top-of-the-line 15" MacBook Pro i7, and that a hypothetical i7-8700K iMac would be roughly twice as fast.

    BTW, a couple of us here tried encoding the same sources using the same standard settings in Handbrake h.265, and the i7-7700K was 25% faster than the i5-7600. The interesting part though was that the i7-7700K ramped up to full vacuum cleaner fan mode in 30 s, while it took the i5-7600 almost 10 minutes. And in other testing, the i5-7500 could do prolonged transcoding without maxing out the fan.
  8. jerwin macrumors 68020

    Jun 13, 2015
    from this mac world article


    not sure what 5k imac that might be, unfortunately.
  9. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    I just tested the latest general release of Handbrake for Mac (ver 1.1.0) and on a top-spec 2017 iMac it took 2:43 to encode a 2:18 1080p H264 file to H.265 (x265) using the default parameters. Using the "ultra fast" preset it took 1:35. A brief inspection didn't show any obvious quality differences, but it was a quick look.

    FCPX 10.4.2 took 2:01 to encode the same file to 8-bit 1080p HEVC. The difference was Handbrake pegged all CPU cores and was loud. FCPX had low CPU core levels, maybe indicating it was using hardware-accelerated encoding. It was very quiet.
  10. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Apr 23, 2010
    IIRC Handbrake relies on CPU cores. The more cores and GHz, the faster it goes. This shows up in my two Macs. A 2009 with 6-core 3.33 does HB transcodes about 20-25% faster fps than the late 2013 15-MBP 2.6GHz i7 sitting right next to it.

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9 June 14, 2018