Matrox CompressHD results...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by robains, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. robains macrumors regular

    robains

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #1
    Finally got around to testing out the differences in compression performance between my Matrox CompressHD PCI-e card and QMaster using 4 CPU cores.

    Test was done using Compressor 3.51 on a MOV sequence captured at 1080i 60 (HDV) (Field upper) -- nothing was done to the sequence that is 1 min 2 secs long 206.4MB file size (not even de-interlaced).

    Matrox CompressHD card software is 1.8.1 (firmware updated).

    My goal was to get the 1920 x 1080 (actually 1440 x 1080) footage close to Apple TV 1280 x 720 progressive format (m4v).

    The Results:

    1. H.264 for Apple Devices 1280 x 720 (16:9 960 x 720) 5Mbps, progressive 44.1kHz Stereo (Medium quality 50) single pass without Qmaster:

    CPU Usage - User 68-71% - System 5-7%
    Time = 1 min 49 sec -- file size 39.9 MB

    2. H.264 for Apple Devices 1280 x 720 (16:9 960 x 720) 5Mbps, progressive 44.1kHz Stereo (Medium quality 50) single pass with Qmaster 4 cores:

    CPU Usage - User 87% - System 7%
    Time = 2 min 01 sec -- file size 39.9 MB

    3. H.264 (mov) Custom 1280 x 720 5Mpbs, progressive 29.97 fps - 44.1kHz Stereo High Quality Multi-pass using 4 cores Qmaster:

    CPU Usage - User 88% - System 6%
    Time = 4 min 02 sec -- file size 38.7 MB

    4. Matrox MAX H.264 (mov) Custom 1280 x 720 5Mpbs, progressive 29.97 fps - 44.1kHz Stereo:

    CPU Usage - User 28-30% - System 8%
    Time = 1 min 06 sec -- file size 39.7 MB

    What I find interesting is that the Apple TV quality was actually pretty good, the color was a little less vibrant that results from #3 and #4. What is really strange is that QMaster with 4 cores was actually slower than a without QMaster?? This leads me to believe the .m4v codec is able to detect and use more than 1 core regardless of QMaster -- in fact, adding QMaster just takes a little away from the efficiency of the .m4v codec.

    It was nice to see the Matrox CompressHD only using 28-30%, allowing my system to be very responsive to doing other tasks.

    Just a small sample of H.264 results, but with the type of work I do I get anywhere from about 2X to 4X faster compression times using the Matrox CompressHD.

    This is probably old news for most of you, but it's new life for my aging 2007 MacPro :)

    Rob.
     
  2. Gymnut macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    #2
    Thanks for these test results. I bought the MXO in August just before they released the MXO2 LE, but I'm thinking I'll pick up the CompressHD card once I pick up projects to be delivered on Blu-Ray disc.
     
  3. robains thread starter macrumors regular

    robains

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Location:
    California
    #3
    CompressHD seems to be working pretty darn good on my MacPro -- trying to squeeze as much life out of my 2007 2 X 2 MacPro as I can -- SSD is next. But I gotta say, my 2007 MacPro is doing just fine with a little help :)

    Trying to make it to 2011 before I get another MacPro (which should be 12 core by then with USB 3.0 and ATI 5870).

    Rob.
     
  4. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    Hi folks,

    I realize this is an old thread, but i'm looking at the CompressHD card to output AppleTV and idevice files for clients (and for my own family videos).

    I transfer videos to DVD etc.. for my clients. Nothing HD yet - all SD VHS, Beta, camcorder.

    I'm using the original Elgato Turbo stick for my own videos - I've yet to do anything for a client and thank God b/c this turbo stick encodes are terrible - very pixelated even at the highest settings. :(

    I haven't tried the HD turbo stick b/c I'm think the compressHD is more suited for the job.

    BUT, I can't find any samples of SD footage. The few samples I find are HD, which I understand is natural given that SD footage isn't the 'norm' per say, but there is plenty of SD sources out there.

    I can't join the Matrox forums to ask the same question b/c you have to register a product first.

    Any samples you can provide or direct me to would be great. I know I'll see some speed gains, but unless the quality is fantasticly better, then it's not worth the cost to upgrade. Of course, even when I can get compressor to work properly with all cores, it still takes along time :(

    Cheers,
    Keebler
     
  5. Gymnut macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    #5
    I went and got the CompressHD last week and have been impressed so far. Encodes for Youtube and mobile devices are lightning quick(faster than real time) and my one 1hr 53minute Blu-Ray project took about an 1hr 44minutes to encode. Quality of the encode does appear to look better than Compressor and Adobe's AME at a fraction of the time(took me 12 hours to encode the same 1hr 53minute HDV project with Adobe Media Encoder). Using 8 instances in Compressor w/Qmaster took over 3 hours to complete.

    For your projects to mobile devices and AppleTV, this'll give you quality encodes in a fraction of the time; However, DVD uses MPEG2 encoding, which this card does not do.

    The software installation places Matrox presets in Compressor, but from what I understand, any H264 encodes, including the Apple built-in presets, will be sent to CompressHD card. The installation also places a pane in the System Preferences that gives you system info of the card, as well as a deactivate/activate button for H264 encoding(MAX).
     
  6. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #6
    Thanks gymnut.

    I ended up borrowing one and gave it a whirl. Loved the results and speed.

    ordered mine and should have it by Friday at the latest. It's too bad I can't find a hardware mpeg2 solution. I know everyone says to use compressor etc..., but it's a piece of crap from my experiences :(

    I do use Bitvice from innobits and ironically, it recognizes ALL cores WITHOUT doing a single thing. I sent jobs an email indicating how ridiculous it is that a 3rd party app does that and their own software won't :)

    but i did like the compress card. I'm really promoting the use of iphone/ipod touch files for clients. so many of their kids have them that it would be a great solution.

    thanks!
     
  7. Gymnut, Nov 24, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010

    Gymnut macrumors 68000

    Gymnut

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    #7
    Glad you had a chance to try it out before making your decision to buying. I'm sure it'll pay for itself in time saved in no time:)

    Edit: Yeah, I don't think there are any hardware based MPEG-2 encoders compatible with Mac OSX. I looked into getting Bitvice a few weeks back but their secure server to purchase was acting up. I may look into getting Sorenson Squeeze or Cinemacraft sometime in the future.
     

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