Quicksync, finally? (update: NO!)

johanaziz

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2012
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Is this a sign that we are finally going to get native quicksync encoding on OSX? I've been having to bootcamp for a year since getting my Macbook pro 2011 just for this functionality. But this is from the ML Features page:

QuickTime X
High-performance H.264 encoding3
When you select a standard HD export setting, QuickTime Player takes advantage of hardware video encoding for optimal performance.

3. Supported on the following Mac models: iMac (Mid 2011 or newer), Mac mini (Mid 2011 or newer), MacBook Air (Mid 2011 or newer), and MacBook Pro (Early 2011 or newer).​

I'm hoping and praying.
 
Last edited:

Mr. Retrofire

macrumors 603
Mar 2, 2010
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www.emiliana.cl/en
Is this a sign that we are finally going to get native quicksync encoding on OSX?

3. Supported on the following Mac models: iMac (Mid 2011 or newer), Mac mini (Mid 2011 or newer), MacBook Air (Mid 2011 or newer), and MacBook Pro (Early 2011 or newer).[/INDENT]
Mhh. I think QuickTime X on Lion uses already QS, not? Anyway, Apples description includes only models which support QS, so i think they use this hardware unit for transcoding tasks in ML.

AnandTech said:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/5771/the-intel-ivy-bridge-core-i7-3770k-review/21
"If we rely on software decoding but use Intel's hardware encode engine, Ivy Bridge is 18% faster than Sandy Bridge in this test (1080p 13Mbps output from BD source, same as above). If we turn on both hardware decode and encode, the advantage grows to 29%. More than half of the performance advantage in this case is due to the faster decode engine on Ivy Bridge."
 

johanaziz

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2012
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0
From experience, I know Lion, or any other software installed on lion doesn't use Quicksync.

When using Cyberlink Powerdirector in bootcamp, video conversion speed is amazing, conversion of HD video can be about only a third of the running time of the video. And the CPU is barely used.

But conversion using quicktime x on Lion, or any software running on Lion, takes about the same time as the running time of the video, and CPU usage is always maximum.

Quicksync is an awesome technology, and it boggles me why Apple wouldn't want to use hardware that is already available, considering the huge benefits.

Although, as you said, I'm very heartened by the list of supported computers, because i think they all have HD 3000 graphics and above. I'm crossing my fingers really tight, that i can finally discard my bootcamp partition.
 

Mr. Retrofire

macrumors 603
Mar 2, 2010
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www.emiliana.cl/en
From experience, I know Lion, or any other software installed on lion doesn't use Quicksync.
I think Apple FaceTime HD and Final Cut Pro X use QuickSync.

Quicksync is an awesome technology, and it boggles me why Apple wouldn't want to use hardware that is already available, considering the huge benefits.
Correct.

AnandTech said:
Intel put to rest any concerns about image quality when Quick Sync launched, and thankfully the situation hasn't changed today with Ivy Bridge. In fact, you get a bit more flexibility than you had a year ago.

Intel's latest drivers now allow for a selectable tradeoff between image quality and performance when transcoding using Quick Sync. The option is exposed in Media Espresso and ultimately corresponds to an increase in average bitrate.


----------

I hope so!
And I hope it works on older machines as well. Older as in machines from early 2011. :D
Very old. Really! :eek:

;)
 

johanaziz

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2012
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0
I think Apple FaceTime HD and Final Cut Pro X use QuickSync.
Oh. Never tried Final Cut Pro X, but that's overkill for my purposes, just conversion and clipping here and there. I did give Premier CS6 Trial a go though, and was exasperated that they don't support quicksync either, considering the price.

I have an early 2011 macbook pro too, i'm sure it will work, since it has HD3000. Successfully been using in bootcamp. Its no Ivy Bridge, but still much faster than CPU encoding.
 

Crunch

macrumors 6502a
Jun 26, 2008
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Crazy L.A.
Not only is it faster (WAY faster) to use Intel's integrated HD graphics than the CPU, but it is even faster than most of the high-end discreet graphics cards from AMD and NVIDIA that you find in MBP's! There are benchmarks out there that show how amazingly well Intel's QuickSync works for those who encode/transcode a lot for example.
 

johanaziz

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2012
11
0
After using ML GM, i'm disappointed to report, that no, ML quicktime does NOT export using quicksync.

After trying out many configurations, i have no proof that quicksync is being utilized at all. From my experience, quicksync video conversions take about a third of the video running time. But in ML, conversions take equal or more than the running time. Thats 3 times longer.

Also, all the CPU's are blasting, whilst using quicksync, CPU is barely used.

I'm quite upset that Apple are still incapable of implementing an already available SDK into their OS. For their supposed strength in media, Apple has shown to be quite deficient.

I'm quite happy to be proven wrong, after all Apple did claim on their ML features list to "take advantage of hardware video encoding". If there is another way somehow to enable qs, i'd love to know. Otherwise i remain pissed.
 

Senseotech

macrumors 6502a
Nov 23, 2009
773
14
NC
After using ML GM, i'm disappointed to report, that no, ML quicktime does NOT export using quicksync.

After trying out many configurations, i have no proof that quicksync is being utilized at all. From my experience, quicksync video conversions take about a third of the video running time. But in ML, conversions take equal or more than the running time. Thats 3 times longer.

Also, all the CPU's are blasting, whilst using quicksync, CPU is barely used.

I'm quite upset that Apple are still incapable of implementing an already available SDK into their OS. For their supposed strength in media, Apple has shown to be quite deficient.

I'm quite happy to be proven wrong, after all Apple did claim on their ML features list to "take advantage of hardware video encoding". If there is another way somehow to enable qs, i'd love to know. Otherwise i remain pissed.
Out of curiosity, what hardware are you using for this test?
 

japtor

macrumors regular
Jun 29, 2010
159
6
Extremely disappointing. Perhaps this will added at the last minute?
Sounds like it was being used for this guy at least:
https://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1398438
i tried converting a 1080p same video file to 720p on both computers.

my god! the old air beat the new one by 50%!! that is HUUUGEEE...
(2011 i5 1.7 MBA on 10.8 vs 2012 i7 2.0 on 10.7)

Maybe it has to do with "When you select a standard HD export setting, QuickTime Player takes advantage of hardware video encoding for optimal performance."? Wonder if it defaults to software for any other mode...which would seem kind of pointless. If so hopefully it's more open behind the scenes for other apps.
 

Anti-Lucifer

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2012
776
2
Sounds like it was being used for this guy at least:
https://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1398438

(2011 i5 1.7 MBA on 10.8 vs 2012 i7 2.0 on 10.7)

Maybe it has to do with "When you select a standard HD export setting, QuickTime Player takes advantage of hardware video encoding for optimal performance."? Wonder if it defaults to software for any other mode...which would seem kind of pointless. If so hopefully it's more open behind the scenes for other apps.
It's an easy test:

Open up quicktime player (quicktime X player) - under the FILE MENU, select new movie or new screen recording. Record something for a minute. Then choose FILE->EXPORT - at the selection list box, choose, 720p. You will see it takes nearly an instant to export to h.264 but in a .mov container. If you have a core2duo processor mac, it will take quite some time!
 

mabaker

macrumors 65816
Jan 19, 2008
1,115
281
On rather related note if you have Windows installed you can get the open source video converter: http://www.freemake.com/free_video_converter/

and enjoy full CUDA goodness. 100% faster decoding speeds on all Macs with NVIDIA graphic cards.

Amazing what an m9400 can still achieve.

Apple seems to have forgotten OpenCL, CUDA and GrandCentral altogether. :( Going the way the Quartz Filters went from Tiger to Lion...
 

Anti-Lucifer

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2012
776
2
if you do a NEW MOVIE RECORDING (using quicktime player) - record yourself for one minute, then you EXPORT (FILE -> EXPORT), and select 720p, it will output using barely any CPU proc time. If you use iPhone/appletv (which will be in an m4v container), it will take longer time.

So yes, I can confirm on an early 2011 i7 processor, it is using quicksync. If you export as MOVIE (the default format), on my ssd drive, it's instant. So for sure when using 720p output, it does use quicksync!
 

johanaziz

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2012
11
0
I don't think quick sync is working. Or at the very least extremely inefficiently implemented here.

This would be close to the expected results when quicksync is working:
Toms Harware benchmark

Observe i5-2467m in the first benchmark. A 31gb Bluray movie (more than 2 hours running time i estimate), would take 25 minutes to convert. Thats 2 hours long 1080p movie converted in 25 minutes.

Using Apple's quicktime export, exporting a 1 hour mp4 file as 720p, takes 54 minutes to convert!
(test conducted fully on an SSD drive)

So the expected results, converting a one hour 1080p file should take at most 13 minutes. But instead, using ML, even a 720p file takes 54 minutes.

Thats 4 times longer at half the quality! No, no quicksync.

edit:
Converting the same 1 hour file into ipad format using quicktime, would take 2 hours!
Handbrake using iPad preset (720p) takes 1 hour 30 minutes.

edit 2:
the processor in the benchmark and my macbok pro are comparable. The benchmak uses a i5-2467m 2.3ghz. My macbook pro has a i5-2415m 2.3ghz. Additionally, my macbook pro is outfitted with 8gb RAM and a Kingston HyperX SSD drive.

edit 3:
Looking at the benchmark, CPU usage is expected to be around 20-30% region.
But using quicktime, it was around 50-60% region.
 
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goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,118
1,134
Lion definitely supports QuickSync, as several new features require it.

Not sure about QuickTime. QuickTime has generally used GPU features, not CPU features.
 

johanaziz

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2012
11
0
Not sure about QuickTime. QuickTime has generally used GPU features, not CPU features.
Technically, quicksync is a GPU feature. Uses the GPU portion. When quicksync is running, CPU is barely used.

I don't get why other Apple apps uses quicksync and not quicktime. The most logical way to implement it is a systemwide API. Which would be available to quicktime, why would the quicktime developer write their own export functions.
 

MikhailT

macrumors 601
Nov 12, 2007
4,395
974
Technically, quicksync is a GPU feature. Uses the GPU portion. When quicksync is running, CPU is barely used.
It's a combination of both the CPU and integrated GPU, they both are integrated in the same package. The general CPU cores are not being used mostly but it has some fixed hardware logics to work with quick sync in addition to using the GPU's chip. It's not purely a GPU function.
 

johanaziz

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2012
11
0
It's a combination of both the CPU and integrated GPU, they both are integrated in the same package. The general CPU cores are not being used mostly but it has some fixed hardware logics to work with quick sync in addition to using the GPU's chip. It's not purely a GPU function.
You're right. The point is that, why can't apple implement it in quicktime.

This one guy did: Intel Quick Sync Hardware Encoding

He managed to code the export function himself and get over 100fps conversion at 1080p, whilst my ML GM test shows about 33fps at only 720p!

The SDK is out there. There is even sample code. One guy is able to outdo the entire quicktime team. Its embarrassing.

edit: correction, the 100fps quote he was referring to an anandtech benchmark. Although he was as referring to it as example of the advantage of quicksync, i assume his code wont be that far off either. And again, 1 person.
 

johanaziz

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jun 11, 2012
11
0
The importance of quicktime being as efficient as possible cannot be understated. Its not only about the quicktime player app, but the underlying API in the form of QTKit.

QTKit API is used by alot of video apps. The most important being iMovie, but also plenty of third party apps. When QTKit is slow, it affects a slew of video related apps.
 

saldin

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2012
61
15
if you do a NEW MOVIE RECORDING (using quicktime player) - record yourself for one minute, then you EXPORT (FILE -> EXPORT), and select 720p, it will output using barely any CPU proc time. If you use iPhone/appletv (which will be in an m4v container), it will take longer time.

So yes, I can confirm on an early 2011 i7 processor, it is using quicksync. If you export as MOVIE (the default format), on my ssd drive, it's instant. So for sure when using 720p output, it does use quicksync!
I have an Early 2011 MBP 15 and did that test with the integrated GPU and the Radeon GPU: the exact same terrible performance in both cases.

I also tried exporting a 4 GB MOV file taken with my iPhone with the QuickTime Player as well as the Finder. Again, the exact same terrible performance in both cases.

Yes, I used the standard HD profiles.

The real problem here is not Intel's Quick Sync, but Apple being so darn uncommunicative that NO ONE KNOWS HOW TO USE A PROMINENTLY ADVERTISED FEATURE!
 

Senseotech

macrumors 6502a
Nov 23, 2009
773
14
NC
I have an Early 2011 MBP 15 and did that test with the integrated GPU and the Radeon GPU: the exact same terrible performance in both cases.

I also tried exporting a 4 GB MOV file taken with my iPhone with the QuickTime Player as well as the Finder. Again, the exact same terrible performance in both cases.

Yes, I used the standard HD profiles.

The real problem here is not Intel's Quick Sync, but Apple being so darn uncommunicative that NO ONE KNOWS HOW TO USE A PROMINENTLY ADVERTISED FEATURE!
Actually its quick to go to MOV from a screen recording because theres no actually transcoding being done.
 

saldin

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2012
61
15
Actually its quick to go to MOV from a screen recording because theres no actually transcoding being done.
Has anyone gotten OS X 10.8 to actually leverage Quick Sync for movie file encoding? Seriously. I was looking forward to this as I have ton of video files and need to do trascoding/transsizing on them.

"When you select a standard HD export setting, QuickTime Player takes advantage of hardware video encoding for optimal performance." sounds really straightforward, but try as I might, OS X uses almost 50% CPU and takes about half the running time to finish the export. This can't be right.
 
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