Sandy Bridge, AVX, and QSV (Quick Sync Video)

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jnpy!$4g3cwk, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    The new MBP Sandy Bridge CPUs, including the low-end 13" MBP, apparently all have not only the new AVX register extensions (256 bits instead of 128 bits) and instructions, but also, the Quick Sync Video (QSV) functionality associated with the HD 3000 integrated GPU.

    Intel has plenty of documentation on AVX, but, I haven't been able to find much on QSV, other than it is supposed to provide realtime (MPEG-4) video encoding. Does anyone know where (not looking for NDA information) this is openly described in technical detail? Decode boost has been around a long time, but, with encode boost, you would expect program I/O capabilities not necessarily associated with the process owning the screen.

    Has Apple announced whether or not it will be using AVX and QSV soon (in, say Lion QuickTime)?

    Is QSV MP-capable? (Context switching?) Could a background encoding task make use of it? How would the API interact with the hardware? What sort of encoding speedup do you get? What knobs are there? (Bitrate vs quality)? What codecs are supported?

    Most of the Sandy Bridge mobile CPUs have a number of new capabilities that are intriguing, such as VT-x/VT-d and AES-NI, as well as AVX and QSV, but so far, I haven't heard anything substantial on what the effect of this will be on applications, such as Final Cut+Compressor, Aperture, Adobe apps, etc.
  2. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    Apple uses QSV for FaceTime but as for the rest...your guess is as good as mine as to if and when they'll take advantage of the features.
  3. Mackilroy macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    If they do use Quick Sync, they don't have a very good implementation as Anandtech saw 100 percent utilization of one core while using FaceTime.

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