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Was my 12-core CPU upgrade futile?

JDLang76

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 1, 2018
136
38
Mac Pro 5,1
Went from a quad core imac to a dual X5690 tower.

I thought video rendering, encoding, converting, photo editing, etc.. would all be much faster with 12 cores.
However, according to activity monitor, none of these programs use more than 4 cores. Some only use 2 or 3. None of them have settings to increase core usage. One does, but nothing changes when I change the setting.

Using iMovie, Handbrake, Wondershare, WinXDVD, Gimp among a couple of others.

What gives? Was this upgrade stupid because nothing uses more than 4 cores?
 

bsbeamer

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2012
3,870
2,036
Several of those apps are not considered "professional" tools and they do not generally take advantage of multiple cores or dual processors appropriately. Some can be run as multiple instances if you want to look into that.

Move to more professional tools, like FCPX/Compressor or Adobe Premiere Pro/Media Encoder and/or test with the free version of Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve. You're never going to see 50% speed improvements over single processor/lower core but these tools do generally make a difference when comparing single/dual processor.
 
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
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Handbrake uses all cores that you have, but most apps are not heavy multithreaded and can't use all cores.

Anything that can't be parallelised, like video converting can be, works better with faster cores, not more cores.
 
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JDLang76

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 1, 2018
136
38
Handbrake uses all cores that you have, but most apps are not heavy multithreaded and can't use all cores.

Anything that can't be parallelised, like video converting can be, works better with faster cores, not more cores.

Well thats depressing. The Xeon is the same speed as the i7 I was using so everything is just the same speed. Oh well
 
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
8,344
8,858
Well thats depressing. The Xeon is the same speed as the i7 I was using so everything is just the same speed. Oh well

At least you can have more RAM and NVMe drives to speed up, so you can optimise things. You can also change some of your apps to versions that are multithreaded too.
 
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JDLang76

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 1, 2018
136
38
At least you can have more RAM and NVMe drives to speed up, so you can optimise things. You can also change some of your apps to versions that are multithreaded too.

Yeah Ive got 128gb RAM and m.2 drives now. Their AHCI but 1200MB/s. I'm going to look into Adobe and Davinci and see if I find anything I'd like to take advantage of.
[doublepost=1552494905][/doublepost]
Several of those apps are not considered "professional" tools and they do not generally take advantage of multiple cores or dual processors appropriately. Some can be run as multiple instances if you want to look into that.

Move to more professional tools, like FCPX/Compressor or Adobe Premiere Pro/Media Encoder and/or test with the free version of Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve. You're never going to see 50% speed improvements over single processor/lower core but these tools do generally make a difference when comparing single/dual processor.

Thanks for the tips. Installing Compressor, Resolve and Media Encoder CC now. Looking forward to trying them out. Thanks!
 
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velocityg4

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2004
5,281
1,745
Georgia
Even with Pro apps it depends on the specific task you are doing. If it supports GPU acceleration. It doesn’t matter how many cores you have. The GPU is likely faster and being utilized. Some are limited by drive speed.
 
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JDLang76

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 1, 2018
136
38
Media Encoder CC doesnt convert MKV. Wow. Thats one down. :/
 
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w1z

macrumors 6502a
Aug 20, 2013
617
432
You can also try disabling hyper-threading for a performance boost in certain applications. With hyper-threading enabled/active, a core spends less time executing tasks at max turbo speeds of 3.73 GHz than when it is disabled as it is sharing its resources, typically 1/3, with another thread.

To view core/thread speeds while you are testing, you can run the following in shell

Code:
sudo powermetrics
 
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JDLang76

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 1, 2018
136
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Final Cut Pro Compressor cant import MKV. There goes another. I dont see how these "Pro" applications can be so limited. What a shame.

EDIT - WinXDVD just had an update and is ow using all 12 cores. Yay.
 
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KlingonSpy

Suspended
Dec 26, 2017
23
9
Mac Pro 5,1
Went from a quad core imac to a dual X5690 tower.

I thought video rendering, encoding, converting, photo editing, etc.. would all be much faster with 12 cores.
However, according to activity monitor, none of these programs use more than 4 cores. Some only use 2 or 3. None of them have settings to increase core usage. One does, but nothing changes when I change the setting.

Using iMovie, Handbrake, Wondershare, WinXDVD, Gimp among a couple of others.

What gives? Was this upgrade stupid because nothing uses more than 4 cores?

Stupid, probably not. It's not always how many cores or CPU's you have that counts. It's always how the software is written. Unless applications and O/S's are written to take advantage of multiple core then it's a waste of money.
 
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mcnallym

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2008
734
248
For FCP X then you want to be using ProRes format.

For my eyetv recordings then exported to ProRes then import that ProRes file into FCP X.

Works like a charm.

Wish I had splashed for a Dual CPU Mp back in 2013 when purchased as now Handbrake changes then definitely slower then used to be.

I then export to Masterfile then import and encode in Handbrake.

Handbrake takes all the CPU will find on my hexacore.
 
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JDLang76

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 1, 2018
136
38
Handbrake is the answer for decoding MKV files. It is a favorite of YouTube for compressing video.

Lisa

Im no pro. Habdbrake’s settings are confusing to me at times but i have used it. WinXDVD is a but more beginner friendly and now that its using all cores, im set.
[doublepost=1552519589][/doublepost]
MKV isn't a professional codec

Thats why i want to convert my mkv files to something else.. ;)
[doublepost=1552519624][/doublepost]
For FCP X then you want to be using ProRes format.

For my eyetv recordings then exported to ProRes then import that ProRes file into FCP X.

Works like a charm.

Wish I had splashed for a Dual CPU Mp back in 2013 when purchased as now Handbrake changes then definitely slower then used to be.

I then export to Masterfile then import and encode in Handbrake.

Handbrake takes all the CPU will find on my hexacore.

Not export.. It wont IMPORT mkv to turn it into a better format
 
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PowerMike G5

macrumors 6502
Oct 22, 2005
461
177
New York, NY
If you're goal is to get more into professional video work, then this upgrade will show its worth. There are plenty of the times I can max out the 12-cores on my Mac Pro working in Adobe Premiere. The codecs you work with and formats will play a big role in how system resources are used.
 
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bsbeamer

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2012
3,870
2,036
You can also try VLC to convert. SOMETIMES has better performance. Ultimately try using a different codec when possible.
 
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JDLang76

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 1, 2018
136
38
You can also try VLC to convert. SOMETIMES has better performance. Ultimately try using a different codec when possible.

Thanks. I did try VLC but it doesnt do well with 4k. Which all of these are
 
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bsbeamer

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2012
3,870
2,036
MacPro4,1/5,1 generally doesn’t do well with compressed 4K formats. H264 is much better than H265. ProRes better than uncompressed. Batch convert overnight/weekend.

Rendering and managing renders is the way of life for most video pros. Encodes/transcodes fall into this same category.
 
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mcnallym

macrumors 6502a
Oct 28, 2008
734
248
Im no pro. Habdbrake’s settings are confusing to me at times but i have used it. WinXDVD is a but more beginner friendly and now that its using all cores, im set.
[doublepost=1552519589][/doublepost]

Thats why i want to convert my mkv files to something else.. ;)
[doublepost=1552519624][/doublepost]

Not export.. It wont IMPORT mkv to turn it into a better format

I export FROM EYETV into prores so have a prores file to IMPORT into FCP X is what I said. Convert the MKV first to ProRes then import into that Prores file into FCP X.
 
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JDLang76

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 1, 2018
136
38
MacPro4,1/5,1 generally doesn’t do well with compressed 4K formats. H264 is much better than H265. ProRes better than uncompressed. Batch convert overnight/weekend.

Rendering and managing renders is the way of life for most video pros. Encodes/transcodes fall into this same category.

Yeah i just do one file overnight. My videos are between 30gb-130gb in size. Takes 3-7 hours for each conversion using all 12 cores... I was thinking about an imac pro but i really dont want a 5k screen. Im testing things for 4k viewing and that would throw it all out of whack...
 
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h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,694
7,143
Hong Kong
MKV isn't a professional codec

MKV is not codec at all, it's just the container.

Final Cut Pro Compressor cant import MKV. There goes another. I dont see how these "Pro" applications can be so limited. What a shame.

EDIT - WinXDVD just had an update and is ow using all 12 cores. Yay.

You go for the hard and time consuming way to "convert" the video before you can import.

You should not re-encode the video before import to FCPX, unless it's really some codec that not supported or cannot handle properly.

For MKV, you better "remux" it into a MP4 container.

It can be easily done in FFMpeg. It's been discussed in this post.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/batch-convert-mkv-to-mp4-with-subtitles.2052377/#post-24836662

Remux can be hundred times faster than re-encoding with zero lost (when you re-encode the video, usually will introduce some distortion).

For FCPX, even that's H264, no need to pre-transcode them into ProRes. You can simply import H264 (with MP4 container) into FCPX, then let it create the optimised media for you (or even proxy to further improve editing performance).
 
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JDLang76

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 1, 2018
136
38
MKV is not codec at all, it's just the container.



For MKV, you better "remux" it into a MP4 container.

It can be easily done in FFMpeg. It's been discussed in this post.

Correct, thats what I'm doing. Just in case you were not aware, WinXDVD's converter is just FFMpeg with a GUI.
 
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h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,694
7,143
Hong Kong
Correct, thats what I'm doing. Just in case you were not aware, WinXDVD's converter is just FFMpeg with a GUI.

Absolute NOT the same.

WinXDVD use FFMpeg to re-encode the whole video. That's why it's so sloooooow. You should use Subler or FFMpeg directly to remux the video.

Remux is hunder times faster than re-encode.
 
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