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Processor upgrade, dramatic change?

 
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sicklybutsexy



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 152
Location: chicago

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 10:08 pm    Post subject: Processor upgrade, dramatic change? Reply with quote

This may sound like a dumb question but will upgrading my processor from my current pentium 4 significantly increase the speed with which I am able to transfer HD video (that has to be transcoded to mpeg-2) with an upgrade to the new i7 processor from intel?
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wmcbrine



Joined: 04 Jan 2008
Posts: 2627
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe. What speed do you get now?

There are limiting factors on the TiVo side. I don't think I've seen it get much above 20 Mbps, which is barely better than real time for broadcast-rate HD.

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choekstr



Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 152

PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was wondering this same question and went from a 2.8Ghz P4 with HyperThreading to a Quad Core 2.66 system. Using ffmpeg and redirecting to /dev/null I recorded the following stats for 720p mkv H264 files:

P4 2.8Ghz CentOS: 14fps re-encoding with ffmpeg
Q4 2.66Ghz Ubuntu: 38fps re-encoding with ffmpeg

I used to have to wait forever for HD content to stream, well roughly 2x the length of the movie but now I can start watching immediately and never "catch up".

I am extremely happy with the performance of the quad core box and am using all 4 cores when encoding. FYI, setting -threads 0 (make best guess as to how many cores to use) as often suggested on forums caused ffmpeg to core dump but hard coding to -threads 4 works like a charm.

Net Net: I highly recommend getting as much CPU horsepower as you can afford if you want to do greater than real-time HD streaming.
--
Chris
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sicklybutsexy



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 152
Location: chicago

PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for that. I'm a novice. How can I make sure that I'm using the best setting for transcoding HD to send to Tivo. I have an i7 940. processor and it doesn't seem to be transferring much faster than my lame pentium 4.
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rdian06



Joined: 12 Apr 2008
Posts: 1420

PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sicklybutsexy wrote:
thanks for that. I'm a novice. How can I make sure that I'm using the best setting for transcoding HD to send to Tivo. I have an i7 940. processor and it doesn't seem to be transferring much faster than my lame pentium 4.


How is your Tivo connected to your pyTivo box? The Tivo's have receiving limits which can bottleneck the transfer even if your CPU can transcode faster.

In your pyTivo.conf, you'll want to set the following in your Server section:

Code:

ffmpeg_pram = -threads 4


Also, if you're videos are on a slow external hard drive, that can also bottleneck your transfer.
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sicklybutsexy



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 152
Location: chicago

PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks I'll try the threads -4. I connected my tivo using a powerline adapter and moved all my video to an internal hard drive and I'll see how that works.
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sicklybutsexy



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 152
Location: chicago

PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i mean -threads 4.
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wgw



Joined: 06 Jan 2008
Posts: 284

PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Or if you have Hyper-Threading enabled, -threads 8
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sicklybutsexy



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 152
Location: chicago

PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

how do you enable hyperthreading? that sounds like something I want.
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wgw



Joined: 06 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since you already have 4 processors, I would leave it at that. In fact, you may need to disable hyper threading. I assume it's still set in the bios on quad cores.
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rdian06



Joined: 12 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're running Windows, you can look at the Device Manager under Processors. If eight cores are listed, then Hyperthreading is enabled.
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sicklybutsexy



Joined: 05 Mar 2008
Posts: 152
Location: chicago

PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks again. 8 are enabled. video moving faster than real-time. much better. thank you both for your help.
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Grog



Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm running an older machine (Athlon 64 3000+, 1GB RAM, etc.) for my Tivo storage, but I'm thinking about upgrading. Is the encoding process almost entirely CPU-dependent? What other factors play into it?
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wmcbrine



Joined: 04 Jan 2008
Posts: 2627
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grog wrote:
Is the encoding process almost entirely CPU-dependent?

Yes.

Quote:
What other factors play into it?

None that I know of. In principle, encoding could be GPU-accelerated (as decoding sometimes is), but I'm not aware of ffmpeg doing that.

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