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  1. First off, I am a newb to encoding, but I've also been doing it off and on for the last year.
    I've been wanting to get a computer to encode for a while, I've been using my Lenovo Ideapad 320 for all my computer needs, but to be honest, it's processor just isn't quite good enough for what I need it for. Encoding to HEVC/H.265 takes dreadfully long. I've tried looking into faster ways of doing it, but ultimately, increased speed means lower quality or more storage space, or both.

    So, I've been looking around on the internet for a while and have come to these conclusions however wrong or right they may be.
    1st - You need a good Processor, multi-threading helps too.
    2nd - Have 8GB's of ram, any more and it's not really needed. (Also I could probably upgrade Ram if the need ever arisen.)
    3rd - Desktops perform much better than Laptop's and encoding will especially decrease a Laptop's lifespan if not ventilated properly (Which mine has not so bueno ventilation.)

    With this in mind, I've been trying to find a PC that meets these needs, but I find most PC's that have good processors are either laptops, or Gaming Desktops.
    I guess my problem is If I'm looking for the right things I don't really know how to find them.

    TL;DR: I'm looking for suggestions on PC's to get for encoding, and advice on what to look for and how to find it.

    Also is it worth it to buy a machine for the playback of my digital copies (Most are in HEVC, some 4K), I use Kodi cuz I like how it looks and everything.
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  2. Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    United States
    Search Comp PM
    you need the right graphics card. see here -
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  3. I thought CPU encoding gave a cleaner picture and more saving on storage space when compared to GPU encoding?
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  4. 1st - You need a good Processor, multi-threading helps too.

    There are 3 ways to encode faster today.
    1. More CPU cores.
    eg. This is what you can do with a 64-core CPU - 319 frames per second H.265 encoding (H.265 takes a LOT more CPU power than H.264, so anything above 100 fps is fast.)
    A 2 hour bluray converted in 22 minutes.

    2. Intel Quicksync
    Most Intel CPUs from the 2nd to current 10th generation have Quicksync.
    This is a special CPU feature designed to speed up encoding/decoding of H.264/H.265 FAR FAR faster than most CPU encodes.
    Not even a match.
    Quicksync is SO fast, you can easily push 200+ FPS H.265 encodes on a laptop Intel CPU that's faster than any CPU encode with more than 16-cores.

    There is a slight quality difference, but this can be made up by simply giving the encode a few more KB/MB per second.
    This is THE single reason many people buy and use Intel CPU laptops / desktop nowadays for encoding and PLEX serving because the Quicksync encoding is so fast, it makes ripping videos super-convenient.

    (On your OLD PC/LAPTOP, try it if it has an Intel CPU!
    Install Handbrake. Preferences -> enable Quicksync. When setting up a video to encode, VIDEO TAB, change the encoder to H264 QSV. And see just how much faster you can encode. Even on a old i7-2637M laptop from 5+ years ago, I can easily push 170+ fps H.264 encodes.)

    3. VIDEO Card / GPU encoding

    If you love gaming and/or get an Nvidia 1050ti through 2080 graphics card for encoding, you can use the GPU to speed up encoding as well.
    Quicksync is still very competitive with most Nvidia cards short of the top-of-the-line models, and quality vs CPU encodes will differ.

    For the review linked above, H.265 encodes were a touch better looking on the Nvidia encodes than the Intel Quicksync encodes.

    But, the variations are all minor between #1 to #3 - simply giving the encoders a few more KB/MB per second makes up for the differences, so unless you absolutely need the Smallest & Highest quality encodes = ie. super slow with individual tweaking of each encode, better to go with the fastest encoding hardware (GPU/Quicksync) that your budget allows.

    2nd - Have 8GB's of ram, any more and it's not really needed. (Also I could probably upgrade Ram if the need ever arisen.)

    NOT even necessary. I can easily Quicksync on a 2GB laptop using a 5+ year old CPU 5x+ faster than real-time.
    8GB is a good recommended minimum for a new system however due to rising RAM requirements of other popular software like Adobe Premiere, Photoshop, etc.
    HOWEVER, even with 2-4GB of RAM, what is far more important is to have a SSD drive, not a HD, due to the significantly faster system speeds you'll notice - booting, launching apps, encoding video read speeds, etc.

    3rd - Desktops perform much better than Laptop's and encoding will especially decrease a Laptop's lifespan if not ventilated properly (Which mine has not so bueno ventilation.)
    Unless you're building a $6000 64-core AMD encoding rig, a Quicksync encode on a laptop can easily match that of a desktop with the same number of CPU cores - ie. 300+ FPS.
    Not even an issue of signficant note today to be encoding on laptops all day long.

    Lifespan. The only major component that'll fail is the HD. Simply replacing it with a SDD drive ($15 for 128GB, $30 for 256GB, etc) will resolve that issue.
    The only major component that'll clog is the fan. Simply keep it on a desk clear of debris and such, blow out the fan once a month with compressed air, and you'll be fine.
    As long as you've got suffiicent airflow, almost all laptops will run fine.

    Your laptop has a i3-7100u CPU. It has quicksync with accellerated H.265 encode/decode, so why don't you TURN on this feature and try it out?
    You might find that you're simply using the wrong settings to get SUPER-fast encodes on your laptop and don't need to buy anything.


    As for a device to playback, depends on what you mean.
    You can easily watch all H.265 encodes on your laptop without any issue.
    Plug it into any TV using HDMI or cast it wirelessly and it'll look great using your laptop as the player.

    If you want to play without using your laptop, tons of ways.
    Some smartTVs can play media files off the network directly, game machines like PS4/Xbox can act like media players, android and PC stick computers can do it, etc. Just depends on how complex of a media system you want to build out.


    In the very old days, CPU encodes created better files, but as you can see with the H.265 encode tests linked above, GPU encodes can easily match and exceed H.265 freeware encode quality today.

    You can do better with a top quality CPU encoder, but you'd have to pay for commercial H.265 encoders such as ATEME TITAN etc AND you'd be STUCK with SLOW encodes.

    IMO - give up getting the absolute smallest file size for your encodes, give it a few more KB/MB per second, and use Quicksync or Nvidia hardware to get super-fast encodes that still look very good.
    Last edited by babygdav; 9th Feb 2020 at 04:22.
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