[Cin] Prepping HW upgrade options for AV1 de-/encoding

Andrew Randrianasulu randrianasulu at gmail.com
Fri Dec 8 11:57:33 CET 2023

пт, 8 дек. 2023 г., 13:37 Terje J. Hanssen via Cin <
cin at lists.cinelerra-gg.org>:

> Den 03.12.2023 22:29, skrev Terje J. Hanssen:
> Already touched this topic barely in another thread
> https://lists.cinelerra-gg.org/pipermail/cin/2023-December/007346.html
> But so many SW and HW pieces are mentioned around, it is almost a
> full-time reading and study:
> VAAPI, MESA, VULKAN, Intel Quick Sync Video etc......
> I realize my aging hardware which is fast enough for other tasks, needs
> some "AV1 upgrade", if possible.
> But first I wonder, what is expected possible to do (obtain) with AV1
> de-/encoding on my existing 64bit hardware:
> 1) laptop 2018: Dell XPS 13-9370: quad core i7-8550U CPU (8. gen Kabylake)
> and Intel UHD Graphics
> 2) WS infinity:  MSI Z170A mobo:  quad core i7-6700K CPU (6. gen Skylake),
> NVIDIA GeForce GT-730 graphics
> A budget friendly first "AV1 HW upgrade" of the workstation 2) if
> possible, would be to add a new GPU as Intel Arc A380.
> But the question is if this will work at all on that much older (2015)
> Skylake platform with i7-6700K CPU?
> I've seen CPU bottlenecks has been mentioned and that Arc A380 is targeted
> at newer generations CPU ...
> Extracted from the first wikipedia reference below about Intel Alchemist
> GPUs:
>    - Featuring 8 Xe-cores, the* A380 supports PCI Express 4.0* and has a
>    total board power (TBP) of 75W. The graphics card is equipped with 6GB
>    GDDR6 memory and a graphics memory interface of 96 bits, providing a memory
>    bandwidth of 186GB/s.
>    - Bus interface A380:         PCIe 4.0 x8 and for >=A580: PCIe 4.0 x16
> That is, the keyword here seems to be PCIe 4.0 bus speed as a requirement
> to utilize the Arc A380 GPU for HWA AV1 encoding (maybe also for other
> GPUs?)

well, despite so much time spend looking at dev process for mesa3d I still
do not know full details and media encoder process. But isn't it like
putting uncompressed frame in vram (as long as you have enough of it - so
probably n raw frames between keyframe ideally?) let media engine chw on
it, pull resulting compressed bitstream out of vram via pci-express?

So I speculate pcie bandwidth in itself will only matter if you compress
both big frame size and long keyframes, so dma engine on card must
constantly pump new raw frame data via bus.

I saw some mention of big (resizeable) BAR as requirement for good
performance, but opengl/vulkan IMO a bit different because they send often
big amount of tiny objects (vertices) via bus for each frame. But may be
default 256 Mb in size bar feels a bit small for sending like 1 second of
25 4k frames (300 mb/s)?

gpus today use their own memory paging system, so may be this add
additional restriction on how fast you can push frames to them. ....

Also, windows and Linux drivers might differ ( I bet most reviews are from
windows land).

May be someone will post linux review of this particular aspect of Arc
graphics, either video or text ...

If this Suse Studio service still works may be you can compose your own
live image with all components required to test that and walk to some
offline place where you can testdrive new card .... { If weather feels
favourable enough - we have around -14 C airtemp so I and my dog prefer
short dashes around and back to warm place shortly}

My existing Skylake WS 2) above has PCie 3.0 only.
> PCIe 4.0
> https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express
> https://www.techreviewer.com/learn-about-tech/what-is-pcie-40/
> Motherboards Support PCIe 4.0
> https://www.makeuseof.com/best-budget-pcie-4-motherboards/
> https://www.techreviewer.com/tech-answers/which-motherboards-support-pcie-40/
> Maybe also information of interest for WS building will be clarified
> within a week, when Intel release their new "Meteor Lake, Core Ultra mobile
> processors(?)
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteor_Lake
> References:
> AV1 Encoding on a Budget: The Intel Arc A380 Approach
> https://medium.com/@contact_45426/av1-encoding-on-a-budget-the-intel-arc-a380-approach-d72367f2f349
> https://history-computer.com/intel-arc-a380-full-review-of-intels-entry-level-gpu/
> AV1 fixed-function hardware encoder is included in Alchemist GPUs as part
> of the Intel Quick Sync Video core.
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Arc#Alchemist
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AV1#Hardware
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Quick_Sync_Video#Hardware_decoding_and_encoding
> --
> Cin mailing list
> Cin at lists.cinelerra-gg.org
> https://lists.cinelerra-gg.org/mailman/listinfo/cin
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