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

Terje J. Hanssen terjejhanssen at gmail.com
Fri Dec 8 23:56:25 CET 2023

Den 08.12.2023 12:50, skrev Andrew Randrianasulu:
> пт, 8 дек. 2023 г., 13:57 Andrew Randrianasulu <randrianasulu at gmail.com>:
>     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)?

Nothing would be better than that A380 does work with older PCIe 3.0 
motherboards and CPUs and without too much decrease in performance.

I've also extracted from the following two articles:

    Intel Arc Desktop Graphics Card Gets Requirement List: Resizable BAR
    Enabled & Support on 10th Gen and Above CPUs

    /We are supporting Intel platforms with resizable BAR and will add
    support for AMD platforms with Smart Access Memory as Intel Arc
    graphics cards become available for sale as components. Motherboard

      * Full-size PCIe 3.0 (or newer) x16 slot
      * Resizeable BAR

    Arc A770 Loses Up to 24 Percent Performance Without Resizable Bar |
    Tom's Hardware


      * Arc isn't for older systems.
      * Intel has revitalized the midrange graphics card market with the
        company's latest Arc A770, which will make its way into the list
        of best graphics cards. Starting at $329, the Arc Alchemist
        graphics card brings GeForce RTX 3060-like performance to the
        table with Resizable BAR (ReBAR) enabled, of course. But,
        without ReBAR or similar technology like Smart Access Memory
        (SAM), it's another story.

      * With Arc, Intel recommends potential consumers make sure their
        systems support ReBAR or SAM.

      * In addition to testing ReBAR, TechPowerUp also evaluated whether
        the speed of the expansion slot impacts the Arc A770's
        performance. As a reminder, the Arc A770 comes with a
        conventional PCIe 4.0 x16 interface. However, the tests revealed
        that PCIe 3.0 is still plenty for the Arc A770 as long as ReBAR
        is enabled. Furthermore, TechPowerUp only recorded a performance
        difference of up to 2% between PCIe 3.0 and PCIe 4.0, so ReBAR
        support is more important than the expansion slot. Regarding
        ReBAR, only Intel 10th Generation Comet Lake
        11th Generation Rocket Lake
        and 12th Generation Alder Lake
        processors support that feature. As for AMD, SAM support is only
        present on Ryzen 3000
        Zen 2 chips and newer. So while Arc's performance looks
        attractive and priced fairly, its requirements effectively lock
        out users with older systems. Arc also demands Windows 10 20H2
        or Windows 11 <https://www.tomshardware.com/tag/windows-11> as
        the operating system, so Windows 7 users, who are reluctant to
        upgrade, are also out of the picture.

> https://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-1165048.html?sid=1b9518b86afdcd1fa5e7710f16cd6893
> not exactly about av1 in ffmpeg 6.1 but lists some components you need 
> for vaapi/qsv encoder on Arc 380 - also from dmesg resizeable bar 
> support is not essential ?
>     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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