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Quadro k4000 not accelerating H.264 encoding

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Jeff Schaap
Quadro k4000 not accelerating H.264 encoding
on Sep 26, 2013 at 6:58:59 pm

Just got a new system:

HP Z820
2 x Intel Xeon E5-2665 @ 2.40
Window 7 64-bit (enterprise)
Quadro K4000
Networked 1 GB storage RAID

And I'm using PrPro CC

With the Quadro I thought I would see a vast improvement in rendering out my timelines to H.264... but there seems to be little to no improvement. I do have GPU acceleration enabled for the project and even usd GPUSniffer.exe to confirm that my Quadro is being recognized. I've got a mostly AVCHD timeline but did all my color correction in Speed Grade, sent back a .DPX sequence and overlaid that for finishing. I then encode to H.264, MP4 at 640 x 360 for an "approval" file I can upload.

Am I missing something? Can the K4000 not assist in the rendering because of a limitation in the codec?

Any wisdom is appreciated.

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Jon Howard
Re: Quadro k4000 not accelerating H.264 encoding
on Sep 26, 2013 at 7:20:20 pm

This is very interesting. I'm on a 12 core Mac using a Quadro 4000 and I've noticed that, while it helps playback, rendering and exporting aren't much different than on my Retina MacBook Pro. Also, I've noticed, and written a post about it, that SpeedGrade CC does not seem to be leveraging the Quadro 4000 for renders at all, and as such renders out 4-5 times slower than Resolve. Looks like Adobe is using the GPU only for playback and not for rendering across the board. Hopefully that changes pretty soon.

Wish I had something more helpful.


"If you wish to see the truth, then hold no opinions for or against anything. To set up what you like against what you dislike is the disease of the mind." - Sengstan

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Ivan Myles
Re: Quadro k4000 not accelerating H.264 encoding
on Sep 26, 2013 at 7:47:12 pm

If I understand correctly, the choice of codec will not impact GPU acceleration. Although the words rendering and encoding are often used interchangeably, it is important to make the distinction because GPU acceleration only affects rendering--the internal processing of effects to create a composed sequence--and only for a subset of effects. That leads to three points:

- When comparing different codecs, the total encoding times may vary but the rendering time within Premiere Pro should not change.

- The impact of GPU acceleration depends on the extent to which GPU-enabled effects are applied within a Premiere Pro sequence. There should not be any affect when simply transcoding a DPX master file without rescaling.

- The final aspect is whether the Quadro cards provide any advantages compared to GeForce. I have not conducted any tests, but other posters have commented that GeForce is either roughly equivalent, or at least a better value for video production.

Additional rendering and encoding data from another user
Search: geforce vs quadro

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Angelo Lorenzo
Re: Quadro k4000 not accelerating H.264 encoding
on Sep 26, 2013 at 11:54:27 pm

As Ivan mentioned, the actual compression process is not accelerated by Premiere/AME. If you purchase Sorrenson Squeeze which talks to Adobe Media Encoder and will pass over video frames, they do have the MainConcepts CUDA accelerated h.264 codec. It should be noted that an apples-to-apples comparison will favor the quality of the software render vs the CUDA render.

Angelo Lorenzo

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Peter Garaway
Re: Quadro k4000 not accelerating H.264 encoding
on Sep 27, 2013 at 5:13:45 am

This blog post may be helpful for some.

What does Premiere Pro accelerate with CUDA/OpenCL?
Here’s a list of things that Premiere Pro CS5 and later can process with CUDA:

some effects (complete list at the bottom of this post)
scaling (details here)
blending modes
color space conversions
Premiere Pro CS5.5 and later can process even more things, listed on this page.

Premiere Pro CS6 can use OpenCL to process the same features, with the exception of four effects: Basic 3D, Gaussian Blur, Fast Blur, and Directional Blur.

It’s worth mentioning one set of things that Premiere Pro doesn’t process using CUDA/OpenCL: encoding and decoding.

A common misconception is that CUDA/OpenCL processing is only used for rendering for previews. That is not true. CUDA/OpenCL processing can be used for rendering for final output, too. See this page for details about what rendering is.

Whether a segment of a sequence gets a red or yellow render bar is influenced by whether the project is set to use CUDA/OpenCL processing (i.e, whether the project’s Renderer setting is Mercury Playback Engine GPU Acceleration or Mercury Playback Engine Software Only). See this page for details.

Note that whether a frame can be processed by CUDA/OpenCL depends on the size of the frame and the amount of RAM on the graphics card (VRAM). This article gives details about that, toward the bottom.

Processing with CUDA/OpenCL doesn’t just mean that things are faster. In some cases, it can actually mean that results are better, as with scaling. See this article for details.

For export, scaling with CUDA/OpenCL is always at maximum quality, regardless of quality settings. (This only applies to scaling done on the GPU.) Maximum Render Quality can still make a difference with GPU-accelerated exports for any parts of the render that are processed on the CPU. Over time, we are working on reducing the list of exceptions to what can be processed on the GPU. For an example of a limitation that can cause some rendering to fall back to the CPU, see this article: “Maximum dimensions in Premiere Pro CS5″.

When rendering is done on the CPU with Maximum Render Quality enabled, processing is done in a linear color space (i.e., gamma = 1.0) at 32 bits per channel (bpc), which results in more realistic results, finer gradations in color, and better results for midtones. GPU-accelerated processing is always performed in a 32-bpc linear color space. To have results match between CPU rendering and GPU rendering, enable Maximum Render Quality.

Note: There are two places to enable or disable Maxium Render Quality—in the sequence settings and in the export settings. The sequence setting only applies to preview renders; the export setting (which defaults to the sequence setting) overrides the sequence setting.

Peter Garaway
Premiere Pro

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Jon Howard
Re: Quadro k4000 not accelerating H.264 encoding
on Sep 27, 2013 at 6:31:39 pm

Extremely helpful info. Thanks!

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Tim Kolb
Re: Quadro k4000 not accelerating H.264 encoding
on Sep 28, 2013 at 4:40:33 am

I think that people do hear about the various GPU encoding approaches out in the field and assume that the GPU helps encode in AME. CUDA/OCL accelerate a lot of items, but decode and encode are CPU-based processes.

The GPU helps when encoding an edit timeline with accelerated effects is being encoded, not because it speeds the actual compression, but because it simply helps render the frame faster before it's passed to the encoding process.

Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,

Adobe Certified Instructor

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Paul Forcier
Re: Quadro k4000 not accelerating H.264 encoding
on Oct 3, 2013 at 3:01:54 am

Not to add confusion but I get great results (real time) from the Matrox Compress HD - its another $500 expense but handy if time is money...they have also fused the function with some of their I/O & monitoring solutions as well...

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