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Peter_B_7
Beginner
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Performance Comparison, Core i5-4590T vs. i5-6600

Dear support team,

the short version of my request is the question: What performance improvements can be expected from a Core i5-6600 CPU in terms of H.264 encoding via QSV when compared to a Core i5-4590T CPU?

The long version is that we are currently developing a system for live video recording. Video streams are 1080p60 (either 2D or 3D) and obtained from a PCIe capture device. We implemented a prototype using a Core i5-4590T and Windows 7. The prototype runs smoothly when facing a 2D stream (1080p60 H.264 AVC encoding), but drops a little below realtime (<10% frame drops) when facing a 3D stream (1080p60 H.264 MVC encoding). We built a second prototype using a Core i5-6600 CPU and Windows Embedded 8.1, hoping this would solve our performance issues. Unfortunately exactly the opposite was the case with frame drops increasing to around 30%.

This led us to conducting some basic performance measurements using the sample_encode example included in the Media SDK 2016.0.1 samples. The source code was modified so that:

- input frames aren't read from a file but just filled using ::memset (so we won't be measuring HDD read performance)

- input frames optionally can be in RGB4, resulting in a conversion to NV12 using VPP (we get either YUV 422 or RGB4 from our capture device)

For performance measurements we used the following basic command line:

sample_encode h264 -f 60 -b 20000 -u speed -w 1920 -h 1080 -hw

We tried different configurations, abreviated as follows:

- "ASYNC x" adds "-async x" to the command line
- "D3D" adds "-d3d" to the command line
- "RGB" sets vpp.In.FourCC to RGB4 and vpp.Out.FourCC to NV12 in CEncodingPipeline::InitMfxVppParams()

The performance figures (measured in frames per second) obtained for encoding 5000 frames are as follows:

=======================================

Core i5-4590T CPU (Driver 10.18.14.4264), Windows 7, 8GB DDR3 RAM:

CFG-1) ASYNC 1: 221,2 FPS
CFG-2) ASYNC 4: 316,5 FPS
CFG-3) ASYNC 4, D3D: 166,1 FPS

CFG-4) RGB, ASYNC 1: 119,9 FPS
CFG-5) RGB, ASYNC 4: 164,5 FPS
CFG-6) RGB, ASYNC 4, D3D: 101,4 FPS

=======================================

Core i5-6600 CPU (Driver 20.19.15.4352), Windows Embedded 8.1 Industry Pro, 8GB DDR4 RAM:

CFG-1) ASYNC 1: 199,2 FPS
CFG-2) ASYNC 4: 232,6 FPS
CFG-3) ASYNC 4, D3D: 156,3 FPS

CFG-4) RGB, ASYNC 1: 101,4 FPS
CFG-5) RGB, ASYNC 4: 129,2 FPS
CFG-6) RGB, ASYNC 4, D3D: 123,8 FPS

=======================================

So (CFG-6 excepted) the i5-6600 performs around 25% slower than the i5-4950T. Regarding the higher clock rates and more modern architecture, this comes highly unexpected to us. Can you confirm this matches the performace figures to expect from the i5-6600? Or are we struggling with some system configuration issues we are not aware of? BIOS settings have been adjusted as far as possible.

Thanks for any advice,
Peter

 

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Hi Peter,

Thank you for sharing detailed summary of your testing.Core i5-6600 CPU (Skylake) are new 6th generation graphics and Core i5-4590T (Haswell) is a 4th generation graphics processor and new 6th generation processors has many new features  enabled over previous generations including MediaSDK 1.17 HW API support (https://software.intel.com/sites/default/files/mediasdk_release_notes.pdf). AVC/H.264 QSV performance on Skylake processor is blazingly fast. This link provides more detailed on new platform features: http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/platform-briefs/6th-generation-core-proc....

Can you please let me know your inputs on the following  in regard to your system configuration, test input and scenario:

1)  We have many fixes, performance improvements with every graphics drivers release. I do not have information about graphics driver versions installed on your test machine. Can you please check and confirm if you latest driver versions installed on test machine from https://downloadcenter.intel.com/. Share the drivers versions. 

2) On i5-6600 CPU (installed OS WIndows 8.1) and Core i5-4590T (installed OS Win 7). Windows 8.1 provided support for direct X version 11 and it is recommend to run application with (-d3d11) when on OS 8.1 as several known limitation on direct X 9 (-d3d) are address with d3d11 support with Win8 and later operating systems. 

Re-run CFG-6 test case on on i5-6600 CPU (Skylake) with above updates and let me know your findings. 

Thanks,