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QuickSync simultaneous encodes and chipset availability



I'm trying to determine specifically which CPUs support QuickSync, and for those that do, how many simultaneous encodes are possible?

Is QuickSync available with the Snady Bridge processors? Is it available with Ivy Bridge? Or only Haswell? Is it included on Xeon server CPUs, or just desktop CPUs?

When it is available, is there 1 encoder instance available per physical CPU? Or per Core? Are multiple simultaneous encodes possible? If so, is it limited by the # of CPU/cores? Or is it dependent on the # of CPU/cores plus the encoded resolution and bit rate?

I apologize for the barrage of questions; I haven't seen a lot of questions on simultaneous encode capability.


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3 Replies
New Contributor I


The number of simultaneous encodes possible, strictly speaking is probably not the first constraint you will find yourself running into.

It would not suprise me if you can run 100 simultaneous encodes at the same time on a Quicksync capable CPU. [The Intel team will have better information here]

But, of those 100 or N encodes running, they all have to share the internal GPU's resources, so each of the 100 encodes will only by encoding at a rate of 1/100th of what it might if it were the only encode session running on the CPU. [I doubt the multi encode performance drops perfectly linearly, also]

Quick Sync is available on many [most?] Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, and Haswell CPUs, but not all. Use Intel ARK to confirm availability on a certain CPU.

Encoding throughput seems to best be predicted using a pixels per second or megabytes/second model.  IE, for CPU XYZ, you can expect about ZZZ megabytes/second encoding throughput.

I offer a free no-hassle tool for exploring throughput performance:




Hi Cameron,

thanks! This is very helpful. So if I understand you correctly, QuickSync will allow you to 'dip below' real-time encoding if you pile on more encoded pixels/sec than the GPU has resources to service in real-time (e.g., <33ms per frame per encode).

I tried running your tool on my Ivy Bridge laptop, and it indicates that the Intel Media SDK could not be loaded. I read elsewhere that QuickSync is actually only available if your device supports Intel's integrated graphics, and further, is only available if you actually have a monitor plugged into the port driven by the integrated graphics. Is this your experience?

Thanks again,


New Contributor I


Yes, you got the picture with encoding speed. 

I am not sure what the story with your laptop is.

If you have a discrete GPU in the laptop, it may be trickier to get Quick Sync applications like my tool running.

You might try this:

Get your CPU make/model from Control Panel>System>Procesor

Lookup your CPU model on to make sure your CPU supports Quick Sync.

Download and install the latest HD drivers for your particular CPU model. [this is confusing for me, I am not sure if Intel offers a single download across 2nd gen/3rd gen/4th gen CPUs, or if you need to grab a specific download for your Ivy Bridge CPU]

I just took a look at my benchmark tool, it looks like I used a flag that might prohibit it running on a laptop with a primary seperate discrete GPU card. [I used MFX_IMPL_HARDWARE not MFX_IMPL_HARDWARE_ANY for developers]

When you go to Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Display\Screen Resolution\Advance settings, what display driver does your primary display have?

If you confirm your CPU has QS, you install the latest Intel drivers, and you want to try a fixed benchmark tool [that may work on a laptop with a discrete graphics card, send me your email in a private message.