Switchable graphics, Windows 8, Quicksync h/w availabilty..
We were deciding which high-end laptop to buy for demos of a new product where we use Quicksync to significantly speed up transcoding. The person responsible had chosen a Lenovo ThinkPad W530 w. a Core i7 3820QM. I immediately said, "yes, quicksync will work". Then I realized the laptop has a NVIDIA Quadro K2000M video card in addition to integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000. Subsequently, I ended up researching how to use switchable graphics, and asked someone in the team who has a W520 to try to run my mfxinit test app to see if QS was available. He did not want to deviate from company standard installed software, and switchable graphics was not available, and alas, no Quicksync.
On my home desktop computer I have to use a discrete video card, because Intel HD Graphics has a +1 year old bug where full RGB does not work, requiring a discrete video card to get decent video quality. http://communities.intel.com/thread/29420
Fortunately, my motherboard supports Lucid's VIRTU, and I can still access Quicksync for transcoding, but not for h/w accelerated video playback, without jumping through hoops to setup a non-existing VGA monitor to activate the GPU part of the Intel CPU.
Finally, that brings up my question: will Windows 8 make it possible to always use Quicksync no matter which other video cards the user may have in their system in addition to a Sandy|Ivy Bridge processor? It's really complicated to offer and market Quicksync support, due to it not being always available, even when users have the required generation CPU..
It seems to me a couple of replies went missing from this thread..
Petter Larsson wrote: "Hi Karl,
Sorry for the delayed response.
Regarding Win8 capabilities. We are exploring this topic but do not have a
clear answer at this point. We will be posting an update as soon as we have
more info to share.
Regarding MFX_IMPL_*. The recommendation is to use MFX_IMPL_HARDWARE_ANY as
illustrated in the latest Media SDK 2012 R3 samples. This will use Media SDK
regardless of which adapter Intel Processor Graphics is set to. Keep in mind
though that the DirectX device must be created on corresponding adapter, as
illustrated in R3 samples, in GetMSDKAdapterNumber() in "sample_utils.cpp".
In case automatic fallback on SW is required you can use MFX_IMPL_AUTO_ANY."
I wrote: "Hi Petter, Thanks for your reply! Could you please elaborate how
MFX_IMPL_HARDWARE_ANY differs from MFX_IMPL_HARDWARE in Windows 7?
I tried using ..HARDWARE_ANY on a system with a discrete video card as the
active card, and still could not initialize h/w acceleration.
Is HARDWARE_ANY needed if you have more than one active card, i.e. connected
a monitor to both the discrete card and the integrated card?"
Petter Larsson replied:
"MFX_IMPL_HARDWARE_ANY initializes the session on the adapter associated with
Intel Graphics. Contrary to MFX_IMPL_HARDWARE which will require Intel
Graphics to be on first adapter. MFX_IMPL_HARDWARE2 means second adapter and
If you cannot initialize the session using MFX_IMPL_HARDWARE_ANY it likely
means that the Intel Graphics adapter is not active for some reason.
What do you get if you run the "mediasdk_sys_analyzer" tool?"
Also some notification mails were sent out with bogus links: http://default/en-us/comment/1631820#comment-1631820
Anyway, I investigated what was happening (on my home HTPC).
Case 1) ATI card active (handles full RGB), no other monitors: HARDWARE_ANY fails, HARDWARE fails
Case 2) ATI card active, created non-exisiting VGA monitor on integrated Intel: HARDWARE fails, HARDWARE_ANY succeeds, since Intel HD Graphics is now 2nd active video card.
Case 3) ATI card active, my mfxtest added to VIRTU CP: HARDWARE succeeds
So then I understand the difference between HARDWARE and HARDWARE_ANY
EDIT: Links in notification mails are still incorrect..
Thanks for resubmitting the earlier responses. Not sure why those got lost. And glad to hear you got some clarity for multi graphics device usage.
We are aware of the forum web issues and are working on resolving these. Thanks for reporting.