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Z68, Quick Sync, and You.

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hi! I'm bob, and welcome to my first potentially constructive post on this forum

I'm hoping to correct what seems to be a generally held misunderstanding about the 1155 chips' on-die graphics core; a quick search didn't turn up a similar thread but I'm sorry if this post is redundant or unnecessary.

Anyway I'll start with a quick rundown of what's already well known:
  • Sandy bridge cheap.
  • Sandy bridge faaaaaaaast
  • These new chips come with an on-die graphics core.
  • There are currently 2 1155 chipsets available, the H67 and P67
  • The H67 lets you use the chip's GPU, but won't let you overclock.
  • The P67 does the opposite, which makes it the no-brainer choice for almost everyone on OCN.
  • The Z68, which should be out this month, gives you both (among other things.)
  • The integrated GPU is insufficient for any real gaming.

Now, I think many have taken that last bit to mean that the on-die GPU is every bit as useless as the integrated graphics that comes with most motherboards. And don't get me wrong, if you're running H67 or P67, it essentially is because P67 doesn't let you use it, H67 doesn't have the ability to switch between a discrete card and Intel's graphics core, and we're all running discrete cards. C'est la vie...

But with Z68, you gain the ability to switch between them depending on the situation. This gets you 2 benefits; the obvious one is lower power consumption at idle. The other is Quick Sync, which lets you use that graphics core for what it was designed to do: encoding, decoding, and transcoding video faster and better than any other hardware option on the market. This is the entire reason Intel put this graphics core on the chip; it's highly specialized and good at its job. According to a few articles I'm about to link you, it's not only faster than even current gen graphics cards, but the end result looks better as well. I don't know much about video transcoding so I can't weigh in here...

Anyway here's a pretty graph I lifted from a good anandtech article on the subject:





And here's one from tomshardware (I know, I know)



Most of us aren't re-encoding video files all that often, which means that seeing the on-die graphics core as useless still isn't entirely inaccurate. That doesn't change the fact that for people who DO this kind of work frequently (Say, re-encoding a movie to play on your ipad?) there is no better option. Software support at the moment is a bit limited, but this is expected to change over the coming months.

Anyway this post was meant to be a primer and to clear up misconceptions; I am by no means an expert on any of this. If you want to know more check out the articles I linked, or ask somebody on OCN who actually knows what they are talking about.

(FYI: You can use quick sync now with an H67 chipset, but you can't use a discrete graphics card at the same time. That's where these benchmarks came from.)
Edited by Traches - 5/2/11 at 10:03am
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post #2 of 19
Now i get it! Thank you

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post #3 of 19
I'd like to see how Quick Sync's output quality compares to a software encoder like x264. I'm guessing it's not as good.
    
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post #4 of 19
No news ... But I suppose it finally reached OCN.
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post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kz26 View Post
I'd like to see how Quick Sync's output quality compares to a software encoder like x264. I'm guessing it's not as good.
Lifted from that anandtech article-

Quote:
Now let’s tackle the other GPUs. When I first started my Quick Sync investigations I did a little experiment. Without forming any judgments of my own, I quickly transcoded a ~15Mbps 1080p movie into a iPhone 4 compatible 720p H.264 at 4Mbps. I then trimmed it down to a single continuous 4 minute scene and passed the movie along to six AnandTech editors. I sent the editors three copies of the 4 minute scene. One transcoded on a GeForce GTX 460, one using Intel’s Quick Sync, and one using the standard x86 codepath. I named the three movies numerically and told no one which platform was responsible for each output. All I asked for was feedback on which ones they thought were best.

Here are some of the comments I received:

“Wow... there are some serious differences in quality. I'm concerned that the 1.mp4 is the accelerated transcode, in which case it looks like poop..â€

“Video 1: Lots of distracting small compression blocks, as if the grid was determined pre-encoding (I know that generally there are blocks, but here the edges seem to persist constantly). Persistent artifacts after black. Quality not too amazing, I wouldn't be happy with this.â€

Video one, which many assumed was Quick Sync, actually came from the GeForce GTX 460. The CUDA codepath, although extremely fast, actually produces a much worse image. Videos 2 and 3 were outputs from Sandy Bridge, and the editors generally didn’t agree on which one of those two looked better just that they were definitely better than the first video.
And a test image, same article



So... Quality's allegedly pretty good?
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post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by p4p3r View Post
No news ... But I suppose it finally reached OCN.
Pretty much. Mostly I didn't understand it, looked it up, and found out that many on OCN didn't understand it either.
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post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Traches View Post
Lifted from that anandtech article-



And a test image, same article



So... Quality's allegedly pretty good?
it doesn't look like it...

seems to be slightly worse no?
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post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by kz26 View Post
I'd like to see how Quick Sync's output quality compares to a software encoder like x264. I'm guessing it's not as good.
Mixed results .. But overall, true, it doesn't.


http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...sync,2839.html
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/t...-2100-tested/9
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post #9 of 19
hi bob!
    
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post #10 of 19
i think all/most Z68 boards will use lucid vitru for this.
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