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Best GPU for Transcoding


ShadowKindjal
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ShadowKindjal

I'm currently running my emby server off of an e5-2670 processor with 64 GB of ram on Linux. I typically have up to 10 concurrent streams so I added an RX 580 to improve the transcoding performance of my server. Well, my 580 graphics card is malfunctioning and needs to be pulled out of commission so I'm looking to upgrade. Would anyone be able to recommend a graphics card that will easily be able to handle at least 20 concurrent streams? Right now my content is limited to 1080p but I would also like to stream 4k content at some point. I know there's an issue with Nvidia cards limiting concurrent streams to 2 but I've heard that the drivers can be patched to get around this issue. Is that also true? Any help would be appreciated. 

Edited by nharmon
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Guest asrequested

20 simultaneous transcodes is a big ask. How many are actually needing be transcoded? Otherwise you're looking at a similar AMD card or an Nvidia card and apply the unlock patch. Or something like an Nvidia P4000.

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lightsout

I use the driver patch to get around the two stream limitation. It definitely works. I tested with a 1060. I opened 6-8 tabs with all transcoding and it did fine. But I didn't look closely at the video, not sure if it was blocky or anything.

 

As far as 20 streams I'm not sure what that would take. There's some threads on the HW section about this. This has been discussed but real numbers as to what cards can do what I have never found.

 

 

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ShadowKindjal

20 simultaneous transcodes is a big ask. How many are actually needing be transcoded? Otherwise you're looking at a similar AMD card or an Nvidia card and apply the unlock patch. Or something like an Nvidia P4000.

 

I've only tested my RX 580 with up to 8 transcoded streams and it had no issues there. I was hoping to avoid upgrading again anytime soon. The Nvidia P4000 isn't outside what I'm willing to spend but I don't want to spend that much money if I can just use a consumer card with a driver patch. 

 

If 20 streams is too big of an ask I would be hoping for at least 10 transcodes for now. I was poking around the hardware section as well but, as lightsout said, I couldn't find any hard numbers. 

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Guest asrequested

The thing to remember also, is that once the GPU reaches it's max, the server will then fall back on the CPU for more transcoding.

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ShadowKindjal

I previously saw that thread. I just wasn't sure if I needed to get the p4000s. I wasn't sure if there were any consumer cards that could do the job. Otherwise, is the p4000 card the card you recommend or is there something else I should be looking at?

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lightsout

For this usage aren't desktop and quadro cards the same once the driver hack is applied? I get it if you just want to spend the money to have a real workstation card. But the p4000 spec wise is comporable to the 1070. Those go for around $200. I am not sure what all differences there are between the cards. 

 

But I know that the stream limitation nvidia applies is just to differentiate the product. 

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ShadowKindjal

That's what I was wondering. It doesn't make sense to go with a Quadro card if a consumer card can accomplish the same goal via the driver hack.

Edited by nharmon
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Happy2Play

At what point does a consumer grade card burn up with the driver hack? :)   

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lightsout

At what point does a consumer grade card burn up with the driver hack? :)   

That doesn't make sense, a consumer card actually has better cooling than the quadro. And plenty of people mine with their cards. 100% full boar for months on end, usually if anything dies its the fan. I can't personally see that being an issue.

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ShadowKindjal

So if the p4000 is based on the chip used in the 1070 I should be safe getting a 1070 then.

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lightsout

So if the p4000 is based on the chip used in the 1070 I should be safe getting a 1070 then.

Sorry I just through that out looking at the specs. And when I did this search I read that the 1060 was comparable to the p2000.

 

But please don't make any purchases based on my information. I am just sharing anecdotal information.  Odd how hard it is to get some real data.

You might have luck in the emby or plex subs on reddit. Or in the (mods if this is not ok please delete) sections where emby shares are sold. Those guys serve

a lot of people and may have some real info.

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lightsout

I don't have any sources to back it up but my understanding was that performance was strictly tied to the NVENC chip and that gaming or compute performance of the GPU is completely unrelated.

 

https://developer.nvidia.com/video-encode-decode-gpu-support-matrix

Wait a minute. I think I came to this conclusion last time. 

 

So I just did some testing with my 1050ti in my server, and I got up to 5 streams and was ok, when I went for the 6th, the transcode buffer couldn't keep up. I think the above may be true as the gpu never seemed to really load. But I'm not sure because the video engine load wasn't pinned at 100% either, it bounced all over the place.

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Guest asrequested

That also means that the CPU isn't picking up where the GPU stops. Probably because there is no prescribed limit. So you can't know how much the GPU can do, until you actually try. That being the case, you'll probably need the P4000 or higher, if you want 20 transcodes. I'm pretty sure that @pir8radio tested his. I can't find that thread, though.

Edited by Doofus
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ShadowKindjal

But since the 1070/1070ti/1080 use the same chipset as the p4000 wouldn't none of those GPUs be able to do twenty streams as wrll

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Guest asrequested

But since the 1070/1070ti/1080 use the same chipset as the p4000 wouldn't none of those GPUs be able to do twenty streams as wrll

 

It's a gamble. I guarantee that they aren't identical. You have no idea what the firmware is like. There are more things that you can't see that would likely make a difference. It's possible they could perform well enough, but as I said, you won't know until you actually try it.  

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lightsout

It's a gamble. I guarantee that they aren't identical. You have no idea what the firmware is like. There are more things that you can't see that would likely make a difference. It's possible they could perform well enough, but as I said, you won't know until you actually try it.

Yeah I think doofus is probably right about the fw. And pirateradio (typo?) Did have a thread where he tested a crazy number of streams. Good call there Doofus

 

 

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ShadowKindjal

Thank you for everyone's input. I've decided to just go for the quadro card. My only remaining question is whether I should get a P4000 or an RTX 4000?. There seems to only be an $100 price difference. Is it worth the upgrade?

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Guest asrequested

I'm always of the mind to buy the latest and greatest you can afford. The later the model the greater the support it will have. The RTX cards support HEVC B frame.

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lightsout

Wow pricey, if you are paying retail I would definitely spend the $100 on the newer card. I would suspect there would be a larger saving if you looked for the p4000 used.

 

 

If you do get one it would be helpful for the users here if you would be willing to do some testing to see what it is capable of.

Edited by lightsout
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