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Brother_

ANSWERED Can I decode HEVC on an older CPU?

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Brother_

Hello. Im interested in buying an old computer to run as my dedicated Emby server, but before i do,  I want to know If HEVC decoding is supported on older hardware.

 

I did some research and found that both Intel and AMD natively support CPU HEVC decoding as of 2016 ( 6th gen core, or better for Intel and Ryzen gen 1, or better for AMD). I would like to know If im about to play back and stream HEVC video on 4th gen Intel CPUs without the use of a HEVC supported video card or any video card for that matter. 

 

If anyone has the answer please let me know. Thanks!

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PenkethBoy

It will fall back to the cpu doing the work if hevc is not supported by the gpu

Decoding is not going to hit a cpu that hard and is more a nice to have rather than essential - but its the encoding thats the issue as its an intensive process to transcode via a cpu especially older less powerful cpu's - hence why people like to have a gpu if possible.

i have an i7 4790S and it can do a transcode or two max before things slowdown and are noticeable - thats to H264 as HEVC is not supported on Haswell as Vadanet pointed out below.

Also remember there are various flavours of HVEC 8bit 10bit etc that will affect the time taken etc and if its possible to decode via QSV

Older cpu's like my 4790 have QSV but cant handle HEVC as it was not around when the cpu was designed etc

 

BUT if your client apps support HEVC - e.g Shield - then no transcoding is needed on the server as the Shield can handle the HEVC fine.

If you local client apps support HEVC then no transcoding will happen BUT if you have remote users then they are much more likely to need transcoding due to bandwidth limitations etc etc

{edited}

Edited by PenkethBoy

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vdatanet

Only a Kaby Lake or Coffee Lake CPU with integrated graphics and Quick Sync Video support is capable of hardware transcoding 10-bit HEVC 4K video, but believe you don't want that (transcode 10-bit HEVC 4K) . Even with a capable CPU when transcoding HDR content you get washed colors.

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cayars

I've got a 1st gen i7 which had no support for any of this.  Most of my files are HEVC encoded.

What I did was install a cheap GTX-750TI card in it.  It can't encode HEVC but can decode it.  It can ENCODE h.264 so any time one of my files needs transcoding the cheap video card can do it.

So adding an nvidia GPU is always an option!

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Brother_
25 minutes ago, cayars said:

I've got a 1st gen i7 which had no support for any of this.  Most of my files are HEVC encoded.

What I did was install a cheap GTX-750TI card in it.  It can't encode HEVC but can decode it.  It can ENCODE h.264 so any time one of my files needs transcoding the cheap video card can do it.

So adding an nvidia GPU is always an option!

Thanks a ton for the tip! I have a older 4th gen i5 and GTX 760 build kicking about, and I might have to make it my dedicated Emby server now that i know that older Nvidea cards support HEVC decoding. The only issue with this approach is that in order to use GPU decoding, you need to have purchased the premium Emby package, and here in Canada its a bit more pricey then in the US. Im hoping for a black Friday sale this year!

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cayars

I'd imagine it seems like it costs more since the Canadian to US dollar conversion is roughly $1 CA to $0.76 US. :)

But, yes you will need a Premiere license for GPU use but it has so many other nice features that it's totally worth it IMHO.

You can always get a monthly subscription to test which won't set you back that much.  This would allow you to install Emby Server on that 4th Gen i5 with GTX 760 and load up 10 movies or so in different formats and test out it's streaming ability.  That would give you piece of mind if that hardware will work for you or if you'll need to pony up more for a better machine.

I'd imagine for family use with a couple of friends thrown it the i5/GTX combo should work just fine barring trying to transcode 4K video which is not something you want to do anyway.

You would be able to use the Premiere license on your existing server as well as the "test" server at the same time and the license would also unlock any apps you wanted to use and try such as Theater or any of the Android clients   This link shows all the things the Premiere license unlocks/adds to Emby: https://support.emby.media/support/solutions/articles/44001173099-emby-premiere-feature-matrix

Carlo

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