Handbrake H.265 Encoding Test, How to Use GPU Acceleration
Pre-reading: H.265, aka HEVC, is the successor to H.264. H.265 is meant to double the compression rates of H.264, allowing for the propagation of 4K and 8K content over existing delivery systems. Videos encoded with HEVC will maintain the same high-quality as the equivalent H.264 video, but at a smaller file size.
The Most of people who want to encode video to H.265 will choose to use Handbrake because HandBrake 0.10 and higher version like the latest Handbrake 1.0.7 have been added support for H.265 encoding. But what about the performance of Handbrake HEVC encoding? Is whether transcoding (converting) your existing h264 video to h265 with Handbrake worth the effort and time?
Part 1: H.264 vs H.265: Handbrake Transcoding Comparison
Preparation: Download HandBrake 1.0.7
Experiment Purpose: 1) What real quality difference would come about from transcoding from H.264 to H.265? 2) What size difference would come about from transcoding from H.264 to H.265? 3) Time cost
Original Video: 1280×720, 25 fps video, and 1536 kb/s audio and already encoded in H.264.
Size and Time Result
First, encoding with Handbrake with H.265 versus H.264 took about four times as long. A 10 minutes and 20 seconds file took 12 minutes, 28 seconds to encode with H.265/Handbrake 1.0.7 (64 bit). That same file took 2 minutes, 40 seconds to encode with H.264/Handbrake 1.0.7 (64 bit).
|Size||1.6 GB||501.5 MB||461.9 MB|
The good news is that we get a size reduction with H.265, but by only about 8%, and it take nearly five times longer to encode the video. Since the original video is about 10 minutes long that means H.265 is encoded at less than than real-time. So even if there’s been great progress compared to previous H.265 video encoding tools, personally, I would not rush to transcode my video library (Handbrake supports batch processing) to H.265 yet, and wait for some more improvement to H.265 support in HandBrake.
CPU Usage Comparison
Now, there is a very definitive downside to H.265. It is CPU intensive to decode as well. Check out the two VLC instances running in the screenshot below:
The 13.6% VLC Player was responsible for playing the H.265 encode. The 6.5% VLC Player was playing the original H.264 encode. While the delta varied, the H.265 encode never went below the H.264 encode in CPU usage.
While the file size savings for H.265 are admirable, most of what I have will have to remain H.264 because of this CPU usage. If the Plex transcoder consumes twice as much CPU to decode H.265 as H.264, I’ll only be able to support half of the streams I currently do – which is already at maximum.
HEVC encoding is CPU-taking. If your computer is a high-end one and has GPU-enabled NVIDIA product, you can use the GPU for really fast transcoding. But, ffmpeg has supported GPU acceleration，including nvenc(Nvidia) and QSV(Intel ), but the current version of HandBrake doesn’t support NVENC, and it can’t support QSV very well. That is because Handbrake doesn’t use ffmpeg but libav and NVENC hasn’t release of libav yet. Handbrake team said they didn’t have the plan to add NVENC. Patches welcome although they won’t work on this ourselves.
Part 2: How to Encode Video to HEVC Utilizing NVIDIA CUDA Hardware Acceleration?
Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate will be the best H.265 Encoder and Decoder, allowing you transcode H.264 to H.265 while convert H.265 to H.264 and also rip Blu-ray and DVD to H.265. It is a Blu-ray to H.265 Ripper + DVD to H.265 Ripper + H.265 Decoder + H.265 Encoder + H.265 Editor.
What’s more, Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate has recently upgraded to version 18.104.22.168 with supporting the newest NVIDIA CUDA & AMD APP technology in video encoding by H.264 and H.265 codec to improve performance and ensure users much faster conversion speed than ever before when coping/ripping/converting DVD/Blu-ray and transcode videos, since more CPU resources are spared because of NVIDIA CUDA’s harnessing the power of GPU and AMD APP’s co-using of GPU. So if you want to encode video to H.265 with up to 30x times speed, you can give a Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate a try instead of Handbrake 1.0.7.
- A Tool Can Encode Video to H.265/HEVC and Rip Blu-ray/DVD to H.265
- Handbrake 1.0.7 compare to Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate 22.214.171.124
Note: Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate is a paid software but it deserves it. It has free trial version but the output video will have Pavtube logo watermark in the middle. If you want to remove the watermark, you need to get a full version.
Start to convert Blu-ray/DVD/Video to HEVC With Hardware Acceleration
Simply click “File” > “Load from Disc” to load your Blu-ray, DVD and videos. Then Choose “H.265 MP4 Video” in “Format” drop-down list. Now, move your cursor to “Tools” button on the top of the main interface to choose “Options”. Then you can enable GPU acceleration.