It’s been about 18 months since I built my latest PC.  I do everything that could be charitably described as “work” on my 2009 Macbook Pro, so the PC is mostly used for gaming and video encoding.

Not that the last should be any shock to anyone who’s suffered through my recent updates.

And by recent I mean comparatively recent, of course.

Anyway, when I was putting this together, I elected to go with the 6-core Phenom CPU as opposed to the quad-core i5.  It’s not as good of a gaming CPU, but it is an absolute beast at video encoding.  It turns DVDs into AppleTV-ready m4v files at about 120-140 frames per second, so a full movie is done encoding in 15 to 20 minutes, and – ever since I put an absurd aftermarket cooler on it – it can keep this up for days at a time.

Literally days, in fact.  I was running an encode job last weekend that I started Friday evening and that ran until 9PM Sunday night.

Ah, AMD used to make good processors.

I do notice that, when I get up in the mornings – and we’re just getting our first hints of fall chill in the air here in Oregon – my office is noticeably warmer than the rest of the house.

Anyway, I have started transcoding my very latest downloads, which are 1080P and encoded in HI10P, or “10-bit” mode, which is just the fansub community’s latest way of making surprisingly boneheaded decisions – 10-bit mode gets you a slightly smaller file size and slightly less banding but renders every single hardware-accelerated h264 decoder useless – and I noticed something genuinely humbling:

My transcode was running at 20.8 frames per second.

I finally found something that takes my transcode speeds BELOW real-time.

I’ll be over here in the corner quietly sobbing if you need me.


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