DivX HEVC Hardware Acceleration: Test Results on Intel Skylake
Enabling DivX Accelerated Options
The DivX Accelerated program vigorously tests and validates that a particular chipset is optimized for decoding and/or encoding of DivX video formats in DivX Software. Until now, DivX Software has offered DivX Accelerated functionality for encoding and decoding of AVC video (H.264/MKV and MP4) and decoding of AVI video (DivX/MPEG-4 ASP).
As of the DivX 10.4 software release, Intel® Quick Sync Video has been enabled natively to the new DivX Player to enable hardware accelerated decoding of HEVC video on computers with supported Intel chipsets. You can enable the DivX Accelerated option in Player’s Preferences.
This is a significant milestone to improve the experience of playing HEVC video, especially at high resolutions like 4K. This experience is particularly improved on the newly released 6th Generation Intel Core processor family (“Skylake”), which uses the dedicated media processing capabilities of Intel Graphics Technology.
The 4th and 5th Generations Intel Core Processor families (“Haswell” and “Broadwell”) offer a form of improved HEVC video playback through partial hardware acceleration support. However, the 6th Generation Intel processors offers full fixed-function decode through Intel® Quick Sync Video that offers high performance decode while also enabling the processor to complete other tasks, improving overall PC performance and responsiveness.
Our preliminary tests below performed on an engineering-build Skylake 2-in-1 laptop confirm these findings. In our testing of 4K HEVC video for CPU Performance, Memory Usage and Frames per Second, all were significantly improved when DivX Accelerated was on compared to the same tests with DivX Accelerated turned off.
Performance of Intel® Quick Sync Video-enabled DivX® Player on Skylake Platform
- System Model: Skylake Client platform
- Processor: Skylake 0.80GHz (4 CPUs), ~1.2GHz
- Memory: 8192MB RAM
- Graphics: Intel® HD Graphics 515
- Graphics Driver Version: 10.18.15.4200
- Operating System: Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview 64-bit
Tests were performed using clips encoded with DivX HEVC encoder at 4K resolution, and framerates of 24P and 60P. You can find sample clips here for your own testing:
CPU Usage Results
The average CPU usage while playing back 4K 24 fps video with Intel® Quick Sync Video enabled in DivX Player is about 0.15%, with Intel Quick Sync disabled, the CPU usage jumps to about 95%.
The average CPU usage while playing back 4K 60 fps video with Intel Quick Sync Video enabled in DivX Player is about 4%, with Intel Quick Sync disabled, the CPU usage jumps to about 98%.
The following screenshots show CPU usage captured for a 4K 60fps HEVC video.
|Intel Quick Sync Enabled||Intel Quick Sync Disabled|
Memory Usage Results
The memory usage while playing back 4K 24 fps video with Intel Quick Sync Video enabled in DivX Player is about 152 MB, with Intel Quick Sync disabled, the memory usage jumps to about 822 MB.
The memory usage while playing back 4K 60 fps video with Intel Quick Sync Video enabled in DivX Player is about 144 MB, with Intel Quick Sync disabled, the memory usage jumps to about 684 MB.
The following screenshots show Memory usage captured for two 4K HEVC videos with Intel Quick Sync Video Enabled.
|DivX HEVC 4K @60p||DivX HEVC 4K @24p|
Frames Rendered per Second Results
FRAPS application was used to capture the average number of frames rendered per second. In each mode, the clips were played back for about 20 seconds (from approximately the same point) and the numbers were captured using FRAPS.
The frames rendered while playing back 4K 60 FPS video with Intel® Quick Sync Video enabled in DivX Player is 60 FPS, with Intel Quick Sync disabled, the frame rate dropped to about 4.4 FPS.
While playing back 4K 24 FPS, DivX Player was able to render full 24 FPS with both Intel® Quick Sync video enabled and disabled. However, note that performance was affected with Intel® Quick Sync video disabled, so we saw the CPU and Memory usage spike quite a bit.
If you have a computer with an Intel® Haswell, Broadwell, or Skylake processor , you can benefit from improved HEVC playback in DivX Player starting in DivX 10.4. Download it for free to try it out.
You may be wondering about hardware accelerated encoding for HEVC videos as well. The good news is that the 6th Generation Intel Core processor family is capable of doing this. For DivX Software, we're evaluating adding support for this for a future software update. Stay tuned!