Real-Time 8K HDR HEVC encoding from a single $7,000 processor
AMD’s latest EPYC processors have provided yet another performance win for the company, this time achieving the honor of the first CPU able to encode 8K HEVC video in real time.
As announced by video software technology firm Beamr, the EPYC 7742 – a 64-core/128-thread server processor based on the Zen 2 “Rome” architecture – was able to encode an 8K 10-bit HDR video to the HEVC codec at an “unprecedented” 79 frames per second, easily reaching the performance level required for real-time encoding applications.
The encode was performed by Beamr’s proprietary encoding software, Beamr 5. The company works primarily with large clients in the professional video space, such as Hollywood studios and over-the-top video streaming providers, and has designed and tuned its software to take maximum advantage of the hardware’s available cores. In the company’s press release, it says that Beamr worked with AMD to further optimize its software for EPYC, the latest generation of which sports more cores than competing Xeon processors from Intel.
Raghu Nambiar, AMD’s Chief Technology Officer and Corporate Vice President, noted the benefit of software like Beamr 5 which can fully utilize all of the cores that the latest EPYC processors bring to the table:
2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors deliver exceptional levels of performance and TCO for media & entertainment customers. We are excited to join Beamr with bringing high-performance software-based video encoding powered by AMD EPYC 7002 Series Processors to market. It is impressive to see Beamr 5 consistently loading all cores in both single socket and dual-socket configurations. 8K live encoding is the perfect demonstration of AMD EPYC’s superior performance.
The EPYC 7742 performance is significant in that it provides higher quality software-based video encoding, as opposed to the hardware-accelerated approaches pursued by companies like Intel and NVIDIA. And although rare today, 8K video is gaining interest as display manufacturers invest in higher pixel densities and events such as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics provide an opportunity for broadcasters to upgrade their cameras and production process. The continued popularity of video streaming services and the rise in real-time game streaming also make single-processor solutions like the 7742 more attractive.
This week’s news of EPYC’s video encoding prowess follows a report late last month from ServeTheHome showing that two EPYC 7742 processors (64c/128t each) priced at just under $14,000 can score significantly higher in Geekbench 4 than four Intel Xeon Platinum 8180M processors (28c/56t each) at a total price of just over $52,000. The EPYC system bested Xeon in both the single-core (4,876 vs. 4,700) and multi-core (193,554 vs. 155,050) tests.