Wednesday, July 31, 2013

[Article] Windows 8 does not need Lucid Virtu software for QuickSync with a dedicated GPU installed?

Edit:
You don’t need to read the whole post. QuickSync doesn’t work even in Windows 8 “out of the box”. But if you follow these instructions, you will be able to get it to work without needing Virtu MVP. I tested it in Handbrake Nightly, and it worked like a charm. Got over 150fps in 1080p content. In fact, on my new Haswell CPU, the quality seems much better than when I tested it on my old SandyBridge CPU.
 
I have been searching for the best Z87 motherboard to base my decision of whether to upgrade to Haswell or not. I really like the features (software features) offered with the Asus motherboards: leaning towards Z87 Pro or MVI Hero. I was listing up the advantages of getting a new Asus Z87 board and one thing caught my eye: QuickSync.
 
I thought every board would come with free Lucid Virtu MVP license but it seems that's not the case (MSI boards come with it though). So how do you get QuickSync working with Haswell CPUs when a dedicated graphics card is installed? I asked around and Googled and came across one interesting piece of information. They say that Windows 8 doesn't need it for QuickSync because it allows you to load multiple graphics drivers side by side. Apparently Windows 7 still needs something like Lucid Virtu. Remember though you have to have the iGPU enabled in the UEFI and  Intel drivers installed.
 
I still haven't been able to verify this because I only got to know about this on the way to work. I know the first thing i need to do when I go home. But if this is true, I have been a  complete fool all this time. Since there is no Windows 8 supported Lucid Virtu (non-MVP) available, I thought I couldn't use QuickSync anymore. Only the MVP edition supports Windows 8. But my motherboard doesn't have a license to that; only to the non-MVP edition.
 
But doesn't matter. It's better that I don't have to install an additional software layer there. I'll check this out as soon as I go home and update the post. Until then, you are welcome to try it out and post in the comments.

Edit:

So I went home and tried this trick. I enabled the iGPU in UEFI and came to desktop. I downloaded the QuickSync enabled beta version of Handbrake (I didn’t know it was out) and I chose the Intel QuickSync video codec as shown below.

image

I could encode the video, but it was using the CPU at 100%. I didn’t feel the encoding was happening super fast. When I stopped it and tried the regular H.264 codec, it still encoded pretty much at the same speed. It seems as if QuickSync was not working after all.

Then I downloaded MediaCoder, which also supports QuickSync (UDA as well.) In that, when I selected the GPU option, it gave me the following error message. “No supported acceleration hardware detected”. Well, forget about QuickSync, but why didn’t it detect my GTX670? Something is fishy.

image

I wonder if this is a Haswell only feature. Time to dig in further. It could also be Windows 8.1 Preview not supporting this feature? Maybe I should disable iGPU in UEFI and see if CUDA starts working.

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