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H.264 encoding - CPU vs GPU: Nvidia CUDA, AMD Stream, Intel MediaSDK and x264
by Guillaume Louel
Published on August 18, 2011


MediaCoder, Inception 720p

Once again there’s a discrepancy of 6 frames on the GeForce version and 4 frames on the HD 3000 version.

Use an HTML5 compatible browser to view the graph!
Click here to view the PSNR graph of this scene.


We’ll leave the graphs to one side and compare the images:

Click here to display the frame comparison in a new tab.


By comparing the baseline and high GeForce modes, you quickly see how Cyberlink would benefit from better configuration of its encoders! The Intel encoder is a bit more blurred and does better on complex textures such as the table on the left. The GeForce version tends to retain more detail but create artefacts.

Click here to display the frame comparison in a new tab.


In our static scene, the difference in sharpness between the baseline and high modes is high in both cases, proving once again that it is best to use the highest possible profile. The GeForce encoder is still a little sharper.


K-On!! 720p

The frame discrepancies are smaller here, just 1 or 2 frames, which is the reason for the higher scores.


MediaCoder is still the fastest of the encoders in our panel.

Use an HTML5 compatible browser to view the graph!
Click here to view the PSNR graph of this scene.


It’s very easy to see each change in scene or each movement by looking at the peaks and troughs! Let's move on to the much more useful image comparisons:

Click here to display the frame comparison in a new tab.


The CUDA encoder does well with this scene, whatever the software used, and the result is sharp here as of baseline mode. High gives very good results indeed. The HD 3000 version is a notch down here.

Click here to display the frame comparison in a new tab.


The differences are very minimal here and slight artefacts continue to appear in solid colours. Note that the problems in the fade to blacks that we observed with MediaEspresso persist here… but only in the base profiles:




[ Source ]  [ CUDA base ]  [ CUDA high ]  [ MediaSDK base ]  [ MediaSDK high ]
Hold the mouse over/click on the links to display the corresponding image.

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