Does HitFilm support accelerated encoding using Intel QuickSync?


The question is in the title. If it does, then an i3 will be all I need, considering I'm out looking for a CPU for my new racing sim rig, and I would love to pay as little as possible.



    edited July 2016

    Is the Staff celebrating Canada Day as well? :D

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator
    edited July 2016

    Why not? A British company is doing a 4th of July sale. FxHome seems holiday-agnostic. 

    I'm going to guess "no," btw. Hitfilm's code based seems to avoid proprietary things in favor of generalized code--for example, Hitfilm ignores CUDA. In general, the design philosophy seems to be aiming at compatibility with the greatest number of systems (hence the OpenGl engine). Since Intel Quicksync is a proprietary system, it's probably not supported. 

    Also note that Quicksync prioritizes speed over encode quality, so, while fast, it's lower quality output compared to CPU encoding.

    And, Quicksynch requires the integrated GPU, so if you have a discrete GPU you'd have yo disable it, thus throwing away every other speed advantage for a faster encode--but I would rather have effects process faster than the file encode. 

    So now you're writing code to support a proprietary system that not all users have, that requires disabling better hardware,   that's going to give lower-quality output? This is why I guess "no."

    This is actually similar to the discussion from a couple of days ago about quick and dirty hardware scaling vs smart scaling in TVs. 

  • It would be ideal for me, because I rather lose some quality to gain speed. My videos end up on YouTube anyways, and on my projector screen it's basically universally "YouTube quality" to me, considering I watch all the AAA movies on blu ray.

    I'm probably going to get an i3 anyways, even though speed suffers. And yeah, I understand why it might not be a thing with HitFilm, although it is in other NLE's, why I was curious.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Well, it's the weekend. Hang on for a couple of days for a staff answer. I could be wrong. 

    But, remember, particle physics and 3D model positions are CPU calculated, so if you do a lot of those types of shots, you're shooting yourself in the foot for faster (and worse) video transcoding. A lot of the speed of Quicksync is being a "fixed function" black-box. You might be feeding it settings from Handbrake that are being ignored or changed for falling outside tgr Quicksync parameters. 

  • I would say the answer is No. If it were there, then we would see an option to select it somewhere in the Export panel. Really, on the MP4 tab.

    Quicksync is not an encoding accelerator of sorts. It is a self contained AVC encoder. It has its own settings and features different from other AVC encoders. Although Hitfilm exposes few encoding options on the MP4 tab and those are applicable to pretty much all encoders.

    Quicksync, like all Hardware encoders, output lower quality than good software encoders. At higher bitrates you're unlikely to see the differences but software can measure the differences. Hitfilm uses the Mainconcept AVC (MC) encoder but it does not offer us the 2-pass mode of MC. I don't know how 1-pass MC compares to Quicksync. MC is a decent encoder but nothing compares to x264.

    Also as Triem stated, Quicksync is a part of the Intel integrated GPU so that GPU must be active with a driver installed to use Quicksync. You are going to want better GPU performance in Hitfilm so you will want some other GPU installed. You can get the integrated GPU/Quicksync operational without a monitor attached to the GPU with a few tricks (windows 7, no experience with later versions).

  • kay. Thanks guys. Would be awesome if you got to choose if you wanted to use it or not.

  • @CNK

    Agreed HitFilm should add it - Older Gen 4 CPUs with HD4600 GPU  had some AVC quality issues although they were hard to spot for most.

    Latest Gen 7 Kaby Lake has improved quality Quick Sync Video (QSV) plus full hardware acceleration for encode and decode of 4K HEVC Main10 profile videos.

    Hitfilm needs a more powerful GPU for compositing and effects but export render is still cpu bound so Quick Sync could offer much faster hardware accelerated h.264/265 export for HD and UHD/4k. You may sacrifice a bit of quality in exchange for speed but few would notice and I'm sure it will be acceptable for YouTube upload.

  •  Actually HitFilm exporting is primarily GPU. CPU helps but not as much as you may think.

    "needs a more powerful GPU for compositing and effects"

    This is a thing with AE and Sony, etc.

    Also, this is a pretty old thread tbh. So well, I guess it's time for an update. My projector quite literally exploded, very dirty electricity in my home. I have yet to purchase a new CPU, because school has kept my occypied and I haven't got time to do that yet. I guess when I do get a new CPU, it could be between AMD and Intel, though AMD's per cor performance seems a bit meh. :)


  • The file encoders are all CPU. Outputting a file is exporting. Rendering the video frames, playback and export, uses GPU if you are using any effects and/or CG images.

  • @CNK If you are looking at a new cpu remember Quick Sync is not on AMD cpus. Good news is the AMD Ryzen has given Intel some competition. I was planning a new Gen 7 Kaby Lake i7-7700k with an Asus Prime Z270-A m/board. Intel just announced it is bringing the Gen 8 cpus scheduled for 2018 forward to Aug this year to compete with Ryzen. Also rumoured Intel prices might come down due to Ryzen pressure - so I've decided to wait a few months before I upgrade.

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