ffmpeg on Solaris Sparc, is very useful!

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SO I had a video that I took while filming the stuff for the Talon, it was a camstudio encoded video that I filmed of the data logging software so I could sync the logs with the video. Since my video editing PC balked at opening the format, I decided to break out the Ultrasparc processors to have them stretch their legs on a little video exercise. I fire up ffmpeg on the box and start converting to mpeg1, at a whopping 8fps. I realized that basically ffmpeg was only using a single thread. So, I decided to try MP4 encoding, set the number of threads to 16 and away I went. This thing was able to transcode and compress the movie in real time, using most of all 8CPUs. I know the Corei7 machine would blow it away, but at least here at home where the video editing PC is a dual core AMD at best, the SPARC processors supplement things quite nicely.

ffmpeg using a single SPARC processor, can transcode avi to MPEG1 at 8fps

ffmpeg using a single SPARC processor, can transcode avi to MPEG1 at 8fps


I’m grateful that this machine can still dish it out like it has, I use it every single day from anywhere that I have internet, and I don’t expect that to change any time soon.

ffmpeg running on SPARC, using 16 threads loading across 8 cpus. Total of 70% cpu utilization.

ffmpeg running on SPARC, using 16 threads loading across 8 cpus. Total of 70% cpu utilization.

I hope you enjoyed that short bit, I figured someone would like to see that 🙂


ffmpeg on Solaris Sparc, is very useful!
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5 thoughts on “ffmpeg on Solaris Sparc, is very useful!

  1. Hi, I’m thinking of getting a Sun Blade 2500 (silver) to tinker with. I see some single 1.6 GHz + XVR-600 configs on ebay that are within my price range. I’ve been running Solaris 10 u8 on a VM on my Mac to learn and get used to it. So far so good. I just want to know if the 2500 is still capable of being a daily driver. I mainly edit photos in gimp, listen to music, browse the web, watch youtube, and watch movies with mplayer. Granted, I’m testing Solaris on an Intel Mac. And since you’re a Sun guy, I thought I’d ask some questions regarding SPARC performance.

    1. How do the latest Firefox and flash player for SPARC perform? Would I be able to watch youtube videos in the browser? Is there a sweet spot version of the Firefox ESR you’d recommend running on it?

    2. How about the SPARC build of OpenCSW mplayer? Can a single 1.6 US IIIi + XVR-600 play 720p video?

    3. I was looking up the Sun Blade 2500 workstation manual and there’s a section about power management and being able to suspend the system. About how much power would that save? Sources online tell me the 2500 can idle at around 280 watts.

    Thanks for your time and I appreciate any info and advice!

  2. What’s the best way to use up 450W of raw computing power? encode videos for Youtube! Seriously, what’s the power bill like to run this and anything else there? I’m curious.

    • Take the average power bill for a home, and add about $100. The Sun Server itself is $60 month. Sometimes it will end up $150 / 200 over if I have a new server that I was testing that month, or I was using the welder and air compressor a bunch extra. The Sun Server itself draws about 1.6KW continuous, so think of it as a hair dryer that never stops blowing 😛

      • That’s the problem with the SPARC chips, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one with power saving options… at least, CPU-World doesn’t list any for reference for any generation. Someone should take the T2 (which is opensourced) and rework it at 32nm to include power saving options like Intel has SpeedStep and AMD has PowerNOW! (Cool N’ Quiet). it certainly would use less power at a 6x smaller die size, and they’d be able to fit more on the silicon if to add more features to it. so far I don’t think anyone has done anything like that yet though, because of the cost of making a CPU in this day and age, regardless that computers are dirt cheap now.

        • Yeah, they are meant to run full bore all the time. I have been looking to build a server soon that will replace it, I am just waiting for the right time to buy. I have been looking at the Calxeda boards (ARM Servers). Their energy core stuff looks really promising, and I’ve wanted to try a couple of things with them, however, they won’t even respond to my e-mails. I wanted to purchase some engineering samples dammit!

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