cpu frequency scaling for video editing machines

Luke Kuhn lukekuhn at hotmail.com
Sat Jun 18 23:29:51 UTC 2011


For video editing (and for 3d content creation as well) a different issue arises: The need to minimize excess power consumption when not rendering or playing the timeline. Video editing is often done on very powerful 4 core or even 6 core computers, and these are power hogs, with CPU power dissipation alone sometimes as high as 140 watts. 
Although running full speed at idle doesn't mean anywhere near the same heat as full load, it can be enough to make the fan noise come up, and in some cases the rooms these machines are used in can become uncomfortably hot-I know mine does! The last thing I want to do is use more electricity first to fun full voltage and multiplier all the time, and make the room even hotter in the process.
These machines benefit greatly from using all the power-saving tricks during what can be a multi-hour editing session prior to rendering, yet being able to throttle up when the timeline is played in something like Kdenlive.
This is not the sort of thing I have any trouble working on and setting up as I like, but again we come back to the issue of a new user. If someone sets up a video editing workstation with any distro, finding high temps and the fans running hard compared to what they did in Windows is a real turnoff, similar to complaints about open-source video drivers on big video cards that by default have to turn off frequency scaling, again due to performance issues.
Perhaps the installation GUI could ask an installer what the predominant use of their machine is to be, and recommend a setting for CPU frequency scaling, with an "advanced" option to override? 		 	   		  
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