Intel's SVT-AV1 Video Encoder Saw Yet Another Performance Boost In April

Written by Michael Larabel in Multimedia on 3 May 2019 at 09:56 AM EDT. 18 Comments
Intel's Clear Linux operating system wasn't their only open-source project seeing various performance improvements over the course of April but it turns out their Scalable Video Technology AV1 (SVT-AV1) video encoder also saw a nice performance improvement at the end of April.

When looking at my daily benchmark data, it was interesting to see the SVT-AV1 performance quietly improved last week and has remained that way. I have a handful of systems running benchmarks of the SVT video encoders on a daily basis with the same encode options and sample content. Intel's performance optimizations have been fascinating to watch and indeed since 28 April the performance is even better for their AV1 encoder. (Their HEVC/H.265 and VP9 encoder performance is flat for April.)

When looking at the SVT-AV1 Git activity, the only commit that day was landing New feature support / quality improvements. That work included multi-reference pictures support, chroma search, enhanced adaptive depth partitioning algorithm support, quality/stability fixes, tuning enhancements, and other changes. The single commit added 17k new lines of code while dropping 3.4k lines of code, so it indeed is quite big. All of my test systems are faster now after that latest SVT-AV1 work.

If expanding the view to when I began running the SVT-AV1 daily Git benchmarks in March, the performance has easily doubled. It was only in March that I began running the daily benchmarks after seeing interesting performance boosts in February and earlier in March that I figured would be interesting to benchmark these video encoders daily using the Phoronix Test Suite and Phoromatic. Indeed it's been a wild ride watching the SVT video encoder performance evolve and I can't wait to see what more they'll be able to squeeze out of HEVC/VP9/AV1 this summer.

Those wanting to dig through the daily data, system details, etc, can find the daily performance tracker setup at Those wanting to learn more about SVT-AV1 can do so via Intel's OpenVisualCloud GitHub.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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