GPU Hardware Acceleration is the use of Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) to shift compute-intensive tasks from the CPU to the GPU. The reason why GPU is better designed to handle compute processing tasks is that GPU consists of smaller but more efficient processors which handle computing in parallel instead of the serial computing by CPU. GPU acceleration is used for running Machine learning algorithms, in autonomous cars, drones, high-end games, medical imaging and multimedia handling applications like DVD Rippers, Video enhancers, etc.
GPU acceleration can offer 10x better processing speed than a CPU. The only side effect comes with its that it might lead to more power usage. So, if you are running low on battery, it might be a good idea to disable GPU acceleration. However, this is not always true because nowadays we have certain specialist hardware GPU which can take less power to do the same processing than what it takes on a CPU.
So the question that still hangs in the air is - when to turn on or disable the GPU hardware acceleration. The answer to this question is - always keep hardware acceleration ON. Applications which are designed to make use of GPU acceleration will work better which the feature enabled and applications which don’t use it won’t be impacted either. Certain applications in our experience might experience bugs when using GPU acceleration. You can disable GPU acceleration for these applications from their Settings section.
Hardware Acceleration support in Windows 10 was a setting for a long time before an update finally made it a feature. Before we start telling you how to turn on Hardware Acceleration in Windows, you need to see if you are running Windows 10 version 2004 or Build 19041. You can check this in in Settings > System > About.
This version is available in Windows 10 May 2020 update. In addition to this, you will need Nvidia GeForce 451.48+ or Adrenalin 2020 Edition 20.5.1 Beta driver. The Nvidia GeForce update makes GPU acceleration available for all its users whereas for AMD the feature is available only for its beta users.
To enable GPU Acceleration in Windows 10, search for Graphics settings and toggle the switch under Hardware-accelerated GPU scheduling option to On.
Google Chrome is a resource-hungry application. You can see how much RAM it utilizes even when a simple web page is open. Open multiple tabs and you have a monster application guzzling your computer resources. GPU acceleration provides the option of transferring the work of heavy processing by your Google Chrome from the CPU to GPU. By default, this is enabled in most Google Chrome installations.
You can go to the Settings section and search for “Hardware” (chrome://settings/?search=hardware) to see the Toggle option to enabled GPU Hardware Acceleration.
Firefox by default makes use of GPU acceleration to improve CPU performance and shift graphics-heavy content to GPU. You can see the setting to enable or disable it under Options > General> Performance section. You will need to deselect the “Use Recommended performance settings” to be able to customize parallel processing or disable GPU acceleration.
GPU Acceleration while initially designed for motion images or videos, finds a wide range of use now. Out of those wide varieties of applications, many are now related to video processing like in video editing, video processing, gaming, etc. Let’s see in detail how and where GPU acceleration finds major usage in today’s computing world.
Making a copy of a DVD involves some major processing. It involves first making a local copy of the disc data and then burning the same data losslessly to another disc. That is why you will hear your computer fan going On when you copy a DVD. Copying an original DVD might also involve the removal of protections that further increases the need for processing power. To deal with such resource requirement, most of the premium DVD Copy software makes use of GPU hardware acceleration.
Learn more about the best DVD copy software.
Similar to DVD Copy, ripping of a protected DVD involves a lot of decoding and protection removal. There are many types of protections in the market with new protection algorithms coming in every year. Decoding such protections and keeping the video and audio quality intact requires a lot of processing power which is achieved by GPU hardware acceleration. The top leaders in DVD handling software claim to provide 10x improvement in speeds with the help of GPU hardware acceleration.
Video conversion means changing the encoding format of video and/or audio. It is a resource-intensive process since it involves completely breaking down the multimedia content from its current format and putting it into a completely different container. Many tools allow video editing as well during the process like cropping, trimming, changing color saturation, changing the video quality, etc. It short, it is no less than rendering a completely new video. GPU hardware acceleration makes the processing time much shorter by taking off the load from the CPU and doing the multiprocessing much more efficiently.
Both online and offline gaming is resource-intensive since it involves real-time graphics processing. GPU manufacturers, like Nvidea, push regular GPU updates to support new games. Various testers have benchmarked different GPU hardware while playing games and published the differences they see when in frame rendering when using a GPU and without it. The difference they see varies from just a few frames to double improved frame rate required for display on 4k screens.
Machine Learning involves deep learning models which take high computation power. Many beginners think that they will require the power of cloud computing to be able to work on Deep Learning algorithms. However, that is far from the truth. Among the requirements for developing a good neural network system, the most resource-intensive task is training the deep learning model. This is because training involves multiple matrix multiplications. If you can achieve these calculations in parallel instead doing it serially, you can design your neural network on your laptop. And that is where a GPU comes into the picture. As we discussed above, a GPU enabled parallel processing which fits exactly into our requirement for training on machine learning models.
How to turn on hardware acceleration with Intel GPU
When you are using DVDFab to convert a video, you can make sure that DVDFab uses GPU hardware acceleration to improve the conversion speed. With Nvidia HEVC CUDA Hardware Acceleration and AMD APP Acceleration, DVDFab can give a 30x increase in conversion speed. Nvidia’s latest GPU support h.265 encodings, aka HEVC encoding which offers the 30x performance improvement over software encoding. These GPUs are - GeForce GTX 960, GeForce GTX 970 and GeForce GTX 980. If you have them, you can benefit from HEVC CUDA. To turn on GPU hardware acceleration with DVDFab, go to Common Settings > General > A/V Codec and set Video Decoder and Video Encoder both to CUDA.
How to turn on hardware acceleration with AMD GPU
Even if you are using AMD instead of Intel, you can take advantage of GPU hardware acceleration. AMD APP, the short for AMD Accelerated Parallel Processing is the GPU hardware acceleration when you have an AMD graphic card. If you have the right AMD GPU card, DVDFab uses it in decoding H.264, H.265, VC1 and MPEG2 videos and encoding H.264 and H.265 videos, currently, in Blu-ray Copy, Blu-ray Ripper, Blu-ray to DVD Converter, Video Converter and will be in more products soon enough.
To enable AMD GPU hardware acceleration, users need to follow the same steps as mentioned for Nvidea above except for the last part. Instead of CUDA, they have to select the AMD APP from the dropdown for both encoding and decoding videos. The AMD APP to the H.265 sources option is not working but that will be fixed soon. Not all cards from the AMD GPU family as supported by DVDFab and the complete list can be checked here.
It is possible that sometimes enabling hardware acceleration might cause errors during the conversion or copy process. If you see any errors, you can disable hardware acceleration and try running the option again. You should also report any such errors to the DVDFab team so that they can fix the issue in their next release.
UHD Copy and Conversion
4k video discs can take more than 20 hours to copy when a CPU is doing the copying and conversion process. However, with a GPU like GeForce GTX 10 (Pascal) Series and above the same process will take less than 1 hour or less. You can compare the performance of DVDFab Converter when using a GPU and without it for Nvidia CUDA and AMD APP and respectively. It is obvious how GPU hardware acceleration fits right into the requirements of those involved in video editing or want to copy or rip UHD discs.