Tip #1506: M1 Macs Accelerate 10-bit HEVC Compression

… for Codecs & Media

Tip #1506: M1 Macs Accelerate 10-bit HEVC Compression

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

HDR requires 10-bit codecs and hardware acceleration.

Key settings in Apple Compressor to enable hardware-accelerated HEVC 10-bit compression.

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I spent this last week learning more about the media capabilities of the M1 Mac.

The new M1 chip from Apple (part of the three new Macs launched last week) can accelerate encoding H.264, 8-bit HEVC, and 10-bit HEVC using hardware. This vastly speeds compression of these codecs.

NOTE: HDR media requires using a 10-bit codec, which is why compressing 10-bit HEVC quickly is important.

To enable 10-bit compression in Apple Compressor:

  • Create a new setting using the MPEG-4 category.
  • Change Codec to HEVC (top red arrow)
  • Set Encoder Type to Faster (this enables hardware acceleration)
  • Set Profile to 10-bit (this is bit-depth is required for HDR.
  • Be sure Multi-pass is disabled (Multi-pass disables hardware acceleration)

NOTE: Hardware acceleration for 10-bit HEVC is also possible for any Mac that has a T-2 chip.


Here’s a tutorial on configuring an M1 Mac for video editing.

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