Any effects on the clips? Not all will process on the CPU, and some might not be multi-threaded.
this could be the issue. I generated something like 2500pixel wide images. Good to know for the future
Well I went back and resized my images to 1280x720 using an image resizer but it's still very very slow.
I'm doing a test on about 8 seconds of animation and it's taking about 20 minutes to encode and taxing my computer at only 1.5g of RAM and between 0-3% of my CPU.
I'm basically using the H.264 HD Vimeo preset (2 VBR passes 4/5 mbps, 30 fps, 1280x720
My previous animation had no effects. This one has only a cross dissolve every 5 seconds or so.
Any other ideas why my performance is so bad?
Hazaah! I figured it out. I had all my source files (~10,000 jpg's) on an external NAS drive. I transferred everything over to my hard drive and the my 8 seconds of animation went from 20 minutes to encode to about 20 seconds to encode.
That was gonna be my suggestion... basically you have three potential bottle-necks for encoding speed: CPU, Memory, and Hard Drive. You look at the one that's getting taxed the most, and it's your culprit (or, in your case, you saw your CPU and memory were NOT getting taxed, so that left the hard drive as the culprit).
Different codecs will tax different parts of your system, so knowing what codec is using what part will help (same holds true for effects).
Actually, now that I think about it, with the advent of CUDA support we've got four potential bottlenecks now, as your GPU can get tasked with specific parts of the encoding process...But the concept holds true. Look at which components are NOT getting used, and it'll narrow down your search for the bottleneck.