System usage when increasing number of cameras
  • I currently have a 4-camera licence, SS system usage has never been a problem for me, it currently is running about 12%CPU and 132MB RAM (only 3 cameras are currently connected). I wish to increase the number of cameras to 6 or possibly 7.

    I intend to replace my existing cameras for ones with much higher resolution - from 720p currently to 2560 x 1440p.

    Before I go all out and buy more cameras, will I see a massive increase in system usage from 3 to 6 cameras, given that it is currently minimal? I do have one of the new cameras currently connected and it didn't seem to make any real difference over the one that it replaced.

    My Mac is a Late 2013 2.7ghz i5 with 8GB Ram.

    Also, I currently have my desktop clear and run the camera group window on a second display, will it be more efficient to run all the cameras on the same second display or could I split them into two groups and have them on second and third screens - I hope that makes sense! I would prefer to have them separate as I don't want the individual windows to be too small.
  • Your new cameras are much higher resolution than your old cameras (3.5x the resolution), so yes you should expect much higher CPU usage when you move over to 6 of the new cameras, vs. 3 of the old ones. How much is difficult to say, but a good rule of thumb is to expect the same CPU increase as the increase in resolution (assuming the frame rate remains the same). You can mitigate this by reducing the cameras' frame rates a little if you think you need to.

    However, note that your Mac should be able to process one of the camera's streams in hardware, so at least one camera should have very low CPU usage.

    So with 6 cameras at the new resolution, I expect that you will see higher than 50% overall CPU usage, but I think the Mac will still be able to comfortably cope with the load.

    Display to the screen doesn't normally use much CPU, but this depends on many factors (the GPU type and amount of VRAM, and the resolution and frame rate of the cameras) so it's difficult to predict. However any of the configurations you describe should be similar in terms of their CPU usage.

    Please report back and let us know your experiences, as it would be useful to get real-world experimental results for all of this!
  • Thanks very much for the quick reply, I will certainly post my progress, will get the cameras gradually so I can see how it goes without wasting any money.
  • Thought it best to update this - my current set-up is 3 x Reolink 410 cameras running at 2560x1440 30fps 6144kbps bitrate, and 1 x Sricam camera running at 1920x1080 30fps (not sure of the bitrate).

    As I type this (all cameras are recording night-vision at 30fps) SS is showing the following stats:

    16.3% CPU
    187.7MB Memory usage

    As my previous stats of 12% and 132MB were for 2 x 720 cameras and 1 x 1080p there hasn't been a huge impact on my system by increasing the number and quality.

    I have another Reolink camera on its way so hopefully will be able to report back but as it stands I reckon I could easily get away with 6-8 cameras without too much trouble.
  • Hi @chubsta - many thanks for reporting back, this sounds great.

    Note that there are some separate processes that SecuritySpy uses (via Apple's video processing frameworks) to decode and encode video, called "VTDecoderXPCService" and "VTEncoderXPCService" - these will show in Activity Monitor with their own CPU usage, separate from SecuritySpy's usage, so if you are just looking at SecuritySpy's usage you may be getting an artificially low number.

    The best number for overall Mac CPU usage to check is the one reported on the main page of SecuritySpy's web interface.

    Or, look at the "Idle" percentage figure reported by Activity Monitor in the bottom right of the CPU section. 100 minus this figure gives you the overall Mac CPU usage.
  • Thanks for the extra info, I am currently seeing 84.29% idle (during daylight, not recording), starting recording has not really made any difference.

    I am very surprised how low the system usage is with SS, I use this iMac as my general computer and have never had any issues doing other stuff as well as running SS, I stream movies etc with no problems.

    My next camera is a 5MP one so will report back hopefully in the next couple of days...

    I restored my iMac yesterday and when I installed SS and started it up for the first time ever the VTDecoderXPCService went mad and my system resources were up near 100% but that stopped as soon as I switched Spotlight off, not sure why that made a difference but it hasn't occurred since.

    Also, just to confirm, I need to email you to increase my licence from 4 to the next jump of 8 rather than just buying a new licence?
  • That's impressively low CPU usage!

    Other processes can use VTDecoderXPCService, and one of these can be Spotlight while it is indexing. This should be temporary and should stop by itself.

    If you need to increase your license, you can do so at the SecuritySpy Upgrade Store. The price you pay is simply the difference in cost between the new license and the old one.
  • My new 5MP camera arrived, and running 5 cameras at night with recording is showing approx 82% idle - guess I can assume adding more cameras won't be an issue for me.

    The compression settings in SS are default at 50 as I find the quality absolutely fine, capture rate is 30fps, all in all extremely pleased with my new cameras and SS

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