This post may be short lived for those that like to update to the latest and greatest. Blue Iris version 5 will be released soon and these instructions may not work on that release.
I love Blue Iris surveillance software, but it can be a major CPU hog if not tweaked. You can really reduce CPU use by utilizing a graphics card (GPU). For example, I am using an , which I purchased on Amazon for $429 in October 2018. I am running Blue Iris on a newer custom built computer with an Intel i7-8700K CPU, 48GB of 3000MHz DDR4 RAM, Nvidia Quadro P2000, with Windows 10 64-bit installed on a 250GB Samsung 970 EVO NVMe SSD. Surveillance video is saved to a 3TB Western Digital Green drive.
This computer is reasonably fast, but when I first installed Blue Iris CPU usage was very high (around 25%). I do have twelve cameras, but I knew CPU use should not be that high because I have installed and configured Blue Iris many times. Here is what I did to get Blue Iris CPU use down to around 2% when not being viewed remotely. Viewing your video feeds on other devices where transcoding is required will increase CPU and GPU use. Mine jumps to around 28% when remotely viewing my cameras on a web browser. And not to ignore the GPU use, when viewing remotely my GPU use is around 48%. When just recording and not viewing remotely, my GPU use is around 8%. Even when at 48% use for Blue Iris, this GPU can still handle transcoding several video streams when using Plex.
Let’s Tweak Some Settings
Go to Blue Iris Options (sprocket icon in upper left of the main window) and select the Cameras tab. Go to the Hardware accelerated decode option and select your GPU and then OK.
Now the irritating part, modifying the settings of each camera. I wish they had an option to make this a universal change across all cameras.
Open a camera (right-click on a camera and select “Camera properties…”), go the “Video” tab and select your GPU from “Hardware accelerated decode,” check the option for “Limit decoding unless required,” and make sure “Enable overlays” is not checked. This last option will not show the date and time on live viewing or in recordings. You can turn on the date and time on each camera, which kind of sucks because the cameras may not keep accurate times. I have my cameras to update their time from a network NTP server, but a lot of the cameras are always off by five minutes or so. Make sure anything else I outlined is red is the same on your system.
Now, go to the “Record” tab and make sure the “Pre-trigger video buffer” is off unless you really need it. Select “Video file format and compression…” to open another window.
Make sure “Direct-to-disc” is selected. I don’t know if it makes a difference with CPU usage, but I have always used “Blue Iris DVR” as the file container. Select OK when you’ve made the desired changes.
Please leave a comment below if you have some Blue Iris tweaks or have an issue with what I have recommended.