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Rate control is a critical part of video compression systems, while the introduction of Rate-Distortion Optimization makes rate control in H.264/AVC more complex than previous standards. The frame coding complexity MAD is predicted in H.264/AVC rate control. In this paper, we present a novel estimation method for frame coding complexity in H.264/AVC. Meanwhile, a rate control scheme is proposed to improve the coding efficiency. Experimental results demonstrate that our rate control scheme gains better visual quality than that of joint model in H.264/AVC reference software.