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This paper presents a performance evaluation study of coding efficiency versus computational complexity for the forthcoming High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard. A thorough experimental investigation was carried out to identify the tools that most affect the encoding efficiency and computational complexity of the HEVC encoder. A set of 16 different encoding configurations was created to investigate the impact of each tool, varying the encoding parameter set and comparing the results with a baseline encoder. This paper shows that, even though the computational complexity increases monotonically from the baseline to the most complex configuration, the encoding efficiency saturates at some point. Moreover, the results of this paper provide relevant information for implementation of complexity-constrained encoders by taking into account the tradeoff between complexity and coding efficiency. It is shown that low-complexity encoding configurations, defined by careful selection of coding tools, achieve coding efficiency comparable to that of high-complexity configurations.