NVENC vs. X264: Which Encoder is the Best?

In the event that you need to live stream to Twitch, Mixer, or YouTube Live, you’ve had two choices with regards to video encoding. You can set your CPU to do software encoding. You could then again choose your Nvidia GPU to deal with that task. Each of these has its advantages, however, your most solid option was to utilize your CPU. In any case, with Nvidia’s new RTX video cards, that may have changed.

CPU versus GPU encoding was generally about quality versus execution. Live gushing expects you to pack a video communicate into a little measure of transmission capacity. Twitch has the greatest transfer speed of 6 Mbps, which isn’t a ton when you have to encode 60 edges of 1080p video consistently. In any case, X264 is proficient at smushing visual subtleties into that minor space. The issue is that in case you’re running an amusement on a similar framework, CPU encoding is going to hurt execution.

On the off chance that you have a more established, slower CPU, in any case, you could utilize NVENC on the GPU. This choice infrequently harms execution. In any case, the issue in the past was that NVENC’s quality wasn’t practically identical to X264 at 6 Mbps or lower. It wasn’t unusable, without a doubt, yet NVENC used to eat a ton of subtleties

Yet, that is old NVENC. On the RTX cards, similar to the RTX 2080 Ti, Nvidia has improved its encoder. What’s more, it is currently possibly superior to X264 from numerous points of view.

So how do these two encoding models pile facing each other today? Generally, they’re quite even. X264 still improves, however, I think NVENC may have the edge with regards to what you need for live gushing video.

For this content, I set NVENC and X264 to record at a bitrate of 6 Mbps. Both likewise utilize the “High” profile and a keyframe interim of 2. Everything else is the default for OBS Studio. I additionally incorporated some HVEC H.265 4K film recorded at 160Mbps.

To see the most ideal examination, you should watch the video at the top in 4K. In any case, I’ll incorporate some screen captures beneath that show both encoders in real life.

X264 is better in terms of brightness

NVENC still appears to battle with moving from dark to white. You can find in the picture underneath that the orange-yellow light on the base right of the picture makes them hinder for the GPU encoding. The CPU alternative, in the meantime, doesn’t appear to be excessively unique from the 160 Mbps H.265 4K encoder in the center. At any rate with regards to the smoothness of the light source.

You will likewise observe that the white spotlight from the roof makes them obstruct around it for NVENC. Once more, the CPU keeps up a picture that is more in accordance with the high-bitrate film.

However, NVENC is better while it comes to instant changes

In any case, X264 falls behind with regards to quick moving ongoing interaction. I picked Rocket League since it experiences a ton of compressions because of its serious pace. What’s more, NVENC is unquestionably better at managing a lot of on-screen changes on the double.

Investigate this correlation. This screen capture is from a brisk turn where the camera is panning with a great deal of speed. The GPU film looks more keen by and large. The CPU film, be that as it may, has a delicate and fluffy look to it. That is near the camera and at a separation. Take a gander at the greenish blue shading of the vehicle. It’s smooth and predictable with NVENC. On the CPU, you can see some revolting blotches. In like manner, the ball court looks blurrier on X264, thus does the dull group.

NVENC is only a speedier coded. That is particularly discernible when you get a ton of slim pieces of detail moving rapidly left or right or here and there. In Rocket League, the playfield has a hexagonal control framework that you can drive on. Furthermore, X264 simply doesn’t care for that one piece.

Presently, NVENC can likewise battle with these sorts of fast changes. It has a few edges that resemble the one on the right. Look at that by delaying around this point in the video. In any case, the fact is that it occurs undeniably more as often as possible on X264.

Texts are more sharp on NVENC

At long last, and in particular for livestreamers, NVENC is route better with content. At a separation, X264 smears words together to the point that you can’t peruse them. NVENC, in the interim, keeps up their readability.

This is pivotal for Twitch or Mixer since you don’t need your watchers attempting to peruse words in the diversion condition. That is truly disappointing. It’s difficult to keep up your direction as a watcher on the off chance that you can’t tell who is shooting your most loved telecaster. Or on the other hand on the off chance that you can’t peruse signs in a town.

Presently, X264’s content is actually just an issue when it’s little, far away, or moving rapidly, however that is the situation in a lot of shooters. Or on the other hand in something like Rocket League.


On the off chance that everything is equivalent, I would now pick NVENC. Having clear content and less visual ancient rarities amid quick movement is a major improvement. X264 isn’t horrendous, yet at 6 Mbps, NVENC has the points of interest that are progressively essential for a live stream.

In any case, everything isn’t equivalent. This new NVENC is just on RTX cards right now, and those are costly. The RTX 2070 is available for $600, yet that is twice as much as an AMD Ryzen 7 2700X. Also, a $300 CPU like the 2700X has 8 center with hyperthreading, which implies it’s incredible for playing recreations and live gushing in the meantime. You likely won’t get quite a bit of an act hit in many amusements while broadcasting on a chip that way.

Obviously, special cases that will develop as diversions figure out how to exploit hyperthreading. For instance, the ongoing Assassin’s Creed recreations will utilize each CPU center you give it through somewhere around 8 centers. Be that as it may, in case we’re completing a money-saving advantage investigation, I could never recommend you get an RTX card only for NVENC. Rather, spare your cash and get a 6-center in addition to later age CPU.

Be that as it may, the majority of that stated, on the off chance that you are utilizing an RTX card as of now, run with NVENC. It is a superior alternative.

Check out Intel vs. AMD.

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