What’s in a name?

If you happen to check your encoder options, you may notice that we’ve done a little bit of reorganising. So don’t worry if you don’t see a different encoder selected now – nothing has gone wrong and here’s why…

Some of the hardware encoder names that we’ve been using were not particularly informative or useful, so it was not always clear which was the best one to select. To make everyone’s life a little simpler when faced with the question of “which encoder should I select?”, we’ve renamed some of them to make things a little more obvious.

The technical bit

Before explaining what has changed, a little explanation is required about how things were named before.

For each type of hardware encoder (NVidia, AMD and Intel), there are two possible versions – an MFT encoder which is provided by Microsoft as part of Windows and a second encoder that we’ve written specifically for FBX. You may see both versions, or you may just see one.

Using NVidia as an example, you may have seen something like ‘NVIDIA H.264 Encoder MFT’ and ‘NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060’ as your two options.

Which is best?

But how do you know which of these is the better option to choose when neither name really gives you any clues?

To simplify things, we’ve decided which version we believe generally performs better for each type of hardware and that has now been made the default. You’ll see it displayed as NVIDIA NVENC, Intel QuickSync or AMD VCE.

The non-default version will have exactly the same name as the default version but with ‘(Alternative)’ added at the end. That is, unless the non-default version is the only one available on your PC, in which case there’s no need to refer to it as the alternative version – it’ll just be the standard one for you.

The changes we’ve made

Using NVidia as an example again, if you have both versions available, the changes will be something like this:

  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 -> NVIDIA NVENC
  • NVIDIA H.264 Encoder MFT -> NVIDIA NVENC (Alternative)

And for AMD and Intel, you will see this:

  • AMD VCE -> AMD VCE
  • AMDh264Encoder -> AMD VCE (Alternative)
  • Intel -> Intel QuickSync
  • Intel QuickSync MFT -> Intel QuickSync (Alternative)

So hopefully that should make it a bit easier to make a decision about which version of hardware encoder to use.

GPU vs CPU

But what about choosing between NVidia and Intel or AMD and Intel? Well that’s pretty simple really. We usually recommend picking an NVidia or AMD encoder ahead of an Intel encoder.

With that said, it does depend on the relative strength of your CPU and graphics card so you may find that the Intel encoder is the way to go instead. But the NVidia or AMD encoders are always a good place to start and, more often than not, will deliver the best performance.

So there you go, hardware encoders are hopefully now a little bit easier to choose between!

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