Better AMD Radeon VCE Video Encode Performance Coming To Linux

Written by Michael Larabel in Radeon on 30 December 2021 at 12:33 PM EST. 22 Comments
With a few lines of changed code updating some parameters, AMD Radeon graphics processors having the VCE video encoder block will be able to enjoy better performance.

With a pending merge request to Mesa, AMD is updating the default motion estimation parameters to the Gallium3D video acceleration encode front-end. These updated values in turn should improve video encoding performance of H.264 with AMD Radeon GPUs having the VCE block.

The MR is under review but presumably will be merged still in time for Mesa 22.0. AMD's VCE 1.0 block premiered with Radeon HD 7000 series GPUs as well as Trinity/Richland APUs back in the day. VCE continued to be improved upon and the latest iteration was worked into Vega-based GPUs. But since Navi or Raven/Picasso on the APU front is now Video Core Next (VCN) as the successor to VCE.

Changing around a few values for speeding up AMD VCE H.264 encode performance on Linux...

This AMD VCE tuning for performance stems from long-open bug requests around slow VA-API H.264 encoding on Polaris GPUs, poor FFmpeg performance on Polaris, and related performance issues. With the updated parameters, these issues should be a problem of the past. One of those affected by the poor performance indicated that the encode speed is now much faster using OBS Studio for Polaris GPUs on Linux.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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