FFmpeg Lands NVIDIA NVENC AV1 Encoding Support

Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 6 November 2022 at 05:41 AM EST. 4 Comments
Along with the likes of OBS Studio adding NVENC AV1 support for enjoying GPU-accelerated AV1 video encoding with GeForce RTX 40 series GPUs, the widely-used FFmpeg library has merged its support for NVIDIA NVENC AV1 video encoding.

With Intel Arc Graphics, AMD Radeon RX 7000 series, and the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 series there is now GPU-accelerated AV1 encoding widely available for this royalty-free, increasingly popular video codec. In the case of the new NVIDIA GeForce RTX 40 series support, FFmpeg this weekend landed its support for making use of NVENC AV1.

NVIDIA Ada Lovelace enjoys AV1 encode support.

Timo Rothenpieler merged the NVENC AV1 encoding support and summed it up as:
The encoder seems to be trading blows with hevc_nvenc. In terms of quality at low bitrate cbr settings, it seems to outperform it even. It produces fewer artifacts and the ones it does produce are less jarring to my perception.

At higher bitrates I had a hard time finding differences between the two encoders in terms of subjective visual quality.

Using the 'slow' preset, av1_nvenc outperformed hevc_nvenc in terms of encoding speed by 75% to 100% while performing above tests.

Needless to say, it always massively outperformed h264_nvenc in terms of quality for a given bitrate, while also being slightly faster.

So far though only the expensive, large, and power-hungry GeForce RTX 4090 is currently available while the GeForce RTX 4080 is the next to launch. With time the cheaper and more manageable RTX 40 GPUs will become available.
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