Intel is the first GPU manufacturer to offer AV1 encoding capabilities A series of arc graphics. Thanks to YouTuber EposVox, who tested the technology on an Arc A380 graphics card, we were lucky enough to see the encoding in action. A YouTuber has found AV1 to be very effective for video streams that produce low bitrates. It outperformed all H.264 hardware encoders, such as the NVENC encoder from rival NVIDIA.
Intel AV1 Encoder outperforms competing NVIDIA NVENC H.264 video codec
Many YouTube videos that are viewed daily have a new one AV1 coding, especially in the last few years of development. Intel AV1 video encoding was originally developed by the Alliance for Open Media as a free, open source video encoding format in 2015. The format is theoretically revolutionary and free, making it easier for users to use online. AV1 produces smaller file sizes than H.264 and therefore offers much greater compression capability.
Over the past few years, AV1 has been increasingly used in video streaming platforms and has been used more widely in graphics card architectures such as NVIDIA’s RTX 30 series, AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture, and more recently Intel’s iGPUs. Sony has also integrated the technology into the PlayStation 4 Pro console gaming system.
AV1 has not been fully utilized in content creation, especially broadcast, even with video encoding. Current graphics engines do not support AV1 encoding engines. With the help of software, the system processor can use the AV1 codec. However, hardware capable of properly accelerating AV1 encoding has never been developed, except for the latest Intel Arc graphics cards.
In the video above, EposVox installed an Intel AV1 encoder and tested the technology with several H.264 encoders. Testing included AMD AMF, Intel Quick Sync, NVIDIA NVENC, and software options available in streaming packages such as streaming software OBS.
The YouTuber used Netflix’s VMAF benchmark tool, which allows the user to analyze the quality of a video by scoring it from 0 (which would be considered unwatchable) to 100 (the best imaginable video quality). The benchmark compares video quality to uncompressed video and is tested at 3.5 MBps, 6 MBps and 8 MBps.
The video was a video from the game Battlefield 2042. At 3.5 MB/s, the Intel AV1 video encoder scored 83 points, and at 6 MB/s, it scored 90 points out of a possible 100. On the other hand, NVIDIA NVENC scored 71 at 3.5 MBps, but reached 85 points at 8 MBps. AMD and its AMF encoder were similar to NVIDIA, while Intel’s Quick Sync encoder scored 76 and 87, respectively. Intel currently uses the Quick Sync encoder on the Alder Lake platform.
A benchmark test by EposVox shows that the Intel AV1 video codec performs sixteen percent better than NVIDIA and AMD.
OBS delivered surprising results with the H.264 software-based encoder x264 VerySlow. The firmware offered 78 points at 3.5 MBps and 88 points at 6 MBps. However, this is not a suitable format for streaming, so streamers are better off avoiding the setting altogether.
As EposVox has educated users about streaming in general, it’s worth noting that 3.5MBps is a more accessible and sweeter setting for viewers with Intel and AV1 encoding. It produces better traffic quality and uses less resources than competing companies.
Products mentioned in this post