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    Nvidia quietly boosts video encoding capabilities in GeForce GPUs

    Nvidia’s GeForce GPUs have quietly received a boost in their video encoding capabilities, according to a recent update to the company’s support page. The NVENC encoder built into GeForce GPUs previously had a limit of encoding up to three video streams at a time. However, with the latest Nvidia drivers, most GPUs can now encode up to five streams of video simultaneously. This unlocks a capability that had always been present in the hardware but was limited by software in consumer GPUs.

    While it’s unclear when exactly this change was made, it appears to be a recent update. You may need to install the latest drivers to access the additional encoding capabilities, and your video quality settings may also limit the number of video streams you can encode at once. However, most GeForce GPUs from the 2014-era Maxwell architecture and beyond now support the extra simultaneous streams, making it accessible to a wide range of users.

    Even GPUs as old as the GeForce 750 Ti are on the list of supported models, and many of the GPUs on the list are capable of encoding even more video streams simultaneously. However, Nvidia still imposes a software limit on those GPUs to encourage users to opt for its workstation-grade Quadro and RTX-branded GPUs instead. Despite this, third-party software patches exist that can remove these limits for GeForce GPUs, although users should exercise caution when installing them.

    Of course, the kinds of video that can be encoded still depend on what your GPU’s hardware encoder actually supports. Nvidia’s support document lists the supported codecs, color depths, and other specifications for each GPU. This update is particularly good news for budget-conscious users who previously had to contend with the three-stream limit. Now, they can unlock more capabilities without having to buy a more powerful or expensive video card.

    This update represents a welcome enhancement to the capabilities of Nvidia’s GeForce GPUs, and it’s sure to be appreciated by a wide range of users who encode video for various purposes. While there are some limitations and considerations to keep in mind, the fact that most GeForce GPUs now support up to five video streams simultaneously is a significant step forward.

    Author

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    Ajinkya Nair

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