In a recent announcement, NVIDIA asserts that its AV1 video encoder has outperformed AMD and Intel counterparts, showcasing superior video quality.
The comparison was done using NVIDIA's own GeForce RTX 4080, pitted against an AMD Radeon RX 7900 XT and an Intel Arc A770. All three were tasked with encoding video at 12 Mbps, utilizing the newest version of OBS Studio, which now features AV1 support over the Enhanced Real-Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP).
NVIDIA’s AV1 encoder demonstrates its efficiency by reducing the required upload bandwidth for streaming, thus allowing for higher resolution and smoother frame rates. This makes it a leading choice for livestreaming standards.
The AV1 codec brings to the table an impressive 40% increase in encoding efficiency over the H.264, yielding superior quality when matched against other GPUs. This codec makes it possible to stream 4K at a smooth 60 frames per second with a modest 10 Mbps upload bandwidth, thereby mitigating the need for intensive bandwidth requirements.
As a founding member of the Alliance for Open Media, NVIDIA has been instrumental in developing the AV1 codec. This innovative work was spurred by the evolving needs of gamers and online content creators who were pushing the limits of older formats, established around two decades ago.
The integration of AV1 support on YouTube is made possible by the recent update to RTMP, which also brings HEVC streaming support, thus offering users new formats on the existing low-latency protocol used for H.264 streaming. The Enhanced RTMP ingestion has been introduced as a beta feature on YouTube. Although NVIDIA's AV1 encoder has been recognized for its quality, independent verification is necessary to corroborate the claims made in their announcement.