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Hardware encoding - using nvidia AND AMD in same rig?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
hey guys,

I've been doing a little research lately on the best way to encode a stream. I know there's x264, AVC for AMD cards, and NVENC for Nvidia cards it seems. The basics of my rig are

i5-6600k @ 5.0 ghz
Sapphire Nitro R9 Fury Tri-X
16GB DDR4 ram @2666

Anyway, the i5 is good and all at streaming lighter games but when i get in to more intensive games, it struggles a little bit unless i tweak OBS settings and turn down the quality. From what I've read, CPU's are better at low-bitrate streaming as they offer better quality but when bitrate isn't an issue (which it isn't for me) the GPU's typically come out on top. I've read that both Nvidia and AMD cards have dedicated chips for encoding audio/video that can be used without stressing the card. I'm going to test streaming using my Fury at a high bitrate and quality tonight to see if it would make a difference. I also thought that, what if i bought a secondary used GPU - either AMD or Nvidia (whichever is cheaper) and used that as a slave card to encode my stream while i use my Fury for gaming itself. Would there be a noticeable difference in stream quality between using my Fury and using a secondary card? That also brings up the question of, if i find an nvidia card that is cheaper than an old AMD card that still offers encoding features, would i be able to set the Nvidia card as the encoder in OBS? Would my computer even let the 2 cards run together without issue? This is all theoretical, so please no "this is a stupid idea" "you're wasting your time" "that's not how this works" type of stuff. I'm trying to learn the possibilities and combinations here and whether or not this would be an improvement. I also find the overall concept of having a secondary card devoted to encoding in and of itself so this also serves as an enjoyable learning experience for me. I'm asking here because i don't have any secondary cards to test on so i can't find out for myself at the moment and i don't want to waste $50-80 on a used card only to find out it's not an improvement or it just doesn't work in general! Thanks for any and all advice! thumb.gif
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post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatJaffaCake View Post

I've read that both Nvidia and AMD cards have dedicated chips for encoding audio/video that can be used without stressing the card.

They both have dedicated encoding hardware built into their GPUs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatJaffaCake View Post

I also thought that, what if i bought a secondary used GPU - either AMD or Nvidia (whichever is cheaper) and used that as a slave card to encode my stream while i use my Fury for gaming itself.

There is generally no purpose to this as there is less overhead from capturing and encoding with one card than there is from capturing data and sending it to another card.

ReLive with my Fury Nitro's VCE 3.0 encoder has a whopping (that's sarcasm) 1.5% performance hit while capturing 1440p60 video at 50Mbps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatJaffaCake View Post

Would there be a noticeable difference in stream quality between using my Fury and using a secondary card?

Depends on the secondary card and which version of VCE/NVENC it supports.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatJaffaCake View Post

That also brings up the question of, if i find an nvidia card that is cheaper than an old AMD card that still offers encoding features, would i be able to set the Nvidia card as the encoder in OBS?

Maybe, but simply using OBS to grab the frames and send them to the NVENC part would be slower than doing everything on the Fury.

I'm highly doubtful even recent incarnations of NVENC have enough of a quality advantage to justify this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatJaffaCake View Post

Would my computer even let the 2 cards run together without issue?

It's possible to run AMD and NVIDIA GPUs in the same system, but NVIDIA drivers have generally needed modding to accomplish this. It's been a while since I've bothered, so I am not very up to date on the procedure or even if it's still required.
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
so your general piece of advice would be to not bother and just use my Fury for encoding purposes if I'm hell-bent no doing it this way? If so, i appreciate it! Again, learning experience for me so it's interesting to find this stuff out. I'll just stick to my Fury and mess around with combinations to see what the best quality stream is achieved at!
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post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatJaffaCake View Post

hey guys,

I've been doing a little research lately on the best way to encode a stream. I know there's x264, AVC for AMD cards, and NVENC for Nvidia cards it seems. The basics of my rig are

i5-6600k @ 5.0 ghz
Sapphire Nitro R9 Fury Tri-X
16GB DDR4 ram @2666

Anyway, the i5 is good and all at streaming lighter games but when i get in to more intensive games, it struggles a little bit unless i tweak OBS settings and turn down the quality. From what I've read, CPU's are better at low-bitrate streaming as they offer better quality but when bitrate isn't an issue (which it isn't for me) the GPU's typically come out on top. I've read that both Nvidia and AMD cards have dedicated chips for encoding audio/video that can be used without stressing the card. I'm going to test streaming using my Fury at a high bitrate and quality tonight to see if it would make a difference. I also thought that, what if i bought a secondary used GPU - either AMD or Nvidia (whichever is cheaper) and used that as a slave card to encode my stream while i use my Fury for gaming itself. Would there be a noticeable difference in stream quality between using my Fury and using a secondary card? That also brings up the question of, if i find an nvidia card that is cheaper than an old AMD card that still offers encoding features, would i be able to set the Nvidia card as the encoder in OBS? Would my computer even let the 2 cards run together without issue? This is all theoretical, so please no "this is a stupid idea" "you're wasting your time" "that's not how this works" type of stuff. I'm trying to learn the possibilities and combinations here and whether or not this would be an improvement. I also find the overall concept of having a secondary card devoted to encoding in and of itself so this also serves as an enjoyable learning experience for me. I'm asking here because i don't have any secondary cards to test on so i can't find out for myself at the moment and i don't want to waste $50-80 on a used card only to find out it's not an improvement or it just doesn't work in general! Thanks for any and all advice! thumb.gif

I am looking at your setup, you have an i5 6600k...why not put that HD 530 to work? It actually is twice as good as the old HD 4400 on the 3570k I used to stream games before. I use it quite extensively and it will do 1080p 60fps well. I recommend to record, if you have the real estate to, and THEN upload to youtube. (if that is what you are looking for?) Its hard to get a solid 108-p 60fps with great speed and quality in fast moving games like BF1.

Again, I would not stream anyhting over 720p60fps, it just looks like...doodoo. Record it locally, upload it later. If you do find some good OBS settings for recording or streaming, let me know. Im always down to find something thats easy to do and not a frame rate killer.
Edited by stephenn82 - 4/14/17 at 7:59pm
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
In a comparison between the HD 530 and my gpu's chip, my gpu runs circles around it. I sideloaded VCE in to OBS to just run off of the dedicated chip in my fury and its leaps and bounds ahead of anything my CPU could do. Right now im outputting and streaming at native 1440p (im well aware it doesnt actually go that high) at a 10mbps bitrate with 0% packet loss whereas the iGPU in the intel processors struggle to run games while outputting 1080p if the game even remotely requires some CPU. I switch between that and AMD's built in streaming software ReLive which itself is fantastic, if a little rudimentary due to being new. Doesnt have support for a few things but the performance itself is brilliant. So yea, i honestly just stepped away from using my CPU altogether for encoding-related tasks.
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post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatJaffaCake View Post

In a comparison between the HD 530 and my gpu's chip, my gpu runs circles around it. I sideloaded VCE in to OBS to just run off of the dedicated chip in my fury and its leaps and bounds ahead of anything my CPU could do. Right now im outputting and streaming at native 1440p (im well aware it doesnt actually go that high) at a 10mbps bitrate with 0% packet loss whereas the iGPU in the intel processors struggle to run games while outputting 1080p if the game even remotely requires some CPU. I switch between that and AMD's built in streaming software ReLive which itself is fantastic, if a little rudimentary due to being new. Doesnt have support for a few things but the performance itself is brilliant. So yea, i honestly just stepped away from using my CPU altogether for encoding-related tasks.

hmmmm

I do have option to use VCE in OBS, but the actual hard ware for my card (GCN 1.1) sucks. It can only do 1080p 30fps natively, but B-Frame support allows it to do 60fps. It just looks...grainy.

What settings in OBS do you use while running VCE? I am intrigued...I would still record to HDD (even raid 0 2tb is ok, wish I had my SSD raid 0 still)

I did not like ReLive at all...caused issues...but then again, it may have been my BIOS and lack of support for the old 390.

I since have flashed a custom BIOS and it is night and day better, even on 17.4.1. Going to try 17.4.2 here in a bit...and another new bios.
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephenn82 View Post

hmmmm

I do have option to use VCE in OBS, but the actual hard ware for my card (GCN 1.1) sucks. It can only do 1080p 30fps natively, but B-Frame support allows it to do 60fps. It just looks...grainy.

What settings in OBS do you use while running VCE? I am intrigued...I would still record to HDD (even raid 0 2tb is ok, wish I had my SSD raid 0 still)

I did not like ReLive at all...caused issues...but then again, it may have been my BIOS and lack of support for the old 390.

I since have flashed a custom BIOS and it is night and day better, even on 17.4.1. Going to try 17.4.2 here in a bit...and another new bios.

I actually am using someone else's settings
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMKuI-YtQ-4

there's the video i got all of the settings from. Pause the video at 20 seconds, those are the settings I use.

as for flashing a custom BIOS, i've heard the support for the 390 and 390x are super wonky which is unfortunate, so I'm glad you found a way to make it work! I've thought about flashing a custom BIOS to one of the slots on my Fury to get the voltage unlocked. I can hit 1.2ghz on it kinda easily (all the way up from 1.05 ghz core clock) but run in to a power limit. I can clock my memory up to about 590 from 500 but, again, power limit. I've started to use ReLive more and more, i think i will uninstall OBS here pretty soon and just switch entirely over to AMD's stuff because it's offered really nice quality with no hitches at all during heavy game sessions. I test new configurations and new games with it every night to see how well it holds up under stress.
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