Nvidia GeForce Users Can Now Encode More Simultaneous Streams


Why this is important: A recent unannounced update allows content creators and videophiles using Nvidia graphics cards to encode more simultaneous streams. This feature probably appeared with the video driver update that affected most consumer GPUs over the past few years. However, professional cards still have an advantage in terms of decoding.

Nvidia has quietly relaxed restrictions on simultaneous video encoding streams for its consumer video cards. This change should give streamers and other video users more flexibility without using a workstation or GPU in the data center.

The new options, which probably require the latest Nvidia Game Ready or Studio drivers, increase the number of possible simultaneous NVENC streams from three to five on GeForce graphics cards. The patch applies to all desktop and laptop models starting with Maxwell, including GTX 745, 750Ti and the entire 900 series. However, some models in the affected groups do not have encoding capabilities, such as GTX 940MX or MX130.

Nvidia has not announced the change, but a comparison of the current coding support page with the archived version from March 18 shows that it happened sometime this week. This is probably an unregistered add-on included in driver version 531.41.

Increased bandwidth is just one new factor helping content creators and video files with consumer GPUs to work more efficiently. Another reason is the appearance of the AV1 codec, which, as tests show, encodes faster than the popular H.264. Intel Arc Alchemist, AMD Radeon RX 7000 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 4000 released last year were the first video cards that support AV1 hardware encoding.

However, users attempting to encode more than five simultaneous streams on Team Green hardware will still need professional or server-side GPUs such as Quadro, RTX 6000 or L40. As before, most of these cards have no limits on the number of simultaneous NVENC streams, other than what their hardware can handle. Unlike GeForce models, professional cards, previously limited to three streams, remained unchanged.

A third-party hack to remove the software limitations of consumer GPUs has been available since 2021, and developers continue to support the latest driver versions. However, unofficial workarounds are always risky, and it is impossible to say how long modders will be able to support updates.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here