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X264 or NVENC for Streaming When Playing at 4K?

Since I play games at 4k and max settings, will it be better to use X264 or NVENC for streaming seeing how 4k is way more GPU bound with a Ryzen 3700x and a GTX 1080 Ti? Also what kind of resolution can I get away with for the stream, because I would love to stream in at least 1440 if possible.

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2 minutes ago, avrona said:
Since I play games at 4k and max settings, will it be better to use X264 or NVENC for streaming seeing how 4k is way more GPU bound with a Ryzen 3700x and a GTX 1080 Ti? Also what kind of resolution can I get away with for the stream, because I would love to stream in at least 1440 if possible.

Do you have this setup yet?

 

You're barely going to get 60fps at 4K MAX with a 1080Ti, what games are you looking to stream?

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What are you playing?

Quote or tag me( @Crunchy Dragon) if you want me to see your reply

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8 minutes ago, jstudrawa said:

Do you have this setup yet?

 

You're barely going to get 60fps at 4K MAX with a 1080Ti, what games are you looking to stream?

6 minutes ago, Crunchy Dragon said:

What are you playing?

I'm already getting 60 fps at 4k max in many games, and that's running an fx-8350 with a 1080 ti, so that shouldn't be a problem. I don't have the setup yet, the new CPU and mobo are arriving tomorrow. Planning on streaming Apex Legends, Rainbow Six Siege, and Overwatch for now.

 

 

Specs: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/vQ26BZ

Check out my channel if you are interested in tech I guess: https://www.youtube.com/c/avrona

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For a single PC setup I always recommend going hardware encoding if you have an NVIDIA card. The quality difference isn't much at common bit rates and there's no noticeable performance hit. For a dual PC setup then software (x264) all the way.

All aboard the Floatplane!

 

Gaming PC: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 | AMD Wraith Stealth | ASRock Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac | G.Skill Flare X 32GB (16GBx2) | NVIDIA GTX 1080 8GB FE | Fractal Design Node 202 | Samsung 860 EVO 1TB M.2 SSD

Streaming PC: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 | AMD Wraith Stealth | ASRock Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac | G.Skill Aegis X 8GB (4GBx2) | ASRock Phantom Gaming Radeon RX 550 | Fractal Design Node 202 | Mushkin Enhanced Source 500GB M.2 SSD

 

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2 minutes ago, avrona said:

I'm already getting 60 fps at 4k max in many games, and that's running an fx-8350 with a 1080 ti, so that shouldn't be a problem. I don't have the setup yet, the new CPU and mobo are arriving tomorrow. Planning on streaming Apex Legends, Rainbow Six Siege, and Overwatch for now.

NVENC tends to be the best choice for single system streaming.

Quote or tag me( @Crunchy Dragon) if you want me to see your reply

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Community Standards // PSU Tier List // Bugs and Issues // Tech News Posting Guidelines // How to use the forum // Join Floatplane! // Floatplane Support Wizard // Join the LTT Official Discord // How To Get Used PC Parts Cheaper Than Ebay or Craigslist // Intel HEDT Discussion //

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4 minutes ago, KuJoe said:

For a single PC setup I always recommend going hardware encoding if you have an NVIDIA card. The quality difference isn't much at common bit rates and there's no noticeable performance hit. For a dual PC setup then software (x264) all the way.

It's a single PC setup but I am playing at 4k, so will that change things?

Specs: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/vQ26BZ

Check out my channel if you are interested in tech I guess: https://www.youtube.com/c/avrona

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3700x is only 8 core cpu.  Even with the x264 software encoder set to ultrafast, I doubt it can sustain 4K at 60 fps without choking the games you play. Maybe 30fps would be doable.

 

The 1080ti has a hardware encoder, which should not affect in a significant way the rest of the gpu, so using nvenc you should be able to hardware encode 4k at 30 or 60fps and get ok quality provided you give it enough bitrate.  Streaming to Youtube at 4K should be doable but to others... 

 

 

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As for streaming resolution, aim for 720p at 60FPS for the games you're playing unless you're a Twitch partner (not affiliate) and you can bump up your bitrate a lot. While Twitch doesn't have a "max" bitrate, they have been known to throttle non-partners above 6000 so that should be your focus and trying to push 1080p at 60 FPS even with x264 doesn't look great at 6000 bitrate.

All aboard the Floatplane!

 

Gaming PC: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 | AMD Wraith Stealth | ASRock Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac | G.Skill Flare X 32GB (16GBx2) | NVIDIA GTX 1080 8GB FE | Fractal Design Node 202 | Samsung 860 EVO 1TB M.2 SSD

Streaming PC: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 | AMD Wraith Stealth | ASRock Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac | G.Skill Aegis X 8GB (4GBx2) | ASRock Phantom Gaming Radeon RX 550 | Fractal Design Node 202 | Mushkin Enhanced Source 500GB M.2 SSD

 

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1 minute ago, mariushm said:

3700x is only 8 core cpu.  Even with the x264 software encoder set to ultrafast, I doubt it can sustain 4K at 60 fps without choking the games you play. Maybe 30fps would be doable.

 

The 1080ti has a hardware encoder, which should not affect in a significant way the rest of the gpu, so using nvenc you should be able to hardware encode 4k at 30 or 60fps and get ok quality provided you give it enough bitrate.  Streaming to Youtube at 4K should be doable but to others... 

 

 

Well I'm planning on streaming on Twitch, at 1440 if possible, so a good bitrate for that is 18000, so does that all sound alright?

Specs: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/vQ26BZ

Check out my channel if you are interested in tech I guess: https://www.youtube.com/c/avrona

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1 minute ago, KuJoe said:

As for streaming resolution, aim for 720p at 60FPS for the games you're playing unless you're a Twitch partner (not affiliate) and you can bump up your bitrate a lot. While Twitch doesn't have a "max" bitrate, they have been known to throttle non-partners above 6000 so that should be your focus and trying to push 1080p at 60 FPS even with x264 doesn't look great at 6000 bitrate.

But 720 doesn't look too good either, so what would be a good combo for running at 1080?

Specs: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/vQ26BZ

Check out my channel if you are interested in tech I guess: https://www.youtube.com/c/avrona

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Just now, avrona said:

But 720 doesn't look too good either, so what would be a good combo for running at 1080?

Become a Twitch partner and stream at a higher bitrate. Keep in mind if you are not a Twitch partner and you stream above 3000 bitrate a lot of viewers will not be able to watch you because you will not have transcoding enabled for your streams and without a broadband connection they'll get dropped frames (even on LTE mobile connections where latency is a pain).

 

So if you want to stream for a few people, crank up the bitrate until Twitch throttles you. If you want to get viewers aim for 2500-3000 to start.

All aboard the Floatplane!

 

Gaming PC: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 | AMD Wraith Stealth | ASRock Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac | G.Skill Flare X 32GB (16GBx2) | NVIDIA GTX 1080 8GB FE | Fractal Design Node 202 | Samsung 860 EVO 1TB M.2 SSD

Streaming PC: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 | AMD Wraith Stealth | ASRock Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac | G.Skill Aegis X 8GB (4GBx2) | ASRock Phantom Gaming Radeon RX 550 | Fractal Design Node 202 | Mushkin Enhanced Source 500GB M.2 SSD

 

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1 minute ago, avrona said:

Well I'm planning on streaming on Twitch, at 1440 if possible, so a good bitrate for that is 18000, so does that all sound alright?

No. Twitch has some maximum limits when it comes to bitrate.

Twitch has some maximum bitrates they recommend, and they will cut you off or block your upload if you constantly exceed their recommendations. The bitrate is 6 mbps or around that range... people with lots of subscribers and viewers may get that limit raised to 10 mbps... at least that's what I remember, maybe things have changed since then.

 

Not sure what to say about 18mbps being good for 1440p. Doesn't sound right to me. 

Depending on quality settings of the encoder, you could do 720p 30fps in as little as 3-4 mbps. Going to 60fps usually implies raising the bitrate by around 1mbps ... so 720p 60fps would be encoded just fine in around 5-6 mbps

 

6 mbps is a decent amount for 1080p 30fps, but ideally I'd use 8-10mbps. For 60fps, I'd say maybe 2-3 mbps on top of what's needed for 1080p 30fps.

 

It depends a lot on quality settings and also a lot on the game... a game with lots of motion would need more bitrate while a game with less motion and scene changes would work just fine with less bitrate.

 

No, I think 2560x1440 30fps could be doable in 10mbps, and maybe 12-14 mbps for 60fps

 

Also keep in mind that if you set your bitrate to 18 mbps , then you need an internet connection that has upload of at least 10-20% more... so an internet connection that can upload at a consistent 20-24 mbps.

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11 minutes ago, avrona said:

But 720 doesn't look too good either, so what would be a good combo for running at 1080?

Maybe it doesn't look good because you're leaving everything to some default values which aren't greatly chosen. Tweak the settings.

At low bitrates like 3-4 mbps, the software encoder would give way better results than the hardware encoder and with a Ryzen cpu you'd be able to use the software encoder without affecting you.

If you play at 1080p, it would be even better to stream at half that... 960x540 ... the resizing is basically free, barely any processing power to do 1/2 resize. You can ramp up the quality settings in the software encoder to retain as much quality in that resolution and that bitrate while not affecting your games.

If playing at 1440p, again, resizing to half is basically free, and compressing 720p in software should be easy.

If you can afford to waste bandwidth, then you can up the bitrate to 5-6 mbps and leave the hardware encoder stream... basically, the hardware encoder is less efficient, uses more bytes to get same quality.

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4 minutes ago, KuJoe said:

Become a Twitch partner and stream at a higher bitrate. Keep in mind if you are not a Twitch partner and you stream above 3000 bitrate a lot of viewers will not be able to watch you because you will not have transcoding enabled for your streams and without a broadband connection they'll get dropped frames (even on LTE mobile connections where latency is a pain).

 

So if you want to stream for a few people, crank up the bitrate until Twitch throttles you. If you want to get viewers aim for 2500-3000 to start.

That's sadly easier said than done and it will probably be ages until I become a partner, so what will be the best bitrate for 1080 until then, seeing how 1440 doesn't really seem doable right now it seems?

 

3 minutes ago, mariushm said:

No. Twitch has some maximum limits when it comes to bitrate.

Twitch has some maximum bitrates they recommend, and they will cut you off or block your upload if you constantly exceed their recommendations. The bitrate is 6 mbps or around that range... people with lots of subscribers and viewers may get that limit raised to 10 mbps... at least that's what I remember, maybe things have changed since then.

 

Not sure what to say about 18mbps being good for 1440p. Doesn't sound right to me. 

Depending on quality settings of the encoder, you could do 720p 30fps in as little as 3-4 mbps. Going to 60fps usually implies raising the bitrate by around 1mbps ... so 720p 60fps would be encoded just fine in around 5-6 mbps

 

6 mbps is a decent amount for 1080p 30fps, but ideally I'd use 8-10mbps. For 60fps, I'd say maybe 2-3 mbps on top of what's needed for 1080p 30fps.

 

It depends a lot on quality settings and also a lot on the game... a game with lots of motion would need more bitrate while a game with less motion and scene changes would work just fine with less bitrate.

 

No, I think 2560x1440 30fps could be doable in 10mbps, and maybe 12-14 mbps for 60fps

 

Also keep in mind that if you set your bitrate to 18 mbps , then you need an internet connection that has upload of at least 10-20% more... so an internet connection that can upload at a consistent 20-24 mbps.

The last thing I want is to stream at 720 as that's just too low, so what would be the max FPS I could get away with the highest bitrate at 1080?

Specs: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/vQ26BZ

Check out my channel if you are interested in tech I guess: https://www.youtube.com/c/avrona

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Go watch the popular Twitch streamers and go view the video stats to see what they stream at. People rarely stream at 1080p, they either stream at 720p or 900p.

All aboard the Floatplane!

 

Gaming PC: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 | AMD Wraith Stealth | ASRock Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac | G.Skill Flare X 32GB (16GBx2) | NVIDIA GTX 1080 8GB FE | Fractal Design Node 202 | Samsung 860 EVO 1TB M.2 SSD

Streaming PC: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 | AMD Wraith Stealth | ASRock Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac | G.Skill Aegis X 8GB (4GBx2) | ASRock Phantom Gaming Radeon RX 550 | Fractal Design Node 202 | Mushkin Enhanced Source 500GB M.2 SSD

 

Daily Driver: ODroid H2 | Intel Celeron J4105 | G.SKILL Ripjaws 16GB (8GBx2) | HardKernel Type 2 Case | Intel SSD 600p 128GB NVMe SSD

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1 minute ago, avrona said:

The last thing I want is to stream at 720 as that's just too low, so what would be the max FPS I could get away with the highest bitrate at 1080?

720p isn't low at all. Again, it only looks ugly if you use bad encoding settings where the encoder doesn't make an effort to preserve as much content as possible in the bitrate you give it.

The hardware encoders are optimized to encode fast, in real time or faster than real time, and they have parameters tweaked for speed instead of quality in lots of cases... so if you hardware encode in 720p you won't get as good quality as compared to using software encoder x264.

The max fps you could get away depends on game and service you use. If Twitch has maximum limit set to 6 mbps, then no matter the fps or resolution, you're capped at 6 mbps, so you decide how much fps you're willing to have (compromise quality for more fps? would users really care you stream at 60fps, or the game doesn't have so much motion and crap t require 60fps)

 

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If you're dead set on streaming at 1080p 30 FPS then 6000 bitrate is your best bet, just don't know expect a lot of viewers.

 

I used to stream at 1080p with a 10000 bit rate and got a lot of complaints because viewers didn't have a fast enough connection to watch my streams so I lost all of the followers I made and had 0 average viewers. I started streaming at 720p with a 3000 bit rate and I jumped to 50 followers and became Twitch Affiliate within a month.

All aboard the Floatplane!

 

Gaming PC: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 | AMD Wraith Stealth | ASRock Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac | G.Skill Flare X 32GB (16GBx2) | NVIDIA GTX 1080 8GB FE | Fractal Design Node 202 | Samsung 860 EVO 1TB M.2 SSD

Streaming PC: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 | AMD Wraith Stealth | ASRock Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac | G.Skill Aegis X 8GB (4GBx2) | ASRock Phantom Gaming Radeon RX 550 | Fractal Design Node 202 | Mushkin Enhanced Source 500GB M.2 SSD

 

Daily Driver: ODroid H2 | Intel Celeron J4105 | G.SKILL Ripjaws 16GB (8GBx2) | HardKernel Type 2 Case | Intel SSD 600p 128GB NVMe SSD

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1 minute ago, KuJoe said:

If you're dead set on streaming at 1080p 30 FPS then 6000 bitrate is your best bet, just don't know expect a lot of viewers.

 

I used to stream at 1080p with a 10000 bit rate and got a lot of complaints because viewers didn't have a fast enough connection to watch my streams so I lost all of the followers I made and had 0 average viewers. I started streaming at 720p with a 3000 bit rate and I jumped to 50 followers and became Twitch Affiliate within a month.

In my experience no matter what quality I used to stream at, I still barely got any viewers, so I guess it didn't really affect it much in my case, so that's why I'm trying to also help promote my Twitch by streaming at a high quality. So would 1080p at maybe 30FPS be possible then, because you've just thrown in a whole new factor there with viewer connections?

Specs: https://pcpartpicker.com/list/vQ26BZ

Check out my channel if you are interested in tech I guess: https://www.youtube.com/c/avrona

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1080p at 30 FPS is doable at 6000 bitrate with x264. I stream at the Slow or Medium CPU preset and it looked decent at 6000 bitrate but I switched to 720 at 60 FPS because it looks smoother.

 

If you stream at a 6000 bitrate then your viewers need at least a 6Mbps internet connection to watch your stream with no dropped frames. Mobile viewers won't stick around unless they're on WiFi and users from other countries most likely won't watch either.

 

I normally stream at 2500-4000 bit rate depending on what I'm doing (sometimes I just want to stream and then export to YouTube so I don't worry about viewer cou t). For fun I did a test stream this week and you can see the quality yourself: 

That's using QSV at 6000 bitrate in a dual core i5, not bad for 720p IMO.

All aboard the Floatplane!

 

Gaming PC: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 | AMD Wraith Stealth | ASRock Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac | G.Skill Flare X 32GB (16GBx2) | NVIDIA GTX 1080 8GB FE | Fractal Design Node 202 | Samsung 860 EVO 1TB M.2 SSD

Streaming PC: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 | AMD Wraith Stealth | ASRock Fatal1ty AB350 Gaming-ITX/ac | G.Skill Aegis X 8GB (4GBx2) | ASRock Phantom Gaming Radeon RX 550 | Fractal Design Node 202 | Mushkin Enhanced Source 500GB M.2 SSD

 

Daily Driver: ODroid H2 | Intel Celeron J4105 | G.SKILL Ripjaws 16GB (8GBx2) | HardKernel Type 2 Case | Intel SSD 600p 128GB NVMe SSD

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