Discord streaming got a massive quality boost for GeForce RTX 40 series GPUs

A new update for Discord adds AV1 video encoding for GeForce RTX 40 Series GPUs, massively improving video quality using the same bandwidth as H.264.

Discord streaming got a massive quality boost for GeForce RTX 40 series GPUs
1 minute & 12 seconds read time

As far as video encoding goes, AV1 represents a big leap forward over H.264 - a video technology that is remarkably almost two decades old. With the release of the GeForce RTX 40 Series, NVIDIA beefed up the video capabilities of its new GPU range with the addition of dual AV1 encoders. Not only something that brings massive improvements to encoding times for content creators but improves quality for streaming.

When NVIDIA announced the GeForce RTX 4090 and RTX 4080 last year, it showcased the difference AV1 brings using Fortnite gameplay in a Twitch-like setting. As per the video above, it's a massive improvement, with NVENC AV1 delivering noticeably crisper and smoother video at 1080p60 than H.264 using the same bitrate. Bitrate is critical, as spotty video compression can be detrimental to live streams and broadcasts.

With AV1 added to the popular streaming app OBS Studio for recording, its addition to Discord this week is excellent news for gamers and the future of streaming. Discord is widely used as a social platform for specific games, groups, and friends, and being able to jump into a chat or share screens means it's a streaming platform too.

According to NVIDIA's Gerardo Delgado on Twitter, "The update is rolling out starting this week and will slowly populate to all users. With AV1 you'll be able to stream up to 4K60 with Nitro [Discord's paid subscription service], at 8 Mbps!" Adding that Discord will automatically switch to H.264 for users who can't decode AV1 is very cool.

As AV1 encoding support is found in new AMD and Intel GPUs, we assume that Discord will add broader support sometime soon.

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Kosta might be a relatively new member of TweakTown, but he’s a veteran gaming journalist that cut his teeth on well-respected Aussie publications like PC PowerPlay and HYPER back when articles were printed on paper. A lifelong gamer since the 8-bit Nintendo era, it was the CD-ROM-powered 90s that cemented his love for all things games and technology. From point-and-click adventure games to RTS games with full-motion video cut-scenes and FPS titles referred to as Doom clones. Genres he still loves to this day. Kosta is also a musician, releasing dreamy electronic jams under the name Kbit.

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