How to use Nvidia NVENC encoder - HEVC vs H264

  • If you use a high-end NVIDIA graphics card and install the latest NVIDIA graphics card driver, you will be able to enhance the recording ability of Bandicam by using the GPU of the graphics card.
  • If you use GTX 600 series or higher graphics cards, you will be able to use the Nvidia NVENC H264 encoder which allows you to record the target with high speed, high compression ratio, and excellent quality.
  • If you use GTX 950 series or higher graphics cards (Maxwell, GM20x), you will be able to use the Nvidia NVENC HEVC(H.265) encoder which is better at compression than the NVENC H.264 encoder.

HEVC vs H.264 - Which one is better?

HEVC (H.265) is better at compression than H.264. The video quality of HEVC will be better than H.264 if the file size is the same. The file size of HEVC is smaller than that of H.264 if the video quality is the same.

However, some media players don't support HEVC and HEVC uses more CPU than H.264.
Users have to choose the proper codec to meet their needs.

HEVC vs H.264 - Size, Quality, and Speed

The table below shows the file size, video quality, and codec speed.

Codec Size Quality Speed Description
HEVC 33 - 44 MB
Better compression rate than H.264 for the same picture quality
H264 34.2 MB
Best codec for most users

(Recording time: 1 minute, Video resolution: 1920x1080, FPS: 30, Quality: 80) » Comparison of video codecs

To use the Nvidia NVENC encoder, please follow the steps below:

  1. Download/install the latest Nvidia video card driver

  2. Choose the "H264 (Nvidia® NVENC)" or "HEVC (Nvidia® NVENC)" option.

    • Click the Settings button under the Video tab, then choose the "H264 (Nvidia® NVENC)" or "HEVC (Nvidia® NVENC)" encoder.
    • H264/HEVC is one of the most commonly used formats for the recording, compression, and distribution of high definition videos. (View the comparison of video codecs of Bandicam)

    Nvidia® NVENC H264 Encoder Settings

    • Profile: If you choose "H264 (NVIDIA® NVENC)," the Profile selection menu (Auto, Main, High) will be shown.
    • VBR (Variable bitrate) - Quality-based: VBR allows a higher bitrate for faster scenes and a lower bitrate for slower scenes, as a result, the recorded video size can be made smaller. (Recommended)
    • CBR (Constant Bitrate) - Bitrate-based: CBR always uses the same bitrate, as a result, you can predict the video file size (But, the recorded video size might be larger.)
    • GPU device: If you use more than 2 GPUs, try this option. (For example, use graphic card A for recording and graphic card B for gaming.)
    • Keyframe interval: If the Keyframe Interval is set to 150, keyframes will be created every 150 frames.
    • FourCC code: To play the recorded video on media players, choose "H264." To edit the recorded video with Sony Vegas, Adobe Premiere with the AVI container, choose "X264." » See more

If you cannot see the "H264 (Nvidia® NVENC)" or "HEVC (Nvidia® NVENC)" option, please try the solutions below:

  1. Nvidia® NVENC encoder is available in Windows 7, 8, and 10.

    If you use 'Windows XP' or 'Windows Vista', the "H264 (Nvidia® NVENC)" menu will not be shown.

  2. Update your graphics card driver.

    Download the latest Nvidia video card driver from

  3. Check whether your computer has an NVENC-capable GPU

    * H264 (Nvidia® NVENC)

    • Desktop GPU: Geforce GTX 600 series, QUADRO/TESLA(K series) or higher graphics cards.
    • Laptop GPU: GTX 660M, 670MX, 675MX, 680M, 700M or higher graphics cards.

    * HEVC (Nvidia® NVENC)

    • Desktop GPU: Maxwell GM20x (GTX 950/960/970/980/Titan X), Pascal GP10x (GTX 1030/1050/1060/1070/1080/Titan X), QUADRO/TESLA(M/P series) or higher graphics cards.
    • Laptop GPU: GTX 965M, 970M, 980M or higher graphics cards.
  4. Nvidia® NVENC encoder is available with the latest version of Bandicam.

    Nvidia® NVENC H.264 encoder is available from Bandicam 2.0.0, and Nvidia® NVENC HEVC encoder is able from Bandicam 2.4.0 with the MP4 file type.

Error message: Failed to initialize codec. Do you want to try again with the H.264 (CPU) codec?

If your computer is out of memory or NVENC is being used by another program, you will see the "Failed to initialize codec" error message. In this case, please close all other unnecessary programs and try again. If you still have problems, you have to use another video codec such as H.264 (Intel Quick Sync video) or H.264 (CPU). If you need to use Bandicam and other programs which use NVENC (ShadowPlay, STEAM VR, OBS, etc.) at the same time, visit

GPU Hardware Acceleration Support

Nvidia NVENC Intel Quick Sync Video AMD VCE/VCN
OS Windows 7/8/10/11 Windows 7/8/10/11 Windows Vista, 7/8/10/11
Bandicam v2.0.0/v2.4.0 or higher v1.9.0/v3.1.1 or higher v1.9.1 or higher
Hardware Acceleration HEVC, H264 AV1, HEVC, H264 HEVC, H264
Graphics card GTX 600 or higher / HEVC: GM20x GPU i3, i5, i7 processors / HEVC: Skylake GPU HD 7700 or higher
Video resolution No limitations (4K Recording, 3840x2160) Haswell: 2560x1600, Pre-Haswell: 1920x1200 1920x1080
Description h264 recording, NVENC H264 recording, Intel quick sync h264 recording, AMD, APP

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