We will see how to configure the AMD encoder in OBS for both Windows and Linux. In windows this is simple, just installing the AMD Radeon software will configure everything for you. Let’s explore the advantages of using a hardware encoder in place of software versions.

OBS is one of the popular screen recording and streaming software available for both Windows and Linux. OBS is completely free and there are lots of additional plugins available for customization. There is other software that is integrated with OBS for example like Streamlabs.

Why use hardware encoder?

When you first install the OBS software, will be in its default configuration, which so far in my experience produced poor video recording quality. This is expected as software encoders and default settings aren’t optimized for all devices out in the market. One of the main problems I noticed is that software encoders use more CPU.

Hardware encoders use less CPU and produce high-quality outputs compared to software encoding methods.

  • Less CPU usage
  • High quality output
  • Efficient

How to set up AMD encoder in OBS

We will discuss how to set up the AMD encoder in OBS for both windows and Linux, both need different methods for best quality. Although AMD provides Linux compatibility for their drivers and software’s I prefer the open-source drivers for Linux.

For Windows

Download the Auto-detect tool which will install all the required drivers for your windows laptop or PC, you can also download the drivers dedicated for your hardware if you know about your chipsets and variant details.

Auto-Detect and Install Updates for Radeon™ Graphics and Ryzen™ Chipset Drivers for Windows®
For systems with AMD Ryzen™ Chipsets, AMD Radeon™ Graphics, AMD Radeon Pro Graphics, and AMD Processors with Radeon Graphics Only


Minimal installation would work fine, Now open OBS software and go to Settings, and Select Output

AMD Encoder Settings in OBS (Windows)

You can find output mode selected as Simple(default) or Advanced, there will be two sections of settings one for streaming and the other for recording.

Select Hardware AMD in Encoder for both streaming and recording.

That’s all now test recording a demo, if you couldn’t get enough quality after changing the encoder it could an issue with scaled resolution. Always set output resolution(scaled) to base resolution(canvas) for the best result.

OBS Base Settings

OBS-AMD Encoder Linux

For Linux users, the above method isn’t applicable, although drivers and Radeon software are available for Linux it doesn’t support all Linux versions (I found a problem in Ubuntu 20.04 with the latest kernel). OBS with VAAPI feature could support most of GPU encodings out of the box.

If you could install the proprietary drivers in Linux without any problem you can try that but most people don’t recommend using this version, the open-source driver has large community support and would get frequent updates.

Open the OBS software and click settings from the menu

In settings select Output and change the mode to Advanced you can see different sections like recording, streaming, etc. Select Recording and change Type to Standard

AMD Encoder Settings in OBS (Linux)

In encoder select FFMPEG VAAPI, VAAPI would detect your GPU automatically. That’s all now start recording and check whether it’s working or not, if not please verify the steps.

If you’re still getting poor video quality please check the video output settings I discussed above in OBS Base Settings[image]

AMD GPU in OBS Linux for Best Recording and Streaming Quality [2021]


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About the Author

Muhammed Fasil K

I am an Embedded Engineer with years of Experience in Blogging and DIY projects. I like to make DIY stuffs and write articles related to technology.

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