How to Enable Hardware Encoding (NVENC) in OBS

Follow our step-by-step guide below.


The benefit of hardware encoding is that it reduces the load on your CPU by using a purpose built piece of hardware on your Nvidia graphics card.

Hardware encoding is supported in both the Mac and Windows version of OBS, however the developers only recommend using it on computers running Windows. Additionally to get the best results we recommend you use hardware encoding if you run a Nvidia GPU.

Hardware encoding has been available on Nvidia cards since early 2012, so if you have a modern Nvidia GPU, you can likely enable it.

Select settings in OBS

1. Go to settings

Go to ‘settings’, then select ‘output’ from the side menu.

Enable hardware encoding

2. Enable hardware encoding

Under the ‘encoder’ drop down select ‘NVENC H.264’. This will enable hardware encoding on your Nvidia graphics card.


You should now see a large drop in your CPU utilization, as the hardware encoding will now use the GPU.