NVENC SDK, which used to be a separate SDK, is now a part of NVIDIA Video Codec SDK. The NVIDIA Video Codec SDK is a complete set of high-performance NVIDIA Video Codecs tools, samples and documentation for hardware encode API (NVENC API) and hardware decode API (NVCUVID API) on Windows and Linux OS platforms. This SDK consists of two hardware API interfaces: NVENC for video encode acceleration and NVCUVID for video decode acceleration with NVIDIA’s Kepler and Maxwell generations of GPUs (See list of supported GPUs below).

Use of NVENC API for H.264 encoding, requires Kepler or Maxwell generation GPUs along with supported driver version (see below).

Use of NVENC API for H.265 (HEVC) encoding requires Maxwell 2nd generation GPUs along with supported driver version (see below).

The NVIDIA Video Codec SDK requires NVIDIA Windows or Linux display drivers, which are available for download from NVIDIA driver page here.

The NVIDIA Video Codec SDK includes following documentation and samples for video encoder and decoder APIs:

Video Encoder API Documentation Decoder API Documentation Sample Applications and Guide
  • NVIDIA Video Codec SDK (Samples Guide)
  • Sample application source code, along with Windows and Linux build files which demonstrate how to use the hardware encoder and decoder.
Video Test Sources

NVENC - Hardware-Accelerated H.264 and HEVC (H.265) Video Encoding

The NVIDIA Encoder (NVENC) API enables software developers to access the high-performance hardware video encoder for Kepler and Maxwell class NVIDIA GPUs (See list of supported GPUs below). NVENC provides high-quality video encoding that is faster and more power efficient compared to CUDA-based or CPU-based encoders. When using dedicated hardware for video encode and decode, the CUDA cores and system CPU are free to run other compute-intensive tasks. The Application Note included in the SDK documentation provides an estimate for the # of concurrent streams and performance possible with each NVIDIA GPU.

NVCUVID – Hardware Video Decoding

The NVIDIA Video Decoder API (NVCUVID API) provides developers access to hardware video decoding capabilities on NVIDIA GPUs. This library supports hardware-accelerated decoding of the following video stream formats for Windows and Linux platforms: MPEG-2, VC-1, H.264 (AVCHD), and H.265 (HEVC). The NVCUVID API documentation and sample applications are also included in the CUDA Toolkit, in addition to the Video Codec SDK.

What’s New in NVIDIA Video Codec SDK 6.0

NVIDIA Video Codec SDK 6.0 adds following new features.

  • Unified SDK for video encoding and decoding
  • Windows 10 official support
  • Support for H.264 Motion Estimation only mode
  • Support for input surfaces in RGB format
  • Support for SEI and VUI fields for H.265
  • Support for Adaptive Quantization for improved subjective visual quality with H.265 (adaptive quantization for H.264 is already supported)
  • GPUs supported for H.265 (HEVC) encoding
    • GeForce GTX 960, GTX 980. GTX Titan X
    • Quadro M4000, M5000, M6000
    • Tesla M4, M6, M60
  • Various quality and performance improvements in encoding
  • SDK samples no longer require the CUDA toolkit installed in order to build.

Download NVIDIA Video Codec SDK

The latest NVIDIA Video Codec SDK version available is 6.0, which requires NVIDIA GPU driver R358 or above for Windows and R358 or above for Linux. You can download the required drivers here Windows,Linux

This release replaces the earlier release NVENC SDK 5.0 beta. For changes from the previous release, please refer to the release notes included in the SDK package.

By clicking the "Agree & Download" button below, you are confirming that you have read and agree to be bound by the NVIDIA VIDEO CODEC SDK LICENSE AGREEMENT. The Video Codec SDK will begin downloading immediately after clicking on the "Agree & Download" button.

SDK Updated (NVENC SDK 6.0): November 30, 2015

Agree and Download SDK for Windows and Linux



Legacy Versions of NVENC SDK

The older releases are still subject to the license and terms and conditions linked above, and by downloading this SDK you are agreeing to these terms.