Using Intel’s QuickSync with Open Broadcaster Software (OBS)

So you’ve got an Intel CPU i3, i5, i7 with an integrated GPU HD3000, 4000, 5000, 6000 or whathaveyou? You can use that iGPU to offload your encoding work with OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) be it for recording or streaming purposes. Obviously the newer your CPU the better the QuickSync will be at encoding. As far as I could figure it out. Obviously for this to work, your iGPU needs to be turned on in your BIOS settings.

Why would I want to offload my encoding work to the iGPU? I found an article, bit older, but most of it still applies.

Can’t test it all, ’cause I’m still in the cave with my ol’ rusty Sandy Bridge i7-2600k. I’ve yet to find a reason why I should upgrade. Anyway, with that out of the way, let’s get to the topic at hand.

Most of y’all will have a screen like this in your OBS and your System Tray (meaning no Intel HD Graphics Driver present):

UsingQuicksync_OBS_012UsingQuicksync_OBS_011

If you’re like me, you’ve got a dedicated GPU running in your rig, like a gtx 670, 770, 970, a Radeon or whatever. In order for the QuickSync option to show in you OBS the iGPU has to be connected to a monitor. BUT! Fear not, that can be very easily faked!

Let’s fake us some Monitor connection. First you need to do, is go to your Screen Resolution Menu, just right click your mouse on your desktop:

UsingQuicksync_OBS_010

Once there you need to detect possible GPU’s. Click the button “Detect” and voila there should now be 2 monitors:

UsingQuicksync_OBS_009

Having done that, click the “Another Display not detected” and select “Available Display output on: Intel HDR Graphics”:

UsingQuicksync_OBS_008 UsingQuicksync_OBS_007

Now comes the step where we actually fake a connection between the new “monitor” and our iGPU. Go to the “Multiple displays” menu and select “Try to connect anyway on: VGA” and click apply:

UsingQuicksync_OBS_006UsingQuicksync_OBS_005

Almost there fellas. Still not done. We need the newly set up connection to be actually “ON”. We do this by extending our primary desktop to the newly fake monitor. Go to “Multiple displays” and choose “Extend these displays”:

UsingQuicksync_OBS_003

Having done everything correctly it should look like this:

UsingQuicksync_OBS_0031 UsingQuicksync_OBS_002

And in your OBS you now should be able to choose QuickSync as an encoding option:

UsingQuicksync_OBS_001

As for what settings to use in OBS for the best quality and low size…well, I cannot answer that, since I’m still experimenting myself. It greatly depends on the CPU used, since every generation improves the QuickSync feature. I’m on Sandy Bridge, where Quick Sync was FIRST introduced. Somebody using Haswell or even Skylake will have a greatly improved QuickSync encoding than me, so my how-to would be obsolete. I might post some general pointers down the road though, we’ll see!

Enjoy and a happy new year!

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