Windows 11 video encoding

With the release of the new DirectX 12 API, there’s finally an opportunity for Windows 11 developers to test DirectX 12 capabilities for video processing/encoding.

As part of DirectX 12, Microsoft is working on a new video encoding API for Windows 11 apps. The API, which is now available in preview for Windows developers, could greatly speed video encoding and allow third-party apps like Adobe to match the modern standards of DirectX 12.

In the changelog, Microsoft confirmed the new DirectX 12 APIs, which are native to Windows 11, will provide GPU acceleration for several video apps using Video Decoding, Video Processing and Motion estimation. Once implemented, third-party apps will be able to perform video encoding using GPU accelerated video engines.

“Contains support for D3D12 Video Encode and preview support for D3D12 Enhanced Barriers. As this is a Preview SDK release, developer mode needs to be enabled for its usage,” Microsoft stated in the changelog of DirectX 12 preview update.

The framework of the new API is a bit complicated, but Microsoft documentation suggests that the DirectX 12 principles and style, reference frames will be managed and tracked completely by the API. This would allow Windows 11 apps to have full control of the DPB size.

The API will use the raw power of GPUs and Microsoft says Windows 11 video editing tasks will be more efficient, and faster than Windows 10.

It’s worth noting that the API enables improved video encoding for popular codecs, including N264 and HEVC. These codecs are used in video editors such as Adobe Premiere and Filmora.

Devices eligible for Windows 11’s video encoding upgrade

Most modern graphics cards are supported. This includes GPUs and processors from AMD, Intel and Nvidia. If you have an AMD device, you will need Radeon RX 5000 series, Ryzen 2XXX series or greater to support Windows 11’s upgraded video encoding feature. If you’ve Intel hardware, you will need Tiger Lake, Ice Lake, and Alder Lake GPUs.

For those with Nvidia graphics, they will need GeForce GTX 10xx, GeForce RTX 20xx and above. Additionally, Microsoft will also offer support for Nvidia Quadro RTX, and Nvidia RTX.

It’s worth noting that support is going to vary by platform and Windows 11 will require newer drivers and as well as supported apps.