Yesterday Microsoft confirmed that the new Radeon RX 6000 Series GPUs from AMD would support the all-new AV1 codec designed by Alliance for Open Media (AOM). This marks the point where all three graphics manufacturers, AMD, Nvidia, and Intel, support the encoder. Naturally, that should accelerate its popularity and support and seemingly indicates that the rival H.266 spec isn’t receiving as much uptake. However, whether AMD’s integrated graphics in it’s desktop and mobile APUs will get AV1 encode and decode capabilities remains to be seen.
Regarding the encoder, AV1 is 50% more efficient than H.264 and 20% better than VP9, which means AV1 video sizes are cut in half compared to H.264 encoding, but they still have the same level of quality. This is great news as more people continue to shift away from smaller resolutions like 1080P and upgrade to 4k and even 4k 60FPS, which can be expensive to store and stream on slower internet connections.
If you have an AV1-supported GPU, you can check out videos running on AV1 already with YouTube. All you need to do is select a video, right-click on the video and select “Stats for nerds’ to check out whether YouTube is running AV1 or not.