Nvidia Slips Volta NVENC Into GeForce GTX 1650 Instead Of Turing NVENC

For reasons unknown to us, Nvidia's latest GeForce GTX 1650 entry-level gaming graphics card is packing the old Volta NVENC (Nvidia encoder) instead of the latest Turing NVENC.

Credit: NvidiaCredit: Nvidia

In case you're not familiar with NVENC, it's basically a proprietary encoder that's inherent to Nvidia graphics cards that allow them to execute video encoding workloads. The objective is to offload the video encoding task from the processor to free up resources. The Nvidia NVENC encoder is popular with users of streaming, capturing and encoding programs like Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), Wirecast, HandBrake or Bandicam.

Starting from Kepler and continuing to Turing, each graphics card microarchitecture from Nvidia brought along its own version of the NVENC. It's common assumption that if a graphics card is based on a certain microarchitecture, it would logically feature the respective iteration of that encoder. However, the GeForce GTX 1650 seems to be the black sheep of the GeForce GTX 16-series family.


GeForce GTX 1650
GeForce GTX 1660
GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
Architecture (GPU)
Turing (TU117)
Turing (TU116)Turing (TU116)
CUDA Cores
896
1408
1536
Peak FP32 Compute
3 TFLOPS
5 TFLOPS
5.4 TFLOPS
Tensor Cores
N/A
N/AN/A
RT Cores
N/A
N/AN/A
Texture Units
56
88
96
Base Clock Rate
1485 MHz
1530 MHz
1500 MHz
GPU Boost Rate
1665 MHz
1785 MHz
1770 MHz
Memory Capacity
4GB GDDR5
6GB GDDR5
6GB GDDR6
Memory Bus
128-bit
192-bit
192-bit
Memory Bandwidth
128 GB/s
192 GB/s
288 GB/s
ROPs
32
48
48
L2 Cache
1MB
1.5MB
1.5MB
TDP
75W
120W
120W
Transistor Count
4.7 billion
6.6 billion
6.6 billion
Die Size
200 mm²284 mm²284 mm²
SLI Support
No
No
No
Nvidia Encoder (NVENC)
VoltaTuringTuring

According to Nvidia's official specifications, the GeForce GTX 1650 employs the Volta NVENC instead of the Turing NVENC. Nvidia's decision makes no sense at all especially when its siblings, the GeForce GTX 1660 and GTX 1660 Ti both feature the Turing NVENC. A possible explanation could be that Nvidia is trying to minimize costs to maximize the profits on the GeForce GTX 1650.

Nvidia states that the Volta NVENC's performance is right in the alley of the Pascal NVENC. However, the Turing NVENC is up to 15 percent more efficient than the Volta NVENC and also brings a few improvements to combat artifacting. It isn't a huge deal-breaker if you don't plan on using the NVENC feature on the GeForce GTX 1650. But then again, if you're paying for a next-generation graphics card, you would expect it to come with the latest features.