Introducing the Video Coding Engine (VCE)


In an era where battery-driven hand-held devices integrate a wide collection of sophisticated functionalities such as high-quality image/video shooting/recording as well as real-time voice/video chatting, improved multimedia features are considered to be a crown jewel that most technology vendors would like to possess. Efficient hardware and software architectures of digital video compression systems play a primary role in the enablement of many wide-spread applications such as transcoding, video editing, video conferencing, video streaming, as well as emerging technologies such as wireless display and cloud gaming.

VCE is AMD’s dedicated fixed-function H.264/AVC video coding engine. One of its primary advantages is that it allows offloading the huge video compression workload to such a co-processor, leaving most of the CPU cycles available for other types of processing. Besides, it exhibits the advantages that come with fixed-function hardware implementations such as the increased throughput and reduced power consumption. VCE consists of a microcontroller that controls the fixed function hardware blocks that execute various stages of the video encoding pipeline.

Target Platforms

As shown in the following diagram, VCE resides in many AMD products. It exists in a wide set of discrete GPUs as well as APUs, ranging from high-end servers all the way down to low-end chips.


The following table provides a detailed description of the AMD products and the VCE version they are powered with:

VCE Version

Product Family

Distinguishing Features

VCE 1.0

Radeon HD 7900 series/Radeon R9 280X dGPU

First release: AVC – I,P and DEM

Radeon HD 7800 series dGPU
Radeon R9 270X/270 dGPU
Radeon HD 7700 series/Radeon R7 250X dGPU
A10 – 58XX (and other variations) APU
A10 – 68XX APU

VCE 2.0

Radeon R9 290x/290 dGPU SVC (temporal) + B-pictures + DEM improvements
Radeon R7 260X/260 dGPU
A10 – 7850K APU
A4-5350, A4-3850, or E1-2650 APU
A4-1200/A6-1450 APU

 Main Use Cases

VCE may be used in a wide variety of use cases where high-throughput, low-power, and/or low delay video compression is desirable. A few examples of such use-cases would be fast-transcoding, real-time low-power video conferencing, real-time low-power wireless display, as well as server-side cloud-gaming solutions.


VCE Capabilities

VCE is designed to meet the requirements of a wide spectrum of use cases. The capabilities of VCE are summarized below:

Up to 3x 1080p@~30fps per instance Low-power budget Multi-stream support – up to 16 streams Configurable speed/quality tradeoff Flexible/programmable to meet various use-cases

Display Encode Mode (DEM) – On AMD APUs and discrete GPUs there is a direct physical connection between the display controller and VCE known as DEM. This allows developers to do screen capture and video compression in one shot and is ideal for use in low latency applications such as wireless display.

Design Aspects of VCE

A number of factors have been considered in the design of VCE.  VCE aims to provide the best compromise between bitrate and quality. The chip cost has been minimized by optimizing the area of the VCE block and by reducing the memory requirements. Throughput is an important factor to meet the requirements of some use-cases such as fast transcoding. It is needless to say that optimizing for power is a must-have for longer battery life webcam, wireless display, and other applications. VCE is also able to efficiently encode multiple streams and switch context between them efficiently. There is always the trade-off between error resiliency and latency represented in the added delay that accompanies IDR pictures. VCE handles this challenge efficiently by leveraging several video coding tools such as Intra Refresh and others. Besides, VCE has features that maximize the network bandwidth efficiency. It also has a programmable portion that provides a flexible means to meet the requirements of various use-cases.


Exposing VCE to the Outside World

Access to the Video Coding Engine is provided by the Media SDK, which is designed to handle a variety of use-cases and multimedia frameworks. Media SDK provides the following functionalities:

  • AMF- DEM library for low latency video capture and encode
  • H.264 HMFT Encoder for HW-accelerated video encoding by leveraging VCE through the Microsoft Media Foundation Platform.

Future releases of Media SDK will introduce various enhancements aiming at more usability, higher performance, and/or newer codecs. Developers creating applications for Windows 8/8.1 Store can access VCE via standard Microsoft APIs like MediaTranscoder.

For examples on using VCE refer to the samples in the Media SDK.  Feel free to post your questions on using VCE in the Media SDK forum.

Happy coding! – Ihab Amer and Khaled Mammou

Ihab Amer is a Principal Member of Technical Staff (PMTS) and Khaled Mammou is a Senior Member of Technical Staff (SMTS) at AMD. Their postings are their own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites, and references to third party trademarks, are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied.

116 Responses

  1. Mr. Supin Wanna

    I am searching gpu card for x264 live encoder, I don’t sure your card Model R9 Series can do it.

    If it can help me, please guide me about Doc/Card Model.

    So, now My Project used FFMPEG+X264+OPENCL

    Thank you very much,

    • Mello

      Hi Joe,

      The only requirement for x264 is opencl 1.1, AMD have been supporting that for many many years now.

      Back on topic… VCE has nothing to do with x264. It actually replaces x264 all together. I did a test using the screenCapture sample code, I recorded Skyrim at 1920×1080 and encoded it to H264 (also 1920×1080) on my pc without any lag! 🙂 I’ve got a slow dualcore 2.1Ghz cpu and a Radeon R9 280X.

      If you still have questions regarding x264 please try their forums you’ll get better feedback from them.

      Good luck with you project,

    • Bundy Bear

      I can understand older cards not supported but come on guys R9-280 not supported seriously…..

      • Leonardo Oliveira

        Actually, i own an r9 280… and I do use VCE with MSI Afterburner… Works like wonders… =D

    • Jhwrk99

      Why can my amd fx(tm)-4130 quad-core processor not record videos for Raptr. i don’t plan on getting a new AMD, i don’t have enough money, but i want to record.

  2. Carandiru

    Have been using x264vfw for a long time, then I stumbled upon this!!!

    VFW encoder for AMD VCE h264 encoder. Usable with Virtualdub, Dxtory etc.

    I’m using it with Video Enhancer ( and I have a huge speed improvement!!!
    I’m running a Radeon 290, which is really fast but this is awesome that it’s working with Video Enhancer.

    Just thought I’d post this up for others if they want to take advantage of it!

    • XxDj_zEuSxX

      Hi, thanks for the tip! but do you know how to “enable” it on Dxtory? Or how does it work for capturing video?

  3. João Pedro (John)

    HD6000 series are not supported ?????????????????
    You gotta be kidding me… AMD have a really bad support for your clients, nVidia is way better.
    In the future, bye bye AMD forever!

    • Dimitris

      João Pedro (John) +1 aggreeee !!! Bud support no supported HD 6800 series?? Is sooo old that u not supported ???

      • Güney

        You are right but i can’t buy new card for a video program. I’m using HD6950 and i want to use that program with my card but someones must earn money. Selling new cards…

    • APophis

      It is not supported, because your hardvare is not contain that type of H.264 decoders. It’s impossible to support. Thats why nvidia isn’t support the 500 series and older cards, for the same reason. Your old card is old, Its not even a GCN.

        • Ken Mishima

          Sure it can, but the HD 6000 series cards don’t have the onboard hardware (VCE) to support GPU encoding, so obviously they can’t support such features. Nvidia is the same, only their Kepler series GPU’s support NVENC (Shadowplay, etc.), so anything before GTX 6xx doesn’t work with that.

    • TroyDawg1354

      ya i have a amd radeon hd 6450 and I thought it would be compatible. Come and see this then almost only there r9 series cards are compatible. Now I’m switching the Nvidia when I get the money and I’m going to get the EVGA Geforce GTX660 FTW edition. I’m never going to amd for gpu’s ever again.

    • nameynamename

      Wow you guys are dumb. First off gpus older tha the 7000 series do not have the hardware needed for this. Yeah be mad at amd if you want about that, but nvidia doesn’t have shadowplay before their 600 series cards which came out the same year. Like I said be mad at amd if you want but then you should also be mad at nvidia for the same reason. They both started supporting this kind of stuff the same year, if one should get crap for it so should the other.

    • Atrax

      It’s an old ass card, what did you expect for them to support stuff like this on 15 year old cards?? They can’t support it cause 6000series doesn’t have a VCE co-processor. There is nothing they can do about that.

  4. XxDj_zEuSxX

    Hi, I have a sapphire 7770 1GB and in the raptr app it says that the recording feature is not available with my AMD card, does anyone else has this problem? what can I do?

    • Marcos Cardoso

      Estou com o mesmo problema!!! Assim que achar uma solução volto aqui para comentar. Obs: minha GPU é HD 7770 Vapor-x

    • Atrax

      It was working before the last update, so it must be a bug. Just wait for an update. And report the bug so they know about it and can fix it. Cheers

  5. ibase

    I can just agree with the fact that it is very dissapointing to not have this feature avaible atleast on the 6900 series of amd graphic cards.

    • BDK

      It’s very simple actually. You need a graphics card with the GCN architecture. The 6000 series is not one of them.

      • Chris

        Bah. The 7000/R270 series doesn’t offer enough of a performance boost to justify upgrading from a 6950. And so the Raptr program is just as useless as it was before. Uninstalling…

  6. pm94

    i have a fx-8150 and a hd 7770 and it says that the record feature is not available in my card can anyone explain why

    • donbvonb

      Yes indeed. The A10-7850K supports VCE 2.0 but it’s maxxed out Dual Graphics compatible card doesn’t even support VCE 1.0.

      BOO, WENDY.

  7. Joakim

    Such low amount of supported cards. Ive been very hesitant to buy from AMDs competitor but amds lack of working linux drivers and so on is pushing me away.

    • BDK

      Low amount of supported cards? Every single card based on GCN (7000 series and newer) is supported.

  8. LinkFer

    I have A10-5757M with HD 8650G and “This feature is not available with your AMD card”

    • rose

      Same with me 🙁 Did you find anything about them going support it? it was working for me before but now it wont

  9. Miko

    At least let us record video on 6000 series. Even if we cannot use the replay function or encode with the hardware. Every other video recorder has been doing this for years and never needed the vc-chip. Even you record and stream the video to twitch, so the functionality is there.

    Please enable basic recording for series less than 7000. I’m not asking much. You can keep the replay function on devices that support it.

  10. Archie

    I have been a customer of AMD for a very long, so my high opinion is of course excellent and have intentions of being a customer and user of your products. The good truth is my son works for AMD which I am proud. Not much help but I never buy Intel.

  11. NUSNA_Moebius

    VLIW5 APUs like the A4-3850 are enabled but not dedicated GPUs such as the Evergreen series are? That doesn’t make much sense unless the VCE just not present on Evergreen dGPUs.

    • Lonnie

      Yeah, why are “A10 58xx” supported and not my a10-5750m? Thats a load of crap unless it’s somehow tied to the GCN arch…but still, your telling me a a4 has the horsepower to do this? Or is it hsa? Either way wow. Find a way to make this work on Richland mobile chips AMD seriously. I just got this laptop less than a year ago, and was happy to support Richland KNOWING Kaveri was on the way but I knew I wasn’t missing out on a lot of performance for the games I play. It doesn’t mention HSA specifically but check this out The 5750m has in general a better feature set. Now looking at the (GPU)7660d that comes with the 5800k…it’s not GCN either…so what gives? Or rather takes.

  12. Adrian

    In next updates, will the recording feature be enabled for amd a10-6700 apu and amd radeon 8670d because right now, it is disable

  13. Keverino

    Huh, well that’s mildly interesting….

    I’m running a Lenovo G505s with an A8-5550M APU, when GameDVR first came out it was supported with my hardware, when testing it out there didn’t seem to be any noticeable lag. However after an update it said that my card wasn’t supported. =/

    AMD Pls, I feel lied to…

  14. Maisios

    why this recording system once i updated the raptr it was working and a week later it was Disabled “This Feature Is not available with your AMD card ” and i got Sapphire AMD Radeon HD 6770 Vapor – X cooling .
    Anyone knows tell me please.Thanks

  15. Billy

    I have Sapphire 7990 and mine isn’t supported by the DVr… Hoping for latest update for support

  16. Andrew

    I was using this program no problem, but after posting a video on youtube the icon says disabled, not available with your graphics card…

  17. Paavo

    WTF! I could capture video with amd gaming evolved but now they updated it or something and now i cant! I have r9 270. I should’ve bought nvidia card…

  18. manny

    I have a R9 270X and the GVR is greyed out. I’m using 14.4 drivers (latest stable) and just upgraded to the latest beta and now GVR is not greyed out. Did you guys seriously launched an amd gaming evolved update without launching first a stable driver? This is ridiculous….

  19. Germancho

    This is a really cool feature and I wanted to know if you are going to give us a patch for older videocards, I own a 5000 series one and really wanted to use the recording system, might as well go for an upgrade for the end of the year, but I really hope I give it some more use.

  20. Bliznade

    Wtf. I’ve been using this since I got my R9 280 (a little over a month ago) and all of the sudden I get the latest update and my card isn’t compatible!??? WHAT!? Is this serious? It’s not compatible, why? Because you want me to buy a newer, more expensive card? F that. About to sell this and go back to Nvidia. At least they don’t pick and choose who gets what features based on whether or not they bought the right card. It worked fine with my 280. Total BS that they cut the feature out. The only reason I even went to AMD is because I won the card, and the only reason I kept it in over my 660 was because this feature was baked in. I’ll sell when the 800 series cards come out and then I can buy the Shield Tablet and actually make it a worth while purchase. Used to love AMD when I had my 4800 series card.

  21. Roo

    Im using a Radeon HD 8970 and it says “Record is not available with your card”, any solution to this problem?

  22. jp

    I ve got a radeon 7870 and the record fonction is not available in “AMD Gaming Evolved”

    Is GVR working with 7870 radeon ?

  23. mwharrisjr

    I have a AMD R9 280X and last update the game dvr function worked perfectly but now its disabled. Why is that?

    • bob

      This feature requires dedicated h.264 hardware on the video card to work. Older cards such as the hd6xxx series simply do not have this piece of hardware, so this feature is not possible to support on them. It only works with hd7000 series or newer because those cards have the VCE co-processor hardware.

  24. Lupu Ovidiu

    Why i cant use GVR and Replay ? i have Gigabyte 7950 ???? it says i don’t have AMD graphic card LOL

  25. john

    hi. i have SapphireToxic R9 280X 3GD5 why i cant use replay or record in amd game evolve???? until now i use it some times and i capture nice videos … thanks you for answer

  26. Nemrod

    Enserio no puedo grabar vídeo desde el AMD Gaming Envolved? sacaron la tarjeta de la lista? No entiendo la razón, dado que con mi placa grababa muy bien. No me parece un buen trato al cliente. Es una R7 260x y ya no me deja grabar…

    • daniel

      pudiste encontrar solución para grabar??

      admin note: Google translation: You could find solution for recording ??

  27. McAdmir

    I have gigabyte 6950OC I pay a lot of money when card came out,and now I don’t have any support from RAPTURE.Next card definitely is nvidia….

  28. Alejandro

    Buen dia, tengo la ati 6670 ddr5 1gb no se puede usar twitch? por que me dice problemas de compatibilidad. Muchas Gracias

  29. Angirasa

    It seems my Raedon HD 7600M is not supported, while the HD 6600M and 6700M are happy to comply?

    • d2_ricci

      Never going to happen with VCE, your 5570 (or even 6000 series) cards dont have the infrastructure for it. I’m talking about GCN, VCE encoder, The parts and pieces on your card are just not there.

  30. mamh

    Is AMD Radeon R9 290X Video Encoder encodes WMV9 or VC1?
    I tried to encode but it doesn’t work.

  31. Name lol

    I don’t get it……there was avivo video converter. I remember downloading it from amd/ati site…. and it was working with 5870.
    Not comfortable to start video converter from ccc…. but it worked. Now there is no download link of avivo converter on amd site (i can’t find it). And I DON”T SEE see any links to free converter that can be used with 7950. Why not include working software that use VCE on driver page like it was before (avivo).

  32. Ollie

    Hi, I have the Sapphire R7 260x and I cant use the Raptr GVR even though it says the Radeon R7 260x is a compatible card, I have the latest drivers and I have also seen videos of people recording using my exact card so I dont know why I can use the GVR.

  33. Jarrard

    I can’t get the Raptr VCE GameDVR software working for H.264, even other software that attempts to use AMD APP H.264 just crashes, clean install doesn’t fix the problem, error gen code 31 just spits out when attempted recording in game.

    I have a R9 290X card under windows8.1 btw, I do run at 4k but tell it to record at 1080p. AMD’s video recording software is truly sad, wish they cared enough to fix so it would work as good as Shadowplay! (A true marvel to work with)